Animal cruelty is a hideous thing. Cases of animal abuse, such as those that landed then NFL quarterback Michael Vick in prison, are unique in their ability to unite the country. We don’t like people abusing animals.
So Google having a policy not to run ads that are linked to animal cruelty seems to make sense. At least in theory.
The problem is that Google has a ridiculous idea of what constitutes “animal cruelty.”
A Placerville man running for California state Senate to fill the seat formerly held by Ted Gaines was disappointed — but not surprised, really — when Google refused to run his advertising that featured him proudly showing a wild turkey he shot on his property in Lotus, along with the gun that bagged the bird.
“That turkey was our Easter dinner last year,” said Theodore Dziuba, whose political career thus far is as a member of the Placerville Planning Commission. “It was taken with a clean shot, from about 10 yards away, during the spring turkey hunting season.”
Dziuba, a self-described lifelong sportsman who always has enjoyed the hunt, posted the photo taken along the bank of the South Fork of the American River on his campaign website Feb. 10, along with his opinion about Google rejecting the ad.
“Google shut down my ads because of this image on my website, (which is contained) in my issue position on gun rights,” the Senate candidate explains in text included on the site. “They say it violates their policy against animal cruelty.”
I get that not everyone is a hunter. Because of that, I don’t expect the folks at Google to understand a lot of details about hunting.
But one would think that it’d at least see hunting a common game animal in the United States as being something other than animal cruelty. It’s bad enough when people get up in arms about big game hunts in Africa, but this is a turkey hunt in California.
And Google claims it’s about animal cruelty?
Or, perhaps, the problem is that Dziuba is a pro-gun Republican, but Google can’t refuse to run the ad on those grounds? I mean, let’s look at some of Google’s corporate decision in recent years, as well as those of the rest of Silicon Valley, and you tell me how plausible that sounds?
Regardless, Google did it and claimed animal cruelty, which is ridiculous.
Unfortunately, that’s the world we live in today. There’s such a disconnect between people and their food that they somehow see cruelty in bagging a game animal yet feel nothing when picking up a package of meat at the grocery store.
There’s a lot of hypocrisy in that.
And make no mistake, it’s not just vegans who kvetch about hunting. There are plenty of omnivores who think it’s a cruel amusement.
It’s enough to make you roll your eyes and smack yourself in the forehead so hard you give yourself a concussion. Unfortunately, that’s what we’re looking at right now in this world.
For what it’s worth, Dziuba removed the offending photo–one that’s hardly gruesome by any stretch of the imagination–because his campaign needs to advertise. Unfortunately, it should never have been a problem in the first place.