The debate if animals were made for humans and whatnot has been that of the century so far. Whenever we talk about animal abuse and their rights – the first thing you’ll hear from someone will be ‘but what about human rights’ because if we don’t go ahead and place ourselves ahead of every issue in the society how can we ever feel good about ourselves, right?
What many people don’t understand, however, is that if someone is okay with abusing an animal and builds an insensitivity towards their cries for help – that human can go on to destroy the future of any civilization. A study from the journal published in 2002 on the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Online has shown that a history of animal cruelty in childhood is found as a major indicator of APD (Antisocial personality traits) and polysubstance abuse. Dr Thara, the Director of the Schizophrenia Research Foundation in Chennai (India), mentions that cruelty towards animals highlights two things in one’s personality:
- The urge to control those weaker than us
- The sadistic desire to derive pleasure from other’s pain
Robert K Ressler, who worked on and went on to develop profiles of serial killers for the FBI, states that murderers often start with animal torture and abuse. Likewise, a New South Wales Newspaper published the findings of a police study in Australia on “Animal Cruelty; Common in Many Killers,” Sunbury & Macedon Ranges Leader on 26 Apr. 2005. The study revealed that “100 percent of sexual homicide offenders examined had a history of animal cruelty.”
Criminals with a history of Animal Cruelty
If you go on to check the internet for more examples, your mind might melt with the amount of information it’ll end up retaining but the names may not end. Here’s a list of criminals along with the crime they are most known for to give you an idea of how animal cruelty can lead to the dehumanization of fellow humans as well and only make it worse for everyone, not just the animals themselves.
- Albert DeSalvo spent his youth trapping dogs and cats only to shoot arrows at them through the boxes and drove pleasure from it. He went on to kill 13 women in his adulthood and got the famous title of ‘the Boston Strangler’
- Jeffery Lionel Dahmer known as the ‘Milwaukee Cannibal’ used to impale animals’ heads on sticks. He murdered and dismembered 17 men and boys.
- Boyd Malvo, who was convicted for his snipper shootings, was also said to have pelted and probably killed numerous cats by 14 as per a psychology professor.
Why do we need to know about animal violence and its link to criminals?
Living in Pakistan, we have come to a point where we often end up taking a front-row seat to animal abuse now and then. For a nation that is already struggling for its ‘non-robots’ to behave in public spaces – it is especially alarming when we see the masses either culling dogs on order or for their educational purposes.
Veterinary Universities like Riphah and Arid are currently under fire as an NPO, @DOINGMYBIT (instagram), called them out and showed the world some extremely graphic images of their treatment of animals on social media. Students are joking around and uploading pictures of themselves with their voiceless victims. We can see perfectly healthy animals being left to die on the laboratory tables after being operated on. This is not only unethical but also makes us question our faith in future vets. It highlights why most vets are more leaned toward what they can make off of their patients than how they can actually help improve their condition.
Similarly, the ongoing national culling of dogs isn’t minimizing either. It is wrong and unethical to kill healthy animals just because we can’t stand them. If they are sick, they need to be treated not eliminated. By introducing practices such as these; be it by veterinary universities, govt. or housing societies – we are desensitizing the masses to the pain of living beings that are weaker than us.
Animal genocide is still a genocide and needs to be taken seriously. If someone has the heart to be cruel to an animal that can’t even say anything offensive to us then think about what they’d do to humans who actually can say something they might not like?
Animal Abuse has been linked to domestic abuse as well as child abuse. Even though the Islamabad High Court recognizes that animals have legal rights under the 67 page ruling by Justice Athar Minallah and we have the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1890) & Punjab Animals Slaughter Act (1963) already in place the government needs to introduce harsher animal safety laws and introduce a curriculum starting from kindergarten to ensure children of all backgrounds can understand the importance of being kind to animals instead of throwing stones at them for fun. These are not minor acts but instead a start of a wildfire that needs to be treated at its core rather than waiting for it to engulf all life as we know it. Unnecessary sufferings of animals has been shunned upon in all religions.