Overheard on CNN.com: Panda dogs: Cruel or cute?
In China, a dog is painted to look like a baby giant panda.
June 22nd, 2011
05:09 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Panda dogs: Cruel or cute?

Comment of the day:

“Think I'll paint my black long-haired cat to look like a skunk! That should shake up the neighborhood.” - JosefBleaux

Pup looks like a panda

In many parts of Asia, attitudes toward dogs have come a long way. Ten years ago in Taiwan, they were still eaten in public places, but in China, a growing pet-pampering trend has come to this: dyeing dogs to look like pandas and other wild animals.

CNN.com readers had plenty to say about the turnaround.

Grannie said, “If you did that in the USofA, you'd get arrested for animal abuse!” Dana said, “No, it happens all the time, and there are dyes safe for animals.” Tommas said, “Last time I checked people are still cutting the tails of their dogs and declawing their cats. Painting is not that big of a deal.”

Angela said, “How are the Chinese always so absentmindedly cruel to domestic animals? I know this occurs in the U.S. and Western culture as well, but only the Chinese would create a fashion obsession out of dying one's pets.”

Wootings said, “...what about dying their fur is cruel? Unless you have some information that demonstrates that the pet incurs some kind of pain from the dying process, I don't see that there's any animal rights issue here. As noted in the article, at least they're not eating them anymore.”

Melina319 said, “I'm more concerned about the pain inflicted on an animal's eyes when dye is placed on the fur around his eyes than I am about the discomfort I may feel about looking at it. Animals are not toys.” Alex said, “There are safe non-toxic colors to make fur DARKER, i.e. white to blue, beige to purple. However, the ‘dye’ used to LIGHTEN fur (the 'white' on that panda is not a result of a dye, but of BLEACH) IS toxic and if/when used incorrectly (too much or left on for too long) can seriously burn an animal's skin.” LttlGTO said, “Alex, Alex, Alex. You know not of what you speak. There are other substances besides bleach that can be used to turn hair white. And many of them, such as peroxide, have been used for eons with no ill effects.”

Ituri said, “So cute! Hey, so long as they're using safe dye materials, who's hurting anything? Its cute, doesn't hurt the dog. They don't seem traumatized anyway. No doubt the PETA nuts will be like ‘This is a travesty of animal kind!’ ”

Dana said, “I fully believe in animal rights (you might call me a ‘PETA nut’), but as long as the dye is non-toxic, I see no problem with this at all. So please stop attributing a lack of reason to people who simply believe that animals do not deserve to suffer at the hands of humans.” Randydandy said, “Just how does this harm the animal? It looks like they are taking special care with grooming and such. One of the neatest things I have seen in a long time!!”

AK said, “How silly is this? You are worried about cruelty to animals from a die job? They were EATING them before!”

BetterThanYou said, “This isn't animal abuse. It's just like taking your dog to the groomer to get its fur and nails trimmed. The dog doesn't know (and also doesn't care) what it looks like.”

But Arthur said, “You wait until that 'panda' bites you in the a$$, then it won't be so cute.” Zzzz said, “Natural is always best. We love them as they are.” Peter said, “I can't stand this. What kind of dyes are they using? How many heavy metals are being introduced into their systems?” And real_personn said, “This is sad that such a large, powerful country contains people who show little to no respect for the natural beauty of animals. May they grow in empathy and respect for the co-inhabitants of our planet..." james2 asked, “So... this is the country that's going to dominate the 21st century?” Shanghai'd said, “This is what happens when you give the Chinese money. Get used to it.”

erich2112x said, “Could they make Sonya, my Iguana, look like a Tyrannosaurus Rex?”

Designer on trial

Fashion designer John Galliano went on trial Wednesday, accused of making anti-Semitic comments against at least three people in a Paris cafe. French law prohibits the incitement of racial discrimination, hatred or violence based on a person's origin or their membership - or nonmembership - in an ethic, national, racial or religious group. Galliano faces six months in jail and a fine of 22,500 euros if convicted.

So what did CNN.com readers think of his trial? Nearly everyone who posted agreed: Criminal charges seemed too harsh.

epdm said, “Galliano's remarks were horrific and inflammatory, but putting him on trial for them? This is precisely what scares the heck out of me about European governments, and why I shudder to think that many in this country wish we were more like them.”

tankrothchld said, “In America if someone famous says something against the grain of mainstream media and Hollywood, they just blackball them from work until they apologize. See also: Tracy Morgan.”

DigThis said, “Words. That's all they are. This world is getting scary.” But Liberal29 said, “I believe in free speech, but this is verbal assault, clearly.” And takingsides said, “You can say whatever you want, but hate speech (or denying the Holocaust) is against their laws.”

Some readers took issue with what they saw as preferential treatment for members of the Jewish religion.

MaximeJ said, “I think it's funny how anti-semitic remarks are quick to be reprimanded by law, whereas anti-Muslim remarks go unnoticed. French law prohibits all racial or religious discrimination in theory, regardless of your origin, but the fact of the matter is that its application is heavily one-sided.”

AGreenspam responded, “If you know history, you will know why. Nazi-ism had a HUGE impact in Europe. Europe was essentially destroyed in WWII and millions died, all because of Nazi-ism. I suggest reading a few history books to educate yourself on history.”

8798554 said, “Funny that in France you can say you want every Muslim and Christian on Earth to be murdered and it not be a crime yet you say something about a single Jewish person and you are in court. Sounds to me like unfair treatment.”

cj2003 said, “Wrong. Any hate, racist, inflammatory speech is condemned in France by law, not only against Jews. Educate yourself before you look like a fool.”

mware09 added, “And anti-Mormon remarks are put on Broadway!"

A blow to Mexican drug cartel

Mexican authorities captured the top leader of one of the country's most violent drug cartels Tuesday, officials said. Jose de Jesus Mendez Vargas, aka "The Monkey," helped expand La Familia's reach, and his capture is an "overwhelming blow" to the group, Mexico's national security spokesman says. But CNN.com readers seem to think the issue is more about legalizing drugs.

US1776 said, “Until we repeal the drug prohibition this is meaningless. You want to end all the violence and tens of thousands of killings? Then start demanding the end to the drug prohibition."

yoal said, “Explain to me this, if all drugs get legal, WHO IS GOING TO MANUFACTURE THEM?, you want to legalize the cartels?, give even more power to the pharmaceutical industry?, or create a new even bigger monster companies capable of corrupting politicians to follow their agenda?

NocommentCNN said, “@ yoal 'who is going to manufacture them?' You got to be kidding? You put the seeds in the ground and the plants grow. In fact the plants grown would be safer and less potent.”

rtgunlimited said, “Demand is not going to go away JDCNDE. People could have "just stopped using" alcohol too, but they didn't want to. This is the same."

stormsun said, "Are you on drugs? A 'recreational' user, perhaps? Having seen the damage drugs do to families, it is incomprehensible to me how people can advocate for legalizing them. Sorry, this is a losing strategy.”

soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. My World

    I have to laugh at all the "activist", "animal rights", people.. Its 2011.. GET A GRIP! Have you NOTHING better to do, than to worry about some mutt with a nifty new hair doo? I will go out on a limb.. and BET, there are issues in each of your cities or towns that are MUCH more important, and MUCH more in need of attention and concern. Additionally.. I will BET, than not ONE of you are doing ANYTHING to make a difference in your own neighborhoods.. It is almost certain, that you all look for some "world atrocity" to voice your displeasure. Go dye your hair, get cosmetic surgery, sing folk songs, smoke weed, and save the planet with your Prius. And for the love of GOD, hug a tree and continue to make fools of yourselves!

    June 23, 2011 at 5:28 am | Report abuse |
  2. termlimits

    How's that "...make a difference in your own neighborhood..." workin out for you?

    June 23, 2011 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  3. Dina McKibben

    The dyes don't harm the dogs...I think it is a fun and artistic expression. Just another way to have fun with your dog and I'm sure the dog loves the attention!!:):)

    June 24, 2011 at 3:25 am | Report abuse |
  4. Simon

    I can understand the concern for the dog but stop making blanket remarks about how backward/cruel/uncivilized Chinese are on this ridiculous issue. I'm more appalled when people dress up their 7 yrs old and drive them all over the country to beauty pageants or marry their 16 yrs old to 51 yrs old actor. I think those parents are fools but I'm American so I understand the vast majority of Americans are not like that so I don't condemn the whole country because for it. As for wasting money don't even go there. We could all be shopping at Walmart and drives a KIA to feed the hungry right? So why are there so many malls in the USA selling $200 leather purses and BMW and Mercedez all over the place?

    June 24, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Matt Sky

    So long as the dying process doesn't hurt the dog I don't see a big problem really. It may sound a little nutty to us, but as some others have noted, here in the states we neuter dogs, cut their tails short, prune them and their hair in various ways counter to their natural look, put them in collars they wear all day, and make them eat what seems like disgusting kibble. I think we all should look toward kinder treatment toward animals, which includes our pets, the meat we eat, and the animals that are effected by us living on this planet, but in the scheme of things making a "Panda Dog" doesn't seem like a huge crime, if you have a loving family otherwise.

    June 25, 2011 at 3:14 am | Report abuse |
  6. Truth Seeker

    The must be hot in that thing, let the dogs live normally you cruel beings.

    June 26, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  7. Tootie

    I hate the Chinese.

    June 26, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jenny

    I find it ironic that someone can fervently object to (probably harmlessly) changing the outer appearance of an animal, but at the same time will make sweeping statements entrenched in racism. Get off of your high horse; just because you're "American" doesn't make you well versed in ethics. Just because they're Chinese, doesn't mean that they're ethically corrupt. You cannot advocate for animal rights if you can't even understand the basic human right of acceptance as an individual.

    July 7, 2011 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  9. Mooseluver

    Oh My Gosh Folks... Women & now men are dying their hair regularly. Are humans not animals by definition? Dying fur or hair is no biggie. And no it never stung my eyes. There are more important issues in our world than cute cuddly pets with a dye job. Get over it already and move on to vets living on our streets, hungry people, cold elderly, etc.

    December 30, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  10. chloe

    cute not cruel.

    September 16, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. chloe

    oh yeah and I am Chinese

    September 16, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
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