An op-ed published by the San Diego Union-Tribune calling dogs “parasites” is getting a pretty bad reaction online. That’s probably because it’s a terrible take.
The first half of Chris Reed’s editorial — titled “Let’s be honest America: Dogs are parasites, not man’s best friend” — suggests that humans have doted on their dogs a little too aggressively. A fair point. The doggy spa services he references in the piece are probably wasted on our canine companions.
But then the piece takes a dark turn. Dogs, Reed argues, are “parasites” conning humans into feeding and caring for them with their adorable antics. To make this incorrect point, Reed references Stephen Budiansky’s 1999 “The Truth About Dogs,” which argues that various canine manipulation tactics are to blame for our love of these furry deadbeats.
Dog Twitter was not pleased.
Shortly after Reed’s op-ed went live, the Morris Animal Refuge in Philadelphia tweeted at the Union-Tribune, urging the publication to help find homes for adoptable dogs as penance.
“Sweet adoptable boy Comet has no idea that this piece is saying he’s a parasite,” the tweet from Morris Animal Refuge reads. “So he’s just happily grinning his big goofy grin at you, @sdutIdeas. The least you can do is RT to help him find a loving home!”
It seems Reed knew the negative attention was coming.
“Over-under on when I’ll get my first angry Twitter response over this column: In eight minutes,” Reed tweeted.
And angry responses he did receive.
Dog lovers took to Twitter to defend their good boys and girls and to express their anger and dismay over the column.
Our problem is there aren’t enough of them
— DekZek (@DekZek) July 12, 2018
I actually read the article, just because. And the premise is ridiculous. It says our dogs are conning us into spoiling them. Like, okay? They still make me endlessly happy so who cares if they’re “using” us! OPEN INVITATION FOR EVERY DOG TO CON ME INTO LOVING IT
— World Cup Tweets Only Until July 16 (@TheKaylaKnapp) July 12, 2018
Some even joked that cat reporters were to blame for the article. A harsh, but legitimate assumption.
This is why you don’t let cats write for your newspaper.
— Deb Chachra (@debcha) July 12, 2018
Sure, dogs probably are parasites, but only in the same way that avocados are a fruit. No one cares, and it doesn’t matter.
If every parasite was a dog, the world would be a better place in my humble opinion. And if you have the chance, snuggle up with your favorite parasite this weekend and let them con you into a happier state of being.
[H/T: Twitter Moments]