As was the case when a video of a US Marine throwing a puppy off a cliff in Iraq sparked widespread outrage, death threats and maudlin displays of outrage across the internet, the news that Costa Rican artist Guillermo “Habacuc” Vargas had starved a dog named Nativity to death as part of an art exhibit has been making the rounds on Myspace bulletins and well over a million people have signed internet petitions calling for his banishment to the Chateau D’iff of the art world. First off, the story is almost certainly just another performance art hoax, like the recent Yale abortion art. But even if it were real, the whole point of Vargas’ as he himself explained was to “illustrate the point that…in my home city of San Jose, Costa Rica, tens of thousands of stray dogs starve and die of illness each year in the streets and no one pays them a second thought. Now, if you publicly display one of these starving creatures, such as the case with Nativity, it creates a backlash that brings out a big of hypocrisy in all of us. Nativity was a very sick creature and would have died in the streets anyway.” If illustrating the lazy hypocrisy of so-called “animal lovers” was the goal of the installation, I’d say Vargas succeeded in spades. All the people signing these petitions and expending their energy making Guillermo “Habacuc” Vargas a famous performance artist in the name of “animal welfare” should take a good long look in the mirror and realize that millions of cats and dogs are euthanized in this country each year for no other reason than people don’t care enough about them to pay for them to live. Likewise, many millions more are tortured to death every single day to provide our cheap, overly meat-laden diets and yet most people do nothing. I guess its a lot easier to sign some fucking stupid petition than to actually do anything real to back up your supposed convictions. Great job everyone! Way to make a difference. OBAMA ’08!