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Animal Cruelty: The Link Between Beast and Man

Page history last edited by Christopher Moore 9 years, 9 months ago

Animal Cruelty: The Link Between Beast and Man

            Animal cruelty runs rampant throughout the world in many different ways including the beating, mutilating, and killing of animals, as well as the deprivation of food, water, or medical care to animals. Animal cruelty can even include inflicting pain to stop natural behaviors such as barking, clawing, and flying. If we are not allowed to abuse or neglect the children in our care by these same cruelties, then why is it okay to create these acts upon animals, who view us much like the children do: as protectors and providers? Children and animals both look at us as protectors and providers, so if we let cruelty happen to animals, why are we not allowed to use these against children? Or rather why, then, do we let cruelty happen to animals if we are not allowed to use cruel devices against children?  This is more important than it might seem since one is essentially asking a serious and weighty question: if the definition is one thing, then should it mean another, what can it mean, and how can it impact all of us, not just the animals that the definition would initially be protecting?

            This is not an easy question to answer, as people don’t know what “animal cruelty”, “mutilating”, “deprivation”, “abuse”, and “neglect” mean. Without a definition, they might as well be the ravings of a mad man. According to USLegal.com, acts of violence or neglect directed against animals are considered animal cruelty which forces us to look at the definitions of “violence” and “neglect”.  Violence is, as supplied by Bing dictionary, the use of physical and destructive force, destructive force meaning extreme or uncontrollable force, giving us a refined definition of the USLegal.com definition to mean “Acts of physical or destructive force; meaning extreme or uncontrollable; or neglect perpetrated against animals” leaving only “neglect” to be defined.  Neglect means, as supplied by Bing.com, fail to do something, especially through carelessness, forgetfulness, or indifference, again refining the definition into “acts of physical or destructive force; meaning extreme or uncontrollable; or to fail to do something through carelessness, forgetfulness, or indifference all perpetrated against animals”. Animals, which can be defined ,as supplied by Dictionary.com,as any living thing other than a human being, can be separated into those that are farmed and those that are domesticated as pets. There are several types of cruelty: the acts of abuse and neglect that are on purpose, and the acts that are done through forgetfulness or ignorance, called commission and omission respectively.

            One might not think that the animals being farmed are being treated cruelly, since they are eaten and all, yet the truth is very shocking: chickens, cows and pigs are all prejudiced; a term meaning to have a dislike of something without good reason against them defined by Dicitionary.com; in the sense that if one were to do these actions to another person, say an Arabic or Jewish person, this would be called “racism”, or the hatred/intolerance of another race or other races, defined by Dictionary.com. Cows have always been separated as dairy and nondairy cows. The nondairy cows, aka males, are castrated, horns chopped off, and repeatedly branded without any form of sedative and often have cancerous lesions, or pus filled wounds, which are medically untreated and treated as USDA pure. Dairy cows have it even worse, if that is possible to believe. Today’s dairy farms often treat their cows as if they were machines instead of animals by repeatedly hooking them up to machines that suck the milk out of their udders so that the milk production is constantly leveled, yet the machine hurts them. On top of that, 40% of the dairy cows are lame, keeping them from walking off the transport trucks. The mother cows are impregnated yearly to keep milk flowing, yet the calves are separated almost immediately after birth, causing profound distress. Pigs are contained in tiny stalls where they can’t turn around and often go insane because of the lack of stimulation. Shortly after birth, baby pigs are castrated, ears mutilated, and tails cut off, again without painkillers. Some pigs die on the killing floor while still alive by slit throats or even burned alive in a scalding tank.  Chickens grow too large too fast, often breaking down their hearts, lungs, and legs, causing leg deformities. When it is time for them to be slaughtered, they are often burned and have their throats slit while still conscious. (PETA)

            As if this weren’t enough, humans hurt, mutilate, or even kill the domesticated animals that are our friends and deeper than that, our partners. Companion animals, such as dogs and cats, are often used to keep humans company so that we are not eternally lonely. With these animals, there are two types of cruelty: passive; or rather acts of omission; and active; or acts of commission. The difference is that the passive cruelty, as defined by Pet-Abuse.com, is lack of action- neglect defined as a failing to do something, Bing.com- such as not giving the pet food or water or ample shelter, due to ignorance, which still causes pain and suffering to the animal but can be rectified by educating the owner of the necessary care and what to look for when caring for the pet. Active cruelty is where the owner had a malicious intent, deliberately and intentionally causing harm to the animal, often the most disturbing as it shows major psychological problems with the owner that can only be rectified by making sure that the said owner never gets another pet. It isn’t just the owners either: the sellers of puppies in dog stores often leave puppies in cramped, crowded conditions in order to try and breed them nonstop, to gain enormous profits out of a handful of dogs, and when the dogs “outlive their usefulness, they are often dumped, killed, or sold to other store owners to try and get one last batch.” (Humane Society) These types of stores are often called “Puppy Mills”, and they rely on the customers not taking a look at the conditions from which the dogs originally came, but instead for how cute the puppies are. Now prep yourself for a big shock: sometimes animals are treated so bad that they become laws themselves. How to find out for sure? Try researching Danos law, or maybe even Oreo’s law, both good examples. And there are scores more, so much that the world would come to an end before you were able to research them all. They continue to happen all the time, forcing the organizations such as the Humane Society and ASPCA to intervene, sometimes not intervening correctly(for more information, check Oreo’s Law).

            This is why animal rights are so important: if we, as a nation; world; people; whatever; can’t get the definition of animal cruelty right now, then future generations will have millions of animals dead or dying just because they are unsure. Take Oreo for example: she was a one year old pit bull living in New York that got thrown off a roof six floors above ground level and broke a rib and both of her ribs. The ASPCA “saved” her ( No Kill Advocacy Center) and dubbed her a miracle dog, yet she started to “show signs of aggression” so they tested her. Without revealing the results, they decided that she was better off dead until a “sanctuary in New York” decided to try to take her in, attempt to socialize her, and , if failing, keep her in the sanctuary happy and well fed. “They were ignored, hung up on, and lied to” all leading to the inevitable conclusion: Oreo was dead. Could animal lovers like myself accept this? Yes, since it is a sad, but well known fact that many die on a cold street abandoned, neglected, or even never once having felt the kind warm touch of a caring person. Could an animal lover accept that Oreo was killed “overdosed on POSION called Fatal-Plus”?!? No!!! Oreo had a chance at a happy life, in a place where she would never be hurt again. And she was killed. That is enough said on why one needs to redefine the concept of animal cruelty. Please don’t always assume that animals get the justice they deserve. One should always follow the golden rule, treating his or her pet as he or she would like to be treated.

            Normally talking about race means that people often get into where people came from and what their ancestors did. Yet it is quite plain that animals are just as mistreated as any human ethnic group that can be named, since they are unable to get away from the abusers unlike humans. Humans can go to the police, run to a friend’s house, pack and leave, or any other countless measures to get away yet to an animal such as a dog or cat, their caretakers are everything. If they are being abused, they are not able to run away, speak out, or express it and thus the innocent victims stuck in the middle of an ongoing war of whether animal cruelty has a strong enough definition to support, adapt, and change the laws on animal abuse and rights. If it is indeed strong enough, why are there many people in other countries fighting to strengthen the animal rights inside their countries which would help stop cruelty?

            According to an article in the London Times and Times Magazine, both sources found online, written on February 2 of 2010, on March 7th voters in Switzerland had to vote on if abused pets and farmed animals deserved human representation in the courts, which “had citizens rethinking the rules of responsibility between man and beast”.( ) Also according to the article there are reports that the current laws protecting animals “are not strong enough to secure against those suspected of cruelty”( ) which shows that not only are the laws not strong enough, but the definition is not strong enough. The definition stands, as of now, as “Acts of physical or destructive force; meaning extreme or uncontrollable; or neglect all perpetrated against any living being that is not human”, thanks to the combined definitions supplied by Bing, Dictionary, and USLegal.com. This should change as, for many pets, the definition requires some form of evidence, say blood, to imply that the force took place or a physical condition, ticks, for ignorance and the owner could both use force and neglect without showing any sign. Guess who would be the one not getting the justice they need? The animals, our dear companions, who often want nothing other than to live happy healthy lives and make us happy and in return they need to be made happy.

            So, in summary, animal cruelty has been refined from words such as violent into layman terms to mean “Acts of physical or destructive force; meaning extreme or uncontrollable; or neglect all perpetrated against any living being that is not human” which is not strong enough to protect even a sheet of paper, let alone a living being that can love, think, and feel pain. Animals cannot get away from their abusers and thus rely on those who can to help. Animals often go to such abuse and torture that they became laws, dogs and cats like poor Oreo, some cases even worse than hers. Please fight animal cruelty, and please help change the treatment of animals. Do what you can to change the meaning of animal cruelty and to help strengthen animal rights.



No Kill Advocacy Center- Oreo’s Law

Pet-Abuse.com-  definition, Swiss representative case

Bing.com- definitions


PETA- “Meet Your Meat” video

Humane Society- Puppy mills, definitions,

####These are the terms that were defined as above, not necessarily in order of citation#####

Deprivation:dispossession; loss.

Mutilating: to injure, disfigure, or make imperfect by removing or irreparably damaging parts

Abuse:to treat in a harmful, injurious, or offensive way

Perpetrated: to commit

Prejudiced: To have a dislike of something without good reason

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