Published in Factoidz
Animal abuse is a hot topic discussed most frequently these days. Everywhere you turn you hear about it in the media, newspapers, and Google articles. Or, you may even know animal abusers yourself. But why do we humans abuse animals? Do we feel we are justified? Do humans feel they don’t have feelings or needs? Or we do it for pleasure or rage? Psychologists have been studying this issue for at least 25 years and research will probably continue for a long time to come.
What is animal abuse and where do we draw the line?
We never consider slaughtering animals and cutting them up to be eaten as human food to be animal abuse. We rationalize, after all, animal or insect species must eat to survive and humans are no different.
Then there is research work done in science, experimenting on laboratory rats and other animals and we claim it is for the benefit of humankind. Years ago, that meant the benefit was as frivolous as using animals to create a perfume so that people could smell better. Now, ethics and laws require that the use of animals in science must be justified according to issues that are essential for human survival again another rationalization for why we abuse animals.
There are now strict laws on hunting and poaching and most countries do see the spoilage of animal carcasses left in traps, because the poor animal was unable to escape as cruel and inhumane. Some animals have been known to chew their own foot off to try and get out of the traps and save themselves from starvation. These animals were the ones left behind by the trappers, while others we taken simply for their fur so that wealthy people could wear fur hats and fur coats.
Most countries have banned the practice of killing animals for their fur or other body simply to use for cosmetic reasons. Still, hunting for animals for fashion reasons go on in many places. For example, elephants are hunted and killed for the ivory contained in their tusks. Again, humans who practice these atrocities feel they are justified in doing so; there is a market out there for animal products and they are going to maximize on it.
We know the terrible puppy mills where the animals are starved, neglected, and left to lie in their own waste. When the animals are finally rescued, many of them have to be put down. Horses are left in pastures or on frozen land to waste away and die. Their owners sometimes use the inability to feed them as their excuse. What happened to selling them, giving them away, or calling the local animal shelter where they can be properly cared for?
Of course we have all heard about the Michael Vick incident where he was found guilty of having pit bulls fight to the death and those that did not want to fight were electrocuted and otherwise abused. Dogfights and cockfights have been going on for centuries and people make a sport of it.
Reasons for animal abuse
As we have seen above, people justify animal abuse to survive.
They justify animal abuse for the betterment of humankind through science.
They justify animal abuse for profit.
They justify abusing animals for entertainment and the profit associated with it.
They justify breeding animals in puppy mills as a business, yet they neglect to properly take care of them.
They justify abusing animals because of poverty leading to starvation of the animals and neglect.
Other reasons include dominance
We can over power an animal and for some people this is a thrill. Many people who dominate animals also dominate the humans in their lives as well. On the other hand, there will always be the people who feel very inadequate and insignificant in their lives and who take it out on their animals. A person may not be able to stand up to his or her boss, so he or she comes home and kicks the dog instead.
You have the sadistic people who just enjoy inflicting pain. These people often start as children and end up as adult serial killers.
You have also the people who have sex with animals sometimes because they cannot have a normal sexual relationship with another human being.
Some animals such as rats or insects are thought of as vermin and the rationalization for some people is that they can abuse them in any way they please, when there are more human ways to get rid of the problem.
Some people do not even know they are abusing animals. Take the example of an elderly woman who lives alone in small apartment with 17 cats. She loves her animals. She does not realize they are not thriving in a closed environment like that. Cats are territorial and they need places to call their own. These cats often do not have a clean litter box and urinate and defecate all over. The house smells bad and even the health of the elderly woman is at jeopardy over this.
Then there are the abusers who just do not care. In their eyes animals do not have rights, they don’t need to be cared for. If they disobey in any way they deserve to be punished.
Quebec will be hiring new inspectors to be part of a task force to help shutdown the puppy mills. This is but one attempt to stop animal abuse.
As a concerned citizen you can report animal abuse to the City of Montreal tel: 311.
You can also contact the SPCA, or remind your friends and neighbours if they no longer can care for an animal to take it to there.
Le Berger Blanc