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Animal Cruelty, Its Causes and Impacts Research Paper

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Updated: Aug 20th, 2019

Research has proved that animal cruelty has been on the rise for the last two decades due to the increase of human population globally. The competition between animals and human beings for survival has influenced animal cruelty. In most cases, animals are trained through intimidation as they are severely beaten up like they don’t have feelings. A good example is presented in animals performing in circuses like the elephants that spend close to 23 hours every day in chains.

American scientists subject animals into dangerous complications while they use them to test new inventions especially in the medical arena. Like 25 million vertebrates in America are used to perform medical tests per year (Lockwood, 1998). Various researches indicate an increased rate in animal cruelty thus necessitating the need for viable measures to be taken accordingly by the relevant authorities.

Literature Review

In this paper I will discuss the different cause’s animal cruelty and their impacts on social, culture as well as environment. Animal cruelty is an ethical question as well as being of potential economic concern. This will be deliberated upon in this paper to determine how cruelty affects the economic growth and undermines ethical standards. In the body also I will be tackling and providing evidences concerning general causes of animal cruelty.

In the second part of the body, I will be more specific on the effects of animal cruelty in respect to ethics. I will base my argument on the number of unnecessary deaths in animal parks and reserves. I will show the dangers of neglecting animals including the most prevalent one where extinction can be a possible result.

Other general effects of animal cruelty will also feature in my discussion. The third part of my research involves solutions and recommendations to address the issues of animal cruelty. I will split my recommendations into social, cultural, environmental and ethical solutions to solve the issue. I will also offer legal solutions that can be used to deal with this issue.

Socio-cultural and environmental causes of animal cruelty

Animal cruelty includes every aspect of human behaviors that have a negative impact on animals or threaten the life and wellbeing of an animal. This encompasses intentional and unintentional behaviors that affect the animals. Human activities most of the time undermine the harmonious existence of animals in so many aspects.

Animal cruelty can be described as physically causing harm to an animal or deprive an animal of the basics needs such as food, water, shelter the freedom to interact with other animals that is animal socialization and subjecting an animal to torture ( Ingrid, 1999). Other ways through which animal cruelty can take effect are when animals are denied veterinary care. Animal cruelty has been categorized as a form of disorder and unstable behavior seen in people who have been subjected to violence.

Some of the abuses animals are subjected to include dog fighting and cock fighting. Animals are subjected to painful identification marks which are put using extremely hot metals on the surface of their bodies. This is done without a pain relievers or anesthesia. Animal cruelty is seen especially while an animal is being taken to the slaughter house. If the animal is injure on the way or it becomes tired, they ear bitten up and moved unassisted due to the fact that they are headed to death.

Other abuses included breading animals for food consumption. A good example is that of broiler chicken that are raised to grow fat through genetic modifications. This is done not considering the effects it has on the birds and animals generally but with the selfish human ambition to impress buyers. Electric cattle prods have been in use for a long time now. This is an electric gadget that used to induce an electric shock on cattle to make them move.

This gadget transmits electric currents on the animal’s body and even though the voltage is very low to kill, it is enough to cause pain on the animal. Social causes of cruelty are the most reported forms of animal cruelty. People with mental disorders are mostly prone to mishandling animals though most of time unknowingly. This may include causing harm to the animal without really intending to do so.

For example, due to mental inability to weigh and reason out, a mentally challenged person may chain his or her pet dog with a very short chain. What the person does not understand is the fact that the dog needs to move freely around the compound. This kind of behavior is quit cruel and unfair to the pet.

Immaturity is another cause of cruelty where by children goes around throwing stones at animals on the way. Small boys are especially notorious with this behavior. Whenever a child sees a strolling dog or cat for that matter, the first thing that goes into their minds is to pick a stone and chase the animal away.

However there are other individuals who will intentionally cause harm for various reasons with the cruelest one being to derive satisfaction. The most vulnerable animals are the small domesticated animals which most of the times cannot defend themselves. Most of these offenders just enjoy the feeling of dominance hence they keep on harming the animals. With the current increase in population, there has been mounting pressure on land.

Humans are pushing away animals from their habitats due to lack or limited space for human existence. The human race is encroaching into land set out to host wild animals. The population of wild animals is also growing with their land growing smaller due to human encroachment.

This is also mounting pressure on the animal’s existence since they too are growing in numbers. In the process of encroachment, humans are destroying animals shelter and to some extent sources of food (Matas, 2008). This is cruelty and if allowed to go on it will pose a very negative effect to the existence and survival of wild animals. Domesticated animals as well are living in difficult conditions that do not favor their wellbeing at all costs.

Most of the domesticated animals include dogs, cats, chicken, cattle, goats and many others. These animals really require space to play and exercise in an open air. But instead, they are confined in small structured holding where they not even play or move around. This limits and infringes their rights as animals. Some extreme conditions are that the structures used to hold the animals are not well taken care of in terms of decency and cleanliness.

Most of them are unventilated dark places in the back yards where no living thing can confidently survive. In the event that an animal gets sick or feels unwell, medical attention is not easily accorded and sometimes the animal might even die out of an illness that could have been otherwise dealt with. However, animal credulity is not always intentional and in some instances, it happens due to economic factors that are beyond the owner’s ability to solve.

In a situation where an individual owns a pet but he or she cannot afford to provide the medical attention and nutrition needs of the dog, then cruelty may occur though it would be beyond the owner’s ability to address the issue. This is most likely to be seen in the third world countries where the people are not financially capable of financing some the required rights of an animal.

Veterinary services are normally very expensive and may be out of reach to many people in the third world countries. Poverty levels in these countries cannot allow an owner of a pet to even think about thee pets health needs as he or she has enough already to think about with regards to his or her financial needs that are even hard for him.

Effects of animal cruelty with special focus on the ethical effects

Animal cruelty has many adverse effects on both the environment and human existence. Focusing mostly on ethical effects, I will base my focus on the use of animals in general. My fundamental objection to the use of animals is influenced by the rampant genetic modification of animals to achieve scientific discoveries.

I specially target this practice considering the fact that the use of animals for such practices contravenes the whole idea of ethics in general not to mention professional and social ethics. Animals just like humans have interests and reasons to live. Compromising the lives of animals to satisfy human interests is just unethical and cruel in all angle of justification. I do not believe that human interests should be put above the interests of animals.

Causing animal’s pain is unacceptable and very cruel to even think about. Genetic modification has been the worst activity that has seen the suffering of animals at the expense of human interest. Genetic modification is unnatural way of altering the DNA formula in an individual living thing. With the widely accepted reasoning that justifies the DNA modification of animals to achieve solutions to human problems, there is one major setback; the results and long-term effects of the modification to the modified animal.

The harm that the modified animal will be exposed to is the main concern of ethics. Changing the genetic makeup of an animal goes as far as to replicate the alterations to its progeny and so on and so forth. This may even give rise to totally different species’ characteristics changing the whole identity of the animal. This might cause other accrued effects that may have global effects. Genetic engineering undermines the integrity of animals with the practice causing welfare problems in animals.

Techniques used to genetically modified animals are to greater extents harmful to the animals. This includes gene deletion which alters the general characteristics of an animal. Animal cruelty has many negative effects on human the animals themselves. Causing injury to animals can adversely affect the animal by increasing aggression (Pierce, 2007).

A dog for example that has been mistreated becomes more aggressive and unfriendly to people due to fear. This makes the animal very hostile and hence affecting its normal welfare.

By physically assaulting animals, several harms can occur; the animal may lose reproductive fitness if its reproductive parts are tampered with during the assault, the animal might develop digestive malfunctioning and nutrition disorders due to loss desire for food, physically assaulting an animal can also result into increased stress hormones in the animal as well as increased heart rate and consequently blood pressure goes up.

Although more than 42 states have in recent times prepared some systems to define animal abuse crimes, anti-cruelty laws are varying extensively from state to state. In the meantime, most public prosecutors are reluctant to charge or impeach animal cruelty offenses equated to other crimes, with the exception of situations where the crimes are extreme.

The unwillingness emanates from a range of aspects comprising of real or apparent inadequate means to do so; inexperienced staff; partial or substandard investigations; pressure from the public to pay attention on other crimes; and prejudice against taking animal exploitation seriously as a violent crime.

Solutions and Recommendations to animal cruelty problems

Social education on how to treat and handle animals with care should be incorporated in schools and strict measures should be taken to ensure that students uphold them. The authorities should provide the public with toll free numbers for reporting cases of animal cruelty. Most of the time people can see offenders carry out a crime but people do not know what cause of action they can take in regards to reporting the felony.

Sometimes an offender is mistreating his or her own pet but no one can ask them to stop. This can be averted if the relevant authorities can offer help by providing the public with ways and means through which the public can reach them with ease. The public can be more alert and vigilant to watch around the neighborhood for such law offenders. Animal cruelty in most circumstances happens because nobody is watching around and stopping offender.

It is evident even on the streets you can see children throwing stone on a dog and no body passing by can stop them of caution them let alone calling the relevant authorities. Some of the abuses animals are subjected to include dog fighting and cock fighting. Animals are subjected to painful identification marks which are put using extremely hot metals on the surface of their bodies (Weisner & Sheard1993).

This is done without a pain relievers or anesthesia. Animal cruelty is seen especially while an animal is being taken to the slaughter house. If the animal is injure on the way or it becomes tired, they ear bitten up and moved unassisted due to the fact that they are headed to death. Other abuses included breading animals for food consumption. A good example is that of broiler chicken that are raised to grow fat through genetic modifications.

This is done not considering the effects it has on the birds and animals generally but with the selfish human ambition to impress buyers. Electric cattle prods have been in use for a long time now. This is an electric gadget that used to induce an electric shock on cattle to make them move (Weisner & Sheard1993). This gadget transmits electric currents on the animal’s body and even though the voltage is very low to kill, it is enough to cause pain on the animal.

Social causes of cruelty are the most reported forms of animal cruelty. People with mental disorders are mostly prone to mishandling animals though most of time unknowingly. This may include causing harm to the animal without really intending to do so. For example, due to mental inability to weigh and reason out, a mentally challenged person may chain his or her pet dog with a very short chain. What the person does not understand is the fact that the dog needs to move freely around the compound (Reimer, 2007).

This kind of behavior is quit cruel and unfair to the pet. Immaturity is another cause of cruelty where by children go around throwing stones at animals on the way. Small boys are especially notorious with this behavior. Whenever a child sees a strolling dog or cat for that matter, the first thing that goes into their minds is to pick a stone and chase the animal away. However there are other individuals who will intentionally cause harm for various reasons with the cruelest one being to derive satisfaction.

The most vulnerable animals are the small domesticated animals which most of the times cannot defend themselves. Most of these offenders just enjoy the feeling of dominance hence they keep on harming the animals. With the current increase in population, there has been mounting pressure on land. Humans are pushing away animals from their habitats due to lack or limited space for human existence. The human race is encroaching into land set out to host wild animals.

The population of wild animals is also growing with their land growing smaller due to human encroachment. This is also mounting pressure on the animal’s existence since they too are growing in numbers. In the process of encroachment, humans are destroying animals shelter and to some extent sources of food. This is cruelty and if allowed to go on it will pose a very negative effect to the existence and survival of wild animals.

Domesticated animals as well are living in difficult conditions that do not favor their wellbeing at all costs. Most of the domesticated animals include dogs, cats, chicken, cattle, goats and many others. These animals really require space to play and exercise in an open air. But instead, they are confined in small structured holding where they not even play or move around.

This limits and infringes their rights as animals. Some extreme conditions are that the structures used to hold the animals are not well taken care of in terms of decency and cleanliness (Gruen, 2011). Most of them are unventilated dark places in the back yards where no living thing can confidently survive. In the event that an animal gets sick or feels unwell, medical attention is not easily accorded and sometimes the animal might even die out of an illness that could have been otherwise dealt with.

However, animal credulity is not always intentional and in some instances, it happens due to economic factors that are beyond the owner’s ability to solve. In a situation where an individual owns a pet but he or she cannot afford to provide the medical attention and nutrition needs of the dog, then cruelty may occur though it would be beyond the owner’s ability to address the issue. This is most likely to be seen in the third world countries where the people are not financially capable of financing some the required rights of an animal.

Veterinary services are normally very expensive and may be out of reach to many people in the third world countries. Poverty levels in these countries cannot allow an owner of a pet to even think about thee pets health needs as he or she has enough already to think about with regards to his or her financial needs that are even hard for him.

Considering the numerous scientific studies, it is imperative to note that emotional harm actually hurts more than the physical harm does and this is true also to animals as well. Animal cruelty has many adverse effects on both the environment and human existence. Focusing mostly on ethical effects, I will base my focus on the use of animals in general.

My fundamental objection to the use of animals is influenced by the rampant genetic modification of animals to achieve scientific discoveries. I specially target this practice considering the fact that the use of animals for such practices contravenes the whole idea of ethics in general not to mention professional and social ethics. Animals just like humans have interests and reasons to live. Compromising the lives of animals to satisfy human interests is just unethical and cruel in all angle of justification.

I do not believe that human interests should be put above the interests of animals. Causing animal’s pain is unacceptable and very cruel to even think about. Genetic modification has been the worst activity that has seen the suffering of animals at the expense of human interest. Genetic modification is unnatural way of altering the DNA formula in an individual living thing.

With the widely accepted reasoning that justifies the DNA modification of animals to achieve solutions to human problems, there is one major setback; the results and long-term effects of the modification to the modified animal. The harm that the modified animal will be exposed to is the main concern of ethics.

Changing the genetic makeup of an animal goes as far as to replicate the alterations to its progeny and so on and so forth. This may even give rise to totally different species’ characteristics changing the whole identity of the animal.

Social education on how to treat and handle animals with care should be incorporated in schools and strict measures should be taken to ensure that students uphold them.

References

Gruen, L. (2011). Ethics and animals: an introduction. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Ingrid, N. (1999). You can save the animals: 251 ways to stop thoughtless cruelty /Ingrid newkirk. Rocklin, CA: Prima publishing.

Lockwood, R. (1998). Cruelty to animals and interpersonal violence: readings in Research and application / edited by Randall Lockwood and frank R. ascione. West Lafayette, Ind: Purdue University Press.

Matas, R. (2008). Man found guilty of microwaving a cat. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Pierce, J. (2012, April24). Emotional Pain in Animals: An Invisible World of Hurt. Recognizing the psychological effects of animal abuse. Psychology today. Retrieved from : <>

Reimer, K. (2007). Cruelty. Cruelty to animals. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Weisner, B.P., & Sheard, N.M. (1993) maternal behavior in the rat. Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd.

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