December 24, 2015

Animal cruelty ads show liberal morality of dog people

With the arrival of the Christmas season, you may be seeing charity commercials for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. They play maudlin music, the voiceover is in the most near-crying register, and the words of the appeal are so childishly manipulative (help prevent harm to cute puppies, or I'll never talk to you again).

It's typical liberal morality which emphasizes prevention of harm / provision of care, almost to the exclusion of any other moral concerns, for example about purity, sanctity, and taboo, or about responsibility. They could have just as easily framed the matter as one of man abandoning or neglecting his stewardship over the animals, of desecrating what is sacred (animal life, or at least companion animal life), of violating a taboo against treatment of pets, and so on. Those push conservative moral buttons, though, so we can conclude that the audience for these appeals are liberal.

What's striking is that they only show dogs throughout the whole long commercials. Search Google Images for "ASPCA" or for "animal cruelty" in general, and again it's almost all dogs.

This is yet another demonstration that dog people have a more liberal moral mind, while cat people are more conservative.

It's not as though there are no cats wasting away, missing eyes, caught in traps, shivering in the rain, or otherwise looking pathetic. And it's not as though cat people don't care about the welfare of their pets, or even of stray cats. Rather, they don't respond to the attempted emotional manipulation that treats the audience like they're small children, who are expected to go, "Awww, poor hurt puppy! Mommy, give money to that group or you're hurting that puppy in your own way!"

They're not so different from the "sponsor a Third World child" commercials that appeal to liberal do-gooders.

Cat people respond to needy animals in more pragmatic and sober ways, like leaving food, taking an injured cat to the vet, or adopting the animal as a pet ("rescue" rather than "sponsor"). They aren't naive enough to think that donating enough money to an idealistic cause will magically make all the bad kitty feelings get better. They take a more direct and personal role, like a capable adult rather than a wish-and-hope child.

The commercials prove another point I've made: dog people are closer to the thing-oriented end of the spectrum, and cat people closer to the mind/empathy end. It's nice that the audience for animal cruelty prevention ads are empathetic enough to respond to them, but it would be even nicer if the dog people who let their pets fall into such a shameful state had been more empathetic in the first place.

You just don't see cat people setting two un-neutered tomcats against each other in a cage match, while a degenerate audience cheers on a forced bloodsport. Nor do they neglect their pets to the point where they're only skin and bone. Or leashed to a post outside with no shelter for days or weeks at a time. Cat people are too empathetically in tune with their pets to let it get anywhere near that bad.

The worst that it gets is the cat hoarder, although there are dog hoarders who do the same. As far as animal welfare goes, even this is not as bad as what the ASPCA shows. In a cat hoarder's home, at least they get fed, have shelter, and are shown some attention. The level of neglect "only" descends to them living in filth and being overcrowded. Bad stuff, but not as bad as canine neglect, nor as common.

What I find really bizarre is that the owners' personalities seem mismatched for the animals. Dog people on average are more neglectful, yet their pets are far more dependent on human care. Cat people are sticklers for taking care of their pets (forcing them into perfumed doggie yoga pants doesn't count as caretaking), even though cats would actually do OK for themselves if turned loose.

Perhaps the main factor here is how mature the owner is in their social psychology. With dog people, it can more often get into "the blind leading the blind" since both the pet and the owner are a little more naive, innocent, and childlike mentally.

If it's mostly a matter of developmental maturity, that would explain the link we've already seen between dog people and liberal morality -- children rebel against authority, pride themselves on violating disgusting taboos, and have no loyalty to a larger group. It's all about "kiss my boo-boo!" and "that's not fair!" It would also explain the link between dog people and thing-orientation, since children aren't very empathetic (not until adolescence, when they form peer groups). And it would explain the link to blacks and Hispanics being dog people -- lower developmental maturity. Ditto for gays being distinctly dog-lovers, as gayness is one symptom of a stunted Peter Pan syndrome.

We're going to get some dog-people rationalizers in the comments who are going to try to wave this whole web of associations away. Just remember that a good idea explains a lot with little. The opposite approach is to rationalize every separate observation, multiplying the causes out to infinity, and explaining nothing.


  1. In my observation, cats are more ruthlessly pragmatic. They tend to shower affection on the ones that feed them and ignore or show hostility to those who spend little time in the household. In that way, I think they appeal to Conservatives, who are themselves more likely to be discriminating in the people they associate with. A conservative can respect a cat that puts its own interests first and whose love is highly conditional. A liberal is more likely to see cats as thoughtless, mercenary creatures who aren't worthy of love and who kill cute little birdies and bunnies. They love dogs because dogs are more likely to shower them with unconditional love, regardless of how badly they're treated.

  2. @TroperA:

    >A conservative can respect a cat that puts its own interests first and whose love is highly conditional.

    Conservatives tend to form relationships on a contract model. Cats can't enter into contracts, obviously, but conservatives who take them into their homes impute a contractual relationship with them, where the human supplies food, water, shelter, healthcare and whatever affection the cat tolerates and reciprocates. In return the human lets the cat do what it wants to do, within limits.

  3. Contractual isn't the right word, since that implies no emotional bond, and that their affection and allegiance could shift if someone else started giving them food.

    Reciprocity is the foundation of most relationships with non-kin, but that doesn't mean everyone acts like a mercenary with friends and companions. It's just the first stage of what will develop into a more emotionally bonded relationship.

    Cats don't just respond to feeding either, btw. A big part of their allegiance is someone playing with them, which is more buddy-buddy than the provider-consumer dynamic of being fed.

    Cats also do unsolicited things for their owners, like hunting and gifting prey. There's no expected contract there, just one good turn deserving another.

    They feel proud and crave affection and recognition for having eliminated another little pest. The way they trill and roll over wanting you to pet them and tell them they're a good little hunter -- it's not how a for-hire exterminator behaves when he removes mice from the traps he's set.

  4. Dogs being more unconditional in their affection points to more of a kin-based dynamic than with cats. Dogs are surrogate children, cats are surrogate friends.

    That ties back into the recent post about dog people grooming and dressing their pets as though they were children. Cat people don't treat their pets that way because you don't give your friend a bath, shampoo their hair, dress them up, etc. That would cross a major social boundary.

  5. The notorious cat ladies are overwhelmingly liberal. And I know plenty of fudge packers who love cats.

  6. There's no data or impressions to suggest that cat ladies are crazy liberals vs. crazy conservatives vs. neither one and just plain ol' crazy. They don't parade their pets out in public for a kitty salon & day spa treatment, or force them to play on mini kitty yoga mats, like the liberal dog people do.

    Reminder that queers are 100% dog people:

  7. A word to the wise: bringing up so-called gay cat-lovers will continue to direct readers toward that exhaustive post on how single-mindedly dog-oriented the pillow-biting population is.

    I don't know about everyone else, but that's one of the funniest posts I've read -- not because of my writing style or anything, but the weird twisted patterns that I uncovered while investigating it. Who knew that gays were so bitter toward being uniformly rejected by cats that a fag-fic novelist would write a whole passage about it? Stew in resentment much?

    What troubles me, thinking back on it in the context of dogs as surrogate children, is that gays surely sexually molest their pets at much higher rates than normal men. Just like they molest their adopted kids, while brushing it off as harmless playing around. And the poor doggies take the abuse like they always do.

    If someone digs around the fag-fic canon, I'm sure there's a whole passage on that topic too. Sick fucks.

  8. I'm much more of a dog-person, and rather than try to rationalize anything away, I'll agree with you on the thing-orientation of dog-owners. Dogs are useful for hunting, guarding property, fighting other dogs, herding sheep, etc.

  9. "Dogs are useful for hunting, guarding property, fighting other dogs, herding sheep, etc."

    i'm guessing you participate in none of the above.

  10. Its a mistake to categorize dog lovers as a monolith.

    There's a real divide between people who like the small, fluffy, yippy dogs and people who own bigger, quiet, obedient dogs.

    I've spent time around both and they don't seem to share much morality at all.

    Breed preference matters with dogs in a way it perhaps doesn't with cats.

  11. All stats you can find say liberals like cats more than conservatives

    200,000 person survey:

    Another, liberals clearly liking cats more than conservatives:

    Americans in general like dogs more than cats, with liberals being much more okay with cats as well, compared to conservatives.

  12. The NY Times agrees that men who own cats are more "secure with themselves".

    "John Scalzi, 39, an author in Bradford, Ohio, has been a cat guy his entire life"


  13. In other posts I've already said that "dog people" and "dog owners" are not the same. I'm talking about "dog people," not those who keep dogs around for useful things.

    In other words, dog owners are psychologically more distant from their "pets" (they're more like livestock or work animals). Dog people and cat people are the ones who form much closer attachments to their pets. I'm investigating the different psychological make-up of these two groups who both become emotionally close to their pets.

    It's the "dog owners" who make "dog people" appear conservative by association. But dog people are hyper-liberal. Everything about their behavior screams it.

  14. The Jolly Jamaican12/29/15, 6:49 AM

    Lol, give it a rest, Cat Man. Masculine heroes in fiction form bonds with dogs. Who forms bonds with cats? Effeminate, lisping villains (as seen in the Bond films). This trope exists because humans recognize it as true to life.

    Haven't you seen the image of Patton's faithful dog lying by his boots after his death? Haven't you seen the images of dogs lying by the coffins of their war hero masters?

    It's not dog people's fault that a man being into cats screams "closet case."

  15. Totally masculine dog people:

    Fags only own doggies, who they parade around while out cruising the dog parks.

    Strong LOL at people who micro-sculpt their pet's facial hair and dress them up in cute little sweaters trying to put themselves into the same group as military generals.

    You're just another soft suburbanite or city slicker desperate to play dress-up as a warrior. Not working.

  16. Google image search "pet parent" and it's over 90% doggy-doters.

    Somehow I doubt General Patton would have styled himself as a "pet parent" on his Pinterest profile.

  17. Jolly Jamaican12/29/15, 11:50 AM

    I just can't argue with the woman-like rationalization and self-dulusion powers of the average male cat enthusiast.

    The animal companion of every typical masculine type, from cowboys to rappers, from SS stormtroopers to goddamn Netanyahu is a dog.

    Women and homos prefer cats because they act like the aloof alpha males that both groups wish they were being courted by. This is why over-the-hill single women gather cats around them. It's a sad and desperate attempt to relive their youth. Gays prefer cats at every stage of their lives because, of course, they're never courted by aloof straight alphas.

    Actual men, on the other hand, prefer dogs. They're the strong, loyal hunting companions from our ancestral past.

    Neither women nor homos understand the deep bond forged over thousands of years between man and dog.

    "Man's best friend."

    "Crazy cat-lady."

  18. Earth to wannabe tough guy: faggots are 100% doggie-lovers, and don't even feel neutral about cats but bitterly resent them for not playing along with their dress-up games.

    It's pathetic that you're desperately trying to lump nurturing grandmothers with hedonistic, promiscuous, butt-rotted faggots as the "cat crazy crew," even aside from being totally wrong about queers liking cats.

    Like, doesn't that strike you as odd that two totally opposite groups would be cat people? Of course it's wrong -- one belongs (grandmothers) and the other is a moronic lie (fags).

    You must be pretty emasculated in real life if you're trying to prove your manhood over liking dogs. A real man has real-man stuff to point to -- owning a dog is cheap and easy. It's cosplay masculinity, not at all different from ghetto trash who aren't real men either but think owning pitbulls makes them manly.

    Another wonderful group in the coalition of dog people -- ghetto trash.

  19. If you were a mere dog owner, as opposed to a dog person, you wouldn't be so obsessed and defensive with your persona as a dog-preferer.

    Rural blue-collar folks who own lots of dogs don't pay their animals much mind, other than seeing to their welfare and showing them some affection. Their pets do not factor into their internet persona like yours do.

    Mini-yoga pants and Ugg boots are only targeted at one group of pet owners, that I can tell you.


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