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Memes Investigated: Pet and Farm Animal Shaming

Predator Guard dark brown chicken head in the middle and two golden brown chicken heads behind

Internet pet shaming has been around for some time. Some of the photos are outright hilarious. It’s a reminder that our pets can get into some big trouble!


Pets aren’t the only animals that have been shamed on the internet either. Many farmers have taken to shaming their chickens and roosters, too! The photos are pretty outlandish. If you go to Google you’ll see plenty. There’s one that has a photo of a chicken with a piece of paper that reads “I complain loudly if I’m not happy with my breakfast choices.” Another one (with a rooster) reads “I like to escape so I can poop on the neighbor’s porch…” If you’re raising chickens, then you’ll probably find a lot of these entertaining.

On a more serious note, people who decide to shame their pets or farm animals may want to tread carefully. Even though these photos can be pretty funny, depending on how things are done, they could cause the animal to feel more stressed. There was an article by Hills called “Do Dogs Feel Guilt or Shame?” The article explored the topic and talked about pet shaming. It sounds like pets can feel “primary emotions,” however “there’s far less evidence that dogs experience what are called secondary emotions, such as guilt and shame.”

The article says emotions may be a “learned behavior.” It explains that the problem with pet shaming is that pets may feel more anxious or stressed from their owners yelling at or scolding them. The article mentions that “reprimanding your dog only works if you can do it either while he’s committing the act or immediately after so that he makes the association between his behavior and the consequence.”

Chickens are smarter than many people may think. According to Hen Raising, chickens are quite smart, even when it comes to emotional intelligence. “Chickens can not only show empathy, but they can also experience feelings of jealousy, and pain.” So, shaming them could potentially cause them stress and anxiety. Still, we doubt your chickens will get stressed if you put a sign near them with a silly saying on it and then snap a photo. What do you think?