Originally Posted by Denice
I have heard a little here and there before this about all the outrage about this being racially motivated. I don't believe this to be true, I think it is about what he did. I have also heard that people get more outraged about cruelty towards animals than they do about cruelty towards people. I think that may be true but that problem is with people being desensitized to the cruelty towards people rather than over reacting to the cruelty towards animals.
I can only speak for myself when I say that this is certainly true for me. I am much more upset over animal cruelty than I am over cruelty against humans. And I don't think that's misplaced or wrong, either. It's not that I'm unsympathetic towards humans at all, but I don't understand how one has to be more than the other.
I think (and again I'm only speaking for myself here) that I feel this way in every instance human welfare is the priority. Everything in our world is geared towards looking after humans. There is nothing wrong with this, of course, but I do feel the exact same priority should be towards all living creatures, not just humans. Humans can understand what is happening to them, we have complex psyches and we have a much higher level of consciousness. I feel that understanding what is happening to you can make abuse that much worse, but then again, perhaps not. Humans are granted the ability to understand motive, and frightening situations that they are subject to. This also gives us strength.
Animals don't understand. They are, for the most part, utterly helpless, and utterly under our control. This, to me, makes abusing them SO much worse. So much worse. Plus, I don't think that the species of victims of abuse is or should be the issue - but rather the motivation and ability of the abuser to commit atrocities against another living creature.
It's hard to explain. I have the same level of horror at people who abuse children as I do at people who abuse animals. Because the same innocence, helplessness and lack of understanding is there.
I don't place any less value on an animal's life than I do on a humans. I read a quote today that sums this up for me.
"The question is not, "Can they reason?" nor, "Can they talk?" but rather, "Can they suffer?"
And this quote seems to perfectly express my feeling about the treatment of animals as inferior just because they happen
to be less mentally evolved than humans;
"The basis of all animal rights should be the Golden Rule: We should treat them as we would wish them to treat us, were any other species in our dominant position."