Early into human existence and even as late as the early 1900s, humans saw every other living organism as inferior. As such, humans classified the presence of other living organisms as existing solely for human benefit and exploration. In turn, this led to the use of other organisms, animals alike, for various scientific experiments, among others.
Precisely, humans regarded animals as property – technically inanimate – and handled them without regard. They merely viewed them for use as food, entertainment, clothing, and beasts. As such, humans consistently maimed and killed these animals, all in pursuit of personal exploration.
However, in the 1960s, the idea of animal rights became prominent. It advocated that animal cruelty is wrong as animals have a right to the ownership of their existence. As such, it was necessary to accord animals specific interests like the right to be free from cruelty and suffering.
Similarly, in recent times, this idea has attracted considerable attention, with various organizations springing up to stand against animal cruelty. In light of this, this essay joins the conversation and establishes that animal cruelty is wrong.
The concept of animal cruelty connotes a wide range of actions that are harmful to animals. It included omissions causing neglect and actions such as malicious killing. Even more, it includes intentional neglect, such as deliberately withholding food, shelter, water, veterinary care, or socialization from an animal. It also covers actions such as maiming, mutilating, and torturing an animal.
Precisely they are actions that harm, terrorize, and scare animals. Also, animal abuse cases may occur in various forms, namely animal abuse, animal neglect, animal exploitation, hoarding, and animal testing. (Sentient Media)
A significant form that animal cruelty can take is animal abuse. This involves the intentional infliction of harm on an animal. For instance, a typical instance of animal abuse involves humans lashing out at animals after experiencing an unfavourable occurrence. It usually occurs in homes, and as such, it is quite hard to identify. (Sentient Media)
Another practice that constitutes a form of animal cruelty is animal neglect. This usually occurs due to ignorance, inadequate understanding of animal care, or disinterest. For instance, an animal owner failing to take an injured animal to the veterinarian either due to self-care or intention to avoid more cost is a vivid example. These various actions then usually result in malnutrition, dehydration, and diseases, which may lead to the animal’s death. (Sentient Media)
Organized Cruelty or Animal Exploitation
Organized cruelty is another angle through which animal cruelty can occur. This comes from the feeling of entitlement and full ownership of an animal’s essence. It then involves using animals without regard as well as consideration of animals merely for personal benefits and monetary gains. For instance, the use of animals as a sport in games like dogfighting and cockfighting. (Sentient Media)
Animal cruelty may also take the form of hoarding. This is a situation whereby an individual houses more animals than they can cater to. Precisely, it involves the inability of a caregiver to discharge its obligation of care due to having more animals than they can cater for. Acts that fall under this category are viewed as mental or social issues. (HSUS)
This is among the longstanding and pronounced forms of animal cruelty there is. It generally involves using animals as test subjects for scientific experiments. Usually, these animals experience varying side effects that can result in physical defects, among others. They are also exposed to various substances and chemicals that make their condition of living deplorable. (Sentient Media)
Noteworthy, animal cruelty spread across all economic and social boundaries and is common in urban and rural areas. Also, significant animal victims include dogs, cats, livestock, and horses. Again, demographically, statistics show that men aged less than 3o engage more in the intentional abuse of animals. Alternatively, statistics show that women aged above 6o engage more in hoarding. (HSUS)
Similarly, animal cruelty is closely associated with various other violence and crimes against humanity. Usually, people who engage in child and spouse abuse also engage in animal abuse. (HSUS)
Why Animal Cruelty is Wrong
Although the world sometimes condones the acts of animal cruelty, it is without a doubt wrong.
This is because it is wrong to inflict any form of suffering on living creatures, especially intentionally. Living creatures are programmed to feel pain, experience fear, and comprehend discomfort naturally. This, in turn, means they are capable of suffering from inordinate actions, unlike objects. As such, since humans – higher animals – try as much as possible to avoid discomfort themselves, it is only proper that they do not inflict such discomfort on animals. (HSUS)
Even more, it is premised on the wrong notion that animals are merely a form of property that humans should exploit for personal gains. This is far-fetched considering existing cultural traditions across various climes that accord to animals some form of right and essence. For instance, Jainism, Hinduism, Taoism, Buddhism, Animism, and Shintoism are popular traditions that provide a background for the recognition of animal rights.
In the same vein, looking more broadly into animal cruelty, it results in the death of animals. In turn, this can create an extinct species when practised in mass. This is already predominant today, where there are already extinct and endangered animal species due to indiscriminate hunting and exploitation. Without a doubt, an activity that threatens a whole species is definitely wrong.
Today, an animal gets abused every 60 seconds with this predominance prevalent across all climes, including the supposed advanced cultures. These actions take various forms ranging from hoarding to general neglect and organized cruelty, among others. In turn, sentient animals experience pain, among other feelings of desperation and fear. Without a doubt, these are actions that are worrisome and, as such, should be prohibited.
Unfortunately, while the fact that animal cruelty is wrong is prevalent, actions aimed at ending it have not been practical. As such, legislators must take action and enact laws to prohibit and punish animal cruelty. In the same vein, it is expedient to create awareness to ensure that people recognize the wrong in animal cruelty.