Animal abuse has been around as long as animals have been around. It started out as not a big deal but as time goes on animal abuse has been growing at an alarming rate and it isn’t slowing down. It is often associated with the need to feel superior or better than something. It is also associated with the animals becoming food or clothes and has become so serious that it is now a felony. Animal abuse can come in a variety of forms from the government using cockroaches as spy machines to feeding fish fruit to make them taste better to killing baby seals to make seal skin slippers.
More often than not animals get abused because the abuser wants to feel power or superiority. Usually people want to feel strong so they pick on the little guy that can’t defend themselves which in most cases is the animal. Children in violent homes frequently participate in “pecking-order battering,” in which they may maim or kill an animal, the only member in the household more powerless than they are (Finkelstine, 2). The worst thing that a child could do is abuse or kill an animal and get away with it because chances are it won’t stop there. Accumulated through many years of research, studies show that a large number of the criminals associated with violence or abuse today started out with cases of animal abuse during their childhood or adolescence years. Children who abuse animals may be repeating behavior seen at home; like their parents, they too are reacting to anger and frustration through violence which is a very bad characteristic to obtain and could lead someone down a very dark path in life. There are many examples of how people abuse animals and they may not even think of it as animal abuse. For centuries, canaries were brought into coal mines with miners. If the canary was to die then that would alert the miners that there was a dangerous amount of carbon-monoxide in the air and the mine would be evacuated immediately (Finkelstine, 1). Everyone lives in a society where people and animals alike are dependent on each other, and if that trust is violated then it is a serious issue.
Animal abuse and animal cruelty has become a serious problem in the society today and there has been a great incline in animal abuse activity today. “A person who unnecessarily overloads, overdrives, torments, deprives of necessary substance or shelter, or unnecessary mutilates, or kills any animal, or causes the manner, commits animal cruelty, a misdemeanor of first degree, is punishable as provided in S. 775.082 or by a fine of not more than $5,000 or both.” (McDonald, 1). In some people’s minds, animal abusers do not get penalized as harshly as they deserve because some people look at animals as their friends and family. Although animals don’t have the same characteristics as humans, they are as much a part of society as humans are and there should be the same punishment for the mistreatment of animals as there is for mistreating humans. Animal cruelty, neglect, and abandonment laws are codified in every state. A complete listing of state statutes regarding animal abuse and cruelty can be found on the website of Michigan State University College of Law’s Animal Legal and Historical Center. Various state statutes denote international acts of animal cruelty as criminal misdemeanor of felony violations. In addition to state statutes, local counties and municipalities regulate animal cruelty, neglect and abandonment. (McDonald, 1). Beating, torturing, throwing, an animal from a throwing vehicle, maiming, burning, or repeatedly inflicting pain upon an animal can be classified as either felonies or misdemeanors in a state’s criminal code. Over the years animal abuse has become a growing problem and concern in society and in the world. Every year more and more cases of animal abuse accumulate and is rising at an alarming rate. Some people think the only way to stop it is by making more strict laws that prohibit it and they have done so. The abusers usually think of dogs as “lesser beings”, therefore they deserve less than adequate treatment than themselves. This is not the case for most other people because they might have a pet or an animal that they hold very close to their heart.
People may think that it’s okay to abuse animals if it’s for a good cause, or they may not even know that animal abuse is occurring. The truth is that there is no good cause or reason for animal abuse and it is frowned upon across the world. But people still do it and people still use the products of animal abuse regardless whether they know or not. Animals get used for experiments or for jobs that are too risky for humans or jobs that humans just don’t want to do. For example, “The United States is experimenting on cockroaches and beetles to see if they can make them spy machines. Their antennae are cut off and replaced with electrical wires to relay sound. An antennae is a sensitive limb. Imagine having both of your arms cut off and replaced with robot arms. That is what it would be like for us to go through that.”(Gandhi, 2). Another good example is, “The anti-personal landmine detection product development of Belgium, is using African giant pouched rats to help find land mines. Since starting the project in 2010, these animals have found 861 land mines, 1 cluster bomb, and 6216 small arms and ammunitions.”(Gandhi, 2). Aside from military or government use, there are examples of animal abuse in everyday affairs. People are holding fish captive and feeding them lemons and strawberries so that they taste less like fish and more like fruit when people are eating them. Also shrimp is now being cooked in a way that even after being boiled, they are still kept alive even until they reach the dinner table in which they are finally killed as they are being eaten. People are starting to buy new exotic things like seal skin slippers. What they may not know is that in order to make those slippers, hunters catch infant seals and kill them by bashing their heads in with a pickaxe. Maybe if people knew what was happening then they wouldn’t buy these products, much less allow this to happen any longer. There are many more cases and perhaps more extreme cases of animal abuse that keep occurring and not enough people know about them to try and stop it from happening. One thing that could help stop animal abuse is taking the matters public.
Animal abuse is not a book to be read by the number of chapters, it is a very serious issue and it will continue to get worse until people do something about it. In many societies animals are seen as equals to humans and that is how it should be. Animals have many amazing attributes and usually they are not used to the top of their ability, usually people think animals are just useless creatures that get in the way and that is wrong. Animals remain loyal through so much and people could learn a lot from studying animal behavior.