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
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 2322 GMT (0722 HKT)
Is ballet dying? CNN spoke with Isabella Boylston, a principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, about the future of the art form.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 2147 GMT (0547 HKT)
Sally Kohn says it's time we take climate change as seriously as we do warfare in the Middle East
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1302 GMT (2102 HKT)
Dean Obeidallah says an Oklahoma state representative's hateful remarks were rightfully condemned by religious leaders..
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1922 GMT (0322 HKT)
No matter how much planning has gone into U.S. military plans to counter the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the Arab public isn't convinced that anything will change, says Geneive Abdo
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1544 GMT (2344 HKT)
President Obama's strategy for destroying ISIS seems to depend on a volley of air strikes. That won't be enough, says Haider Mullick.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1303 GMT (2103 HKT)
Paul Begala says Hillary Clinton has plenty of good reasons not to jump into the 2016 race now
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1501 GMT (2301 HKT)
Scotland decided to trust its 16-year-olds to vote in the biggest question in its history. Americans, in contrast, don't even trust theirs to help pick the county sheriff. Who's right?
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 0157 GMT (0957 HKT)
Ruben Navarrette says spanking is an acceptable form of disciplining a child, as long as you follow the rules.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1547 GMT (2347 HKT)
Frida Ghitis says the foiled Australian plot shows ISIS is working diligently to taunt the U.S. and its allies.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1958 GMT (0358 HKT)
Young U.S. voters by and large just do not see the midterm elections offering legitimate choices because, in their eyes, Congress has proven to be largely ineffectual, and worse uncaring, argues John Della Volpe
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 0158 GMT (0958 HKT)
Steven Holmes says spanking, a practice that is ingrained in our culture, accomplishes nothing positive and causes harm.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 1831 GMT (0231 HKT)
Sally Kohn says America tried "Cowboy Adventurism" as a foreign policy strategy; it failed. So why try it again?
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 1427 GMT (2227 HKT)
Van Jones says the video of John Crawford III, who was shot by a police officer in Walmart, should be released.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 1448 GMT (2248 HKT)
NASA will need to embrace new entrants and promote a lot more competition in future, argues Newt Gingrich.
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 2315 GMT (0715 HKT)
If U.S. wants to see real change in Iraq and Syria, it will have to empower moderate forces, says Fouad Siniora.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 0034 GMT (0834 HKT)
Mark O'Mara says there are basic rules to follow when interacting with law enforcement: respect their authority.
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 1305 GMT (2105 HKT)
LZ Granderson says Congress has rebuked the NFL on domestic violence issue, but why not a federal judge?
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 1149 GMT (1949 HKT)
Mel Robbins says the only person you can legally hit in the United States is a child. That's wrong.
September 15, 2014 -- Updated 1723 GMT (0123 HKT)
Eric Liu says seeing many friends fight so hard for same-sex marriage rights made him appreciate marriage.
ADVERTISEMENT