5 Viral Animal Video Stars You Didn't Know Were Being Abused

Adorable animal videos are one of the basic building blocks of the Internet. However, like so many other things we do to keep ourselves entertained online, they sometimes come with a dark side. Not to break your morning or anything, but some of the cutest animal videos of all time are also some of the most secretly depressing. We talk about a few of them on this week's Unpopular Opinion podcast ...

... where I'm joined by actress Caroline Sweet and comic Jeff May. I'm also talking about those videos in my column this week. Let's cry together! Here goes!

#5. The "World's Cutest Frog" Is Just Really Scared

Listen. I get it. The sound that this precious little desert rain frog makes in this video is indeed one of the most grin-inducing noises I've ever heard.

I understand the appeal. I really do. But you probably don't even need me to tell you that, for the most part, animals don't make noises for our entertainment. Right in the description of the video, the guy who filmed this refers to what you're hearing as a "defensive cry." Nothing cries out in defense when it's content. That this frog is repeatedly calling for help means someone is most likely prodding it in some way. That would explain why the camera starts moving once the frog stops making noises. Something has to be done to make it start squeaking again, and sticking a camera in its face did the trick the first time.

"Dance, frog ... DANCE!"

It's also worth noting that this is a nocturnal animal that wants nothing more in life at that moment than to be burrowed 20 centimeters below ground and resting peacefully.

Still, it wouldn't be that big of a deal if it was a one-time thing, I guess. It's not. The man who filmed the video, Dean Boshoff, also cranked out a sequel a few months later.

Where is he finding all these frogs? Again, if it's light enough outside for you to see one, chances are it would much rather be asleep and hiding from the Sun. I'm assuming that's why it took this long for video of one being so cute when it's mad to surface. Is he ... digging them up? Do the frogs hear that "Dean who makes movies" is coming by, so they all wake up early and cry out for his attention when he arrives? And then what happens when he finds one? It's not going to threaten itself, you know?

The fame Boshoff has achieved from his "discovery" is such that CNN even dedicated one of the most annoying segments in television news history to the popularity of his frog video.

It includes several adorable shots of dogs reacting to it, which just makes it that much sadder if you ask me. Animals, especially dogs, recognize distress in living things. All of those dogs freaking out over this video most likely just want to find the source of the sound, and even then, it's probably just because they're curious as to whether they can eat it (more on that later). So not only do these poor frogs have to suffer, but we're also stressing dogs out over it, too. We know what the frogs sound like now. Please stop.

If there's a bright side here, it's that the followup video had approximately 12 million fewer views on YouTube -- meaning that until the desert rain frog gets an agent and starts doing car insurance commercials, it should be able to go back to just being a stupid frog for a while.

#4. German Shepherd Protects His Lobster Friend (Because He Wants To Eat It)

Aww, what could be troubling about this, you guys? If you're unfamiliar with this video and don't have time to watch, basically, it's footage of a concerned German Shepherd protecting a lobster that's about to be turned into dinner.

How sweet! That good dog found a new pal and wants to keep it safe. Heartwarming. "You'll never believe what this dog does to protect its new lobster friend" is probably how the bullshit Upworthy title you clicked on the first time you saw this video explained the action at hand.

Of course, that's not at all what's really happening. As this Huffington Post article points out, the behavior that dog is displaying is indeed protective, but it's not protecting that lobster from everyone else out of love; it's because the dog wants to eat the lobster.

Dogs call it "resource guarding," but only movie dogs that talk -- and even then, it's just the really intelligent ones.

A movie dog would've ended this a long time ago. And that lighting is atrocious.

Anyway, think of this video as a dog protecting a bone. There are retirement commercials based on the lengths dogs will go to in order to protect a bone. If you walked in on a dog chewing a bone, would you immediately reach down and grab it? Stop trying to answer me and keep reading. Of course you wouldn't. At that point, the dog is invested in what it's found. Involving your hand in that whirlwind of canine emotions is a great way to get bitten. That goes for food of any sort. Once a dog is eating, or thinks it will be, separating it from the thing it's planning to devour will be a challenge.

So watch the video again, but watch it in that context. Don't think of it as a lobster; think of it as a bone. What's happening makes a lot more sense that way. Well, up until the end, at which point, if I understand correctly, someone suggests that they should hit the dog in the face with the lobster to get it to start making noises again? What the fuck?

"You know we could end you and that lobster if we really wanted to, right?"

Whatever the case, it all still makes more sense than a dog falling in love at first sight with a crustacean. This German Shepherd, acting on nothing more than its basest doggy instincts, now thinks it is engaged in a battle for control of this lobster with the rest of the house. Is that cute? Sure, but at the end of the day, everyone involved still wants that lobster in their stomach.

#3. That Sliding Goat Might Just Want Some Shade

Right off the bat, you should know that I will be providing zero source links for this entry. Everything you're about to read is conjecture on my part. In other words, for the first time in this column, I am operating comfortably within my wheelhouse. Anyway, have a look at this video and enjoy all the feels that come with watching a goat frolic on a slide.

Ha! It plays just like people! This isn't really that unique of a thing, to be honest. For some reason, videos of goats playing on slides are a hot commodity online. However, there's something about this one in particular that strikes me as troublesome. Here's the thing: Look where the goat is when it begins to slide.

South America?

Now compare that spot to the spot at the bottom where the goat inevitably and adorably slips back down to each time. Do you see the difference?

Nope. Same answer.

If not, what I'm referring to is the Sun. When the goat lays down initially, it's in the shade. As it slides down the first time, keep an eye on its tail when it first reaches the sunnier half of the slide. It starts wagging like crazy, as if it's reacting to something not all that pleasant.

Still pretty cute, though.

Now watch as it makes its way back up the steps. When it walks on the bottom half, it sort of jumps with each step, as if the act of walking in that spot is for some reason unpleasant.

That stupid frog could learn a thing or two about dancing from this goat.

I don't know what part of the world this is happening in, but it certainly looks like it's pretty warm there. Think about what concrete or cement feels like on a hot day. You definitely wouldn't want to lay on it for any extended period of time, even with clothes (or fur) on. What makes you think it feels any more pleasant for a goat?

Again, I know it's just speculation. But to me, it looks like that poor goat is just trying to escape the sun. Instead of laughing and filming, someone should just help it up that other set of stairs so it can get some damn shade.

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Adam Tod Brown

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