by Marcia Mueller
The question most animal activists ask themselves: Why do some people care about animal suffering while others show no concern and may even be guilty of abuse?
Studies suggest that empathy does have a genetic component. Those who are AA or AG seem to show less or no empathy.
Most abusers will not change because they lack empathy, have character flaws, or are psychotic.
So the question is, What is to be done to stop their torture of animals? Obviously, much of what we’re doing now does not work.
If people cannot be taught empathy, humane education will not prevent cruelty and the slap-on-the-wrist punishment of community service or anger management will not improve behavior. Maybe the answer is to enact laws that focus on those most likely to be guilty with different kinds of prevention and with punishments that really hurt.
For example, we could try the following:
• Develop animal cruelty registries in every state and municipality that provide names, pictures, and background of abusers that are available to the public and to shelters. Abusers could be more readily identified for abuses committed. People on the registries could be prevented from owning animals.
• Make spaying/neutering and microchipping mandatory in order to trace ownership in cases of kidnapping and to cut back on the unwanted animals who are homeless and are easy to seize as victims.
• Make animal abuse a felony with mandatory sentencing guidelines that prosecutors and judges cannot circumvent.
The point is that abusers might not care about the pain they cause animals, but they might fear the very real punishment of fines, jail time, and the bad publicity from registers.
Animal advocates could be counted on to support harsher laws and have been calling for them for years.
That leaves the “normal” people, the general population, who would have to support stricter laws. Edmund Burke once noted that evil triumphs when good people do nothing. Unfortunately, good people have not done enough for animals for far too long. Until they start demanding better anti-cruelty laws, they are enabling the abusers.
• I am unaware of any other blog with the Armory’s mission of radicalizing the animal movement. I certainly hope I am not alone, and that there are similar sentiments being expressed by comrades unknown to me.
If you know of other blogs dedicated to animal rights and the defeat of capitalism, please comment with a link.
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