Because Animals MatterA group called “Because Animals Matter” is going to host an event it calls the “Dog Day Spectacular” in Hurricane Sept. 10. Ironically, it plans on selling hot dogs and hamburgers — the remains of animals who did not seem to matter — for profit at the event.

I feel like I could just end the piece there and let you digest the cognitive dissonance yourself.

But I’ll make fun of this a little first.

Here’s a suggestion: Change the name of the group to “Because Some Animals Matter,” or perhaps “Because Certain Animals Matter.” Just call it “Because Dogs Matter,” because you clearly don’t really care about the animals whose corpses you’re making a profit off of. You clearly don’t really care about those animals’ children, who are currently suffering the same fate as you read this piece. Clearly, some animals don’t matter that much.

I realize that messes up the “BAM” acronym. But think of it this way: What impact you lose with an acronym that sounds like Hanna-Barbera onomatopoeia you gain back two-fold for not being hypocrites.

The group’s leader, September Smith, probably didn’t come up with the name. So the fact that people are showing up for “Because Animals Matter” events thinking that animals matter when according to the group’s actions they don’t isn’t entirely her fault.

However, continuing the charade by maintaining the name while behaving to the contrary is.

What do these people think hot dogs and hamburgers are made of? Rainbows?

And then there’s the minor technicality that — whoops — human beings are animals. And there’s the glaring fact that the No. 1 killer in our country right now is heart disease, to which eating hot dogs and hamburgers, laden with cholesterol and saturated fat, contributes significantly. And I’d be remiss not to mention that the No. 2 killer in our country is cancer, to which eating meat — particularly processed meat-based pseudofoods like hot dogs and hamburgers — contributes significantly.

I’d say that if animals matter, we should do what we can to save human animals by not feeding them garbage that kills them.

I’d say that if animals matter, we should show some respect for the fact that they’re sentient beings, too, and not fund factory farms by buying foods made from their tortured-to-death remains.

I’d say that if animals matter, the last way I’d show it would be by attending an event where I can purchase macerated bits of them between two slices of brand.

But there I go again, thinking that animals actually do matter.

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Widely regarded as the greatest writer of all time, ever, Jason Gottfried is editor of The Independent as well as a freelance editor, writer, multi-instrumental musician, and composer transplanted to Utah from Nashville by way of Gainesville, Florida. He has previously been an album reviewer, opinion columnist, humor writer, staff writer, copy editor, and opinion editor of The Independent. Before that, he was editor of SOKY Happenings magazine and wrote a column, The Vociferous Vegan. He was also general manager of Nashville’s fabled The Wild Cow Vegetarian Restaurant and briefly co-owner of Gainesville's longtime staple vegetarian restaurant, Book Lover's Cafe. When he is away from the computer, he plays between Colorado and California as a live and session musician. He sexually identifies as an Apache AH-64 attack helicopter and cannot be accurately referred to using any currently existing pronouns.


  1. White cats matter, so says mine. He stipulates he IS matter and thinks that should end the discussion. But I digress. I hope you visit the event to see what they hope to accomplish and what drives them. Barring sparring, would be interesting to discuss aforewritten observations to see if they grasp the conflict and show them some great ideas for veggie burgers!

  2. I could not agree more. I have been invited to numerous $65/a plate events where there is not one single plant based item on the menu. Needless to say, I just don’t eat at these events. Many of my vegan friends bring their own food, but that should not be necessary. I now refuse to attend galas etc. where animals are on the menu. It doesn’t make sense to try to save animals while eating their counterparts (or any parts for that matter). Thanks Jason. AWSOME ARTICLE!!

  3. Why in today’s society does it have to be all or nothing. One cannot be a “true” animal advocate if one eats anything related to an animal, one can not be a Christian if one believes in the tenants of the Bible and does not believe in same sex marriage how dare one follow ones religious beliefs, why is one a racist if one does not espouse the “Black Lives Matter” movement..just to name a few areas by which one is judged. This mentality is no better than the same mentality as a racist, bigot, xenophobic or any other “unkind, judgemental and just plain mean” attitude espoused by those who seek to perpetuate quilt on anyone who would dare eat a hamburger, just as the need to perpetuate guilt on a person for being “white” due to what happened over 200 yrs ago to the slaves. I concur with a lot of what you write, but stop with the guilt trips.

    • With respect, I don’t see how today’s society is particularly different in regards to anything being all or nothing, nor is it clear to me who thinks that it is. Perhaps you could give examples to support how today’s society has to be all or nothing. It’s unclear as to which other societies you’re comparing us. To be a Christian is to be “like Christ,” so tolerating same-sex marriage and loving others despite personal misgivings is quite Christian indeed. Whether or not I agree with its sentiments aside, the Black Lives Matter movement is a social destabilization operation engineered by George Soros, so that one is kind of a dud to bring up in this context. Choosing to fund death with one’s habits is far different from happening to have been born with a certain skin pigmentation in that one is a choice and the other is not. Do you think it’s okay to advocate for women’s rights but rape them? Do you think it’s okay to advocate for peace but shoot people? Your rhetoric, which condemns “all or nothing” suggests that you do. In my experience, whenever self-described “animal lovers” are confronted with their own cognitive dissonance and realize that their behaviors reflect that they don’t REALLY care about animals as much as they would like others to believe, they become aggressive and confrontational and often resort to denial and a litany of logical fallacies in an attempt to convince themselves — if no one else — that they are right, always have been right, and always will be right. That’s their problem to work out on their own, not mine to excuse. No sentient being should come to harm simply because a person’s ego is so hyperactive as to cultivate delusions that enable them to whitewash their behavior. If someone truly loves animals, he or she will defend them with his or her actions and cause as little harm to them as possible as well as attempt to prevent others from harming them as well. If someone can’t do that because he or she is too accustomed to certain lifestyle choices and/or thought patterns or unwilling to challenge conditioned appetites, he or she is simply playing identity dress-up games. And in closing, no one can “make” another person feel guilty. Guilt comes from within, from one’s conscience. All an external force can do is uncover someone’s attempt to cover up feelings and point to something that is already there. Those who are culpable are culpable regardless of what anyone says.

      • Wait, sorry. I shouldn’t have written any of that because I forgot that cows aren’t animals. Nevermind! They are some sort of mobile fungus or something, right? They don’t have feelings and they don’t have families, and they certainly aren’t worthy of compassion because they aren’t capable of suffering — and even if they were, who gives a shit? They taste good. God put them here SOLELY for our self-gratification, just like literally everything else in the universe. You know, just the way God put women here for men to ogle and bang. I’d definitely never “guilt trip” someone over that. I guess I just don’t think before I type. If animals mattered, this organization would treat them with respect, and it transparently, inarguably does not. It treats certain animals with respect and treats others as inanimate objects while having the balls to engage in the charade that it values them all — and that, my friend, is a form of racism called speciesism. Imagine a group called “Because Humans Matter” that raises money to save white people by selling the tortured-to-death corpses of other races. Now, do feel free to respond and defend the use of the name “Because Animals Matter.” It ain’t a guilt trip. It’s a healthy dose of wake the fuck up.

        • Jason….could you let all of us know what you have done or are doing to help support the local rescues who spend their own time, energy and much of their own money to save as many small animals (leaving the large ones to the large animal rescues)as we can and have been doing so for many years.??? If and it is a huge IF, you do anything, nothing gives you right to condemn a rescue for selling hamburgers and hotdogs at a fund raising event, we do everything legal to get the money we need and the last time I checked there isn’t anything illegal about selling meat.

          • So if it’s legal, it’s okay? Who rescues the animals that you have paid to ave slaughtered and put on your plate? Why don’t you save those? Answer: you care more about the way they taste than whether they live or die. Simply unbelievable, Mary. By callously, heartlessly purchasing meat, eggs, and dairy, you are actively funding horror-movie levels of animal abuse. You have way too much blood on your hands to go pointing fingers. And you justify it with the law. The gall!

            • I am going to try this once again, since many of my responses to your disrespectful ramblings for some unknown reason does not get posted. Now, answer my question, what have you done or are doing to help support the local animal rescue groups to raise funds to continue saving these small animals, leaving the large ones for the “large animal rescues” to help? It is a legitimate (there is that word legal again)question, since you see fit to disrespect, mock, demean and whatever else you see fit to do with your mighty pen so to speak….sitting behind your computer and attacking others (namely BAM) who do this every day of their lives. Are you suggesting they change their name to “SAM”, Some Animals Matter? Being an original founder of PAWS (Providing Animals with Support), you attack one of us, you attack all of us, you are a moron if you think I will sit back and take that lightly. You should be ashamed of yourself, oh wait, that is a word that should be eliminated from the dictionary, there is no such thing in today’s society, no civility just pure meaness.

              • I have made my points. I don’t care if you take it lightly or not. I save more animals by not eating them than you do with your rescue mission. And I was an animal rights activist in Nashville and Florida. Between Florida and here, I’ve regularly fed over a dozen stray animals, which is expensive. Now, I’m a single father struggling to protect his daughter (who also chooses to be vegan) from a physically abusive woman in court, and when I’m not spending time with her, I’m working, eating, sleeping, or responding to petulant, childish comments.

                You’re mad that I have a point, and rather than responding to any of them directly — even one! — (I’m guessing because you can’t) your recourse is to pretend that your efforts are somehow better than mine, as if that proves some point. You’ve resorted to ad hominem attack, which is the last (and weakest) rhetorical option left when someone has nothing left and can’t address her opponent’s remarks directly. It’s always sad to see someone resort to that in a discussion, backed into a corner and empty-handed.

                You raise funds to “save” animals by selling their dead bodies and those of their families. Of course you should change the name to “Some Animals Matter.” It’s far more accurate. You’ve made it unmistakably clear with your actions that some animals do not matter at all to you. I’ve already give you a crash course on this. You regard them as nothing more than food. You should be ashamed of yourself for financially exploiting helpless animals who suffer in unspeakable conditions, waiting to be slaughtered to feed your appetite — or your fundraisers. You could have raised money some other less ironic way. You’ve funded their deaths, and you have the balls to turn around and say that they matter! It would be laughable, except it’s too dark.

                If you had served vegan meals at your fundraisers, you would have raised the same money, saved more animals in the process, not made a hypocrite of yourself and your organization by behaving as if all animals actually DO matter to you, and spread awareness about how animals are harmed through people’s consumer choices, thereby creating a ripple effect that saves more animals than you can directly. And if you ever decide to at least create the illusion that all animals matter to you, that’s exactly what you will do.

                Until then, you’ve publicly made hypocrites of yourselves.

                I am not ashamed whatsoever of myself for standing up for the lives that you take and continue to take and drawing awareness to the harm that befalls them thanks to your actions. And nothing I have said is uncivil. Just because your own cognitive dissonance prevents you from seeing clearly and you don’t like it doesn’t make it “uncivil.”

                What’s uncivil is feasting upon and profiting off of the corpses of the innocent.

                As Tolstoy said, “If he be really and seriously seeking to live a good life, the first thing from which he will abstain will always be the use of animal food, because … its use is simply immoral, as it involves the performance of an act which is contrary to the moral feeling — killing.”

                Log off, Mary. Your irrational tantrums are getting ridiculous. You’re just making yourself look worse every time you do this.

                • I will log off Jason, and I will leave you with this…I believe George Carlin said, ” Arguing with an idiot, you just get brought down to their level and beaten with experience.” Now that may not be exact, but I am sure you get it…I will stop arguing with an idiot.

                  • More ad hominem attack only further proves my point, which is that you don’t have one. I demonstrated quite thoroughly that you are in the wrong. You were not able to refute one single assertion that I made, and now you’re mad and calling me an idiot. Stop raising funds for an organization that claims that animals matter with activities that fund the torture and killing of animals, or continue publicly down the path of hypocrisy. It’s your choice. We’ll all be watching to see just how much you really do care about animals. Words are nothing; action is everything. Peace out, angry lady.

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