HOFFMAN: There are a number of factors: The person could be sociopathic; or they could be sadistic; or they could have hardened their heart to the extent that they no longer have any empathy to feel the pain and suffering that they are causing the animals, which is the case with most of the people who farm animals, or who work in a slaughterhouse or laboratory; or they are indifferent to the suffering of animals as are the people who eat them and wear their skins.
2. What inspired you to deal with animal abuse?
HOFFMAN: We became vegan animal rights people for reasons of compassion, but it involves more than just the abuse. It has to do more with changing human attitudes and awareness to begin to feel the pain and suffering of the animals, particularly in the churches where people learn their moral standards, so that we can once again return to the Eden of God's creation or to the peaceable kingdom of Isaiah's prophecy.
3. What are some of your thoughts on animal abuse? Have you ever had any personal encounters with animal abuse?
HOFFMAN: As we said before, it is more than just the abuse, it includes all forms of animal exploitation, which we encounter everyday of our lives. People need to put themselves in the position of the animals, and ask themselves if they would want this to happen to them, and if they wouldn't, then they shouldn't do it to animal or have someone else do it for them, as is the case with all animal flesh and other animal products that they buy.
4. Can you give any basic information on the connection between animal cruelty and human violence?
HOFFMAN: Most people are not even aware of the subtle way we, in our society, begin to harden the hearts of our children through the food that they are fed and the clothes we buy them. The more these children begin to lose their empathy for the animals the easier if becomes for them to increase the abuse, become hunters and fish killers, and with some, it escalates to human abuse. The FBI study of serial killers indicates that they usually started with torturing animals. People who work in farmed animal operations and slaughterhouses, have a much higher incidence of domestic violence than does the rest of society who don't work in violent vocations.
5. Do you think animal abuse has gotten better or worse in time?
HOFFMAN: The volume of abuse and exploitation has gotten worse because now more than 50 billion land animals suffer and die every year for their flesh for humans to eat. The only improvements have come from the exposure of the abuse to the general public which has begun to demand laws to protect some animals, such as companion animal abuse which has become a felony in many states, and some elimination of certain horrible methods used on farms and in laboratories.
6. Do you think animal abuse will ever stop?
HOFFMAN: It will not end until people end their exploitation of animals and become compassionate vegans. We have a long way to go, but we are beginning to see many positive changes.