Amol Rajan: It’s time the luvvies of LA stuck up for animal rights

 

Share

Look, I know it’s not the done thing to revisit a campaign long after it has been lost.

You wouldn’t forgive me, for instance, if I devoted this column to the case for the alternative vote, several months after the British people, in all their fearful ignorance,turned it down at a referendum. But after a canine encounter this weekend, and long reflection, I feel itwould be a moral failing to ignore a recent scandal which strikes at the very heart of who we as a people have become.

Indeed we cannot, I believe, prepare for the great challenges of this century - the rising powers of the East, the spread of information technology, and the depletion of scarce resources - without correcting an appalling error in the world of entertainment. My friends, we have failed to give a dog his due. His name is Uggie and he lives in north Hollywood with his trainer, Omar von Muller. Recently he appeared beside Jean Dujardin in The Artist,which the bookies say will sweep to victory at the Oscars.

Except, not for Uggie as Best Supporting Actor. Despite a campaign by supporters on both sides of the Atlantic, the greybeards at the Oscars last week declined to nominate him.

And on what specious grounds! Best Supporting Actor is awarded to the actor whose performance is central to a film without being the lead role. He must evoke the audience’s sympathy, inhabit a character completely, and show a brilliant range of skills and emotions. And who stipulated it must be a human that does all this? Uggie, with his fake death roles, on-demand floppy ears and boundless energy, meets those criteria magnificently. And an Oscar for him would strike a blow for generations of unsung film stars who happen to belong to a different species.

Peter Singer, the most important moral philosopher alive today, has spent decades fighting the tyranny of speciesism. On Saturday, when I saw a Jack Russell just like Uggie alert a mother to the fact that she had dropped her baby’s bib, I joined Singer’s cause. The sight of that terrier, quick and noble and driven by duty, awoke me to the centuriesold oppression of these heroically wordless beasts.

Millions of people around the world have joined Singer’s cause like I have. The luvvies of LA, if only they had some imagination and sense, could have joined it too. Instead they chose the path of discrimination and conservatism.

It’s ruff justice, I tell you, and I don’t like it.

twitter.com/amolrajan

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketing Controller (Financial Services)

£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...

Day In a Page

Read Next
The traditional Boxing Day hunt in Lacock  

For foxes' sake: Don't let the bloody tradition of the Boxing Day hunt return

Mimi Bekhechi
 

Letter from the Deputy Editor: i’s Review of the Year

Andrew Webster
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all