To animal lovers, violence against animals is cruel and difficult to understand. To the rest of the world, it is 'just an animal, humans matter more.’ But aren't humans really the cruellest species of all? Most animals kill for food and territory, but humans kill also for sport, fashion, and cosmetics!
Many researchers have found that violence against animals indicates a high propensity for interpersonal violence. Simply, those who abuse animals usually do the same to human victims. Although not all animal abusers become serial killers, most serial killers began their murders with animals. Violence against animals, according to Hildegard George, is directly related to our culture of violence. This culture of violence gives us an excuse to abuse, harm and deny rights to those we discriminate against. This is evident, for some people, in the slavery of black people in America in the nineteenth century, mistreatment of the Jewish people in Nazi Germany and world-wide abuse of animals to perpetuate the human race.
What we must do is change our perceptions and open our eyes. After all, animals inhabited this world long before we did. What right do we have to dominate them in order to 'improve' our lives? Governments must be conscious of this connection between animal cruelty and interpersonal violence, and laws must be changed to punish or rehabilitate animal abusers. Pets should be treated as family members, not as an inferior species. If children were taught to respect all animals in this way, they would respect all life. People must understand that many lives, animal and human, can still be saved.