How do you feel about this?

When I was a kid, most of the animals we owned had ear piercings, and it never seemed to bother them — we gave the cows ear tags which were IDs, but more so insecticides, so they were quite likely better off for them. I also remember branding the horn buds off our goat kids — which they definitely did not like, but were also likely better off for having it done.

That said, I’m not so convinced that this rat is better off with his body modification and I’m actually surprised it didn’t bother him. However, the rat’s keeper writes, “it healed quickly and with the tiny jewelery I put in it, he didn’t even notice he had it.”

On one hand, I think we live in a culture of pervasive animal cruelty, be it the simple reality of killing and eating animals, or the even more perverse reality of professing to love animals, keeping one as a slave while having others killed to feed that slave, so I’m not convinced on the scale of things little Dawson the pierced rat is the biggest problem for real animal lovers. On the other hand, I can predict the response to this post already…


166 thoughts on “How do you feel about this?

  1. Awww. Poor ratty.

    I don’t think this is a good thing, and I’m sure many other people will be outraged by this.

    Piercing animals just for the sake that you CAN does not justify it. At all.

  2. This makes me angry in the same way that piercing a baby’s ears makes me angry.

  3. I’m not outraged, but I still think it is wrong to pierce or tattoo an animal for some kind of fun of the owner. The rat here does not know about piercings, coolness and aftercare, it gets hurt and has to handle some foreign material in its body. How do we know that it doesn’t bother the pet? Not very cool, if you ask me.

  4. You’re not doing it because the rat wants it. It cannot tell you it does. It’s because _YOU_ as an “owner” of it wants the animal to have it. It fills no purpose but the pleasure of your own, which isn’t justified according to me. Maybe the animal will barely feel the needle coming through, but for what purpose? It’s ridiculous.

    That’s my point of view though, and i’m sure that everyone doesn’t feel the same.

  5. Just thinking – this little lab rat will probably die after 2 and a half years from cancer. A slow painful death humans made it prone to. Isn’t that enough interference from mankind for a litle rat?

  6. Esteticly cool. Without a doubt.
    Cool from an etics point of view. Not really.
    It’s just as bad as tatooing a dog or baptising a child.
    You do something to the person without the person or animal choosing it themselfs.

    And yes,i really think that piercing a animal for reasons beyond ID is the same thing and just as bad as baptising infant children,it makes me sick.

  7. I would be more worried about if the rat tears out the piercing, rather than, if the rat wanted a piercing or not.
    Rats ears are very thin, and I personally would really stress about it being ripped out on bars of the cage or something. This would leave a very unhappy rat with a bad ear for the rest of its life, for five minutes of the owners entertainment.

  8. it looks cool but i feel for the rat.

    i think as long as there aren’t any complications from the piercing…whatever. if the rat became irritated with it and was scratching it and i knew it was in pain…maybe i would object. i think as long as it isn’t causing it issues the rat could rock it. i don’t condone this but once its done its done. let the rat decide.

    ***by rat decide means if it looks irritated take it out.

  9. Most of the cats around here (Vancouver) have ID tattoos because the SPCA tattoos them for free i think. This is no different. AND what about all the people who get ID chips implanted in their pets. I dont think the piercing will decrease the quality of this rats life at all. Lots of people pierce their babies ears without asking them first so dont even argue that the rat had no choice.

  10. One day when the rat feels an itch, he’ll tear the thing out inadverdantly.
    Poor rat.

  11. I have to agree with PiXiETroll.

    (you can skip the next two paragraphs if you don’t care about my opinion on organized religion/baptizing/confirming children in the catholic faith/forcing them to go to catholic school)

    Especially on the baptizing…I was baptized as an infant and forced to go to catholic church and a catholic elementary school. I had to beg to be let to go to public school in 7th grade and am much better for it. A class of 60 to a class of a couple hundred means I got to meet a lot more people and gained many social skills that I never would have at the catholic school which had an average graduating class of 25 people…

    My views on the Catholic faith and going to an a Catholic church have changed a lot since I’ve gotten older and don’t go to church except for holidays, although I’m still part of the Catholic church a lot my beliefs differ…even getting confirmed in eighth grade I really didn’t understand what religion was really all about and what I personally believed. They use to do confirmations when you were a senior in high school which to me makes much more sense. I’ve recently heard that they are starting to do confirmations in elementary school, which really bothers me. The child really has no choice but to go along with what their parents are telling them to do and have no real concept of religion when they are that young. When I have my own children they will not be pushed/forced to choose the religion that I follow but will be encouraged to look into what religions there are and what one they would like to join if they so choose to join an organized religion.

    Anyways, I also think that while not really cruel to the rat that this should not be done…My cat HATED having a collar put on for the first time and tried desperately to get it off, I can’t imagine what he would do if I pierced his ear, and it would most likely get infected from him scratching at it…

    Poor rat…

    P.S. sorry for my ramblings

  12. Uh, no. ID tattoos, which are applied when the animal is anesthetized and that they never notice, are not the same thing at all.

  13. It does put one in a strange mood of thinking. It’s a bit out there but not that out there. We’ve mostly agreed that killing and animal, grinding it to bits and eating it is ok. Also wearing dead body parts of the animal, even for increasing attractiveness, is ok. Some (many?) say that’s wrong too which is a valid position. I had pepperoni pizza just now. I wore my leather jacket picking it up. My wife thought it was hot. One hour of the past and I’m hitting all the majors, so my holier then thou mana is low on this. On some level I do feel uncomfortable with eating and wearing animals. I grew up on a farm and both my sisters are vegan and I kind of get why. But I don’t see why it’s suddenly way more offensive in this sort of case. It’s easy to say “useless”, but did you really *need* those leather pants last time you went to they club? Didya, boi? Latex or cotton wouldn’t have made the cut? If so, why? Was that big mac really such a need rather then a want?

    Same old deal, animals aren’t being treated that nicely. I can’t say I’m helping that much, but I do see that there is no real difference here.

  14. I love piercings for the way they’re an expression of self. That’s what piercings should be, that’s where their beauty lies. This isn’t an expression of self.

    It annoys me, not because of animal rights issues, but in the same way that crap tattoos annoy me – it’s a failure and an abuse of a wonderful art form.

  15. Lab rats and mice are sometimes tattooed on the tail, or have their ears punched (like a dermal punch, but no jewellery) to identify individuals since they’re often housed several animals to a box. In my lab we use crystal violet to paint patches on the fur, the little purple and white mice look cute.

  16. I’m assuming that some people are aware that animals also kill other animals to feed themselves… something about the law of nature but nevermind. This is such a silly argument.

    Poor stuck rattie.

  17. i agree- poor ratty :(. it’s not the worst animal treatment ever, but it also isn’t cool.

    this is a bit different from piercing a baby’s ears though. i mean, the kid can grow up and remove them if he/she wants to. the rat never had a choice, nor will he ever have a choice.

    and, honestly, what’s the point of this other than to show how “hardcore” you are (“see, dude! even my PETS have mods!”)

  18. that’s icky. i love rats, but they hang out in their own poo all day, and ecoli makes for some pretty bad infections. i.d. chips and tattoos at least serve a purpose, which excuses the inability of an animal to consent to them.

    i’ve been a vegetarian for my whole life, so i don’t feel such a hypocrite, but i don’t think anyone who objects to unnecessary and gross cruelty is either.

  19. I got my ears pierced at 6 months, my mom tells me it is so since I obviously don’t remember, and I don’t harbour any hard feelings about it.

    Are you all going to be outraged for me since I didn’t give my consent?

  20. You wouldn’t pierce a humans ear without their permission would you?

    Why do it to a rat?

    This is just as bad as fishing…

  21. Three things:

    1. I am right there with you disagreeing with organized religion and the forced indoctrination of children by their parents and all that jazz, but how you can compare piercing a child to baptizing a child is beyond me. Piercing will inevitably leave a permanent scar on some one’s body, while baptizing is simply sprinkling fancy water on a kid’s head. Yeah, it may piss a baby off, but it is not permanently altering the child in any way.

    2. How can you possibly compare this with tattooing an animal for identification purposes? (I am directing this at KayKay – not you, Shannon.) While we all may have differing opinion about tattooing animals for identification purposes, it does serve a purpose and has most likely reunited thousands of animals with their owners. This “piercing” serves no purpose other then to make the “owner” feel badass because OMG HIS RAT HAS A PIERCING DUUUUUDE. It also potentially endangers the rat’s health, as whatever is in there stands a chance of getting ripped out and ingested by the poor thing.

    3. This reminds me – I miss my ratties. 🙁

  22. I’d never pierce my rat, I can just imagine his little squeak of pain putting the needle through and him trying desperately to claw the jewellery out afterwards. It’d just be an uneccesary trauma, he wouldn’t know what the hell was going on and it’d probably frighten him a lot.

  23. NOT cool. Not at all. I don’t agree with brandings and ID tattoos either. The animals are not any better off with them. You (general, not specifically Shannon) as the “owner” are better off when your animal has been marked.

    I don’t believe in piercing babies’ ears because the babies cannot give their consent. The same goes for this poor rat.

    Besides, how much care in sterilizing the needle do you think the “piercer” took.

  24. KILL HIM !! ! ! ! !! what right does he have to HURT and MODIFY that poor creatures body ????
    Thats like a total stranger would randomly come and pierce my ear and just be like “oh its okey it will be fine..” fucking..shoot the person in the head and do..something..nasty to it after that !

  25. 27 – It’s completely different. The argument here is that there’s a lack of consent because there’s a lack of, you know, verbal communication between humans and animals. Even though you didn’t consent as a child, you would later on be able to voice your displeasure and remove the jewelery if you didn’t like it.

  26. While I don’t condone putting pierced jewelry on a rat…it’s a lot better than the alternative: most rats sold in shops are sold as food for reptiles. Wrong or right, thats the fact. He’s lucky by those standards, not that he shouldve been pierced for asthetic reasons, either.

    ( #31 I don’t suppose microchipping a pet feels really good either but then neither does getting lost and ending up at the pound without being indentified.)

  27. my main problem? it looks like a sewing pin. that’s not a piercing, its sticking a rat with a pin. since its unlikely we’ll hear from the rat’s perspective here, I’m going to say what a stupid thing to do for any reason-even if its photoshopped. The first thing that came to my mind was how serial killers often tortured animals as children and teens ‘just cause’. this fits right in there with them. lame and stupid.

  28. Enter “animals that get killed can’t consent” wank. Forget about the fact that, philosophically speaking, many cultures will accept killing and abhors torture. They even built it into the US, for a while there. Forget about the fact that modifications are supposedly all about “consent”. Just concentrate on the fact that since human beings kill animals, we then lose the right to ever comment on the treatment of animals before their murder. Much like we should really ignore the torture of prisoners held by the state, since many of them kill their prisoners anyway, so even if it’s not the same prisoner it makes it all irrelevant, really.

    Stupidest fucking idea I have ever heard of, and yet it keeps popping up here again and again, like the entire sins of humanity should keep perpetuating themselves because no one’s free of guilt, so no one should ever speak up. Keep piercing those animals! What’s one animal’s pain versus an entire nation full of slaughterhouses? Until the many are healed, ignore the few.


  29. my hamster wore earings when I was a kid, but that was more because of it had holes in its ears from god knows what (I assume fighting with other hamsters though) so I didn’t actually pier its ears I just put it through the existing hole.

  30. woah…a little extreme there Rauka?…kill a person because they put a needle through a rats ear?…yes it is a stupid thing to do, i would never do it, only a dumbass would….oh and another thing…humans eat other animals because 40,000 or so generations ago we needed the protein in meat in order to develop our advanced brains, the same brains we use to comment on modblog, so killing and eating animals is kind of bred into us…when we are in a survival situation, you would be very surprised at what food your brain will make appetizing.

  31. Besides the general pettiness, the main thing that bothers me is the good chance that it’ll be torn out. The hole itself isn’t a big deal- it happens, my rabbit’s ears have two perfectly healed holes from what i can only assume are the tips of his claws. But if that happens to get caught on something, it certainly won’t stop the poor rat from tugging through. I won’t go off on animal rights activism, there are certainly worse things to complain about, but the thoughtlessness is kind of depressing.

  32. absolutely NOT nice, neat, cool, or anything else. Anyone else know how rats groom themselves? That poor thing looks miserable and a natural reaction to a stressful situation for a domestic rat is to take a minute and carefully groom it’s ears. Yeah, somebody call the animal cops who ever did that needs to go to jail.

  33. #26 anabot: Being a vegetarian is in no way a shield from the guilt of the harm we cause to animals and the environment. Did you ever wonder about the possibility of a carrot causing more damage than a steak? Consider the acres of habitat plowed under, the gallons of oil used, and the pesticides and herbicides running into the groundwater to bring you your salad? Give me a slab of bacon from a healthy, happy, local pig any day of the week over that mess.

    As a past owner of rats (some of the most intelligent beasties I’ve had the pleasure to meet), I find this deeply disturbing.

  34. I had a cat that had chronic renal failure, and a big part of his treatment was getting subcutaneous fluids three times a week. I had to poke him with a 20g needle to get the fluids into him. It wasn’t exactly painful for him, but it was definitely uncomfortable and not something he enjoyed (even though he obviously felt so much better with the fluids in his system).

    I would never, ever stick an animal with a needle for anything other than medical reasons. I certainly would never give one a decorative piercing – I can’t imagine why any truly thoughtful person would. It’s impractical and unethical, and while the discomfort may only be temporary it’s still completely unnecessary.

  35. it looks like a standard sewing needle pin.. (not to question this person’s integrity but i wouldn’t call that jewelry). i think it’s unfair to put jewelry on animals. they are incapable of keeping it clean, and are obviously going to get it hooked on things and have more of a chance of tearing it out, along with their flesh. i can see that rat knocking it’s head into something and that needle jamming right through it’s brain. that thing is the equivalent to a human with a chopstick through their ear.

  36. I didn’t read the comments because I’m exhausted, but the only thing I have to say is that I assume you are referring at least partially to pets when you say society keeps animals as slaves, and I disagree at most they would be prisoners, its not like you have your dog cook and clean for you.

  37. This is wrong.

    Shannon, you’re right, I’m concerned about all the other issues you mentioned above, but since we are talking about an individual rattie here, this still bothers me.

  38. tagging a cow for ID & insecticide purposes is one thing, but this rat didn’t ask to have a hole put through it’s ear. kind of like how lab rats don’t ask to have human ears grown on their backs.

  39. eirinnske- and the thousands of cows a year go up to their owner and ask to be branded and have id tags stamped through their ears??

  40. Why must people be so angry? The owner said he didn’t seem to mind it, what’s the problem? She wanted to share something as amazing as piercing with her pet and I’m sure she’d take it out if it was bugging him. *sigh* Why must today’s modification be so dominated by blanket statements? Can’t we attempt to interpret and understand?

  41. #34, when I was home sick once, I turned on the idiot box and watched one of the talking heads have her dog get ID-chipped on camera. No yelp, not even any twitching. No idea if that non-reaction is typical.

  42. >>The owner said he didn’t seem to mind it, what’s the problem?

    The owner wouldn’t know and is unqualified to speak on the animal’s behalf.

    Piercing should ALWAYS be done with consent or it is simply abuse.

    Eating animals is natural and domesticating animals for pets is seen (by the RSPCA as well as others) as non-abuse.

  43. I can’t really believe I’m saying this… but I agree with Giles. That’s something I never thought I’d say. 😀 I have greyhounds that are tattooed and microchipped because they are damned hard to find if they take off running and they have an uncanny ability to lose collars. It’s more for the dogs’ safety than anything else.

  44. hi, popaver. why the fuck are you attacking me? did i come off like a militant jackass, so that you had to respond in kind with baseless propaganda and arrogant aggression? hell fucking no. i was civil, polite, and mentioned vegetarianism offhand because people commenting before me had mentioned the hypocrisy of coddling pets while consuming farm animals.

    it’s sort of hard for a pig to be happy and healthy once it’s dead, don’t you think? besides, my primary reason for not eating meat is that i never have SINCE BIRTH, it smells like shit to me and i couldn’t digest it, so therefore likely i never will. i don’t give a fuck that you eat meat, or that anyone does, so show me the same courtesy and leave me the fuck alone. do you subsist on meat alone, or is your diet supplemented by poor tortured carrots as well? as an omnivore, you share all blame for supporting the demand for both farming and butchering. you should probably live on foraged berries and roots if you’re so concerned.

    besides, vegetables are icky. i subside almost entirely on muffins. muffins are delicious, and they keep me skinny.

  45. While I think the reasoning for piercing the rat is completely moronic, one of the best statements I read about current exploitation of animals was posted in the comments on a modblog post by Shannon.

    Now, if this owner had multiple pet rats, and they had 2 females in with a male and a castration was preformed would that make it any worse than this stupid piercing? While I think this piercing is stupid and I would most likely slap the person who did it, I think declawing a cat, docking a dog’s tail, and Cutting ears are significantly worse than this piercing.
    I would even say that the pet store that sold the rat is more offensive than this picture of the piercing.

    Almost everything humans do in our civilization exploits animals to a disgusting degree. I don’t eat meat and haven’t for some time. I am not going to lie and say it is better for animals though. Like someone said before in the comments… The soy for my veggie burgers comes from the amazon. Or what used to be the amazon in Brazil. It almost exploits animals worse to buy those than to buy a hamburger made from a tortured downer cow.

    This whole mess that we call civilization is a disaster, a
    failure…. It needs to end in order to fix our relationship with animals. For an interesting comment on that read “end game” by Derrek Jensen. (not that I didn’t come to these conclusion on my own but he makes a better argument than I”.

  46. As long as the rat doesn’t notice it I don’t care.
    Hell I don’t think that rat gives a shit.

  47. are we arguing the environmental impact of a carrot compared to one steak- or the entire cow?.. just curious.

    there will always be someone greener- and rather holier than thou it doesn’t really factor into my personal views- I am a fan of consent.
    I am guessing a large number of members here are American- a country that still has more then half of all it’s healthy baby boys cosmetically altered at birth- we all have our issues- leather pants- pierced babies- animals- the ravages of farming carrots…
    I don’t think it has to be a contest anyone has the right to feel what they feel.

  48. 7- The rat’s life span is only 2.5 to 3 years anyways. To say that they’re lifespan is shorter because of humans is ludicrous. They have shorter lifespans because of their much much faster heart rate and metabolism.

    26- Have you had rats? Every one I’ve ever had/breed only ever go in one spot in their cage, and cover it with bedding afterwards. If the floor is dirty they go up a few levels. Also, if you were to watch them; they’re constantly cleaning themselves. More so than my cat.

    Other than thaaaat…..

    I couldn’t imagine any of my current 8 rats, or any of my many past ones holding still enough to pierce. Let along do a jewelry change on.

  49. Agree With #61. It just doesn’t bother me. people do so much more then that and i honestly dont see how that i so cruel. what a hell i’ve done the same to my cat ( but i didn’t pierce him day i just noticed that my cat was bitten in the ear probably in the fight. so it had a perfect hole at the top of his left ear. so i decided to put a ring through it. he never even noticed it.)

  50. I think people suffer more from this than the (this) animal itself. morality is something that will hunt us and us alone while the individual will adjust and live on..

  51. number 1 said it; just because you can doesnt mean you should! tagging cows and such like is pretty much for their own good, but piercing a rats ear simply because you can borders on cruelty – i’m disturbed by the fact the person did it. did they suddenly decide to shove a piercing in their pet rats ear…for what purpose? if so… where will they stop or draw the line?

  52. I love rats and I’m outraged.
    I don’t belive that this one “don’t even notice”… Rat’s ears are very sensitive…

  53. and i need to add @ number 12: the ID tattoos are done under anaesthetic to reduce stress to the animal, ID chips are inserted under a layer of fat in the animals neck that is barely felt and never causes issues to the animal afterwards.

    piercing a babies ears is, in my opinion, wrong. i realise some religions and belief systems pierce their childrens ears after a few weeks of being born…i accept this but it doesn’t mean i agree.

    an animal cannot tell you directly, if it is in discomfort or pain – we have to work it out from whines, yaps, meows, scratches and other such.

    tagging / piercing / tattooing an animal for any other reason than ID or health is, i believe animal cruelty.

    [/end rant – for now]

  54. …could be worse, at least he’s not being used for scientific research. That said, i still don’t agree with what’s been done here. But there are worse animal mods that we generally wouldn’t bat an eyelid at.

  55. I really don’t see the huge deal in this. I don’t see the rat suffering, I’ve seen my cat’s have CHUNKS ripped out of their ears, and they act like nothing has happened. I think the big issue with a lot of ‘hardcore’ animal lovers is that they don’t realize, animals are not the same as humans. I doubt the rat even acknowledges it’s there. In the case it did it might consider it a mild irritant and it would’ve been long gone by now(rats are awesome at getting things off their bodies, regardless of if they have to lose some body tissue)

  56. Anyone who’s ever had rats, knows this is bound to go wrong at some point.
    1. Rats are social animals. They groom eachother, they play together, sometimes they fight or chase eachother. Other rats might be very interested in the foreign object. So many situations in which severe damage can be done to this poor rat’s ear.
    2. Rats are not very clean. They often lie in their own pee or poo and I can see how a pierced ear can become horribly infected. There’s just no way you can keep this clean.
    3. Rats groom themselves as well. He could get it caught or just tear it out himself.

    I don’t want to join in on the whole right/wrong-discussion… But from a rat owner’s point of view, this is a huge risk to take, one you should not put your animal through.

  57. Modifying an animal for any other reason than health or ID purposes is cruel.

    #77 – Rats are actually very clean creatures, I have never owned or heard of a rat that would willingly lie in its own excrement. However, you do raise a valid point about aftercare.

  58. Lix, my own rats would very often have poo on their feet from just stepping in it, or smell of pee. Sometimes they leave tiny droplets of urine on eachother (to mark the other rat), so while rats do like being clean, they don’t always succeed in it!

  59. Haha, cool. I’d totally give my dog an ear piercing. Just afraid that when he scratches his ear, it’ll snag on his foot and rip off. But still, looks rad!

  60. I haven’t read all the posts on this but as a vegan I can say I disagee with this for the reasons I imagine have already been mentioned (e.g. consent, infection, tearing etc) but on the other hand there are much bigger problems in the way of animal liberation than someone piercing a rat’s ear. The issues of factory farming, killing animals for the pleasure of human tastebuds, animal testing and such are far greater issues to be debated than this. However it is obviously still wrong.

  61. anabot: I didn’t mean to arouse a hostile reaction. I agree that your comment was civil. I apologize to you and to anyone else who disagrees with what I said. This is not the forum for that discussion (I know that I brought it up).

    The choices people choose for their diet fascinates me, and I am well aware that I also participate daily in our cruel system. My comment was meant to bring up the point that vegetables and a vegetarian (or even vegan) diet can be (directly or indirectly) harmful to creatures everywhere. That’s all.

  62. if you are not a vegan, you have absolutely no right to bitch about this while sucking down your mickey d’s.

  63. Not read all the comments, but #42 – If you look at statistics, it takes a LOT more energy, land, water and grain to feed animals than it does to make vegetables. Plus I’m guessing even if you eat meat you eat carrots too :p and what does the pig eat before it dies? If you want an argument for eating meat, talking about the environment is NOT the best way about it. Theres no other reason to eat meat other than enjoying the taste, face it. Fine if you do, but don’t try and justify it by saying vegetarians kill the environment more because they don’t

    How the hell did this even heal? I’m surprised the rat hasnt tried to yank it off! (and with that thin gauge it’d probably come straight out)

    I think “theres bigger problems” is a pretty shitty attitude to have towards anything in life. Yeah theres bigger problems than some idiot shoving a needle through a rat, but that doesn’t mean this rat deserves it or hasn’t suffered from it.

  64. disclaimer first, the picture isn’t loading for me, but i think i get the drift.

    75, i couldn’t agree more. having watched rodents under anaesthesia have their live organs removed (and much worse), not to mention the practices of declawing, involuntary castration/neutering and tail docking all mentioned above (let alone blood sport and other severe animal cruelty), in the scheme of things this just doesn’t seem like something worth getting outraged about. yeah, it probably wasn’t the nicest of things to do to your pet, and you possibly inflicted more long term pain than you realize, but compared to “routine” procedures performed by pet owners on a daily basis, never mind research labs, it’s really not that severe.

  65. As a rat lover and breeder I find the fact that someone could do this to the poor little blighter

    If I saw this at someone’s house I’d smack them in the mouth and take the rat off them.

  66. Idiots. Why the hell would you pierce a rat or any other animal for that matter. I’m just going to leave my comment at that before i start ranting about how obviously stupid the owner is.

  67. Rats need to be kept in a MINIMUM of pairs, preferably more. I have 10 boys in one cage, and I can tell you that they will attempt to remove any foreign body from their cage mates via grooming.
    Unless this rat lives alone, which is just as cruel as the piercing itself, it runs a huge risk of the other rats pulling this out.

    Also, rats scratch their ears as part of their daily grooming ritual, super fast as well. Its highly likely he would catch a claw on this and yank it.

    Its just sick. The epitome of people who get pets just as accessories or living toys.

  68. Thats just mean 🙁 imagine he accidentally ripped it out whilst having a scratch or a clean? The rat might swallow it as well, and choke and die. 🙁

  69. popaver: thanks for the response, it made my morning that you’re a cool human 🙂 muffins are indeed amazing, i’m schooling up to be a baker.

  70. Just because worse exists doesn’t mean it’s wrong to feel disgusted by much less, and does not make the less any more acceptable.

  71. I feel horrible for the rat and would honestly love to slap the person who did it. Its just so not beneficial….

    Would you want someone else to throw a needle through you without your consent… probably not!

  72. I don’t have time to read all these comments. I’m maybe the only one who doesn’t really care about this, am I? Honestly, it’s just a small little prick for the rat. Someone stated

    “You wouldn’t pierce a humans ear without their permission would you?”

    Too bad people do this all the time. At least the rat has a good home in someones house and not a snakes stomach. CHILL.

  73. Also “what if the rat accidentally ripped it out”
    a rat could accidentally scratch itself with its nails and have the same effect. its not anything bad in my opinion. animals get slaughtered everyday for humans want, why cant someone pierce a rat for their own “want”?

  74. Just because worse things happen to animals doesn’t make this okay.
    Although they are not the same at all and I’m not comparing the two what-so-ever, would you say that a woman getting slapped around a little bit is okay since there are people dying every day from violent crimes?

  75. That is fucking sick rats scratch their ears all the time I have 7 and they have enough issues with health problems so this ass is causing more.

  76. I love body modification and all but this angers me because unlike humans, animals can’t state an opinion for themselves the rat had no choice in this, and body modification is all about choice. I have modifications myself but I would NEVER dare modify any of my animals. 🙁

  77. That’s not “tiny” jewelry, either. I’m coming down firmly on the “Come on dude, that’s just stupid.” side of this. Poor fragile rat ears.

  78. that is the Cutest THING!!
    I wish I could pierce my dogs septum to match mine… that’s be awesome, or even her ears.

    But then again I’m all for pet mods, i.e. nail polish, pet safe fur dye, tattoos, ect.

  79. That’s disgusting. I know a lot of people on here don’t agree with, say, nonconsensual circumcision at birth or piercing the ears of newborns, and this is no different. Using your status as a bigger, stronger animal in order to inflict pain on your pet because you think it makes them look cuter or makes you more “hardcore” or anything else is an abuse of power, just like inflicting nonconsensual harm on any creature; child, full-grown human or otherwise. Animals are beautiful the way they are and it doesn’t make sense to take advantage of your position as their caretaker to cause them pain for your own purposes.

  80. I don’t think there’s any reason to do it, though i’m not sure it’s cruelty exactly. What I will say is… what the hecks gonna happen when little ratty scratches and rips the ring out, ya know?”

  81. #49 Oh Im so sorry for not taking lightly on tortureing animals, you might think its “tha bomb” but Im not that hip on the subject. + I was kinda drunk when I wrote that but my feelings are pretty much the same.

  82. Ooh I remember disbudding baby goats! And when the little baby boys needed to lose their nads they sure made a fuss (but I probably would too)

    Also, I’m assuming that thing through it’s ear is a tiny needle and not the jewellery it usually wears.

  83. Animals being no different than people, why not? How many people get pierced or tattooed when they pass out, just because someone else can? Plenty. Babies get pierced all the time. I really doubt the rat cares. But if it looked irritated by it, I would take it out, or it probably would rip it out itself. Looks nice though, I have to admit.

  84. #36 said it all, for me.

    Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    And with that, I’m done.

  85. That poor animal. He’s going to go to scratch his ear or groom himself and rip it right out. Poor baby, I hope his idiot owner has the sense to at least take him to the vet when that happens.

    Also, if he’s being kept alone, the person is double-stupid; if he’s being kept with a buddy or two, as he should be, it’s triple-stupid because when rats groom each other they are likely to rip it out–either by accident, or by OOH SHINY *tugtugtug*.

    The person who did this is a freakin’ idiot and deserves an aluminum bat to the head. *TINK*

  86. It’s fucking sick to pierce animals!! I can^t understand those people who do this! It makes me angry!

  87. This is the first time I can honestly say that something on here is FUCKED UP!

    When I was 16 I had traveled to a Rainbow gathering and while there I met this dumb chick that had pierced her cats ear with a generic earring and it was seriously infected, to the point the cat could not walk straight. It took me all of 3 minutes from the time I met the girl with this cat,told her she should take care of it and she disagreed… Then I told the girl if she was not going to seek care for her cat,I was taxing her cat, to knocking her out because she said no you wont, and then I walked away with the cat to take it to the vet.
    The vet had to remove a piece of the cats ear and put it on serious antibiotics and the cat “Elvis” grew up with a chunk missing out of his ear at my dads house where people loved and took care of him until he passed away.

    I feel very strongly against piercing pets.
    Tattooing a spay mark on them is one thing, but putting something in their ear or other body parts is wrong in so many ways. Not to mention infection and other problems that can happen due to this childish antic.

  88. *cuddles her rat and tells her how lucky she is to be in a loving home rather than with some stupid fuck who would stick needles in her delicate little ears*

    #103, you have a very disturbed view of ‘cute’.

  89. I’ve had rats for 6 years. Rats are very stoic and usually will not indicate pain unless the pain is sudden and severe (like getting a toe pinched in the cage door).

    The rat can’t give consent, and the piercing isn’t for something necessary (like an ID tattoo). Therefore, it’s wrong. Putting an animal through pain for a pet owner’s own sense of aesthetics is cruel.

  90. I think it was a horrible idea to do that. A lot of animals are too dumb to know why they’re feeling pain or what caused it, so inflicting this on a rat has the same principal as hurting a human baby, they know their in pain but they don’t understand how or why. It’s completely unnecessary.

  91. So let me get this straight, you mutilated an animal’s body for the benefit of your own human sense of aesthetics? You Sir, are a real piece of shit. If I get to meet you in real life I’m going to run you over with my car and then set your corpse on fire. F— YOU.

  92. “it’s sort of hard for a pig to be happy and healthy once it’s dead, don’t you think?”

    it’s also not feeling any more pain when it’s DEAD. i get the argument, 100%, but i’m tired of hearing that if you eat meat, you can’t have an opinion on ANIMAL CRUELTY. i think animal cruelty is, and always will be disgusting, but eating the occasional hamburger doesn’t mean i go around kicking dogs in their faces in my spare time. fuck..

    i think the rat thing is a joke, and this person should not be allowed to keep animals in their care.

  93. Do none of you realise that Shannon posts things like this to amuse himself when you all get up on your high horses?

    And I have pets. If my pets are slaves then they’re some of the goddamn laziest, fattest slaves i’ve ever encountered.

  94. “besides, vegetables are icky. i subside almost entirely on muffins. muffins are delicious, and they keep me skinny.”

    And now we know why the great muffin herds, that once roamed the land in swarms numbering in the billions, are no more.

  95. Has any one ever seen what rats can do to each others ears? Bah. I devoted years of my life to the rescue and care of animals. I also let new born puppies sucked my fingers while the vet.s I worked for cut off thier tails with industrial stregth nail clippers. Whats wrong? Its a little bit of nothing.

  96. Shannon mentioning slavery made me laugh. If anything, you are a slave to your pet(s).

    You are in charge of your pets well-being. I’m not bothered by the rats ear being pierced, but I do believe that it was an irresponsible thing to do.

  97. ok now witch is right or wrong

    dogs cats rats whateva are free

    in the wild they shit pis were ever they want but who tell them were they shit were they can piss shit we even give them commands 2 sit roll over etc for food thats slave labour 2 animals who shud be free

    so pearcing and owning a pet is the same thing we own it it is are slave

    or shud they be free in the wild ?

  98. Killing and eating animals =/= animal cruelty; that is the cycle of predator and prey. The methods used in most modern slaughter, however, are arguably cruel.

    Death as part of the natural cycle to nourish another being is not meaningless (nor are castration, etc, which serve a purpose towards that end). Animal cruelty is meaningless infliction of pain with no practically beneficial end goal.

  99. so I’m assuming at everyone with a “awww poor rat” comment has a die-hard vegan diet and never purchases leather, wool, gelatin, honey, toothpaste and all the other little things that slip through the cracks of animal cruelty?

    probally not. Chances are you saw a fuzzy thing with a pin it’s ear and forgot your a hidious murderer for a minute.

    “yes, this cuteness has an interesting effect on humans… makes them… weak.”

    Chances are any makeup your wearing, the shampoo you use in your hair, was testing out on the open wounds of a little guy like this.

    So until we’re all living in the woods eating twigs and our homes are heated with the power of love… shut up.

  100. On the other hand, the people demanding this dude be drawn and quartered and comparing cared for and loved pets to slaves are, frankly, fucking nuts and really need to take a step back from their frothing rhetoric.

  101. I just wonder who this guy did this for? The rat? I’m pretty sure the rat isn’t going to notice the jewellery until its ripped out of its ear. “DUDE, look I pierced my rat, am I not the coolest???” Getting kudos for something that is stupid and not-even-cool-looking. Lame.

    And to whoever said its not a big deal because cats come home with chunks ripped out their ears – That’s animals behaving like animals, not humans beings douchebags.

  102. I would like to know how anybody can tell whether the rat likes it or not, based on this picture. A lot of people have said how unhappy the rat looks…but I keep staring at the picture and I don’t see that. I see a kind of blurry rat face, he looks like he’s sniffing something. Can somebody tell me what I should be looking for to know whether the rat likes it or not?

    Also…how far we’ve come since early 2004, when everything in the Animal Piercing galleries got marked “we don’t condone this”.

  103. If I could be convinced that this rat gave informed consent to this then OK, otherwise its just degrading the rat for a bit of cheap entertainment for us ‘superior’ beings. Not on

  104. I have three pet rats, and have had many. I would never modify them. My companion animals can’t say, “Hey, you know what would look sweet? A 18g industrial in my left ear.”

    It may be relevant that I’m a vegan, but I just think it’s entirely wrong due to a lack of consent.

    Oh, and the rat’s body language and stance is not a comfortable one. It’s also not a horribly pained one. It’s a WTF one.. probably because it has a needle in it’s ear and it’s being (poorly) photographed with a bright flash, which is alarming to mostly blind rodents. Poor squish. His dumbo ears are bad enough for proper hearing, now he has some metal in it weighing it down? Not good.. I hope there aren’t any predator animals in that house.

  105. Shannon, I think based on the unanimous response in favour of NOT sticking sharp objects through rats ears because it’s “huh huh, cool maaaan”, you’ve not sparked a funny debate that you may have hoped for, but rather saddened a lot of people (both meat eaters and vegans alike) by this obvious lack or regard and responsibility towards the rat. If you really wanted to rile the hardcore animal rights activists, show someone eating a hamburger, and not something that can easily be mimicked by some lemming out there who might think this is cool. I think you can see that this is not really debateable, and your argument regarding enslaving animals as pets is pretty weak against this type of behaviour. Not that you should care, but you’ve totally lost points for me.

  106. I think killing animals an eatting them in much more ‘cruel’ than peircing their ear, but they are so damned tasty… So really this is pale in comaprison to other things we do, if I eat animals dead flesh it would be pretty hypocritical to call this cruel. I am sure this has not harmed the animal mentally beyond replair.

  107. I don’t think i agree with it, like people have said above… the animal didnt ask for it… I’m sure if it was conscious for the piercing it hurt it… animals are more likely to snag piercings and such as well.

  108. Atrocious.
    I hope that piercing doesn’t get caught on something and tear the rat’s ear.
    The owner should be ashamed of themself. This poor animal doesn’t understand why you stabbed it in the ear with a needle. Your pet rats trusts in you to care for him… and look at what you’ve done. I hope you’re ashamed. I am.

  109. “Has any one ever seen what rats can do to each others ears? Bah. I devoted years of my life to the rescue and care of animals. I also let new born puppies sucked my fingers while the vet.s I worked for cut off thier tails with industrial stregth nail clippers. Whats wrong? Its a little bit of nothing.”

    The rats do that to EACH OTHER, for dominance, food, etc. It’s a bit different than a big human overpowering a rat because they’re curious how a modification would look.
    And why did you cut the puppies’ tails off? Don’t tell me…let me guess…FOR LOOKS. Unless the tail was irreversibly infected or cancerous, why is there a need to cut it off? So you can conform to how the breed is “supposed” to look? People like you make me sick.

  110. All my mice have had ear “piercings” from either mites or getting into fights. (In retrospect, I really shouldn’t have been buying them from a place that -let- them get mites. I was young and callow and an idiot.) They didn’t really like having anything attached to their ears, though. Rats, being bigger, might not mind a small ring as much.

  111. I would really like to know what gratification the owner of this animal got from puttng it through unnecessary pain? piercing anything / anyone who is incapable of making a conscious choice r about the piercing is wrong and surely a breach of human / animal rights? Also, wether rats do this kind of thing to eachother naturally, is in my opinion entirely irrelevant, inflictng pain on a creature who has no way of asking you to stop is simply lacking in care and regard for the animal, not to mention in intelligence.

  112. FLEE (143), it’s these sort of threads that bring up very valid discussions, whether the participants are articulate, or whether they’re “hurr hurr” idiots. The fact of the matter is that this image and commentary that Shannon has presented has spurned a great deal of debate, much of which is quite interesting. There are no “points” to be won or lost here.

  113. OMG!!NOOO!!! This poor little dumbo rat!! He dosen’t need an indy!! I’m sure this was painful, and what if he catches it on something? Please,please, TAKE IT OUT!! NOW!!!

  114. That’s fucked up! I hope that rat eats it’s owners face off! Animal cruelty should not be tolerated!!!

  115. Incisors-of-doom:

    I understand the reasoning behind sparking a debate about the welfare of animals; we can learn alot from both points of views. However, this topic is clearly undebatable as there is no solid reasoning or justification behind what is being discussed. The ratio of people who think this is downright ridiculous to those who think it’s “cool” shows us that there really is no debate. I really don’t think this was posted to cause a debate, but rather a reaction.

  116. oh really?? it didn’t hurt the rat? well everytime I get pierced I can certainly feel feel it. what an asshole. i guess them animuls ain’t gots no brains and no feelers.

  117. if we all agree that the rat is suffering and in pain, we should encourage its owner to do the humane thing and put it out of its misery by smashing its little rat head with a ball peen hammer. any day of the week its still just a fucking rat.
    every single day a factory farmed cow/pig/chicken is alive is quite a bit more suffering than you or that fucking rat can imagine. so fuck the rat and enjoy a cheeseburger, i know i am

  118. ha, i love the person who said “it’s just as bad as tattooing a dog or BAPTIZING A CHILD.” But yeah, I would say this isn’t fair to the rat, and also agree with the person who said it’s like piercing a baby’s ears.

  119. modify yourself…thats awesome
    leave the animals alone, we do enough to destroy them

  120. Wow..I have 3 pet rats..and I WOULD NEVER do that to them..I think thats horrible…you have your own body modify that..don’t do it to your pet. What if that rat had an allergic reaction to the jewelry?…I bet you wouldn’t think it was so great then.

  121. If it’s done with love and care, fair enough.

    I’ve had things happen to me that might constitute ‘Animal Cruelty’ and no one ever complained on my behalf.

    It’s not a matter of actions, but the reasons behind the actions.

  122. That is not cool. What the fuck. Poor rat. If you wanna pierce an ear then pierce YOUR ear. Not your smelly little pet rats. What if you where a little rat and your giant moron owner stabbed you with a needle? You would be PISSED. And not know why they did that. Death to you.

  123. thats not okay 🙁 a rat feels pain and it can hurt its self with the metal-stig

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