Skip to Main Content

Batman Beats Dogs?!

Written by PETA | July 21, 2008

Like the rest of the entire world, I went and saw The Dark Knight this weekend, and also like the rest of the entire world, I was impressed with this darker take on the Batman mythos. I’m all for having Heath Ledger win the Oscar, and my superhero-comic-loving-nerd-patrol side could gush for hours about the intensity of this movie. But my animal-protector soul had a serious problem with a few scenes. Batman beats dogs—who knew?? P’shaw! And to think we gave him a spot on our coveted Top 10 Animal-Friendly Superhero list!

While I love that The Dark Knight lived up to its name by exploring the noiresque Frank Miller-inspired themes of Gotham’s protector, they didn’t need to make Batman into a dogphobic man! Batman is an icon, a superhero genius that beats up gun-toting thugs using only his iron fist of justice—KA-POW! He looks damn good in pleather while owning the streets, yet in The Dark Knight, he was punching out dogs left and right. Sure, it was self-defense, but doesn’t the man with the James Bond gadgets know anything about peanut butter treats and deflecting devices?

Because of this serious misstep for what’s otherwise a masterpiece, we’ve decided to take all the write-in votes for Hellboy seriously, knock our batvocate pal off the list, and replace him with the kitten-cuddling man in red. Check out our NEW and improved list of the top 10 animal-friendly superheroes:

10. Hellboy—This superhero may be someone that would make you cross the street if he came your way (the red skin and horns might be a bit intimidating), but he’s just a big teddy bear with a love for kittens (and many successful attempts to save them).

sfgate / CC

9. Aquaman—The King of Atlantis, Aquaman can commune with sea creatures, whom he considers citizens of his ocean realm, and routinely protects them from being abused or exploited by the surface-dwellers.

8. Black Panther—As the leader of the African nation of Wakanda, the Black Panther has banned the evil White Gorilla Cult from his country. Members of the cult seek to gain power by killing one of Wakanda’s rare white gorillas, bathing in their blood, and eating their flesh (um, gross). The villain known as Man-Ape gained his superpowers by doing exactly that—incurring the wrath of the Black Panther and becoming one of his greatest foes.

7. Superman—In a one-shot “PSA comic” entitled “Superman: For the Animals,” Supes rescues a kitten from being thrown off a bridge by a group of kids named (seriously) Ballser, Charlie, Donuts, and Eightball and, in the process, teaches everyone a valuable lesson about not picking on anyone weaker than you—including animals.

comicbookradioshow / CC

6. Captain Planet—He just wants to save the planet from the evil Captain Pollution! And that, of course, includes all our wildlife friends who live there. Point of fact, though: “Heart”? NOT an element.

5. Thor—In the Ultimate Avengers animated movie, we find Thor out at sea with a group of activists protesting whale slaughter. If only his fellow Norwegians in the real world got the picture that whaling is a thing of the past!

4. Beast Boy—Everyone’s favorite Teen Titan also happens to be vegan (and not just because he’s been hanging out on like pretty much every other teenager). You would be, too, if you had the metamorphic ability to turn into any animal and therefore had a little compassion for the ones that get eaten.

marveldirectory / CC

3. Animal Man—This lesser-known DC hero can mimic the abilities of animals and is an ardent advocate for animal rights. He’s a vegetarian, and in Animal Man #15, Animal Man saves a group of dolphins from cruel fishers and drops the villains in the ocean to drown—only to be saved by one of the very dolphins he was trying to kill.

2. Wolverine and Jean Grey—In X-Men Unlimited #44, Wolverine catches three neighborhood boys in the act of torturing and killing animals for kicks—and offers to return the favor on behalf of his furry friends. Using her psychic powers, Jean Grey instead makes the boys experience in their minds the pain and suffering that they caused to their innocent victims. In the next issue … Colonel Sanders!

1. Wonder Man—In Civil War: Frontline #5, part of Marvel’s epic Civil War story arc, Wonder Man is interrupted on his way to an important function by two S.H.I.E.L.D. agents looking for answers about a mysterious aquarium store bombing (read the book). The important function? A PETA banquet. ‘Nuff said.

Posted by Christine Doré

Commenting is closed.
  • Hannah says:

    PETA is overreacting yet AGAIN. What’s next complaining to Disney because Mickey makes Pluto sleep outside? This is ridiculous! Keep up being unreasonable and you’ll lose all your brainwashed supporters.

  • Joe says:

    Omg!! i really cant believe that some idiot wasted there time to talk about this. This is the one thing i hate about PETA sometimes they bitch for the stupidest reasons. Its a movie!!! i mean yeah for like 2 seconds he hurts 2 dogs but its not like they really died and that scene is gonna have a serious affect on ppl there are so much memoribal things in that movie. So for once in life can we just all enjoy a nice summer movie without complaining for stupid reasons?

  • Karina says:

    Yeah… let’s all tell everybody to NEVER watch this movie!!! C’mon… people on PETA is so paranoic and irritating! This is just a movie… why in the world people would be influenced by it? I mean sane people not all of those mindless fat americans who would grab a gun and shoot anyone I really think that you guys should be more ETHICAL and respect other people. Batman is a great movie and it is surrounded by the tragic death of Heath Ledger. I think PETA should be more respectful and try not to avoid people from watching his great art! And OF COURSE if PETA is aware of those scenes in the movie is because you’ve seen this movie. Please let’s discuss all the other scenes that makes the movie so awesome!

  • the joker says:

    YOU’RE OVERREACTING as usual. Stop trying to get PETA mentioned in all this Dark Knight press K? It’s not your time to be in the spotlight for something amazing and nor will it ever be.

  • Annie says:

    Are you kidding me? First off It’s a movie. I.e. it’s not real. Now I love animals and I have two dogs but come on this is a bit silly. And if you are going to argue this in the movie “batman’s” actions were selfdefense. You wouldn’t react if a violent dog was attacking you? Again as much as I love animals if a dog is attacking me I am going to react and protect myself as well as those around me. Stop this bullshit. You’re wasting your time. Go help real animals!

  • Maya, C.V.T. says:

    Sirus LOL I like your comment about people taking the film literally it would be quite something to have guys in capes “flying” around the cities. Please try to understand why PETA did this. They initially nominated Batman as an animalfriendly movie. They regretted it after they saw the dog scene. I was attacked by a German Shepherd when I was 11 years old he bit me beside my spine twice and caused terrible nerve damage in my arms. It was a family friend’s dog so we just let it go. That poor dog was so aggressive because the owner tied him to a doghouse outside 24 hours a day in all kinds of freezing weather. He never got walked or anything. After he bit me his owner still left him tied on a short rusty chain to the dog house in the driveway no less! but he now kicked the crap out of the dog every day until the poor thing died of old age 9 years later. I can never forget the agony of seeing that dog be abused and neglected and the stereotype of bad dogs does not help the cause. I’d rather have PETA overreact than fall into the same old pattern of treating large dogs as evil. PETA accomplishes things by questioning our attitudes just like they did in the civil and women’s rights movements.

  • Lori says:

    You do realize this is a movie right? I’m sure the dogs they use in the film were treated well and are in all likelihood still alive and doing well. It’s apart of the frickin story. The dogs were sent to attack him and he defended himself. Would you have the Joker or the gangsters use harsh language or hit Batman with a pillow?

  • Anonymus says:

    Peanut butter? Are you stupid? In the movie the dogs were obviously trained to attack kill people. I highly doubt that the dogs will fetch after peanut butter rather than gnawing batman alive. Plus like everyone else mentioned… IT’S A MOVIE. No dogs were actually harmed. PETA stop being lame and ridiculously ignorant. Of course if a dog came after you and wanted to eat you alive I’m sure you’ll be willing to sacrifice your body for it. Mmm…delicious.

  • sally says:

    the dark knight was one of the best action movies I have ever seen. I’m a big time animal lover but you gotta draw the line some where. PETA is getting way to carried away about batman beating up dogs. Its a freakin movie for crying out loud. All of you guy need to relax and take a chill pill. get a life!!

  • HarveyStewart says:

    Is this a joke? Dude the dogs FUCKING ATTACKED HIM! Get attacked by a rabid sharptoothed animal and see how well your peanut butter treats work.

  • Miranda says:

    I also agree that this just seemed like a desperate ploy to cash in on the Batman success. I am going to assume that if Christine was being attacked by dogs she would not whip out the ‘peanut butter treats’ she carries around for such events. I’m also going to assume that she would do whatever was in her power to fight for her life including hitting a dog or two. I love my dog and would never hurt her but in Batman’s case he was justified. PETA’s just looking for a little bit of attention which is sad but quickly becoming commonplace.

  • Kelly says:

    Sorry to tell you this… most movies are not reality including the Dark Knight. I’m sorry Batman was so ‘awful’ to defend himself when he was getting attacked by vicious dogs. THINK BEFORE YOU WRITE. And… READ BEFORE YOU POST.

  • Sirus Valderag says:

    You people are beyond ridiculous. Several of these comments truly show how hypocritical many peta supporters are. Firstly it’s a film. I understand you probably think that many people will not be able to distinguish a film from reality but if there is someone who goes into Batman thinking there is really a billionaire playboy that dresses up like a bat at night then we have much bigger problems. Unless they are holding screenings at mental institutions there is a slim chance of that happening. Secondly it’s a small part in a two and a half hour long movie! I also noticed someone in the comments asking why they chose that particular breed of dog for the scene and that they are giving it a bad rep due to stereotypes that already exist. I will retort with why did they hire black people to play gangsters? Isn’t that along the same lines? It’s offending someone in some way. The only difference between everyone else and you is that they understand it’s a film and they don’t complain. Therefore the only people that can’t distinguish between a film and reality are the same people writing about it. Move along and do something productive for this world.

  • Michael Higgins says:

    This is part of the reason why our country is falling apart more and more every day. Don’t you people have anything better to do with your day then to pick on a MOVIE about a scene where dogs are being hurt but not really. Do us all a favor GO GET A LIFE!

  • dark knight fan says:

    so the hundreds of innocent people and police officers killed mean nothing in a movie but Batman tossing the three dogs aside not beating themwhile the joker beats him with a lead pipe is completely horrible i sure hope this blog post is a personal view and not a short sided view of the PETA organization

  • Mika says:

    At the end of the film there is a disclaimer all actions were monitored and no animals were hurt making the film. Let’s be realistic it is a movie. No one is going to punch a dog because batman did it and if they do they were just looking for an excuse and are crazy anyways. Secondly if he had have done anything other then physically protect himself he would have died assuming he was a real person. But if we’re going to live in a pretend land where Superheros really do change lives remember Batman does not kill and never hurts anyone unless it’s in self defense. Take it for what it’s worth.

  • caitlin says:

    it’s just a movie. if you watch the credits it clearly says the animals were not harmed in the making of the movie.

  • Alex says:

    I think you’re overreacting. I’d like to see any member of PETA scale a huge building save a bunch of innocent people try to stop the Joker and manage to humanely stop vicious dogs from tearing him to shreds without pissing his pants. I am starting to lose some respect for PETA which is sad since PETA is the reason I went vegan in the first place.

  • Adam S says:

    You need to get over yourself and just enjoy the movie. The dogs are perfectly fine and are probably very loved by their owner.

  • heather says:

    oh please it’s just a movie. if you can read you saw that no animals were hurt. and if a vicious animal were to attack you you’re telling me you wouldnt defend yourself? right.

  • Onai says:

    two words herecomputer animation. the dogs were not real during any of the sequences where batman hit them. grow up PETA seriously.

  • kyrie says:

    if you’re as big a fan of batman as you claim i’m wondering why you didn’t include the TWO disclaimers the movie made BEFORE and AFTER the showing. it specifically said that no animals were harmed in the making of the movie. it’s called computer animation and it was clear those dogs were computerized my god. honestly write about something more interesting.

  • Matt says:

    In Terry Goodkind’s “Sword of Truth” series books yes I’m a sad geek into fantasy fiction! The main character discovers a power within him he becomes a deadly killing machine but eats no meat due to having to balance out his bloodletting meat makes him physically sick. There are 12 books in the series and if you have a spare couple of months I suggest you check them all out..

  • Nai says:

    Are you serious? No animals were harmed in actuality and the dogs were ATTACKING Batman! I hold animals near and dear to my heart but I’m sorry if a dog came at me I’d defend myself too.

  • michael says:

    So you do know the Dogs kill people right so should they get away with murder

  • aj says:

    how lame is this?? It is a MOVIE!!! none of them are being hurt geez i saw the movie and honestly it was AMAZING!!! and seriously had i been attacked by dogs i would have beat the crap out of them or shot them. I would NOT sacrifice my life so they could eat me.

  • Nic says:

    I think you are being a little dramatic. I as sad to see the dogs in this movie get punched especially since my best friend is a rottweiler. We all know that these dogs were not actually harmed during the making of this movie. If they had I think it would have made news by now and have caused a total uproar. I agree with some of the other posts. I wouldn’t sit there and let a dog kill me. Most people who have any sense know that the movie is portraying badly mistreated dogs who were taught to attack. The Batman character didn’t seek out dogs to punch. Nothing about the movie made me think”animal cruelty” and I am hyper aware of animal cruelty. I think that when blogs like this are written by someone on behalf of “PETA” you make PETA look bad. The preception of PETA is already scared. I believe in the true mission of PETA and believe that they do actually do good work….but this article is dramatic. If there were true animals harmed during the making of this movie than an article like this would be well received. I do not believe that anyone will go out and punch a dog just from seeing Batman. Please I beg of you PETA bloggers….pick your battles wisely or eventually NO ONE will listen anymore.

  • Seth says:

    The PETA Files…. say it out loud kids.

  • Lila Morson says:

    I saw The Dark Knight and found no reason for taking him off the list. And of all the people to replace him with you pick Hellboy! This is ridiculous!

  • S.Q. says:

    lol Anonymous.

  • vegan4animals says:

    I won’t be seeing this movie after hearing that Batman hits dogs…very uncool. Dogs that are trained to attack humans are no different than children trained to attack and kill Blood Diamonds. They have no clue what they are doing so every effort should be made to not harm them regardless of their HUMAN TAUGHT aggression. Batman should be punching the jerks that trained them to attack humans. Batman is so overdone I’m sick of it anyway. I prefer Superman anyway he can fly around the Earth and reverse time what’s better than that?

  • John Q says:

    This is just silly. Clearly Peta is more concerned with trying to get some small mention in all of the Dark Knightrelated press than in making logical or legitimate points and being responsible with its time and efforts that use members’ money. I hope Christine is a volunteer so that Peta members didn’t just pay her salary for the time she wasted thinking up this desperate ploy for attention.

  • Tabitha says:

    Um…where he was gonna put the peanut butter in those tights?

  • Maya, CVT says:

    It’s just such a bad stereotype and so predictable. I didn’t see the movie but rottweilers? Yawn! That’s really contrived. Of course people might have to defend themselves if they are ACTUALLY attacked by a dog but in this case the producer made a choice to make these dogs look vicious. Could have done better.

  • Bianca says:

    I was sad in a way when batman killed the dogs but please dont be ridiculous! Of course you are going to defend yourself when someone either human or animal is attacking you! I agree with everyone else. And it’s JUST A MOVIE!

  • Isabelle says:

    I haven’t seen the movie yet but with that scene? Not sure I want to see it! I know it’s just a movie but you do know there’s some creep out there who will think “Batman did it so can I”. Don’t people think when they write a script? And I thought I was nuts when I scolded my son for his character hitting a dog in a video game…

  • Jess says:

    Honestly I have to agree with everyone disagreeing with these posts i have dogs specifically 3 rottwielers and ya know what even i wasnt offeneded by the movie the dogs were trying to KNAW ON HIM LIKE HE WAS A BACON STRIP!!! I’da hit them damn thing too it wasnt like he was beating innocent harmless puppies here folks they were supposed to represent trained attack dogs and i happen to know none of the animals were injured so honestly hush i love dogs and i love batman! and i betcha batman loves dogs when they arent trying to EAT him!

  • Jim says:

    I don’t think he attacked the dogs at all. He didn’t seek them out so that he could injure them. He wasn’t unusually cruel. I appreciate the vigilance but think this may not be a good example.

  • Anonymous says:

    Pathetic really. I guess if it were you you would just let the dog kill you. Oh no take out some peanut butter right? As the dog is gnawing into your arms like a trained killer you are fumbling around with peanut butter. Nice. After the dog kills you I am sure he will enjoy the peanut butter as a nice treat.

  • brandie r says:

    i’m still gonna go see it. it’s just a movie.

  • ExplodingClowns says:

    Oh seriously this has to be the lamest complaint I’ve ever heard he was being attacked by savage dogs it’s not like he’s just gonna stand there and take it while The Joker kills hundreds of people on the ferries. How is that a sidestep? Encouraging people not to defend themselves when being attacked borderlines on the stupidity of attacking Steve Irwin after he died like cowards. Sometimes I wonder whether PETA are more interested in actually helping animals or whining about bullshit to get news coverage. You know there is such thing as bad publicity perhaps you should look at Michael Jackson.

  • Curtis says:

    Don’t forget Striperella! httpimg116.imageshack.usimg1163245stripperella1450fg2.jpg

  • Lila Vixen says:

    I can’t believe you took Batman off the list! And then he is replaced by Hellboy! I saw The Dark Knight and I don’t think there was reason to take him off the list.

  • Brendan says:

    NOOO i saw Batman the dark night this weekend to and was so sad when he attacked the dogs… But it was the jokers fault… Hopefully the dogs didn’t really get harmed in the making of the film…BTW heath Ledgers performance was awesome I wouldn’t have liked the movie was it not for Him he should defiantly get the oscar. R.I.P Heath!

  • Sapna says:

    And why use Rottweilers? Isn’t there enough prejudice?

  • jonathan says:

    o come on i mean ur making the post like a bat man walked up to the dog and beat the shit out of it..if something is attacking me imma beat it up dog or human..i mean u try reasoning with the dog while its tryna go at ur throat

  • Stacey says:

    Don’t know if he counts as a superhero but I love Avatar the last Airbender who is a vegetarian and tries to protect all living things.

  • Bill says:

    Still no Catwoman??!! WTF?! In other news I’m heartbroken to hear this about the new Batman film. As a bigtime Christopher Nolan fan I was really looking forward to seeing this one. How disappointing.

  • Nilus says:

    Personally I applaud the movie for actually showing how vicious mistreated dogs can be. I think in a movie this good it would have been a cop out to have Batman pull out his antidog spray. I also find it funny that people are offended that he punched dogs but the hundred of criminals and police officers beaten and killed in the movie are just fine.

  • Courtney says:

    It was self defence..I think the “dogphobic” thing is a little silly.