When San Diego Union-Tribune deputy editorial and opinion editor Chris Reed published an Op-Ed titled, ‘Let’s be honest, America: Dogs are parasites, not man’s best friend,’ people were furious. In the piece, he argues that dogs don’t really care about us as much as we think they do, and that the look of love in their eyes is really just “the look of a con man sizing up his mark.” The uncontainable excitement that dogs express when their owners return? Reed says they’re just “jazzed to have their primary meal ticket back.”
After the article was tweeted by the official San Diego Union-Tribune Twitter account, the Internet erupted with replies of people telling Chris Reed to take a long, hard look in the mirror. Reed seemed to know the implied outcome of such a controversial piece, joking, “Over-under on when I’ll get my first angry Twitter response over this column: In eight minutes.”
Responses ranged from incredulous, with some people insisting that the article must’ve been written satirically, to shrewd and discerning, with others declaring that it has to be clickbait, published for no other reason than to get people riled up with an enticing headline. Someone even posited the hilariously cheeky theory that the article was probably written by some conspiring cats.
A lot of dog owners were personally offended by the piece and replied with pictures of their sweet fur babies to show just some of the loving faces and innocent eyes that they see every day. Philadelphia’s Morris Animal Refuge even tweeted a bunch of pictures of dogs they have up for adoption directly at the San Diego Union-Tribune, accompanied by quotes making fun of the article.
A friendly, loyal, soon-to-be San Diegan registers his confusion at being called a parasite. pic.twitter.com/aWRTGur96c— Chan Phillips (@FlyoverLLC) July 12, 2018
Proud to call this old girl my fur baby. This dog stood by protectively of me when I was going through cancer treatments. She still stands by me when I am not having a good day. It’s my pleasure to not only harbor her legally but to ensure she has the best food & care possible. pic.twitter.com/H2xBANA2aC— Patricia Traina (@Patricia_Traina) July 12, 2018
Beg to differ 🤷🏼♀️🙄 pic.twitter.com/skugsXDgDd— Hannah Roach (@hannah_roach) July 12, 2018
Sweet adoptable boy Comet has no idea that this piece is saying he’s a parasite. So he’s just happily grinning his big goofy grin at you, @sdutIdeas. The least you can do is RT to help him find a loving home! https://t.co/aWuOrIB5so 🐶 pic.twitter.com/vTxZt0aaLM— Morris Animal Refuge (@MorrisAnimal) July 12, 2018
Loving lab-mix Monty and cheerful pug-mix Macy haven’t read the piece either – b/c they’re dogs, and can’t read – so they’re being all happy too. Definitely not parasites, @sdutIdeas! But they do need homes. Adopt! https://t.co/aWuOrIB5so. 🐶 pic.twitter.com/qXIPNZbrs4— Morris Animal Refuge (@MorrisAnimal) July 12, 2018
Friendly pooch Leo realized the article calls dogs “nature’s most adorable parasite” & he’s pretty upset, @sdutIdeas. He tells himself ‘at least they said adorable? That’s good, right?’ He’d still wag his tail if you pet him. RT to help find a home. Adopt! https://t.co/aWuOrIB5so pic.twitter.com/BV0puEl64Z— Morris Animal Refuge (@MorrisAnimal) July 12, 2018
At the end of the day, Chris Reed got to express his viewpoint in a piece that undoubtedly got a ton of clicks and views, and dog owners got to feel a sense of community and loyalty when they rose up to defend their canine companion. But was the original publication a shameless marketing tactic to try and get more traction? Or was it a journalist finally gaining the courage to voice a very unpopular opinion? Tell us what you think in the comments down below!