Context matters

I see it everyday that I’m on the internet. I follow a lot of animal accounts on various social platforms. Sometimes, it’s harmless. There are twitter accounts posting pictures of animals and creating heart warming stories to go with them. Are the stories true? I have no idea, but they aren’t harming anyone. Someone posts a picture of a dog next to a gravesite and says the dog visits there everyday for 3 years now since its owner passed away. Is it true? I don’t know.

Other statements are more anthropomorphic. A picture of two elephants together and it’s declared, “Sisterly love”. Are both the elephants sisters? Are they expressing love with each other? Who knows? Or in some cases I actually do know what is going on in the photo. Again, it harms no one in believing that.

Then there are the completely stupid images that appear on my networks. I’ll post them here because they truly are facepalm worthy.



This photo is circulating the internet with the statement “baby alpacas look like stuffed animals!” That’s because that IS a stuffed animal (scroll through images) and yet thousands of people are falling for it. Can they not tell that there is something “off” about this photo?



This photo is supposedly what a newborn polar bear looks like. Again, it is just a toy. A very cute toy at that. Newborn polar bears are born naked, completely pink in color.



This one is supposedly a “minute old elephant”. I’ve also seen it as “world’s smallest elephant is born!” Anyone willing to believe an elephant is born that small is in need of some serious educating! That is actually a fetus. It was removed from a dead female elephant. No, that baby did not survive.


Finally, and this one is amazing that people believe it. This is supposedly a rare fennec hare. If no one can see that is a kitten that has photoshopped bunny ears (scroll through images), then there is no hope.

Now that we have discussed the harmless and the downright stupid, there are those images that hit the internet where context matters. There are images of animals often posted where the real story is not told and instead someone’s agenda is. My Facebook feed recently presented this:



This circulated twitter with a demand to RT it if you are against animal testing. Of course, this got a lot of attention and negative comments. However, that is not what is going on in this photo. If you’d like to know what is really going on, please read this brief and to the point article. 

So, as you can see and it sadly should be of no surprise, all images can be made into a different story. I have begun to make an effort in researching all images that pass my way, especially when they evoke an emotional response. There are always two sides to every story and as someone who works with animals, I have certainly seen my share of this. Especially with hot button topics such as elephants, dolphins, and primates. People love taking images of people working with these animals and twisting them into their own agenda.

Always keep an open mind and do your research!

© Semi-Charmed Life


6 thoughts on “Context matters

  1. It is a shame that people don’t research! Not so much animals, but those that make claims of danger or to boycott items. It seems to be a case of, well I saw it on Facebook, so it must be true! As you say, it is a face-palming moment.

  2. I see a lot of this on Facebook also and often take a look deeper to see whether the claims are correct. However, sadly, so many people just take things at face value and share mindlessly! 😦

    ~Mia~ xx

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