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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Orangutan Adopts Tiger Cubs (Which Are Aggressively Inbred For Cuteness And Discarded When They Grow)
OK, so here's a video of a cute orangutan (as if there's any other kind) that's bonded with a bunch of tiger cubs so hard that they might as well be family now.
Adorbs! There cannot possibly be a dark side to such a display of love between animals that normally wouldn't be caught dead showing up to the party together. I mean, it's just a primate bottle feeding a few baby jungle cats. What could go awry?
Well, for starters, what happens when all three of them grow to their adult size and have to share an apartment or something? That will be a nightmare for all sorts of reasons. Until then, where they're living now is actually the problem. This video obviously wasn't shot in the wild. Baby bottles and formula are hard to come by in an animal's natural environment. Rather, this mixed animal family resides at a place called T.I.G.E.R.S. That's an acronym that stands for "tigers."
Wait, no. It's actually short for The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species Safari and Preservation Station, which just is not how acronyms work at fucking all, so I think my initial claim actually made more sense. Anyway, while their long-form name might give the impression that this is an organization that's on the right side of the fight, it's basically just a zoo that lets visitors take selfies with animals.
I'm assuming you're not too shocked that a business model of that nature might not be the most ethical thing on the planet. Keeping wild animals in captivity for entertainment purposes at all is kinds of shitty. That's why Costa Rica recently shut down all of the zoos in the country and released all of the animals. Well, that and because it's Costa Rica. It's not like anyone's going to notice a few extra wild animals roaming their jungle neighborhood.
Captivity isn't the only problem. See, those aren't regular tiger cubs. Those are white tiger cubs. You see those all the time in captivity at zoos and anywhere else animals are used for entertainment purposes. Which is odd, because they're extremely rare in the wild. But people love seeing them, and since when is this world one to shy away from perpetuating the myth that being blue-eyed and white is somehow superior?
So to fill the demand that nature can't, white tigers are forced into existence by way of aggressive inbreeding. Hey! You know how we make jokes about humans who inbreed spawning cross-eyed children? Right. Remember Kenny the white tiger?
Hello, inbreeding! In fact, while not every white tiger is permanently cross-eyed, they do all cross their eyes when they're stressed. Quick, cross your eyes right now if you're able. OK, now keep them that way and ward off an attack from a predator. Except you would never willingly do that. And if nature was producing animals that did on any kind of regular basis, we probably wouldn't notice, because they'd all be killed off the second they encountered an enemy of any kind. When we step in to try to force an issue, it's always bad for the animal.
To add to the reasons to kind of hate this video, keep in mind that people are only comfortable taking potential profile pics with wild animals that are cute and small enough to not be a threat. Eventually, these adorable critters grow up to be the kind of notorious killing machine that took down Roy Horn.
What happens then? Oh, don't worry, a recent Humane Society investigation revealed that they're probably just sold off on the illegal wildlife black market. I'm sure they're all fine now!
Every Slow Loris Video Is The Product Of Animal Cruelty
The slow loris is one of the Internet's favorite animals ever. Its popularity among dipshits who own exotic pets skyrocketed after adorable videos like this one started surfacing online.
If you don't have time to watch, the basic premise is, "Holy shit, you guys, that animal loves getting tickled!" That's all that happens. Someone is holding a slow loris and tickling its stomach. Every time they do, the slow loris puts its arms in the air. Because throwing your hands in the air is a universal sign of fun (as long as the police aren't around), most everyone who watched this video assumed the animal enjoyed what was happening. That's definitely not true.
As we've mentioned on the site before, the slow loris is poisonous, but it has to bite its elbow to access its poison glands. It's a weird process, I suppose, but it works in the wild. By the time you see a slow loris in a video as someone's pet, though, its teeth have been removed, leaving it defenseless from predators of any kind.
When the slow loris in the above video throws its hands in the air, its not expressing joy because it likes being tickled. No, it's reminiscing about the days when it could've tapped its elbow poison and killed the monster responsible for inflicting this torture.
Speaking of torture, the slow loris is also a nocturnal animal, which goes a long way toward what's happening in this video:
Yes, it's adorable when it continually grabs for that little cocktail umbrella. Especially once it gets a hold of one and gets all sleepy and cute and comfortable. The poor thing is just trying to shield itself from the Sun -- which it wouldn't have to deal with at all if we didn't decide somewhere along the way that these things make good pets.
They don't. They really don't. Dogs make good pets. Cats make good pets. If you say that birds make good pets, you should be on a registry of some sort, so that people know when crazy of your caliber moves to the neighborhood. But I digress. My point is that we have the pets that are available to us now because they've demonstrated the ability to be chill with us in a way that doesn't require us to maim them or fire a tranquilizer dart into their necks when they get unruly. Stick to those pets, and let the slow loris sip its elbow venom in peace.
Adam will be telling jokes with Cracked editors Dan O'Brien and Alex Schmidt at Comedy Palace in San Diego on 9/18. Tickets are just $10. Get them here! Also, follow Adam on Twitter @adamtodbrown, and stop being shitty to animals.
You've stared into adorable frog eyes and saw pure sadness looking back at you. Is your heart thoroughly wrenched? No? Then check out these cute animals that are not long for this world in 3 Adorable Animals The Internet Loves (Are Going Extinct). And for adorable animals whose babies will make you run in fear, read 7 Adorable Animals That Spawn Terrifying Babies.
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