Animal cruelty has been defined as the act of intentional and inhumane harm on animals through the act of physical abuse or maltreatment, yet it is often the case that individuals who have been found guilty of such acts, are left off with nothing more than a slap on the wrist or a fine and are never truly sentenced in the same way as if they had committed a similar act on a human being.
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The reason behind this is quite simple, while society and the court systems view animal cruelty as a socially irreprehensible behavior due to the supposed ethical and moral responsibilities humans have as a “superior” species, the entire human race is basically responsible for the murder of millions of animals on a daily basis.
The murder is conducted by means of the vast enterprises that have been put into place to feed humanities insatiable appetite for beef, pork, lamb, venison, and fish. Since the ultimate act of animal cruelty is to kill a creature, it becomes quite evident that processes required to sustain human society and animal cruelty go hand in hand.
Yet what must be understood is that not all forms of animal cruelty are a necessary act to sustain humanity’s continued survival. This is actually one of the main reasons why laws regarding animal cruelty are often vague and have such light sentences; to enforce stricter forms of “humane” treatment of animals means to delve into the “hidden” acts of animal cruelty that society condones due to is overall necessity.
Some activist groups such as Green Peace and PETA have tried changing the way in which society views the necessity of killing animals for food but the fact remains that they are fighting a losing battle since it is impossible to stop society from eating a staple that has been part of the human diet for the past thousand years.
It must be noted though that not all forms of animal cruelty are necessary; for example, pouring boiling water over a young puppy to discourage certain types of behavior, kicking and punching a cat for enjoyment, sitting on top of a young rabbit just to see what will happen or letting a dog starve to death are but a few examples of needless cruelty that has nothing to do with feeding humanity but is more in line with acts related to sadism and socially frowned upon behavior.
These acts can be considered as precursors to socially destabilizing behavior which, if remained unchecked, could lead to even greater acts of irreprehensible behavior which, in their turn, can culminate in the ultimate action of torturing and killing a person “for the fun of it”. It is due to the fact that this paper stresses that actions related to the needless and non-progressive (doesn’t help society in any way, shape or form) act of animal cruelty should be considered a felony with the appropriate amount of incarceration put into effect.
By doing so, not only does this discourage the act itself but it prevents individuals that enjoy such activities, to be closely monitored within a controlled environment in order to determine whether they are a danger to both themselves and society. It is expected that should such actions be implemented, the number of cases in relation to animal cruelty will drop significantly, and thus should result in the promotion of an ethos that encourages treating animals with the dignity and respect they deserve.