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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.

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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.
  • likeabouss says:

    If animals and humans are equal, then BatMan should be able to hit dogs and people, as long as they are endangering the safety of gotham city. If every life is equal according to Peta, then what would you choose, 3 dogs or 2 large boats filled with people.

  • BatmansGirl says:

    this is stupid D: if batman had the choice he probly wouldve avoided harming the animals.. there was no way of him getting around them :/ its all jokers fault 😛 hellboy should be no1!

  • Doggylove says:

    This is just a movie. PETA has enough bad press and doesn’t need someone writing about fictional movies. I have a doberman..the tall skinny cousin of the rotty and everyone that has met him knows that he is nothing but a big sweetheart. Now I will admit that rotties and dobies look intimidating and if I were directing I would have done the same. It’s analogous to a special effect.

  • katherine says:

    im a vegan for 3 yrs and im only 9 but beating up a dog thats insane!!!

  • batman says:

    you do know that the dark knight didn’t happen in real life right?

  • Eduardo says:

    is that for real? Have you ever known anything about self defense? Its ridiculous to question the reasons of someone who hurts in self defense.

  • Meredith says:

    No one likes a scene where dogs get beat I know they did it to add to the darkness of the film. Also most of the shots in these scenes made it obvious that the dogs weren’t really being hurt. What I think the REAL issue here is that they used Rottweilers. I’m sure some other animal or even nonpurebreads could have been used. With all of the bad press that rottweilers and pitts get lets not villanize them in the movies! It takes any steps forward in their reputation right back to square one!

  • Shannyn says:

    OH like doggie treats would ever sway a trainedtokill dog from attacking you??! You’re worried about what the kids will think? What about the kids that are attacked from those dogs should they be packin’ milkbones to “protect” themselves. It was a movie. If real dogs were actually hurt I’d be outraged. I am never donating to Peta again this is how you spend my last donation by making a fuss over a FAKE FIGHT WITH DOGS??!

  • amy says:

    ok lets compare. thousands of people dying or a few vicious dogs being hit out of the way. GET FRIGGEN REAL!!! the lives of thousands arent likely to be wasted just so batman can whip out a jar of peanut butter as a distraction! im sure that he would have found a different way to handle a similar situation if he werent so pressured but he does what is best for the city and what was best for the city was to move on as quickly as possible to SAVE THE LIVES OF HUMAN BEINGS

  • nero says:

    I have two puppies and one adopted dog but if one of them attacked which they probably wouldn’t yes i would push them away but i would never kill them. Batman was a good movie it was an amazing movie but if one or two three seconds scenes are going to ruin a movie for you than there is something wrong with you. plus batman never really beat the dogs he just got them out of his face. it is not like batman goes around gotham and beats the crap out of civilians dogs. he doesn’t tie dogs down to a chair and throw the bat knives at them. and what was he supposed to do give the dogs a bone and a pat on the head. this is crazy i don’t have a problem with people speaking there mind but what you are talking about were probably cgi dogs. no dogs were attackly hurt. so stop messing with hollywood and go bitching about real people hurting animals and not a fictional superhero that has a fan base of millions upon millions of people backing batman up. P.S. i think batman would look stupid with peanut butter on his utlilty belt.

  • john says:

    This is really unbelievable. I was there when they filmed those scenes! The Rots were really playing tug of war with their master who was one of the fake batmen and when the real Batman throws the dog over the concrete embankment its actually a very expensive prop stuffed but had electronically moving parts. Get a grip folks!

  • Ricardo Petinga says:

    I don’t know if this has been mentioned yet but Christian Bale is a vegetarian and a member even a founding member of several animal rights groups so I have serious doubts that he would take part in anything that involved causing harm to an animal. As for the character Batman and the scene itself he got attacked by the dogs and had to defend himself as he could. I’m pretty sure no animals were actually harmed! Come on PETA you’re getting way too anal about these sort of things. Instead of just bashing the movie which for the record is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen get in contact with the people responsible the studio director etc. and even Christian Bale to clear your doubts about the animal treatment in the movie instead of jumping to conclusions. About that list of animalfriendly superheroes I’d just like to point out that Wolverine ain’t all that friendly towards animals since he has on several occasions fought and killed animals he has hunted and wore animal skins. It’s cool that he did what you mentioned though and the others having done those things too. I was especially pleasantly surprised by Thor because for some reason I just didn’t expect that of that character. In my opinion though Captain Planet’s the best.

  • Smith says:

    Think of something better to do than badmouth a good movie you ignorant jackass. I havent seen it yet but i bet there is a caption in the movie saying animals were not actually hurt during the making of this movie

  • N says:

    i love animals more than people and more than life itself. but this is taking it too far. the movie didnt really happen in case you didnt know. you people can be really disturbingly ridiculous and you wonder why the media doesnt often take you seriously in certain situations! because you give people who stand up for animals a bad name! thanks jerks

  • Barr says:

    People… You are delusional… Seriously… All this because a man dressed as a bat How pro animals must he be? gets in a fight with a few dogs in a film? Lets imagine for a second you are all not a bunch of middle class people with nothing else better to do… I mean come on there are people saying they wont see the film because a dog gets killed… what about all the PEOPLE that get killed? I have been attacked by a big german shepherd in my time and its not a pleasent experience. I have quite a lot of scars and lost some feeling in my hand because of nerve damage and I still like dogs… I wouldnt judge them all on one bad one… but do you think i was all that worried about beating that dog off me with a spade? By that stage of the fight it had already ripped off my tracksuit bottoms at the crotch too… Put yourself in a running battle with something as primal as a big angry dog and see how you react… Moreover… Batman was trying to get to a man who was going to blow up 2 boats with about 3000 people on them… Let me think… a dog or 3000 people… A no brainer!

  • Humancompanion75 says:

    I am an animal activist and I think this is hysterical. Forget that they blew up a hospital Batman hit a vicious dog! Uhoh! It looks like we might need to get our priorities straight before we keep going with our campaigning. For example I’m pretty sure we don’t want the public to think we’re a total joke. Christine you’re great but think about the affect this has overall on the cause! Big booboo!

  • James says:

    It was actually pertinent to the plot though the gangsters in the beginning of the movie trained those dogs to hunt Batman in particular and Joker took over that specific mob boss mafia dogs included. Ultimately it was to show how much he was up against and one could venture to say that those dogs were representative of the corrupt people out to stop Batman from saving the citizens of Gotham think about it loving dogs that fall from grace due to their environment to kill a righteous vigilante for their own vices i.e. meat. Or maybe it’s because Nolan wanted to show how ruthless the mob world was I mean even if you’re not a PETA member most people understand that dog fighting is bad and thus they lose any sympathy they might of had for the Joker. And there were quite a few good points brought up I mean why is there nobody saying how disgusted they are that somebody TRAINED THESE DOGS only that Batman harmed them? And furthermore this has been said countless times he was defending himself he didnt really think when he was suiting up Okay grappling hook check batrangs check peanutbutter snossages check. Ultimately he was trying to save an entire city animals included. If gangsters and thugs had overtaken the city and Im trying to reach to the astronomically ridiculous PETA members all the ducklings and bunnies in the parks would have died too. Furthermore I think its disgusting how Peta belittles the lives of numerous individuals in that movie. I mean countless people are killed and beaten in that movie people are tortured and the Joker murders a woman to psychologically maim a man Where are the angry and albeit ridiculous blog posts about that? Way to jump the gun PETA!!! Douchenozzles it’s disgusting how they ignore the loss of human life.

  • batfan says:

    dude your a dumb ass! I mean come on its a damn movie there CGI! and also I love animals and I think nothing bad should happen to them but if a dog attacks me I’m going to kill it! You need to chill. I do have a question if your walking down a road and a dog comes out of know where and starts attacking you… what you do? let them tear your limbs up? or are you going to fight back?

  • Lord Common Sense says:

    Think before you speak. Instead of calling batman an animal abuser ask yourselves WHY did batman hit those dogs. 1. Those dogs were about to chew his face off he had no choice he had to fight back. 2. Batman’s gadgets are designed to subdue PEOPLE not dogs. 3. The dogs had been trained read brainwashed so they would attack batman. Whats worse forcing animals to attack people or defending yourself from said animals. The answer is clear to me I’m not called Lord Common Sense for nothing I earned this title but seeing as you cannot think for more than 5 seconds I’ll tell you the answer The brainwashing is much worse forcing animals to do something against their will thats animal abuse like you wouldn’t imagine. 4. It’s not like batman was trying to kill those dogs. Sure maybe he caused some damage but it was nothing compared to what some other superheroes would do try to imagine a ‘take no prisoners’ superhero like The Punisher in that situation the dogs would be freaking slaughtered! 5. It was one scene lasting about 5 minutes. The movie was 2 hours 30 minutes long. 6. He’s a fictional character. Get a grip. Alright if you can get this through your thick skulls then my work is done here.

  • bgates87 says:

    Why so serious? PETA is a joke. “Punching out dogs left and right?” The movie is two and a half hours long dogs were featured in two scenes lasting all of about 6 minutes. “Peanut butter treats and deflecting devices?” I’d love to see you fight off 3 ravenous rottweilers with some doggy treats. I’m glad you removed Batman from your list give his spot to some pansy superhero who values an animal’s life more than a person’s life like you do. Thank you for giving this spectacular movie even more publicity. I’m sure after reading this ridiculous story even more people will see it just to spite you. I’ve already seen this movie three times and hadn’t planned to see it again but since you got me all hyped up I might just go see it a few more times after all.

  • Alan Beling says:

    When I saw the headline “Batman beats dogs on Dark Knight” i thought like “Wow they sunk that low on that film? Batman now beats defenseless mutts around the streets that sucks”. After really seeing that it was selfdefense against ferocious dogs I’m more like “PETA should focus on serious stuff instead”. Seriously HE WAS GOING TO GET CHEWED BY THEM! HE DIDN’T KILL THEM HE HURT THEM ENOUGH TO GET FREED FROM THEM GET A CLUE”

  • Amanda says:

    Ok yeah seriously. I agree with most people’s comments on this silly rant about a fictional character fictionally punching and killing fictionally dangerous killing maching dogs. I support Peta but there were good points made here. ITS NOT REAL… WHAT ABOUT THE PEOPLE BEING KILLED IN THE MOVIE….and just WTF would YOU do in a situation like this? Screw the peanut butter I want to LIVE!

  • Chantelle says:

    You have WAYYY too much time on your hands. 1. It’s a fucking movie 2. What the hell are people supposed to do when getting attacked? 3. Animal friendly super hero lists? Ah yeah too much time on your hands. 4. Wile E Coyote was mean to the Road runner are you going to go after him too? 5. This is why no one takes PETA seriously

  • mike says:

    Oh man you are really reaching to find something wrong with this film. PETA at it’s best. OVERREACTING It’s truly pathetic.

  • Linzee says:

    Wow you are an complete and total ass. When a dog is coming at you and is trained to kill… I am sure the animal loving PETA would be like “Oh my body will nurish his hungry soul. 3” While the rest of us would be like “Oh Crap! punch and flee”

  • Honey says:

    Yeah gee. You really think Batman would carry around peanut butter dog treats? And you actually think dog treats will ward off an attacking dog? HA HA! Wow you really are stupid!

  • Josh says:

    I could rant and rant about how ridiculous this article is. I’ll spare you the additional waste of time by summing up my response. Get over yourselves. It’s a movie.

  • TheJawsThemeSong says:

    Alright this is going too far. Because I guess Batman was suppose to negotiate with these dogs right? God these PETA idiots are getting worse and worse.

  • Victor says:

    So people getting killed is AOK but defending one’s self against animals is wrong? That’s the most retarded logic I’ve ever heard. You clearly didn’t watch the movie at all. He didn’t have anytime to pull anything out of his belt AND he clearly didn’t anticipate being attacked by animals. Also Hellboy has killed animals many times yet he’s on the list? And this is why PETA is laughed at.

  • itsalljustaride says:

    Just in case you aren’t keeping track that’s like 3 positive and 68 negative comments. I think those numbers speak to the ridiculousness of this article.

  • Javan says:

    People like yourself disgust me. Batman assails numerous humans in the film but the only time you bat an eye is when he attacks a dog. I guess by that reasoning it’s ok to beat the crap out of you… just not your animals. rolls eyes

  • Dani says:

    Um weren’t there lots of grisly human murder scenes in that movie? You know that’s not real right? See a “movie” is where actors PRETEND stuff is happening that actually isn’t. PETA do you ever worry that all your belly aching over everything is going to distract from the bigger issues? You’re becoming a joke and harming your own cause. Wait you should go after Leatherface next! How dare he wear dead cow? Oh wait those are HUMAN skins? Oh okay carry on!

  • brittany says:

    you guys make vegansvegetarians look like crazy ass people. the movie is FAKE. do you know the definition of FAKE? hold on let me get it for you. ‘One that is not authentic or genuine a sham.’ The dogs weren’t really beat up. God don’t you people have better things to do then to complain about some movie that is waaaaay better then anything PETA will ever do? Oh yeah and i’m pretty sure that if you were in Batman’s place and thsoe dogs attacked you wouldn’t be reaching for doggie treats to fend them off you’d be cutting up a bitch too.

  • Hey Nonny Mouse says:

    Is this article a joke? For the sake of any respect PETA has I seriously hope so. Or is this a case of what current media bandwagon we can jump on today? Get it together and do your organization’s principles some justice for once.

  • KEJ says:

    Is this actually a story?? PETA ought to just take down Loony Tunes and Disney altogether. Irresponsible cartoon portrayal of animals. Scooby Doo obviously is handicapped in some way yet he is endlessly mocked for saying rut roh instead of uh oh. Mickey Mouses ears are way too big. Ive been told by the mouse in my pocket that mice are quite literally afraid to be seen in public for fear of angry mobs making derogatory comments about their ears. Have you seen an actual mouses ear? Rather proportionally shaped. Yet Disney keeps perpetuating this big ear stereotype. And dont get me started on Bugs Bunny that racist rabbit. Whats up doc? Why is he mocking urban speak? Couldnt he just say How are you doing doctor?it would be much more racially sensitive. And doc? Clearly some sort of derisive comment about the low percentages of African Americans in medical school. When does it end people? When?

  • Brittany says:

    I’ve lost all respect for PETA now. This is just ridiculous. Don’t you have something better to do than complain about movies and make stupid lists about fictional petfriendly superheros? Like I don’t know adhering to your mission statement and rescuing REAL LIFE abused animals? Obviously no animals were harmed in the making of the film. It’s all theatrics and it was done ethically as well. Batman was DEFENDING himself. He didn’t just punch a Rottweiler for no apparent reason. Get over it and stop whining PETA.

  • drew says:

    So batman hits a few dogs. Hellboy kills something that is “the last of its kind” yet is at the top of the list. I’m all for protecting all living things but get your facts straight.

  • Nel Mek says:

    Wow. You guys must of run out of things to complain about.

  • pa says:

    PETA…what if you are batman? then dogs out there to tear you apart…sweeshhh… hey you don’t have to e the batman in leathers…you hate leathers…you always try to get naked on the streets and owsss…or try putting vegetables to make you guys go for vegetarianaddicts…LET THE DOGS COME AND TEAR YOU APART…just let them…tear you death? won’t you fight back or defend yourself? think first as a human and not animals…you’re comment to batman is animallike…no brains at all…why so serious?

  • Derek says:

    I was under the impression that this was a superhero movie i.e. fiction. I mean I know you PETA guys are all off your rockers anyway but I didn’t know you were so delusional that you couldn’t determine movie from reality.

  • ExplodingClowns says:

    httpyoutube.comwatch?vG4v1hAnfy1I Batman risks his life to save six ducks.

  • ExplodingClowns says:

    Batman doesn’t throw dogs off him ferries explode gallons of oil spills into the harbours and kills hundreds of marine birds. Throw a dog to save hundreds of people and animals? As far as I’m concerned he was helping animals.

  • CAROL says:


  • mika Renee Boles says:

    i used to like this association then you all got arrogant and became a mass of people ignorant and intolerable. i love animals. i wouldn’t mind working with them for the rest of my life. but seriously? making a big fucking deal about batman punching a few out of control dogs…you honestly think that batman using some of his gadgets on the dogs would be way better…riiiight. he’d throw one of his throwing bats at them and kill one and then you all would be in a huge bitch fit because batman killed the dogs instead of punching them… SERIOUSLY GET OVER IT. you want your name associated with one of the best movies of all time. that’s all. check yourselfs though..for people that pride themselves on the ethical treatment of all things with a heartbeat…you should watch your spokespeople.. calling a normal person a whore and dumb bitch because she eats meat isn’t very ethical whatsoever. way to have a classy organization though.

  • Jessica says:

    And this is why Peta can never be taken seriously. Because they live a joke life.

  • Jessica says:

    okay yeah animal testing is bad u talk about animals dying in cages but yet what does that have to do with batman the movie not actually hurting a real dog but punching a fake dog in a movie im 13 and i know that its self defense and if u were to say something like oh throw a steak yeahh who carries 16 GOD DAMN steaks on them no one wants to hear opinion about un realted topics were talking about a fc movie Love Jessica XD

  • Keith Novak says:

    Now I realize the lack of protein going to your brain from not eating meat may impair your thinking but let’s stop at think here. If you were being attacked by a wild dog what would you do? Embrace it? Fight for its rights? You’d get it the heck off of you. Don’t you think its more cruel that the dogs were trained to be attack dogs in the first place?

  • jessica says:

    this is the stupidest thing ever he didnt really hurt them im sure he didnt plan on seeing dogs there and he didnt have neat er anything in him would u ppl are fuckin retards

  • JWood says:

    PETA bites in the first place. There’s a reason why people use animals for stuff Because we need to! It’s all part of the food chain. Helloooooo! Batman is fucking awesome! No doubt about it. He’s ultimately the best superhero and secondly it’s called defence. Who the hell cares if three dogs got hurt? It’s a MOVIE! Jeez PETA relax. First Pamela Anderson blows a gasket over Jessica Simpson’s tee now you guys are blowing a MOVIE out of proportion. Hahah losers! All of you!! If something is attacking you ready to bite and kill you than NO you DO NOT have time to pull gadgets outta your belt to use. You use reflexes which are your hands. Survival of the fittest y’all. Batman was stronger than the dogs and did what he could to survive. Simple as that.

  • Brent says:

    Please please this is so terribly ridiculous. Honestly I’ve been a vegetarian for 6 years now and I hate all these stupid overreactive PETA people. They’re insane. I’m not sure if rational thought is something that members of PETA actually subscribe to because I’ve had friends who are PETA fans and they’re just about as ridiculous as this. I think Curtis up there said it best. And so I will QFE Quote For Emphasis for your enjoyment. “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.” ‘Nuff said?