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DoesTheDogDie.com Needs a Fiction Book Equivalent
The movie website DoesTheDogDie.com promises to answer “the most important movie question” facing animal lovers and other soft-hearted folk who would rather not see a movie where the plot requires animals to be harmed or die. In the past, we just had to buy our ticket and take our chances, but now we can consult this website and make an informed decision on whether to see certain movies. I only wish there were an equivalent website for books so I could avoid the ones that depict animal abuse.
According to the website (see below), “DoestheDogDie.com lets viewers learn the fate of a movie pet without spoiling the rest of the film. The icons [indicating No pets die and A pet is injured or appears dead but ultimately lives. and A pet dies , respectively] offer a quick way to find out what happens. You can click on the title of the film for an explanation which will only contain spoilers relevant to the fate of pets (and occasionally other animal characters) in the film.”
So far, the website has checked out more than 600 movies for us. The explanations on each movie page are very succinct, often no more than a sentence. For example: “No dogs are hurt or die in this film,” and “A herd of computer generated horses stampede near a cliff. A few horses are tumbled about but none die or fall off the cliff.”
The website clarifies that it does not review or pass judgment on a movie’s ability to entertain. It leaves that to the film critics and focuses only upon the fates of animal characters. Likewise, it doesn’t track the treatment of the actual stunt animals during the filming of a movie because that already falls under the authority of the American Humane Society. It simply gives us movie-goers the information we need to avoid ending up in a movie theater, halfway through a movie, having to watch a really sad or traumatic scene involving an animal.
I would love to see a similar website offering this kind of information about fiction books. Unfortunately, there are countless books in which authors write scenes of animal abuse for shock value or as a cheap, shorthand way to characterize a villain, and I find it manipulative. I am not advocating censorship (and neither is the DoestheDogDie.com website). But I would like the information so that I can avoid the books (or movies). Everyone has the right to publish any book they want, but I also have the right as a consumer to avoid buying it.
Check out Does The Dog Die movie website.
Content copyright © 2013 by Val Kovalin. All rights reserved.
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