TOM THE DANCING BUG: No Animals Were Harmed in the Making of This Comic Strip



So, what I’m getting from this is that we shouldn’t feel bad if they harm a few animals while making a movie?


That was a little too subtle for me, Tom - I didn’t quite get what you were aiming for there.

Well, as long as they eat them too it’s probably o.k.

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When animals are cute, you can’t hurt them.

When animals are food, you don’t give a shit how they got to your table as long as it’s cheap.


I do like my subtlety served to me with a hammer. (And a side of beef.)

The point is there’s a major contradiction between the way we treat different animals. We are concerned about the welfare of a small minority, while at the same time we encourage the routine torture, terror and slaughter of many many more animals.

Not unlike sitting around the dinner table discussing how horrible Michael Vick is, while eating the flesh of animals who have had lives at least as bad as, if not worse, than Vick’s dogs.


Occasionally someone will make a remark about animal research, I’ll point out that the average research lab goes through far fewer animals then the average restaurant, shoe store, pest control store, grocery store. Several people have told me they never thought of it like that before.


I agree, we should be eating dogs as well.


No animals were harmed in the making of this film, except for
Catering provided by…


Also reminds me of a story where an amateur naturalist was killing stray cats because the cats were attacking endangered birds in the area. Someone turned him in for killing cats. Cat-lovers said it was wrong to kill the cats, because they were just doing what comes natural to them, eating birds.

By that reasoning, if the bird-lover would just eat the cats after killing them, then he’s just doing what comes natural, and no harm done.


I see another version of this all the time. People see starving homeless people in the street with, wait for it, a PET DOG! Omigawd that dog will starve! How irresponsible for a person to have a DOG when they have no means to feed it! Poor puppy!

Homeless dog isn’t locked up in an apartment all day and doesn’t get a 15 minute walk every now and then. Homeless dog has 24 hour companionship and shares in the chow, such as it is. Homeless person? Well, who gives a damn.


Yes, this is a seemingly big contradiction for us humans. But, c’mon. There’s a lot of nuance at play here. There’s a big difference between harming an animal for ‘entertainment’ and for food. which is why the author here chose to use the word ‘enjoyment’ which kind of obscures some of the differences, doesn’t it? We don’t like to harm animals for entertainment because we feel its wrong to derive pleasure from the actual suffering of the animal. I feel if we raised animals ethically and treated them well through slaughter, then enjoying their meat would not present a contradiction to harming animals for entertainment purposes.


Except that we harm animals for “food” pretty much exclusively to derive pleasure from it nowadays. Why does is it more moral to enjoy something via taste buds than it is via any other means? Either way, the only reason the animal is suffering and dying is to momentarily make a human feel a bit better about the world.

If anything, killing an animal for mass entertainment is MORE moral - you’re probably going to distribute a lot more satisfaction with a lot less death and cruelty that way than serving it up on a plate will.


Unless your advocating people should be fed enriched gruel you don’t have much point in advocating morality in food. Pretty much anything fresh comes at an incredible tax to the environment and ecology the food comes from.

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I wouldn’t go as far as saying it’s exclusively for pleasure. Generally when I eat meat it’s for pleasure, but also because it’s good protein, and I need that. Of course you can get protein elsewhere, but my point is that there’s a difference there between eating an animal, we do need food, and making an animal suffer just for entertainment. You can argue that both are immoral, but I would still hold that there’s a significant difference.

Perhaps my greater argument is: If the point of this comic is to make some observational humor “look we don’t harm animals in movies, but we also eat them! how strange!” than, it’s not too original or funny. (for the record, I’ve found some of his comics very original and funny). But if his point is to bring up an issue, than he’s doing the argument a disfavor by glossing over all the nuances and complications.
Also, I don’t even really have a strong opinion on the matter, I think I just felt like arguing today.


I’m opposed to tormenting animals for any reason, but I have no moral issues with humane slaughter for human consumption.

Of course, the difficulty of finding guaranteed cruelty-free meat at a comparable price is a whole different issue.


Are you seriously arguing that if we can’t be perfectly moral we thus should not try to minimize the evil we do, because anything less than perfect doesn’t have a “point”?

Does this argument apply in general, or only to things you would rather not worry about the morality of because you like benefitting from the way things are now?

Considering there are plenty of people who live fairly easy as vegetarians… Eating meat isn’t always done exclusively for pleasure, per se - it’s often done out of convenience, or to follow social norms as well. But it’s certainly not done out of necessity.

Arguing that we need food is irrelevant, and is simply an attempt to emotionally tie that to the concept that we need meat (an argument that lacks the justification to be made directly).

What, exactly, is the significant moral difference? Is murdering someone so you can eat their food (even though you have plenty of money, you just don’t want to take the drive to the convenience store) somehow more morally acceptable than murdering someone because because you want to post a video of it and you think it will be entertaining? This is an honest question - you may actually think they are both very bad, but that the second is worse for some reason, I am just not sure why that would be so.


Anyone here who has ever seen steak OR ribs at a craft service table please raise your hand.

Then let me come be a part of your crew so I can get out of music videos.