Animal welfare and ethical boundaries in social media

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First of two parts

In a recent TikTok video by user Jaymarkdestor, a concerning instance of potential animal mistreatment has sparked outrage and prompted discussions about ethical conduct on social media platforms. The video depicts the host engaging in an act that many find distressing. The human was putting false eyelash extensions and applying make up on a kitten while it was sleeping, mimicking a beauty salon scenario.

The online sphere serves as a vast platform for content creation and sharing. It is where influencers and users often seek attention, engagement, and entertainment. However, the boundaries of ethical behavior can sometimes blur in the quest for likes and shares, raising pertinent questions about responsibility and respect, particularly concerning animal welfare.

The specific content in question has alarmed viewers and animal welfare advocates, prompting concerns about the treatment of animals for the sake of online content. Applying beauty products or engaging in cosmetic procedures on animals, particularly when they are asleep or unaware, raises ethical red flags regarding consent and respect for living creatures.

This is a screenshot of Jaymark Destor’s Tiktok post of the kitten that he put eyelash extensions and make up on. (Photo of the author’s screenshot of the Tiktok post of Jaymark Destor.)

While the intent behind the video might have been to entertain or amuse, it is essential to recognize the potential harm such actions can cause to animals. Animals, especially young ones like kittens, are vulnerable and require proper care and respect for their well-being. Any form of interference with their physical state, especially for frivolous reasons or to gain online traction, raises ethical concerns.

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It is crucial to consider the implications of our actions, both online and offline, particularly when they involve living beings incapable of providing consent. In this case, the act of applying false eyelashes and make up to a sleeping kitten can be viewed as an infringement upon the animal’s autonomy and a disregard for its well-being.

Our daily grooming routines involve a plethora of beauty products that promise to enhance our appearance and well-being. However, many of these products can pose serious risks to our furry companions. From body soaps to hand sanitizers, some common beauty items may contain ingredients that are toxic to pets.

In the article, “19 Beauty Products That Could Harm Your Pet” by Helen Anne Travis of the PetMD Editorial, here are 19 beauty products that could harm your pet, shedding light on potential dangers and offering insights from veterinary experts:

Body Soaps:

Body soaps often contain non-ionic and anionic detergents, which can be toxic to pets. Dr. Stephanie Flansburg-Cruz warns that these detergents may lead to eye irritations and stomach problems, resulting in symptoms such as excessive salivation, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Curling Irons and Hair Straighteners:

With temperatures reaching over 400 degrees, curling irons and hair straighteners pose a burn risk to pets. Dr. Barrack emphasizes the importance of keeping these hot tools out of reach and unplugging them when not in use.

Razors, Scissors, and Tweezers:

Sharp grooming tools can cause painful cuts or punctures if pets come into contact with them. Dr. Rachel Barrack advises pet owners to store these items safely away from their furry friends.


Some sunscreens contain zinc oxide, which can irritate a dog’s gastrointestinal tract if ingested. Barrack recommends monitoring pets for symptoms like bloody diarrhea and vomiting and seeking veterinary attention if necessary.

Makeup Sponges:

Pets may mistake makeup applicators for toys, posing a risk of gastrointestinal obstruction if ingested accidentally. Pet owners are advised to monitor their pets for signs of vomiting and dehydration.


Using human shampoo on pets can dry out their skin and may contain harmful detergents. Dr. R.J. Kraemer recommends using pet-friendly shampoos to avoid potential dangers.

Muscle Creams:

Muscle creams containing salicylates can be toxic to pets, potentially causing gastrointestinal ulcers. Veterinary attention is advised if pets exhibit symptoms like diarrhea or vomiting.

To be continued.

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