Guggenheim submits to pressure from animal rights activists over graphic animal art

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They’re cowards.


“As an arts institution committed to presenting a multiplicity of voices, we are dismayed that we must withhold works of art. Freedom of expression has always been and will remain a paramount value of the Guggenheim”

Then go ahead and strap yourself onto that sacred art treadmill piece and have at it.


Some dogs actually love running on treadmills. Once they have become used to them, they get super excited to get to run on them. Not saying that the dogs in the video are like that, just that some dogs really like them.


I’m surprised PETA isn’t protesting this tapestry at the Cloisters uptown from the Guggenheim.


If it hadn’t been for PETA, I probably would never have seen these videos. Hello, Streisand Effect…


"They’re emotionally complex and highly intelligent living beings, not props. The animals in these exhibits are not willing participants, and no one should force sentient beings into stressful situations for ‘art’ or ‘sport.’ "

Plenty of artists view human beings as props. And don’t always get their consent, depending on local laws.

Museum officials say recent threats of violence and fear for their visitors and staff forced them to reach the decision

And no one should threaten violence against sentient beings in order to achieve political goals. Not PETA, not ISIS, not NATO.


My pit loves running on his treadmill, and when he was a puppy during the rainy winter, it may have been the only thing that kept him tired and me sane.

I don’t speak for PETA here, they’re assholes. But, personally my objection to the dog piece was that they seemed to be deliberately working the dogs up into aggression and frustration at not being able to get at each other. I know on the scale of “cruel things dogs in this world are subject to” this is maybe mild, but I found it disturbing and unfair to use them that way.


Possibly including these dogs, as the treadmills are not motorized.

I assume PETA’s next target will be art in which pets are forced to engage in other vices, like gambling, smoking and drinking:



Absolutely. If the dogs are anything but stoked to be running on those treadmills, then it’s cruel and inappropriate.

PETA are indeed stupid arseholes. I remember seeing a photograph they had at a fundraising stall in Oxford years ago, showing a RS232 port crazy-glued to a shaved patch on a rabbit. They were trying to imply some sort of cruel, weird science, but it was so obviously a plant, it was crazy.

My inner child thinks the dogs running at each other but never meeting is funny.

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Good point. But at least people, when asked, can agree or decline to participate.

What if they had put people unable to communicate in an art piece? Perhaps someone afflicted with paralysis, or someone without the mental capacity to choose. Would we be okay with that?

I feel like the answer should be no, not okay with that. But I’m not sure if my argument is sound.


Tread-milling dogs is as low a savage thing you can possibly do to a helpless animal. F’ing disgusting, says my dog.


“These animals experience every emotion that you, I, and our beloved dogs and cats do,”

How can it be known what emotions animals feel?


Do the animals experience embarrassment? Are they ashamed?


I’m not surprised the works of Chinese artists are being protested by PETA and other groups financed by Xi’s government.

Yes, I’m being sarcastic.

From what I’ve read and seen, I doubt Ingrid Newkirk has experienced ANY emotion.

I propose that these two statements can both be true:

  1. PETA is a bunch of dopes, and

  2. Exploiting animals or using them for your dumb art is gross.

Short version: Just because PETA’s against something doesn’t mean it’s ok.


Where to draw the line? If one displays, say, graphically violent kiddie porn—entailing the actual exploitation and harm of children—but do it in a creative and artistic fashion do they get censored? Does a gallery or museum showing their work get censored? Do they self-censor? Are they cowards and against artistic expression for doing so?

Being artistically expressive does not hermetically seal one away from the ethical implications of one’s work. Free expression means one gets to face the consequences for one’s expression.

Personally, I am glad they decided to forgo the dog-baiting. That’s a line of my own.


How can it be known what emotions anyone feels?