Thursday, December 18, 2008

Our laws are too lenient to deter cruelty to animals

The St. Catharines Standard - Wednesday December 17, 2008

Re: 'Who could do this?' The Standard, Dec. 10.

I am a cat lover and I was absolutely horrified and appalled when reading this article.

How someone could possibly dream up torture of this nature and then carry it out on a defenceless animal is beyond my comprehension.

This truly takes a very sick person. My heart goes out to Carrie Hawkes and her son, Devon. I know what it's like to lose an animal, after all, they become part of your family. My only hope is that they catch this person or persons and that justice will be carried out.

Unfortunately, our laws are far too lenient and don't really deter this type of behaviour.

It's about time that something was done to send a message out to the persons who carry out these horrendous acts -- maybe an eye-for-an-eye approach. A hand slap just isn't going to do it.

Roberta Librock
St. Catharines

Blogger's Note - What happened to this cat, as bad and sick as it was, is really no different than what happens to millions of other defenceless animals - cows, chickens, pigs, etc. - each and every day. Unfortunately, there are no laws preventing this. Indeed, it's an accepted, even honourable part of our culture. It's also big business (not to mention the killing of animals for fashion, scientific research and recreation) but not too many people are calling for an end to this. It's too bad all the self-proclaimed "animal lovers" don't speak up for these animals as well.

"If one person is unkind to an animal, it is considered to be cruelty, but where a lot of people are unkind to animals, especially in the name of commerce, the cruelty is condoned and, once sums of money are at stake, will be defended to the last by otherwise intelligent people." - Ruth Harrison, Animal Machines, 1964


Jennifer Swarbrick said...

I agree that laws are too lenient. What I dont, however, agree with is that there are too many armchair 'animal lovers against animal cruelty'.

On our site Who Hurt Bailey that was created after Bailey, a beautiful Maine Coon cat that was brutally beaten and set on fire in St. Catharines, has been inundated with over 9,000 people who don't want to just sit around and complain.

I actually had my facebook page temporarily disabled due to offers of help, love, and support from angry animal lovers.

There ARE people in this world that aren't just sitting around complaining about the current laws. Or lack thereof. There ARE those of us that are working incredibly hard at making the changes we'd like to see in the future.

I am one of those people. Carrie Ann Hawkes is one of those people. I've learned that you can't make changes until you actually get up off the couch to do it.

The laws have been upgraded. It took 100 years but at least there has been SOME progress recently.

Don't just sit and complain and/or blog about it. Write your MP. Make phone calls. Write letters. Create websites that help make the change. I did.

Jennifer Swarbrick said...

p.s. .. What happened to Bailey is 100 times different than the animal cruelty you are talking about. Suggesting that they are the same is an insult.

Those things do not lead to the possibility of a budding serial killer.

NCARA said...

Hi Jennifer. Thank you for your comments and while I may not agree with you on all points, I appreciate you voicing your opinions all the same. However, your comments lead me to believe that you may have missed the point I was making on my blogsite. I agree with you that there are some wonderful, kind people out there trying to stop cruelty to cats and dogs.

Unfortunately, those same people see nothing wrong with confining, mutilating and slaughtering other animals because they like the taste of their flesh. Of course, they don't do it themselves, they just pay someone else (when they buy their meat at the grocery store) to do it. These animals also suffer horrible deaths, but our society, as well as a lot of cat and dog people, see nothing wrong with this type of cruelty. I'm sure you've heard that pigs are just a intelligent as dogs, and chickens and cows are highly social and emotional animals. Does a pig, cow or chicken suffer any less when he or she is bludgeoned, throat slit, dismembered or scalded with boiling water while still fully conscious?

I've worked for animal rights and animal protection groups, both as a volunteer and a contract worker, for many years (I'm certainly no armchair activist) and what I've witnessed, and what I find sad, is people defending only certain types of animals (cats, dogs, endangered species). This is called speciesism, and like racism and homophobia, regards some animals (humans, pets, baby seals, etc.) as better or more worthy of protection than others. People shouldn't claim to speak for the animals when they're eating animals.

Your point about animal cruelty leading to serial killing is a curious one. Surely you aren't implying that the only reason we should protect animals against cruelty is because it could lead to the killing of humans? Interestingly, slaughterhouse employees are some of the most violent and disturbed people around, because of what they do to cows, chickens and pigs each and every day.

Perhaps your outrage with my comments stems from your closeness to Carrie and what happened to Bailey. Perhaps you've never really considered the suffering that food animals endure; they are after all, out of sight, out of mind, and while torturing cats is illegal in our society, torturing cows, chickens and pigs is not. Or perhaps you're a little angry because while you thought you were an animal lover trying to do some good in the world (which you are), I've just pointed out a major double standard in your life.

I didn't mean to suggest you were evil or anything. I'm simply trying to make people aware of the suffering that food animals go through. I believe that if people can change the way they think about food animals, they will see what is wrong with hunting animals for sport, keeping animals in cages, raising (or clubbing) them for their fur and torturing them for scientific and product research. The history of animal rights has proven that the reverse doesn't work. I can't tell you how many circus demonstrations, fur protests, adoptathons and fundraising dinners I've been to that were attended by people who eat other animals. People don't get it any other way. You have to start from the bottom up.

I'm sorry if I upset you.