There are many forms of animal cruelty, but a few more widespread examples are unintentional or deliberate harm to animals. Examples of abuse include whipping horses, tying cows up with electrified goads, failing to protect domesticated animals from predators, and physical violence.
Many undercover factory farms and slaughterhouses investigations have revealed workers are abusing animals. Such actions are not only wrong but indefensible.
Neglect of Animals
Many types of animal abuse are reoccurring. In many cases, the perpetrator feels a sense of control and power when inflicting pain on the animal. However, these causes do not necessarily indicate animal abuse. In any case, it is essential to evaluate a situation before jumping to conclusions carefully. For example, a neighbor’s cat may have fleas but otherwise, be socially adjusted and not exhibit signs of abuse.
Other common causes of animal cruelty include abuse or neglect of animals. Most are those involved in industries that condone behavior like animal testing and animal agriculture are two of these industries. There are numerous animal protection activists, like Paul Shapiro, who have spearheaded regional initiatives to end animal cruelty.
Recent studies have linked socioeconomic status to higher levels of animal cruelty. For example, suburban block groups with higher rates of poverty and female-headed households were associated with more extraordinary brutality incidents. Other socioeconomic variables that were found to be related to animal crimes include unemployment, ethnic heterogeneity, and low income. The results of this study have important implications for understanding the causes of animal cruelty. The authors conclude that community hardship significantly contributes to the high rates of animal crimes in many neighborhoods.
Despite this, animal abuse and neglect are rarely evaluated. As such, interventions may range from little or no intervention to mild punishment, including community service or fines. Occasionally, the consequences of animal cruelty may be more severe, such as jail or even the death penalty. Regardless of the severity level, it is essential to note that animal abuse and neglect can result in extreme violence. Ultimately, these studies can help us prevent animal abuse and neglect and improve public health.
Although the researchers identified several common correlates of animal cruelty, more research is needed to determine the role of neighborhood and city characteristics in promoting animal abuse and neglect. Moreover, the study was limited by its limited time frame and small sample size. The data were collected in one US city, so the results may not be generalizable to other urban environments. In addition, police reports vary in detail, and individual officers may have had different perceptions of various variables.
Animal abuse is often motivated by a severe mental disorder. Studies have shown that most violent criminals began as children and abused animals. In addition, all torturers displayed high levels of aggression towards people. In one study of criminals, 70% reported some physical abuse as a child, compared to only 22% of non-aggressive participants. According to the study’s authors, this may explain the underlying reason for animal cruelty.
Despite the apparent similarities, there are some limitations to studies about the relationships between human aggression and animal abuse. Retrospective reporting, limited generalizability, and different definitions of animal abuse limit the number of functional studies. Still, the co-occurrence of human-directed aggression and animal abuse continues to emerge. The authors conclude that both animal abuse and human aggression are often a result of childhood trauma and may be triggered by the same factors.
Children and parents can also be the perpetrators of animal abuse. Many children kill their pets as a way to punish or rehearse suicide. Adults with high levels of dominance may force their partners to have sex with a family pet, fearing that the abuser will be hurt. This type of animal abuse can be an early indicator of future violence.