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Culture is a funny thing. It dominates how we think and why we do what we do. Culture decides which animals we should eat and which ones we should fear.

Often negative stereotypes are a byproduct of our cultural programming. Stereotypes are misleading and often turn out to be just plain wrong. This is as true for animal stereotypes as well as human. Knowing this, this image of a Pit Bull getting smothered in kisses illustrates two of some of the worst stereotypes that we hold against animals and straight up turns them on their heads.

The idea that it is okay to exploit cows because they are stupid, boring animals that have no idea what is happening to them is actually incorrect. It turns out that cows are very intelligent animals, with excellent memories. They have shown a unique ability to remember faces and locations and some have even demonstrated an understanding of the mechanical world by using latches to open gates. Being herd animals, they are also quite social, enjoying play and affection on a regular basis. They are very much aware of their surroundings, so there is no excuse for the terrible treatment that they receive in today’s barbaric meat and dairy factories.

Pit Bulls, like cows, also have a lot of negative stereotypes to overcome. Many people wrongfully believe that they are vicious, aggressive animals with locking jaws, unlike any other dog breed, but the reality is that “Pit Bull” isn’t even an official breed of dog. They are bred from many different types of dogs to have certain dominant characteristics, but  physically, there are no locking jaws or innate viciousness. To the contrary, Pit Bulls are highly intelligent dogs, with a love of play that makes them very trainable. During WWII, they were military working dogs, with Petey from the Little Rascals making the Pit Bull America’s nanny dog for many years until a cultural shift in the 1980s (driven by a rise in dogfighting) decided that they were monsters. Today, they are feared animals who are subjected to breed specific legislation and barred from certain cities. Adding to this, Pit Bulls have the highest rate of euthanasia out of all different breeds singled out by the law for euthanasia and other, unfair treatment.

These animals, are both the victims of cultural fixations that say one is to be feared and that one is to be eaten. The fact is that Pit Bulls do not exist to cause fear, any more than cows exist to become meat or milk or both for the masses. They, like every other animal on earth, exist to find happiness and love and understanding, regardless of what role humanity is having them play.

These days, culture dictates that cows and Pit Bulls all over the U.S. should be denied love and affection. Luckily, this picture is proof that they are not denying it to each other! These animal ambassadors make us question all of our cultural notions of food and fear and ask, “But seriously, why can’t we all get along?”

Image source: Imgur