Animals used as Props in Propaganda.

Is this glass half full or half empty? It depends on to whom you are asking this question: the individual’s beliefs, experience, and outlook on life will determine the answer to this query. Realistically, both answers are correct. A case can be made for the glass being half full, a case can be made for the glass being half empty.  It could be a trick question; after all, the glass might be too small.

That is the problem with photos. They can be extremely deceptive, sometimes an epic fail. There is an old saying that a photo tells 1,000 words. So it would be easy for anyone to use a photo to get their point across. It is fair game for marketing a product, but when it comes to politics, it can be irresponsible and just plain dirty trickery. Ever notice how photos work in the news biz? Consider the global warming issue for instance.

In their social media news posts, global warming activists frequently show a photo of a polar bear on a sheet of ice surrounded by what appears to be nautical miles of water; implying that the ice cap is melting and that the poor , defenseless polar bear is stuck all alone and in danger. How sad, upsetting and unfortunately, deceptive. I did a report on polar bears in the third grade. Polar bears know how to swim. That’s how they catch their fish; and defenseless?  Ludicrous. A polar bear can kill you in less than 10 seconds if it feels you are a threat to it or its cubs; and what better way to catch a seal than to be on a floating sheet of ice in water? Tsk, tsk, tsk…very deceptive. There is another picture of a sickly looking polar bear. That polar bear in the picture could be dying from an illness or a disease but no, automatically there is a knee jerk reaction to blame it on climate change even though there are about 31,000 polar bears alive today.

Those on the other side of the global warming issue tend to show a picture indicating that all is fine for the polar bear.  We see it sleeping peacefully with its cubs nearby it on nice, firmly packed pristine snow. Content in its existence, basking in the glorious sunlight. Again, the right photo can push the agenda of any political party to support their version of “the truth”.

Depending on the photo, you either feel bad for the polar bear or happy for it–conflicting emotions from opposing points of view. It’s disingenuous how photos are used to evoke a desired emotion from the viewer/reader. It’s a case of total propaganda being used to divide a United America.

Besides polar bears, other animals have been used as props in an argument. The ASPCA commercials show images of sad cats and dogs in cages while heart wrenching music can be heard in the background of the narrator hitting us up for donations. These commercials attack the viewer’s senses on more than one level. The viewer hears the sad music and the viewer sees the poor animals with the sad eyes locked in cages….Question: Who  put the dogs and cats in those cages? They don’t look dirty or mangy. Those that are injured are bandaged already. The cages are clean. So what we are looking at are not home videos shot by mean people who hurt or neglected these animals. It’s not like we walked into a puppy mill!  Nope. What we are looking at are animals that were thrown into cages to shoot a commercial. By doing so, hasn’t the director of the commercial abused the animal? There’s a camera crew there with the caged animals filming the commercial! Why aren’t they letting the animals out? Those animals look sad all right; and they are looking at the camera crew like “what did I do?” How else are we seeing the caged animals at the perfect angles? That’s what it’s all about. Their angles. Propaganda. Public falls for it every time.

Having a cause to live for, to fight for, is a noble thing. To help others, to right a wrong, that’s admirable. It’s wonderful to do something unselfishly for the greater good; however when you start to use deceit, dirty tricks, and lies, it ruins the credibility of your work and it damages your cause. It’s one thing to have a cause to fight for but it’s another thing to be fanatical about it.