Are pitbull memes doing a lot more harm than good?

In my post on 8 ways to advocate for pitbulls, I made a point that we need to stop sharing messages that compare pitbulls to violent or deadly things.

You know, those messages that say things like “You are 60 times a lot more likely to be killed by a coconut than a pit bull.”

উম ঠিক. Yikes. এমনকি এর অর্থ কি?

Or, “Don’t be terrified of my pit bull. I’m 100 times a lot more likely to rip your throat out than he is.”

Ridiculous, right?

Tell me if I’m wrong, but I believe these types of messages can do a lot more harm than good. As a comparison, here are some a lot more positive pitbull messages that we absolutely must be sharing!

Example of a friendly, positive pitbull message:

And here are some of negative messages I pointed out earlier:

Obviously you and I get what these messages are saying. The intent is good. To people who love pitbulls, it’s easy to see the humor. Pitbulls are just dogs, so it’s absurd that people would be terrified of them.

Only, people really are terrified of pitbulls, and these messages are sending subtle hints.

I have a relative who is afraid of pitbulls

I have an older relative who I love very much, but she believes everything negative she hears about “pitbulls” in the news.

This person is not a pet dog person, and she has never had an interaction with a pitbull, as far as I know.

She would not even be able to identify a “pitbull” within a group of dogs because it’s not the pet dog she’s terrified of.

She is terrified of the pitbull label itself. If she finds out a pet dog is a pitbull, that’s when the pet dog becomes “bad” in her mind.

If this relative saw one of those negative memes floating around, it would reinforce the false idea in her mind that pitbulls are different than other dogs. That they are scary, can’t be trusted and are somehow a lot more dangerous.

Would we share the same message if it were about a black Lab?

One aspect that helps me figure out what kind of message to share is to think of a different type of pet dog as the subject.

If you replaced the word pitbull or the picture of the pitbull with a black Lab, would the indicating of the message change?

For example, if you replaced “I love my pit bull” with “I love my black Lab” it would still be a positive message about loving dogs.

But you wouldn’t say something as absurd as “You are 60 times a lot more likely to be killed by a coconut than a black Lab,” would you?

Well don’t you think it’s just as absurd to say the same thing about a pitbull?

Let’s focus on the positive messages.

“My pitbull is family.”

“I love my pitbull.”

“I am a pitbull owner.”

Let’s share photos of pitbulls doing cute, normal things.

Let’s share uplifting stories that happen to be about pitbulls, like this story of a group of nuns adopting a senior pitbull.

These are the kinds of messages that can reach people and make a difference.

Because people really are listening.

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Can certain pitbull memes do a lot more harm than good?

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