The purpose of this paper is to provide valid avenues of and specific examples of animal abuse, and how our laws regarding animal brutality fall short of solving the widespread problem. This paper also indulges on ways we can begin to call for a change and fight for stronger laws to be created and enforced.
An animal is defined as a living, breathing creature. Although some are more advanced than others, many components of our ecosystem are generated by the basic actions of living organisms. The human species are also considered to be “animals”, so why do we subject other species that we are in such close harmony with to our wrath. We wage genocide on species who can’t revolt back, or beg for peace. How and why are laws not formulated to protect these dissimilar victims? We see countless scandals of animal cruelty and abuse in the news, it seems as though the plague bleeds into many niches of the United States. When we hear of these ethical violations, we become sad, and maybe even try to convince ourselves that it’s just a “rumor” and then we turn a blind eye. To no extent am I claiming that animals should be determined to have the same inalienable rights as humans, but with their pivotal aid to our survival, they should at the very least be treated with humanity and kindness. This paper examines the extent to which a lack of animal brutality laws allow for animal mistreatment and how sounder laws could save millions of animal lives.
The topic of hunting laws and methods is one that is prolonged and consistently altering. The hunting of animals has become a culture–a game. But to what extent can we allow for harmless animals to be persecuted in the name of fun? Not only are certain forms of hunting inhumane, but it also destroys migration patterns, families, and reproductive systems. Furthering the topic of unethical persecution by mentioning the fact that many animals are not killed upon being shot, but left to suffer (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, 2019). Some inhumane forms of “hunting” include cruel bludgeoning, sharp objects being penetrated into animals repeatedly, rendering animals paralyzed but still conscious, etc. To humans that preach humanity and compassion, this should automatically be an outcry to be solved with swiftness. One specific cruel form of hunting that sticks out to me, occurs during the commercial hunting of seals. Seals, who have shown no form of threat towards humans, are bludgeoned to near death, and then dragged across the ice (while still alive and very aware) with a pickaxe. After this whole fiasco, many seals are skinned ALIVE. The ONLY hunting standard that has been put in place regarding this malevolence, is that seals must be at least 18 months of age. This rule is put into place so they are not killing “pups,” but this rule is OFTEN disobeyed with no consequences to be bestowed. The mere fact that the malicious killing of animals in hoards is summed up to the term “commercial hunting” is in itself horrendous. The idea of cruel commercial seal hunting needs to be banned. Additionally facilitating the agony, in most cases, only the fur of this seal is utilized, and then the rest is disposed of and put to no further usage. A waste of precious life with no real means to their suffering.
The term “invasive species” is used to coin species that are not native to an area, due to their foreignness these species often do not have natural predators in their newfound home and then begin to reproduce without a limiting factor. This frequently results in the overpopulation of invasive species with consequences affecting indigenous species and ecosystems. Some invasive species have little effect on their foreign environment, other invasive species are detrimental to ecosystems. What motivated me to create a specific subsection for invasive species was a video I came across on a social media platform, the clip projected a focus onto iguanas in Florida. The Florida government has given citizens the to “humanely” kill iguanas if they come across them. This clip showed the ulterior side of these “humane” killings and showed humans beating iguanas with sandals, stepping/kicking them, hanging them upside down for laughs at the helpless iguanas. Many see these killings as necessary, but there is a flipside to this ideal. A flipside that has not been probed in depth. (Hoag, 2014, para.13) states “If you want to preserve species, then a lot of these nonnative species around the world can do that in the long run.” We have no right to condemn and brutally murder all non-indigenous species, after all, at one point we were once viewed as the invasive species. Along with governmental permission to kill these animals, guidelines and consequences for misconduct should have also been presented as well. A far outreach, but a stray as far as to eliminate the option of killing iguanas as a whole, should also be presented. The problem seen with iguanas is their large consumption of crops. There is a much more logical answer to this problem than blind murder, the creation of an iguana repellent. We did not decide to kill every crop-eating bug in our area to “save the crops,” we decided to create pesticides and insect repellents. So why would such a ridiculous solution of murder be presented in this situation, rather than giving room for scientific innovation to save the crops and iguanas?
Animal abuse in dairy farms and slaughterhouses is one of the most largely publicized animal abuse scandals. There are constant stories surfacing about how “animal-friendly” production corporations turn out to be anything but. These large corporations hone on mass production achieved at nearly impossible rates. With the human race, specifically the common American family consuming meat with every meal and grocery stores stocked with thousands of gallons, have you ever stopped and wondered how this rate is even fathomable. My eyes were opened to the true speed of (specifically) dairy production when a heavily publicized video emerged targeting Fair Oaks Farm, one of the top dairy producers of the United States, this company also happens to be funded by Coca-Cola, one of the largest and wealthiest companies in the world. The mentioned video provides live footage of the true horrors going on behind the façade of an animal-friendly front. Calves being thrown and stomped on, cow’s tails being BROKEN repeatedly for not wanting to enter the milking carousel, cows who have just given birth placed on the milking carousel mere MINUTES after giving birth (with afterbirth organs contaminating the milk procured), mother cow’s dead babies being placed just feet away from them, cows being forcefully impregnated EVERY year of their life, cows forced to live their years standing on concrete floors covered in their own feces, ETC. How can the law allow for such heinous crimes to occur with NO justice? There is no more speculation, undeniable footage and facts are coming to light that is absolutely heartbreaking (Bangert, 2019.) Cows provide us with the nutrients and luxury of milk, cheese, etc. And this is how we treat them for their service. Large-scale dairy industries are simply unregulated and purely evil. The government needs to intervene, laws need to be formulated to aid in the protection of these giving animals, who devote their lives to human satisfaction.
The countless forms of animal abuse listed would become pointless without further action. With knowledge, the power to take action arises. As a unified front, we need to demand sounder animals laws. MORE petitions, BIGGER protests, WIDESPREAD boycotts. If we can treat innocent animals so harshly with such ignorance, who knows what will come next. Although animals are not people, they deserve a degree of respect and humaneness. Take the steps to acknowledge yourself on what dairy brands to avoid, take the time to learn humane and necessary hunting methods, stop being okay with COMMERCIAL hunting. It’s up to the US to communicate the guilt-less cries for help that fall silent to the rest of the world. They are not just rumors, the time to full-face the entirety of animal brutality has come, and so has the time to take action.
- Bangert, Dave. Lafayette Journal & Courtier: Fair Oaks Farms animal abuse: Claims of prosecutor’s conflicts follow coercion allegations (June 29, 2019);
- (Bangert, 2019) expands on the fair oaks farm expose video and further discusses the multiple accounts of calf and cows abuse. This is including but not limited to physical abuse of punching, kicking, and stabbing Hoag, Hannah;
- “Why We Need to Save Some Invasive Critters, Not Kill Them.”(July 17, 2014);
- (Hoag, 2014) embraces the flip side to killing off invasive species and brings about the concept of preserving them to prevent further extinction;
- (“Hunting,” Sept 3, 2019) Retrieved from website https://www.peta.org/issues/animals-in-entertainment/cruel-sports/hunting/ (“Hunting,” 2019) focuses on the concept of how hunting has turned into a mere game of entertainment for most, rather than necessity, and how this outlook creates inhumane methods of hunting.