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: Data Warehouse & Business Intelligence Co-ordinator

£35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Required skills include SQL querying, SSRS, u...

Ashdown Group: C#.Net Developer - C#, ASP.Net, PHP, HTML, JavaScript, CSS

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: C#.Net Developer - C#, ASP.Net, HTML...

Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst- Insurance

Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst - Insurance ...

Recruitment Genius: Property Manager

£25000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This independent, growing Sales...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Editor's Letter: The demise of a Sixties monster

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
A CCTV camera is seen in front of a large poster opposite in central London  

Home Office is creating more powers to turn everyone into suspects – but leave us no safer

Shami Chakrabarti
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?