Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage from

'Bring me your puppies!'

By John D. Sutter, CNN
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1245 GMT (2045 HKT)
The Internet 'exploded' Wednesday, as The Week put it, when John Sutter argued eating dog is like eating pig.
The Internet 'exploded' Wednesday, as The Week put it, when John Sutter argued eating dog is like eating pig.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • John Sutter responds to criticism of his column on the ethics of eating dog
  • Sutter: "To be clear, I'm not saying people should eat dog"
  • "I'm saying we should rethink what we eat and why"
  • Social media "explodes" over a tweet about the column, as The Week put it

Editor's note: John D. Sutter is a columnist for CNN Opinion and creator of CNN's Change the List project. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+. E-mail him at ctl@cnn.com. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CNN) -- On Wednesday, I wrote a not-at-all controversial column on this website titled, "The argument for eating dog." The piece ran with a visual essay on CNN Photos about the illegal dog meat trade in Southeast Asia, which is just awful to look at. I argued that the dog trade should be cleaned up and made more humane -- but that the same should happen to factory farms here in the United States.

The crux of the argument was this:

John D. Sutter
John D. Sutter

If we think dog shouldn't be eaten -- like, ever, regardless of how clean the trade is and how quick the kill -- then maybe we should think about the other animals we eat, and if and why we don't feel the same way about them. Is it because we spend so much time with dogs -- looking into their eyes, talking to them, walking them, picking up their crap -- that we understand that they are living, breathing, feeling beings? Would we feel that way about other animals if we could hang out more?

The implication: Eating pig, another highly intelligent animal, is just like eating dog. If we don't want to eat dog -- which I said I didn't -- maybe we should rethink pig and the rest.

The Internet had deeper suspicions.

And they turned out to be pretty hilarious.

Someone claimed to leak an image from my new CNN "show," which ostensibly features me cooking up chihuahua and plopping a Pekingese into a pot for our viewers.

It's not real, of course. But some of you seemed to fear that it was.

Mashable compiled a list of "23 People Who Really Don't Want CNN to Eat Their Dogs." Among them, @gourmetspud:

The Week wrote that I made "social media explode."

Others pointed to an irony in my Twitter bio, which says I'm "rooting for the world's underdogs." When I'm not writing quick columns to go with CNN Photos posts, I run a project at CNN called Change the List, which tries to raise awareness about bottom-of-the-list places.

But in the context of the dog piece, I get how weird that looks.

Some guy changed it to "sauteing the world's underdogs."

One of my colleagues here in Atlanta printed out the image of me with the chef's hat and a dalmatian in each hand and taped it to the wall in the newsroom.

It got me thinking about how ridiculous -- and awesomely absurd -- it would be if that show actually came to fruition, especially since I'm an advocate for treating animals humanely.

Maybe the premier could feature the ethics of pizza delivery dogs.

We could call it "BRING ME YOUR PUPPIES!"

On CNN, 9 p.m. ET. Right after "Anderson Cooper 360."

Guest host: Sarah McLachlan.

Mostly, I feel #sorrynotsorry about the "controversy" that column created. I stand by the argument that eating dog is morally parallel to eating pig -- another intelligent, friendly creature.

And, to be clear, I'm not saying people should eat dog.

I'm saying we should rethink what we eat and why.

But apparently America doesn't want to look in that mirror.

It's way more fun to say you hope I'll get eaten by a cannibal.

A genuine thank you to Mashable, The Daily Dot, The Week and others for helping me round up the most hilarious responses to the column.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
October 1, 2014 -- Updated 1947 GMT (0347 HKT)
Julian Zelizer says Jimmy Carter's message about the need to restore trust in public officials is a vital one, decades after the now 90-year-old he first voiced it
October 1, 2014 -- Updated 2156 GMT (0556 HKT)
Ford Vox says mistakes and missed opportunities along the line to a diagnosis of Ebola in a Liberian man have put Dallas residents at risk of fatal infection
October 1, 2014 -- Updated 2221 GMT (0621 HKT)
Pepper Schwartz says California is trying, but its law requiring step-by-step consent is just not the way hot and heavy sex proceeds on college campuses
October 1, 2014 -- Updated 2048 GMT (0448 HKT)
Mike Downey says long-suffering fans, waiting for good playoff news since 1985, finally get something to cheer about
October 1, 2014 -- Updated 2139 GMT (0539 HKT)
Steve Israel saysJohn Boehner's Congress and the tea party will be remembered for shutting down government one year ago
October 1, 2014 -- Updated 1856 GMT (0256 HKT)
Yep. You read the headline right, says Peter Bergen, writing on the new government that stresses national unity
October 1, 2014 -- Updated 2312 GMT (0712 HKT)
Hong Kong's pro-democracy demonstrators are but the latest freedom group to be abandoned by the Obama administration, says Mike Gonzalez
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1653 GMT (0053 HKT)
Jeff Yang calls Ello a wakeup call to Facebook and Twitter, and a sign of hope for fast-rising upstarts Pinterest and Snapchat.
October 1, 2014 -- Updated 1423 GMT (2223 HKT)
Paul Waldman says the Secret Service should examine its procedures to make sure there are no threats to the White House--but without losing the openness so valuable to democracy
October 1, 2014 -- Updated 1455 GMT (2255 HKT)
Jesse Williams says the videotape and 911 call that resulted in police gunning down John Crawford at a Walmart reveals the fatal injustice of racial assumptions
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 2303 GMT (0703 HKT)
Mel Robbins says officials should drop the P.C. pose: The beheading in Oklahoma was not workplace violence. Plenty of evidence shows Alton Nolen was an admirer of ISIS.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1911 GMT (0311 HKT)
The Occupy Central movement has already achieved much by bringing greater attention to Hong Kong's struggle for democracy, William Piekos says..
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1911 GMT (0311 HKT)
The Occupy Central movement has already achieved much by bringing greater attention to Hong Kong's struggle for democracy, writes William Piekos.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1413 GMT (2213 HKT)
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits America, Madeleine Albright says a world roiled by conflict needs these two great democracies to commit to moving their partnership forward
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1404 GMT (2204 HKT)
John Sutter: Lake Providence, Louisiana, is the parish seat of the "most unequal place in America." And until somewhat recently, the poor side of town was invisible on Google Street View.
September 29, 2014 -- Updated 1311 GMT (2111 HKT)
Julian Zelizer says in the run up to the 2016 election the party faces divisions on its approach to the U.S.'s place in the world
September 29, 2014 -- Updated 1419 GMT (2219 HKT)
Ruben Navarrette says Common Core supporters can't devise a new set of standards and then fail to effectively sell it.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1329 GMT (2129 HKT)
Earlier this month, Kenyans commemorated the heinous attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1859 GMT (0259 HKT)
David Wheeler says Colorado students are right to protest curriculum changes that downplays civil disobedience.
September 27, 2014 -- Updated 0158 GMT (0958 HKT)
Sally Kohn says when people click on hacked celebrity photos or ISIS videos, they are encouraging the bad guys.
September 26, 2014 -- Updated 1155 GMT (1955 HKT)
Loren Bunche says she walked by a homeless man every day and felt bad about it -- until one day she paused to get to know him
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1332 GMT (2132 HKT)
ISIS grabs headlines on social media, but hateful speech is no match for moderate voices, says Nadia Oweidat.
September 29, 2014 -- Updated 1233 GMT (2033 HKT)
A new report counts jihadists fighting globally. The verdict? The threat isn't that big, says Peter Bergen.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 2137 GMT (0537 HKT)
Ebola could become the biggest humanitarian disaster in a generation, writes former British Prime Minister Tony Blair
September 26, 2014 -- Updated 1658 GMT (0058 HKT)
ISIS has shocked the world. But will releasing videos of executions backfire? Four experts give their take.
September 26, 2014 -- Updated 1439 GMT (2239 HKT)
Eric Holder kicked off his stormy tenure as attorney general with a challenge to the public that set tone for six turbulent years as top law-enforcement officer.
September 26, 2014 -- Updated 1309 GMT (2109 HKT)
LZ Granderson says Obama was elected as a war-ending change agent, not a leader who would leave behind for his successor new engagement in Iraq and Syria. Is he as disappointed as the rest of us?
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 0910 GMT (1710 HKT)
Gayle Lemmon says the question now is how to translate all the high-profile feminizing into real gains for women
ADVERTISEMENT