Sunday, October 16, 2011

Animals for Entertainment

           Using animals for entertainment has been around for thousands of years.  “When the Colosseum was opened, 5,000 animals were killed in just one day” (Browning 11).  Animals are exploited in circuses by being made to perform for the public.  Many of the circus trainers abuse the performing creatures by yelling obscenities and inflicting physical pain upon the animals.  Much of society is against using animals for entertainment, while others believe it is an acceptable pass time.
            Originally animals were not created to provide humans with entertainment, but to roam the earth peacefully and to occasionally provide basic necessities to humans.  “Captive hunting for both native wildlife and exotic wildlife should be illegal,” agrees Casey Pheiffer from the Humane Society (Keen).  Though hunting can provide humans with nourishment, most people hunt for the entertainment.  Animals should not be killed for sport; it is not fair to the innocent animals.  Whaling has been banned in many countries, “but 20,000 whales have been killed for food, cosmetics, and scientific reasons since the ban” (Browning 17).  Much of society tries to help earth’s creatures, but people get around the laws and continue to harm innocent animals for selfish reasons.  Humans can engage in other sources of entertainment that do not involve animals in order to prevent animals from being on display and being harmed.
Although there are some forms of animal treatment that some groups consider being healthy for animals, but others believe to be a form of animal cruelty.  Examples of such treatment are horse racing, dog racing, and circus training.  Although, the training involved in these environments can be dangerous, there are also many aspects that have a positive effect.  There are many animals that need a purpose and job to perform.   These types of animals are work animals.  Without a job, these animals will not be happy mentally or physically.  Their mental happiness is just as important as their physical happiness.  And the job they are given, whether it is racing or training for a circus act, give them the purpose and job they need to maintain a healthy life.
There are many forms of entertainment, but involving the killing and injury of animals to satisfy one’s pleasures is simply not humane.  Some believe hunting animals is natural, while others strongly disagree.  Circus animals are made to perform for humans in unnatural ways and are constantly abused by circus trainers.  Animals were created to live in the wild not to be held in captivity to perform for humans.  Watching an animal in its natural environment is vastly entertaining, while killing or injuring an animal for sport is horrible and unjust.  

Works Cited
Browning, Bel. Animal Welfare. Chicago, IL: Raintree, 2003. Print.
Heuman, Victoria. Circus Elephant. 2011. Photograph.
Keen, Judy. "Animal Advocates, Hunters Spar Over 'Captive Hunts'." USA TODAY. 01 Sep 2011: A.3. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 16 Oct 2011.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Causes and Effects of Animal Cruelty

            Most animals are not aggressive by nature.  A leading cause of aggressive behavior in animals is when a person chooses to abuse them.  “A wide range of actions from animal neglect to violence against animals can be considered animal cruelty” (ProQuest Staff).  In many cases, an abused animal fears humans.  Because of that fear, they are more likely to bite and attack not only people, but also other animals.  Many of the abused animals are unable to trust again, causing an uprising in the number of animals in shelters.  When people abuse animals, the animals become aggressive or frightened and end up in shelters.
            Therefore, “I see a direct link in the number of animals that end up in area shelters and the cases of abuse and neglect” explains Cindy Morris from Paws in the City, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization in Dallas, Texas.  Animals that are abused often become aggressive and end up in shelters because they have exhibited hostile behavior and their owners do not want to be attacked.  Death row might be the fate of an abused animal because potential animal owners do not want an aggressive animal as a pet.  Most animals are not aggressive by nature and usually “bite out of fear not aggression,” because of the abuse they have endured (Morris).  It is often difficult to teach an abused animal to trust humans again, but not impossible.  It would take massive amounts of patience on the human’s part to gain an animal’s trust and reverse the effects of the abuse. 
            In fact, “due to the fear an animal obtains from abuse, the effects done to the animal are usually irreversible” (Robinson).  Many animals gain scars and amputated limbs due to the amount of physical abuse the animals received.  There have been “cases of dogs that were burned over most of their body from chemicals being poured on them” resulting in large amounts of scars all over the victim’s body (Morris).  Another form of abuse that affects animals is puppy mills, where dogs are bred over and over in order to produce a large supply of puppies to sell.  The dogs and puppies are usually placed in cages and are neglected.  They are not cared for properly and are often kept in unsanitary conditions.  When rescued, they usually are malnourished and diseased.  In addition, they do not have much contact with people, and as a result, they fear humans and are difficult to train and interact with people and children.
            Abuse has a tremendous effect on animals. It causes animals to either be aggressive or reserved and frightened.  Shelters take in massive amounts of abused dogs that will probably end up on death row, because the permanent effects make the potential owners unwilling to adopt the pets.   Abused animals are more likely to lash out at any time for any reason, while reserved and frightened animals are not willing to interact.   Many dogs can be saved but require ample time and money that the shelters do not have. 

Works Cited

Morris, Cindy. "Animal Cruelty." E-mail interview. 6 October 2011.
ProQuest Staff. "At Issue: Animal Cruelty." ProQuest LLC. 2011: n.p. SIRS Researcher.                  
Web. 10 October 2011. <>
Robinson, Dwayne. Humane Society. “Animal Cruelty." Telephone interview. 6 October

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Do Not Harm Animals

Cruelty is "an act that causes pain and suffering" (“Cruelty”). Animal cruelty causes pain and suffering to innocent creatures that do not deserve such treatment. Animals are not human, but should be treated with the same kindness and compassion that humans are treated with. No person wants to be treated cruelly, and neither do animals. People who choose to cause harm to animals will be punished severely, just like they would if they harmed a human being.  Animal cruelty is wrong, comes with major punishments, and keeps citizens on the lookout for animals in need of help.

Animal cruelty is wrong because animals do not deserve to be treated any less than a human being. “Animal rights activists contend that the use of animals for sports or entertainment can also be considered as animal cruelty” (ProQuest Staff).  Humans who subject their animals to fighting, torture or even entertainment are being involved in animal cruelty. For example, "cockfighting is a cruel blood sport that pits two roosters against each other" (Wei).  Making roosters fight one another is unjust and cruel.  Roosters were not meant to fight, they were meant to lay eggs and wake people up early in the morning.  Animals do not deserve to be treated unfairly and anyone who harms an animal will be subject to intense punishment.
There are several laws against animal cruelty. In Texas, if a person is involved in an animal cruelty case he or she is subject to a "$4000 fine and imprisonment up to one year" (“Cruelty Laws”). The torturing, killing, or fighting of animals can result in a "$10,000 fine and 180 days to two years of imprisonment" (“Cruelty Laws”). For instance, Michael Vick, the quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, "spent 18 months in prison for dog fighting" and “an exhaustive report by the Department of Agriculture [which] revealed that Vick drowned, electrocuted and hung dogs with his bare hands” (Fleming).  Nobody is above the law when it comes to animal cruelty. 
People need to be aware of the effects of animal cruelty and how wrong it is.  In the Texas summer of 2011, many animal owners kept their dogs outside in the blistering heat without any shade or water.  Animal control was called to many households to evacuate the dehydrating dogs from such conditions.   If a person sees an animal in need they should be sure to call their local animal control agency immediately.  When transporting pigs, handlers toss piglets from one person to another “and those that are considered sickly or nonviable are slammed head-first on the floor — a quick and efficient way to kill them” (Silver).  In the year of 2010, Texas received sixty one reports of animal abuse from caring citizens who could not stand to see an animal in harm (“Yearly Animal Abuse Report”).
No matter what ethnicity, culture, or religion a person is animal cruelty is unacceptable in any way, shape, or form.    Anyone who partakes in harming an animal will spend time in jail and/or have to pay a hefty fine.   People can make a big difference in suffering animals’ lives by reporting any abuse to innocent creatures that is witnessed or heard about.  Animals are a part of this world, just as humans are, and should be treated with kindness.  All of society needs to make a difference and make this Earth a better place for animals.  [543]

Works Cited
“Cruelty.” Webster's New World Dictionary. Fourth ed. 2003. Print.
“Cruelty Laws.” straypetadvocacy, 2003. Web. 05 October 2011. <>
Fleming, David. “The dog in the room.” espn.go, 25 Aug. 2011. Web. 05 October 2011. <>
Silver, Alexandra. "Animal Cruelty: Could a Barbaric Pig-Handling Video Hurt Major Grocery Chains? - TIME." Breaking News, Analysis, Politics, Blogs, News Photos, Video, Tech Reviews - 29 June 2011. Web. 06 Oct. 2011. <,8599,2080546,00.html>.
sjhsjessicah13. “Stop All Animal Cruelty. Photograph.        Stopallanimalcrueltynow, 1 March 2011. Web. 05 October 2011. <>
Wei, Jerilee. “Training And Conditioning The Fighting Rooster in the Mirror.” hubpages, n.d. Web. 05 October 2011. <>
“Yearly Animal Abuse Report.” pet-abuse, 2010. Web. 05 October 2011. <>