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How fair is Vodafone’s latest 4G network campaign to Pugs?
Their first campaign that came out in the year 2003 featured this dog breed and led to a dramatic rise in the popularity and prices of Pugs in India within a very short span. However this continual attempt to cash in on a pug’s cuteness hasn’t gone down well with animal activists. PETA has talked about the inhumane modus operandi of pet stores and breeders forcing mother dogs to produce young ones again and again unintermittedly till their bodies give way to meet the demand/popularity of pugs due to such commercials.
PETA India (people for the ethical treatment of animals) has requested Vodafone to stop using pugs in their advertisements citing that the breed has been forced to have exaggerated features through selective breeding/inbreeding to support a pseudo concept of cuteness. The result is a breed that suffers physically and faces breathing issues.
The backlash came after the telecom major featured around 30 pugs in its recent ad. The letter sent by PETA India CEO & Veterinarian Manilal Valliyate backed by over 10 lakh members and supporters to Vodafone on Monday 2nd April stated that these dogs became majorly popular in India due to Vodafone commercials. Further it said that this led to many people buying the dog without being aware of the fact that their small flat noses, bulging eyes and folds of skin are unnatural traits that make the breed genetically compromised. The letter was addressed to Vodafone India Ltd CEO Sunil Sood, and has asked the company to pass a policy banning the use of animals including pugs in their advertisements. Dr. Manilal Valliyate also elaborated that film sets are surrounded by chaos, jarring noises, bright lights and innumerable re-takes that are detrimental and frightening to any animal. PETA’s email plea hasn’t received a response from Vodafone so far.
The PETA Statement further said that a struggle to breathe causes the snorting and snoring in this dog. Other health issues faced by a Pug include spinal deformities, dental disease, exercise intolerance, bulging eyes are susceptible to injuries, irritation & pain, and folded skin often leads to painful skin infections.
PETA’s concern also revolves around the abandonment of pugs when people are unable to cope with these medical conditions associated with their pets. They often purchase the dog on a whim without being aware of the various ailments that plague this breed. The sad consequence is that certain dog owners don’t want to spend on medical bills/treatments and simply ignore the health issues of the dog that eventually faces neglect, physical deterioration or death.
Original Article Resource – Times of India
Featured image credit – Asianet India