One of the things that will make me abandon a book faster than anything else is cruelty to animals. I can’t handle it. Do you want to slaughter an entire village? Fine, just don’t shoot a horse on your way out of town for fun. (Is it any wonder that I’m a vet and not a human doctor?)
The two most traumatizing movie scenes in the history of time for me are in the Neverending Story when the horse gets sucked into the quicksand and in Dances With Wolves when they shoot the horse and leave his body for the vultures to eat. That scene caused me to be a nervous wreck when Spirit died and there were a few hours before the people came to get his body. No vultures (and we had a resident population) were going to eat my baby!
Even though Sheila loved it, I didn’t get through the first few chapters of The Knife of Never Letting Go because the kid was nasty to his dog. He could hear his thoughts and kept kicking at him and yelling at him. Nasty little human!
The only thing that got me through Backseat Saints is having been a reader of the author’s blog for a long time. I know she loves her dogs so I very grudgingly moved past shooting her dog (just a flesh wound).
I’ve never been able to read Watership Down because I’m too scared that something bad will happen to the bunnies.
Any time an animal is prominently brought into a story, I worry about its safety. Is there a term that is the equivalent of women in refrigerators for animals? I think it is time for the animals to fight back!
My safe author is James Rollins. He writes thrillers that tend to prominently feature animals but they are safe. I think this is because he is a vet too. His characters will shoot humans but the animals will be fine. We must have the same hangups! If he ever betrays my simple trust in him, I’ll lose all hope.
Does this bother you too? Are there other books that I should never, ever read because of what happens to the animals?