Earrings for Dogs? Just Stop.

Earrings for dogs seems to be the latest fashion trend, and it annoys the living daylights out of me. I have no patience for people who treat animals (and children!) like they are fashion accessories.

Call me crazy, but you have no business modifying your pet or your child without their consent, unless it’s for their safety, or is medically necessary. I can’t believe this is a thing.

The other day I was watching a video from Kristina Braly, a YouTuber I haven’t seen in a while. I really enjoy her channel, but I don’t watch it very often anymore. However, I have to say she was the first person I saw on YouTube that made me think, “this is something I could do,” and I still like seeing her videos when I get the chance.

As I was watching this video, Kristina suddenly brought her dog into the shot and showed of her dogs’ new…earrings. Granted, the earrings were just glued on, but I have to admit, I found it more than a little disturbing. I know Kristina loves Gidget, and would not do anything to hurt her, so I immediately knew their couldn’t be any cruelty involved. But I was wondering what on earth those sparkly things were, so I decided to investigate.

It turns out, dogs for earrings are a big thing with groomers at the moment. They are attached with glue and come off on their own in a few weeks. I do worry a bit that a dog might swallow them (after all, if you worry about toddlers swallowing toys, I’d imagine dogs aren’t much better – I don’t know, I don’t have dogs). I think they look pretty silly, but they don’t seem particularly harmful.

The “children and pets as toys” problem

What really bothers me is the mentality that causes people to feel that they need to alter the other people in their lives. Especially those that can’t speak for themselves. I suppose it’s one thing to want to change other adults – at least they can say ‘no.’ But for some reason, we’ve enshrined the right to enforce our will on the voiceless and defenceless in our culture and even in our laws.

Human beings have traditionally enjoyed controlling children and pets. Some will argue that this is for their safety. And of course, sometimes it is. But often it isn’t.

There is a mini economy filled with services intended to make your children and pets more agreeable to you. Don’t like dogs with floppy ears? No problem, the breeder will pre-empt that situation with a quick snip before you ever have to worry about whether it’s morally acceptable for you to start lopping off your companion’s body parts.

Then there’s earrings for kids. Some people will defend this as a cultural practice (“I just don’t want people thinking she’s a boy!”). And I can understand allowing a child to get their ears pierced once their old enough to insist it’s something they actually want (for one thing, it’s reversible). But why on earth cause a child senseless pain when they haven’t made it clear that they are: 1) aware of the pain that will be caused and 2) that they even want it in the first place.

Of course, most parents assume that their children will be happy ONE DAY that they got their ears pierced, or were circumcised. And at least in the case of the earrings, it’s easily enough reversed.

But what about our companion animals? Since they never are able to ask for those things, how are their guardians supposed to make those decisions? I would argue that it’s easy enough. If it’s necessary (a heart worm vaccine), go for it. Earrings and nail polish for your pet? Probably not. What do you think?

 

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