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from Humane Religion

Animal Abuse and Human Violence

By Mary T. Hoffman

I was glad to read in the Autumn 2007 Bulletin of The Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals (ASWA) that the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics is holding a conference on 18 September at Keble College, Oxford, England; and that “The purpose of this conference is to look at the relationship between animal abuse and human violence, and will be Britain’s first major international academic conference on this theme and covers a wide range of academic perspectives including psychology, ethics, sociology, law, criminology, anthropology and philosophy.”

The Bulletin article goes on to say that “Robert Ressler, an FBI serial Killer Profiler, has claimed that ‘murderers very often start out by killing and torturing animals as kids.’ ”

I wonder how long it will take for humans to finally admit that all abuse is wrong, and that biomedical researchers who utilize animals, the animal agriculture industry, fish killing, etc. are not exempt. The killing and torture of any sentient being is abhorrent, regardless of the twisted reasons given by the perpetrators and their supporters.

It’s fairly obvious to anyone who gives it any thought and is willing to face the truth that all cruelty to humans has its roots in the exploitation of animals.

I want to add a few more thoughts about this rampant, increasing, world-wide problem. Isn’t it interesting how humans, who are quick to condemn – and rightly so – serial killers and high-profile, media-hyped criminals who kill dogs, for example, at the same time contribute to and hold in high esteem those who are responsible for far more abuse and killings that are routine?

Can this be because the relatively few, well-publicized killings offer an object – or scapegoat, shall we say – for the public to vent on; so that the socially acceptable cruelties such as hunting, fishing, animal entertainment and, of course, the hidden atrocities of the billions of animals in factory farms and slaughterhouses, can flourish?

In all this mayhem, where are the majority in this country who claim to believe in God? Why are they among the first in line to accuse animal advocates of being “self-righteous”? Isn’t it ironic that today, in sheer numbers, the round-the-clock slaughter of animals far exceeds anything that the ancients were able to do with all their sacrifices and “entertainment”? Yet, what are most of those who call themselves “Christians” doing to stem the tide of abuse?

As long as people continue to fund cruelty through money spent on animal- exploiting products and “charities” the atrocities will not only continue, they’ll escalate. Looking the other way and insulting the few, who are really trying to live by a higher standard for the good of all creation, will only lead to the earth’s destruction from which there will be no turning back.

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