Animal Cruelty and Human Violence - Is there a link
By Vincent Ciulla
English 102: Section 11432
In the world we live in today with so much in the news and media, we don't talk a lot about how animal cruelty and human violence are linked. We see violence every day in person and on the news. People who commit animal cruelty or human violence should be held accountable for their actions. There should be increased protection for violators, avenues on how to recognize and respond to cases of suspected animal cruelty and determining what the link is between animal cruelty and human violence.
With so much violence and chaos being seen daily, there should be increased protection for violators that commit animal cruelty or human violence. Something must be done to stop people from hurting animals and humans alike. There are many people that believe that animals should have the right not to be abused. "Activists argue that all creatures have a right to live free from pain and exploitation and that humans should give animals needs greater consideration" (Karaim). If animals were given great consideration like humans are, maybe people would stop and think before abusing an animal. Some even believe that animals shouldn't have rights like humans. "They reject the notions that animals should have rights and that people have no right to use animals for the benefit of humankind' (Karaim).
Animals give us love and attention. They only harm if they are harmed and some animals even when they are harmed do nothing but crawl into a corner and shake out of fear. Animals should have similar rights to those of humans. Though some say that animals don't have higher thought process like humans do, they still shouldn't be abused. "Critics of the movement say it ignores meaningful differences between humans and animals, including the higher thought processes and ability to make moral choices" (Karaim). How anyone could look at an animal and feel the need to hurt it, baffles the minds of many. Same goes for someone being able to hurt their child. It makes one wonder what goes through someone's mind when they lash out and hurt an animal or a human. There has been research done that has shown a connection between animal and human violence.
"Over the last few decades, research studies and statistics have revealed the connection between animal abuse and interpersonal violence" (Garber). These research studies should make one stop and consider that when someone sees something horrible when they are young, is it not possible that this could have an affect on their phycological mind set as they grow and become adults. There is no real proof that if a child witnesses something awful, that it will scar them for life and they will turn to the dark side as adults and harm not only animals, but humans too. Though, we see plenty of cases on the news and social media that would at least get one to think that there might be a connection. There is help there. There are ways to recognize and things one should know when they suspect animal or human violence.
Veterinarians see horrible animal abuse more than a typical person does daily. There are many ways to recognize and respond to suspected animal cruelty or human violence? If you see someone being abused or an animal being hurt, call the police. Get someone's attention. Make it known that someone or an animal is being hurt. Veterinarians should be considered like their counterpart doctor's that deal with human violence. "The identifications of a "battered pet's syndrome", which put the veterinary profession on a parallel footing with its counterparts in human medicine who respond to battered children" (Arkow). With what veterinarian's witness, one would think their hearts break for these poor animals that grace their doorsteps daily that are abused. They bring most of these animals back to living normal lives and feeling love again. They should be appreciated for all that they do. There have been several amended laws to help define what a veterinarian should and should not be responsible for when it comes to animal abuse. "Several nations have amended these policies and legislation to define responsibilities and responses of a veterinarian" (Arkow). The word of a veterinarian should matter just as much as a doctor's word. Their thoughts on an animal should allow them to not release an animal they feel is being abused back to its owner. Owner's that abuse their animals should face heavier criminal punishments, just like humans face that abuse other humans.
Because so much research has been done to show that there might be a link between animal cruelty and human violence, one should take pause that a link exists in the first place. There have been research studies done that show a child that witness's animal cruelty a lot when they are young might have a predictor of later in life showing violence against humans. "Significance of childhood cruelty to animals as a predictor of later violence toward humans" (Dadds). As a child we learn from our environment. We learn from watching other humans. We go to school to learn how to become young ladies and men. What school doesn't teach us; we learn from other humans. Hanging with the wrong people, can cause us to make wrong decisions in life and think it is ok to cause violence against other humans and animals. Poor choices in life can lead someone down a dark path and without help, they do not see the harm they are causing as a problem. We all have moments that we get angry. We may throw things across the room. We may scream and yell. These are normal behaviors. When someone chooses to take that anger out on an animal or another human is when they are choosing the dark path or the wrong path to go down. Growing up we might have brothers and sisters that we idolize and when they make poor choices, we want so badly to be like them, that we make the same choices and suffer the punishments that go with our choice.
Just because we want to be like our older siblings, doesn't mean that the choice they make are the right ones. Being violent towards animals or other humans is the wrong path to take. It leads to a continued life of bad choices. Taking ones anger out on animals or other humans is a choice and research has been done to show a link between those choices and abuse towards animals and humans.
Animal cruelty and human violence do hold hands. "ASU professor Christina Risley-Curtiss says animal cruelty is often a mechanism for kids to take out anger on their own abuse and is an early indicator of a child who's in trouble" (Service). When a child is abused and they do not have anyone to confide in or feel that there is no one that will help them or can help them, they tend to take their anger out on others. Children that feel this type of pain do not know what to do. They may be told by their abusers that no one will help them and if they say anything, they will suffer more pain and fear. They do not know what to do with all the rage that builds up inside them from being abused. So, they take it out on other humans or animals. Child cruelty towards animals has come to light more recently and has been said to be a slow growing phenomenon.
This topic has become of interest to many people. "The phenomenon of childhood cruelty toward animals has slowly emerged as a topic of scientific interest for many reason" (Dadds). Scientists find interest in this topic, because we have seen this type of abuse for many decades, but it doesn't seem to stop. The laws currently in place do not seem to stop anyone from committing crimes against humans or animals. People joke after they commit these crimes and do not seem to show any type of emotion that a normal person would should if they hurt someone or an animal. These issues are not going away. They just keep happening and this problem keeps growing. Maybe corporal punishment should be brought back into law. Maybe people would stop and think before committing a crime of any kind if they knew they would suffer the same punishment that they committed towards an animal or human. Is it possible that these crimes against humans and animals stem from childhood trauma? No one really knows, but research studies are showing and coming to light they might prove there is a link between the two.
Children are sweet and innocent just like animals are. Some children do not grow up with a Mother and Father who teach them right from wrong. They grown up with only one parent and sometimes that one parent does not teach the child the difference between right and wrong and allow them to do whatever they want. Usually these children grown up fighting their solo parent because the parent does not know what to do. Sometimes these children have behavioral problems and end up being bullies. They take their anger out on others and animals. "Hypothesized links between cruelty to animals and cruelty to humans is currently a topical and important issue" (Dadds). This issue is very important, and people need to think about the links between these two topics. Children learn from what they see, and some believe that witnesses horrible things or being abused as a child will only lead that child to grown up to commit the same violence against others or animals that they suffered. Just because a child grows up in a bad environment though, does not mean that they will grow up to become serial killers or hurt animals or humans.
Just because someone grows up being abused and witnessing animal or human violence, does not mean that they will grow up and become serial killers. Just because a child might be subject to watching horror movies as a child, does not mean that they will grow up and commit violence against humans or animals. It is a choice, but children that grown up in bad environments, do not know the difference unless they are taught the difference. "Many people are under the misguided belief that serial killers are the only ones who are cruel to animals, and that is simply not true" (Service). Being a serial killer is also a choice. After all the research that has been done on serial killers, no one knows why they chose to commit violence against others. If you dig deep into a serial killer background, it has been found that most of them were abused as children and so this must be why they are serial killers. "Deeply traumatic experiences, especially during childhood, can have an even deeper impact in adult life" (Nicola Davies). Though research has shown a link, one must question this topic simply because no one really knows how deep the abuse was. They were not there to witness the abuse or know how the child reacted to the abuse. They only know that they are now a serial killer and hurt others or animals. We just make a judgment without really knowing all the facts. The question has been asked if serial killers are born or made. No one really knows the answer. It just comes back to a choice.
We all make choice every day. What are we going to wear today? What are we going to have for lunch? There are some that make the choice to hurt animals or other humans. There are some that choose to create chaos. There are even some that get away with it. Karma is said to come back ten-fold. Any choice that is made should be a good choice. Bad choice will only get you in trouble in the end. Karma will find you. If you choose to hurt someone or an animal, karma will find you and give you what you deserve. The funny thing is that those that commit these types of bad choices, commit them out of a choice, and then get caught and question why they are being treated this way. They do not see or understand that what they have done is bad. This is sad and cruel in its own way. If only they had been taught the difference between right and wrong, maybe they would have made better choices.
As a community we need to come together and understand there is a link between animal cruelty and human violence. One cannot deny the research that has been done and the studies that have been completed that show a link. Though it is a choice someone make to either be good or bad, witnessing horrible things as a child can have an affect on someone as they grown up to become an adult. This does not mean that someone will become a serial killer, however, studies show that having been abused or witnessed animal cruelty as a child can influence someone as an adult. Parents need to pay close attention to their children and teach right from wrong. Help them see that treating others and animals in a good way is way better than treating others or animals poorly. Choose to be a good person not a bad person. It does all come down to a choice. Life is a choice. Deciding how you treat people is a choice. Deciding how you treat animals is a choice. Regardless of a link between the two, you as a human choose the path you go down in life. Choose the right path. Be a good person.
Categories for a stronger paper:
I feel that maybe I fall a little week on the persuasive part of my arguments. Maybe taking a little more time to really focus on my topics would help me understand on a deeper level and my arguments would come across to the audience in a better light of understanding. I could also probably be a little more descriptive in my writing. It is hard because I am a free writer and tend to write from a single person perspective. I am working on that and this class has helped. I also feel that I could be more expository in my writing. Maybe take more time to describe my topics more thoroughly so that the audience understands the points I am trying to get across.Works Cited
Arkow, Phil. "Recognizing and responding to cases of suspected animal cruelty, abuse, and neglect: what the veterinarian needs to know." Veterniary Medicine: Research and Reports (2015)
Dadds, Mark r., Turner, Cynthia M., McAloon, John. "Development Links between Crulety to Animals and Human Violence." Auustralian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology (2002)
Garber, Olivia. "Animal abuse and domestic violence: why the connection justifies increased protection." The University of Memphis Law Review (2016)
Karaim, Reed. "Protecting Animals." Should they have rights similar to those of humans? (2018): Vol 28, Issue 25. Web.
Nicola Davies, PHD. From Abused Child to Serial Killer: Investigating Nature vs Nurture in Methods of Murder. 26 June 2018. 28 August 2019
Service, States News. "LECTURE LINKS ANIMAL CRUELTY AND HUMAN VIOLENCE." States News Service (2011). Web.