By David Worboys •
Updated: 23 Feb 2023 • 19:00
Photo Credits: buzzghana.com
Animals have no perception of the distress and suffering of their victims. They don´t hold back and ask themselves how they would like to be treated this way – slowly torn apart while still alive. They need food and are responding to nature´s way of providing for them.
Eagles swoop in the high Andes and seize goats or deer in their massive claws. Their prey is then carried through the air, terrified and helpless, towards the eagle´s nest of chicks. On the way, the “lucky” ones who struggle too much may be deliberately dropped hundreds of meters to their (hopefully) instant death on the rocks below before being retrieved for the rest of the flight.
Cats play with mice instead of killing them outright and often don´t even eat them. Is this nature´s way of providing them with “amusement”?
But, cruel as all this is, there is no malice. Animals are not answerable for their cruel deeds, as they have no conscience – except self-conscience. Some pets can be punished for “misbehaving” and trained to desist, but they don´t understand the difference between right and wrong.
Cruelty is defined as behaviour which causes physical or mental harm to another, whether it is intentional or not. So, what about human nature?
Too frequently, when a person is tried and proven guilty of a gruesome murder, torture or extreme cruelty to a child or other fellow being, he (or she) will show no remorse and probably feels none. If they cannot ask themselves how they would like to be treated this way, how do they differ from the wolves or the eagles? There are several distinctions.
Human cruelty is not nature´s solution to anything, but a purposeless act born of pure malice. Most of us cannot fathom “how one human being can do this to another”. From the throwing of Christians to the lions to medieval public hanging-drawing-quartering shows and from African slavery to Josef Mengele, it is humans who inflict inexcusable cruelty.
And, likewise, human cruelty to defenceless animals is disgraceful. A tiger or a crocodile may certainly charge unprovoked and kill a human. However, they are unable to reason whether their action is justified or whether it is cruel. A rhino may do the same if it feels threatened but the brutal hacking off of its horn for commercial gain is unforgiveable.
And so are the conditions in the “factories” of intensive “farming”. How would humans feel being imprisoned in this way? Perhaps North Koreans know.
Foie gras or frogs´ legs, anybody?
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