The recent incident of a housewife in Bangalore who flung some stray puppies to their death shook me. A few days later, there were reports of a management graduate in Chennai who threw a dog from the terrace. Then, watched a Facebook video of the plight of Jersey calves in dairy farms across the U.K. where around 90,000 male dairy calves are shot every year within days of their birth because they have no value in the dairy industry! This kind of inconsiderate treatment of life makes me wonder if we are human at all. How cruel are we!
If I try hard enough, I might still understand cruelty for survival. But cruelty for an insane sense of pleasure or out of lack of sensitivity to another living being or plain greed - that is something I can't grasp. When animals are overworked, brutally experimented on where they sometimes lose their eyesight or life itself, beaten black and blue because you are incapable of venting out your frustration on anyone else and you find a mute animal and you go mad on him, I have found these behaviours extremely hard to come to terms with.
Apparently, there is a term for the pleasure derived from cruelty to animals. It is Zoosadism. Ernest Borneman coined the term. It is a sign of sociopathic tendencies. Various studies have proven that if people like or are ready to cause harm to animals, they are equally likely to do so to humans as well. People diagnosed with certain psychopathologies, including antisocial behavior, have had a history of torturing pets and small animals. A study of psychiatric patients found that all of them had notably high levels of aggression toward people. And they had a history of repeatedly torturing dogs and cats. Cruelty to animals commonly appears in the records of rapists and murderers. One extremely disgusting Zoosadist was Richard Chase, an American serial killer who killed 6 people in a single month. He would remove the guts from animals. He would them consume it raw or mix the organs with Coca-Cola in a blender and drink the brew. He believed that by eating the creatures he could stop his heart from shrinking.
Insects are not spared either. Have we all not seen the child who pulls off a fly's wings? As a child, I remember neighborhood boys trapping butterflies in glass bottles and watching them die out of suffocation. Just because they have no human language we kill or maim innocent animals. They depend on us for food, for survival. They do have a speech pattern and language of their own. It’s a pity we humans don’t comprehend what they speak. Surely, we can’t let the poor souls suffer! Starvation, death, maiming of limbs – the things we humans do to animals without the slightest guilt whatsoever just because the animals cannot speak human language! Will we ever grow up to show compassion to another soul? It is sad, really.
These things will not end unless we raise kids who are actively and consistently discouraged from harming another life, no matter how small the animal. There should be no hiding behind the excuse that “oh it was just for some childish fun.” Raising kids who have had at least one animal as a pet, whom they fed or took care of, will also help in stirring their empathy. Greater social awareness against animal abuse and stricter implementation of laws and punishments are needed too. But most important of all, we need to value all life forms, to be grateful to the diversity that God has created, to appreciate and know that every life is worthy; no one is above another, no one deserves pain. Can we all, as parents, make a difference and raise kids who learn to be thankful for God’s creations? Everything else is just noise. Ultimately, what a parent teaches a child is what stands the test of time. Empathy is a treasured emotion and the lack of it shows in every sphere of our lives. Look at the mess we have made of Mother Earth! Reckless humans!