Monday, 2 November 2009

Animal cruelty

Following on from my previous post, I felt some facts were in order. It's a long post but please read on.
We all know about whales being killed or seals being butchered. We know about greyhound racing. We know because we have read about it in the papers or seen something about it on television. But do we really know?

Let’s consider a few facts for the USA alone:
- 5 billion US dollars are poured into animal experiments each year
- Over 70 million animals are tortured and killed in US laboratories every year.
- Over 10 billion animals are slaughtered every year for human consumption
- Approximately 3.5 million fur bearing animals such as raccoons, coyotes, bobcats, lynxes, opossums, nutria, beavers, muskrats, otters and others are killed by trappers.
- 2.7 million animals are harvested on fur farms. Half the production of fur garments comes from trapped animals.
- 50.000 greyhounds are killed every year or sent to experimentation when they are no longer profitable for the racing industry.

Let’s further consider this:
- cows kept for milk on factory farms live in conditions that cause severe suffering to the animals. They live only about 5 years as opposed to 20 to 25 years in an earlier era. To keep cows at a high level of productivity, dairy farmers keep them pregnant through artificial insemination.
- Laying hens are kept 5 or 6 to a 14 inch square cage and as many as 20% die of stress and disease from those poor living conditions.
- Rabbits are routinely blinded by having products forced into their eyes. This does not guarantee human safety but protects companies from potential lawsuits.
- Every year thousands of animals like elephants, tigers, rhinos and many endangered and protected species are killed by poachers to sell on the black markets around the world.
- Overharvesting of the seas and the oceans has led to the fish and marine mammal populations being threatened.
- More than 40.000 bulls are killed yearly in bloody bullfight spectacles around the world.
- About 100 million animals per annum are used in animal experimentation.
- 55 minks are needed to make one mink coat.
- Animal cruelty has long been an issue in the world of entertainment. Often cruel training techniques are used which inflict serious suffering in the animals. Some Hollywood films receive criticism for allegedly harmful and sometimes lethal treatment of animals. Michael Cimino in his fiasco called Heaven’s Gate had a horse blown up with dynamite while shooting a battle scene in the film to make the blood look more authentic!
- Animal used in snuff films know as crush films which can be found on the internet depict instances of severe animal cruelty and/or severe pornographic acts with animals. The animal always gets killed. The US Government wanted to ban these films but the law was overturned because these films were protected as free speech.
- Animals in wartime as used as living bombs or for military testing such as in the Bikini atomic experiments.
- Killer whales ( orcas ) and dolphins suffer stress-induced diseases and ailments when kept in small pools and forced to perform tricks in amusement parks.
- Consumption of dogs in Korea is widespread. It is believed there that if a dog releases adrenalin into its blood before it dies, the meat tastes better. Especially the meat from Saint Bernards.

Individuals abuse pets through passive cruelty such as neglect, starvation, dehydration, parasite infections, allowing a collar to grow into the animal’s skin, inadequate shelter in extreme weather condition, failure to seek care where medical attention is required. Or through active cruelty which implies malicious intent. Acts of intentional cruelty are often some of the most disturbing and should be considered as signs of serious psychological problems. Studies and FBI reports have shown that cruelty to animals is often an indicator of violent and antisocial behaviour in children and adolescents who grow up to become serial killers.

In the UK, cruelty to animals is a criminal offence for which jail sentences and heavy fines are imposed. Do other civilised countries have such laws? I wonder.

Remember: animals feel pain like we do. They feel stress and anxiety like we do.
I shall leave it at that. The reader of this post can draw his/her own conclusions.

3 comments:

Winchester whisperer said...

Hideous!

Nina Jeanette Hansen. said...

It is hideous & cruel realities.

Eurodog said...

WW and Nina,
Yes it is quite hideous but as long as we bear these things in mind we are doing a little something since we cannot enter into the bigger picture.
Good day to you both.
WW, in New Delhi and Nina in The Hague.