Flynn acknowledges animal cruelty is one of the most challenging issues that the contemporary society has to address (12). There is an increasing case of animal harassment which takes different forms for the benefit of human beings. Despite the fact that limited studies and literature is available to address this issue, reducing animal cruelty issues seems to pose substantial benefits to the survival of people (The Humane Society of the United States, 2). The aim of this research paper is to provide a detailed literature review regarding the issue of animal cruelty. The paper is divided into several parts. The first section gives an overview of animal cruelty with a definition of the entire term before seeking to describe different forms of animal cruelty.
The second section discusses factors that contribute to the occurrence of animal cruelty issues while the third part discusses overall proofs regarding this matter in the world with a brief history of animal cruelty to understand its origin and its current state. The fourth section presents scientific researches on the issue to prove its association with family abuses while the fifth section shades adequate light on the global significance of animals. Lastly, the paper discusses the impact of animal abuse, recommends solutions appropriate solutions to this issue and sums up with a definite conclusion.
An Overview of Animal Cruelty
Ascione avers that there are different perceptions regarding the definition of the term animal cruelty (3). A simple definition considers animal cruelty as either a thoughtful abuse or failing to take care of the animal. Many scholars use terms such as animal neglect or animal abuse and define animal cruelty as all forms of intentional inflictions that human beings exert on animals to cause harm of suffering regardless of whether the act violates the law (Krien, 12). To be more specific, animal cruelty can be the causation of injury or suffering on any animal by man for solid gains such as slaughtering animals for food, obtaining fur, and other valuable products. For instance, cruelty on animals by human beings often takes different forms.
Cruelty may encompass intentional and overt activities of violence towards animals, which is also accompanied by the neglecting animals and failing to provide for their welfare (Ascione, 4). Such form of cruelty entails denying them food, shelter and failing to treat animals when sick. Some forms of cruelty such as zoosadism involve the infliction of pain and suffering to animals for personal amusement. It is also critical to understand that animal cruelty is not limited to physical harm cases but can also extend to psychological damage which takes different forms such as torment, distress, or terror (Signal and Taylor, 3).
Recently, activists have stood up to oppose all forms of animal abuse and harassment (The Humane Society of the United States, 1). Most of the countries ranging from the developing to the developed nations have formulated critical laws that help in the fight against animal cruelty. Private firms and non-governmental animal rights organizations have also taken a central role in opposing this issue of public concern. There are several animal welfares acts all over the world that provides an appropriate definition of cruelty against animals and helps for identifying different examples of cruelty against animals (Signal and Taylor, 10). Examples of such cases include beating or torturing animals, transporting or confining animals in a manner that is unsuitable for its welfare and killing animals in a way that is inhumane.
History of Animal Cruelty
According to Flynn, the historical overview of animal cruelty issues dates back to the early 1800s when a plethora of animal rights organizations was formed (3). Most of these agencies played a critical role in the explication of the fundamental relationship that exists between human beings and the animals. Initially, people could not view animals as fellow organisms that required living. As a result, the cases of animal abuse characterized with incessant killing, slaughtering for food and sacrificial roles were rampant.
However, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals had already been established in 1866 to initiate the actual fight and protection of an animal from all forms of abuse. This organization played a critical role in passing new legislations meant to protect animals against inhumane treatment. Research indicates that the American Humane was the first team that began playing an important part in the promotion and nurturing of the first bond that was envisioned between animals and human beings (Signal and Taylor, 5). This organization operates as the largest animal activist group in the United States and functions to establish laws as well as fostering education through the promotion of animal rights.
Since then, the United States and the entire world continued to make major progress in the protection of animal against all form of cruelty (Ascione, 12). In 1966, the country passed the Animal Welfare Act, which has received seven amendments with most recent one done in 2008. This act provides and outlines all the standards of each and every animal in the United States, what forms the mistreatment of an animal, and the penalties incurred upon the abuse of animals. The formation of the Animal Legal Defence Fund in 1979 gave another milestone in this endless struggle. This fund functioned to protect and defend animals through the provision of free legal services to all the identified, reported, and documented cases of animal cruelty while establishing new laws and implementing those that were in existences (APRI, 3).
According to the Humane Society of the United States, a significant step in the world came through the 1980 establishment of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). PETA became the global largest animal rights group and worked tirelessly to provide animals with their rights through different actions including empowering communities through education, carrying out peaceful demonstrations as well as rescuing animals from all forms of planned abuse. The state of Oregon inception of the 1995 HB 3377 became nationally and globally recognized as the toughest animal cruelty and played a crucial role in making some actions regarding animal cruelty a felony (Ascione, 15).
In 2001, the formation of the Shelter Animal Resource Alliance in Eugene, Oregon helped in the prevention of animals from abuse by rescuing animals from shelters from euthanasia (APRI, 5). These efforts resulted in the prevention of 960 dogs from being killed in their shelters. Seemingly, the State of Oregon played a significant role in the protection of animals. The most recent action done in the state includes the 2013 inception of the HB 2783 which entails a reformed dog tethering law. This legislation stipulates the amount of time as well as the means by which someone can tie up a dog (Signal and Taylor, 12). The penalties for different crimes involving animal abuse were also reinforced in 2013 through the passing of the Omnibus Animal Welfare Bill in the state of Oregon.
Despite the fact most of the animal rights organization attained substantial success through their existence, they did not have a unified voice that could help in the promotion and strengthening of human movement (APRI, 4). In 1954, different delegates from 27 charitable organizations originating from 10 states attended the first forum o not only combine their efforts but also unite their missions towards animal protection. The first step of the meeting resulted in the formation of the American Humane.
Ascione adds that this organization began addressing one of its primary roles entailing the end of the inhumane treatment of farm animals as well as the deplorable environmental conditions which they were reared (20). This organization has remained the only non-profit entity with a strict dedication to ensuring the welfare of both animals and children. The group works with a vision of preventing abuse, cruelty, neglect, and exploitation of animals and children while ensuring that their interests and well-being are fully met as well as humanely guaranteed by a society that is not only aware but also caring (The Humane Society of the United States, 3).
Proofs of Animal Cruelty
PAWS aver that there is an extensive literature review that provides sufficient facts regarding the proofs and facts of human vindicated actions of cruelty against animals (3). The leading setback in the tests regarding animal cruelty is that such cases are not documented by federal or state agencies Unlike violent crimes against people, which makes it difficult to determine their frequency. Research indicate that neglect and animal cruelty cross all economic and social borders and media sources show that cruelty against animals is a dominant issue in both rural and urban regions (Signal and Taylor, 14). International cruelty shares a close association with other crimes such as violence against people.
The Humane Society of the United States surveys indicates that animal hoarding the most common reported form of animal cruelty with most of the people abusing animal being men under 30 (4). However, most of the individuals involved in animal hoarding are more likely to be over 60. Livestock, cats, dogs, and horses are the most commonly reported victims of cruelty. The 2011 research conducted in the United States regarding 1423 cases of animal cruelty involved identification of the animal species and had striking findings. The study results indicated that 70.1% of affected the animals abused were dogs, 20.9% were cats, while other animals formed 24.1% of those involved (PAWS, 2).
Additional undercover investigations have a fund that animal abuse flourishes in the factory farm industry (Signal and Taylor, 14). However, only the most shocking cases are identified, reported and documented due to the weak protections available for livestock regarding the state cruelty legislations. Historical circumstances indicate devastating attacks vindicated by people on animals. First, Albert DeSalvo murdered 13 women, trapped cats and dogs while shooting arrows at them in his youth while Jeffrey Dahmer, a renowned serial killer stabbed cats, dogs, frogs sticks (The Cruelty Connection, 16).
Dennis Rader, who was responsible for the terror killings of people in Kansas, documented that he had hanged a cat and a dog in his childhood chronological account. Research indicates that the deadly violence commonly reported in schools began by killing of animals (The Cruelty Connection, 13). As a result, high-school killers like Woodham, in Pearl, Mississippi, and Kip Kinkel in Springfield, Oregon tortured several animals.
Scientific Researches on Animal Cruelty
Different scholars have come out to address the issue of animal cruelty by using scientific research (Signal and Taylor, 23). These studies acknowledge animal cruelty as a hotly debatable issue and demonstrate a great correlation between animal cruelty and family abuses. A study carried out from 2001 to 2004 the Chicago Police Department showed a relationship between the two.
The study findings indicated that 65% of the victims charged with a crime had been arrested for having assaulted another person (The Cruelty Connection, 33). Another study demonstrated that 46 percent of the 36 convicted murders had committed acts of animal torture as adolescents. Similarly, seven cases involving school shootings that occurred across the United States from 1997 to 2001, all involved students had once committed different forms of animal cruelty.
Causes of Animal Cruelty
According to PAWS, there are numerous causes of animal cruelty (1). The first reason lies in scientific research conducted by peop...
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