Who’s Your Softer Side

Sarah Saville

Baltimore’s Anti-Animal Abuse Advisory Commission just launched a new campaign targeted towards juveniles.  The “Show Your Softer Side” Campaign features a series of photographs of famous athletes and their pets with the tagline “Only a Punk Would Hurt a Cat or Dog.”  It targets juveniles because youths often commit the worst abuses in an effort to show their “toughness.” More information on the Commission can be found here.

Although the Campaign has generally been well received, not everyone is happy about it.  Within hours of the launch, editorial critiques like this one, began popping up.  These critiques claim that it is a waste to spend resources on preventing animal abuse when there are still violent crimes committed against people.  Such critique misses the bigger picture.  Animal abuse is statistically a precursor to abuse against people.  Punishing and preventing these abuses prevents crimes against people.  And even without regards to preventing crimes against people, preventing animal cruelty is important in its own right.  Cats, dogs, and other animals are sentient beings capable of suffering.  We adopt them into our families and breed and train them to be dependent on us.  They deserve are respect and our protection.  And we have the ethical responsibility to give them as much.

2 Responses

  1. I definitely agree that abusing of animals is a serious sign that can trickle down to humans. I have witness these cruelties against animals, by children. I have confronted them in the past when i was young and believe me it is something that goes on everyday. In china not too long ago, I’ve received e-mails showing youth and old teenagers beat a young pig so bad and once it was done they drowned the pig in a pail of water. It was horrible. Those same individuals need to pay the price for their atrocities.. and that is why we need to address these concerns here in our country. Protect life as life will protect you…

  2. This campaign makes solid sense; the arguments in protest are weak and baseless.

    Any just, pragmatic and rational system of ethics and morality would hold that deliberately tormenting an animal is no sign of strength of “toughness.”
    It is, in fact, quite the opposite, and reflects an underlying feebleness and smallness of character.

    Also undeniably true, animal abuse is indicative of a perilous pathology that can, and often does, spill over into violent crimes against other people.

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