Sex & Love

Bad Advice: Can a Meat Eater Really Condemn Man-Dog Love?

Welcome to Bad Advice, a weekly column looking at the misguided guidance of the Internet’s agony aunts. Salon readers: They may be vicious in the comments section, but they write good letters. This week, Cary Tennis counsels a smart but … Read More

By / January 31, 2008

Welcome to Bad Advice, a weekly column looking at the misguided guidance of the Internet’s agony aunts.

Salon readers: They may be vicious in the comments section, but they write good letters. This week, Cary Tennis counsels a smart but learning-disabled kid who’s had to fight his way to a good education and now worries that he can’t hack law school. At 1160 words, the letter is a personal essay, and the advice feels superfluous—a guy who can write this well ought to do fine.

At Slate, an Obama campaign worker complains that her grandfather spams his e-mail list with anti-Muslim propaganda about her candidate. Prudie advises her to politely inform the whole e-mail list that Obama is a Christian. At which I’m sure they’ll all breathe a sigh of relief, thrilled to know that we’re not at risk of electing a non-Christian president. Because that would be un-American.

I would so much rather have a beer-drinking grandma than a bigoted grandpa, but Miss Manners doesn’t seem to agree, counseling that it’s rude for a septuagenarian to drink beer out of the bottle in public. Jezebel quite rightly calls her out.

As usual, though, only Savage Love provides any real ethical fireworks. Dan Savage has gone on record against bestiality, but he changes his mind—sort of—in response to a pitiful letter from a guy who only responds to furry love (or, as he puts it, “it's clear what turns my head when I walk down the street and it's never the person holding the leash.”) The letter-writer isn’t proposing doing anything painful to the dog of his dreams – quite the opposite, actually – so, as a meat eater, Savage doesn’t think he can condemn him. Peter Singer would be proud.

Previously: Lisa Loeb Says "Don't Call Chabadniks Parasites" Bad Advice