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Cruelty to Animals: Causes And Consequences

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Table of contents

  1. Some Background Information
  2. How and Why?
  3. Maybe This Isn’t a Big Issue?
  4. Conclusion
  5. Works Cited

Some Background Information

People all over the world abuse animals, But specifically in America, cruelty to animals is still being preformed despite being illegal in every state. Also, some states have worse punishments than others for certain types of cruelty to animals. It doesn’t matter if you just left your dog in the car while it was hot, this is still painful and will cause brain damage whether or not you were “directly” cruel to the dog or not. You could also have gone on vacation for a couple days and forgotten to get someone to feed your cat. Cats have very fast metabolisms, meaning even if you think it would be fine for the cat to live off of one can of cat food for two days, they can still lose a drastic amount of weight. Some people wouldn’t even suspect that doing things like this could be considered at least a Class A misdemeanor in some states.

In Kentucky, there are no restrictions on owning an animal, even if you have been convicted for cruelty in the past. There are also no punishments for sexual assault or protective orders on animals. Speaking of Kentucky, from worst to best, this is the worst state to be in for animal rights due to having the least amount of laws regarding animal abuse in all of America; Illinois being the best. Out of all 50 states, 43 will punish someone for abusing animals on first offense because of the zero tolerance policy, which is still not enough. Kentucky seems to only count cats and dogs as potential victims of tourturing and there are only two sub-sections of things the state would consider prosecutable. One stating the general actions that are considered animal cruelty, and the other making tourture look like it’s exclusive to only cats and dogs.

According to Stray Pet Advocacy, “Intentional infliction of pain of or subjection to extreme physical pain or injury, motivated by an intent to increase or prolong the pain of the animal” is only a Class A misdemeanor in Kentucky. But in Illinois, tourture of an animal is a Class 3 ​felony​ with an imprisonment of two to five yearrs. Inadequite owner duties alone on first defence is a Class B misdemeanor and will land you up to six months in jaill. Another thing about Illinois is that their Humane Treatment to Animals Act Although I’ve only talked about two states on the opposite sides of the spectrum, I think you get the idea of how different states perceive animal cruelty and how the problem won’t stop until the tourturing of animals in general (because some states only convice cruelty to dogs and cats) is seen more than a misdemeanor.

How and Why?

Enforcing laws can only do so much. People are still going to do what they want regardless. Educating offenders/potential offenders of animal cruelty could also help the situation - but not stop it completely, just as law enforcement. As I said before, laws can only so so much, so creating longer sentences and making fines larger could scare people into not not abusing animals in any way. If you allow people to do whatever, they will assume they can do whatever. That’s why laws exist, breaking laws seems to be the only reason some people won’t do certain things they want to do. It’s not always morals is caring about others that motivates someone to abide by laws.

Education can be the best way to reduce or eliminate animal cruelty, this should start early on in preschool or kindergarten. Children should be taught in school that animals have feelings, just like humans, but are unable to vocalize them the way we can. Children of a certain age should witness both good ​and​ bad living conditions of animals, whether it be through field trips to farms or video presentations to understand right and wrong. For example, when a child experiences how meat is prepared in some settings, that might be an eye-opener to future concerns such as careers and dietary restrictions.

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Based on information i’ve found on the RSPCA website, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, located in the United Kingdom, introduces common household pets to it’s Kinder Kids program to educate children on appropriate care. Again, this is not 100% deterent to stopping people for harming animals. An individual can have all the education they could get and still not care about an animal’s wellbeing; this is cognitive empathy. Emotional empathy would be the opposite of cognitive empathy, making it so you not only get what someone/something is going through, but care about it as well.

Overall, education seems like the most effective way to prevent cruelty to animals. With respect to the RSPCA, they are successfully introducing animals into households to improve a child’s empathy. Learning at a young age is very helpful to the individual’s development. That’s why we normally start preschool around the first few years of our lives because most of the education taught in preschool is the kind we need for the rest of our lives.

Maybe This Isn’t a Big Issue?

Surprisingly, not all slaughter houses are that bad. Free range produces healthier meat and less fat content, In contrast to feedlot livestock which are provided with a strict diet and no room to graze, producing fattier and unhealthier meat. For this reason, free range meat is proven to be higher in vitamin E and leaner from fats. Additionally, free range meat tastes better. From personal experience, farmed salmon are presented with a specific diet, in opposition to Atlantic wild salmon which are pumped with pesticides and hormones.

All things considered, slaughterhouses although inhumane, produce food with necessary proteins and vitamins to assit our ongoing biological diet development that may be more helpful than using supplements. Even though you can still get protein and vitamins from food that is not meat, those foods might not contain an ideal amount to keep you healthy. Sometimes, consuming a large abundance of certain foods containing the protein and vitamins you need isn’t that great for you either. The food can have a good amount of those supplements but maybe has high cholesterol or fat, therefore not really doing much better than just eating meat.


As been noted, inhumane treatment to animals should not be tolerated whether it be household pets or animals raised to be consumes. Laws have been designed to protect these creatures from tourture and exploitation.Under those circumstances, if stricter laws are emplaced, it might serve as a deterent to protect animal rights, increase fines and extend sentences in case of felony endangerment. My uncle in the 70’s would capture frogs and captivated them in mason jars full of concrete cement for entertainment as a child. I’m sure he had an idea of what the frogs were feeling due to that encounter but I don’t think it really mattered to him since at least he​ was enjoying it. If my uncle was educated with compassion against animals before he learned that doing this might be entertaining, he most likely would not have done what he had done. To further my cause, I would like to propose a bill requesting the enforcement of a more perennial barrier against animal cruelty in general. If we can do this, they could live in a much safer environment, along with people having healther choices in regards to food. In essence, laws are created in order to protect from tourture, maiming or mistreatment to animals; but those same laws are not stiff nor do they prevent ongoing infliction of harm.

Works Cited

  1. “Stray Pet Advocacy.” ​Stray Pet Advocacy​, 2010, ​
  2. “RSPCA.” ​The Largest Animal Welfare Charity in the UK​, ​
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Cruelty to Animals: Causes And Consequences. (2022, March 18). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 4, 2023, from
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