Over at Transubstantiation, Vandy Beth Glenn, talks about how Truth Matters and why we (skeptics, atheists, rational thinkers) shouldn;t play fast and loose with what people might say in order to score a rhetorical point or two. That’s not how we do things.
And I totally agree. A similar incident has appeared recently. I’m not a huge fan of animal testing, but I can certainly see its value when used in the proper way (see here for a discussion of laws, regulations, and ethical considerations). I hope that the days of torturing animals for the sake of cosmetics or some such is over.
Then we get stuff like this
This was posted on twitter with the statement: Retweet if you say NO to animal testing.
That’s horrible right?
Of course, that’s not the real story. This picture came from a 2011 newspaper article (here). The actual captions reads:
University of Florida vet school students and veterinarians work to spay and neuter cats as part of Operation Cat Nip on Wednesday.
This was a small part of the result of a large raid on a cat hoarder. Over 600 cats were rescued from horrible living conditions. Dozens had feline leukemia and other diseases and had to be put to sleep. More had additional problems like tumors and mouth disease.The cats in this picture are being neutered and spayed before being adopted.
When you have to do this kind of operation on almost 600 animals in less than a week, it looks a little weird. But, by all accounts it was done and done well.
I think that this image was co-opted for some anti-animal testing message because it looks terrible. It’s purrpose (get it?) is to cause an emotional reaction and turn off the thinking centers of your brain. In my experience, you use reasoned arguments or you can be pissed off. It’s very, very difficult to be both pissed off and reasonable at the same time.
So beware of links, retweets and facebooks posts. Before I share something on facebook, I always double check, by looking for the original article.
As an aside, this is equally fortuitous as cracked.com has this “5 easy ways to spot a B.S. news story on the internet” which is WELL WORTH your time.