Sunday, August 26, 2012

My Way of Thinking: Animal Cruelty

Nala and Bruno (pictured) were cruelly poisoned with antifreeze.  Someone did this horrific thing just as they were about to be adopted into forever homes, making it all the more tragic.

I wish I could say that this was some kind of isolated event, but sadly these kinds of abuses take place every day.  We all wonder what kind of monster would harm an innocent animal.  I'm afraid we wonder in vain.  It is the same mindset of the child abuser, or the wife beater, or the murderer.  Thankfully, the vast majority of us cannot comprehend this kind of madness.

As many of you know, I have spent many years studying psychology in order to gain insight into the workings of the human mind.  I have also put in a lot of time studying animal behavior.  I am currently working on my Masters in Psychology, yet I am as confounded as anyone when it comes to understanding the aberration of cruelty for cruelty's sake.  I can list the known factors that can bring this kind of behavior to an individual's pathology, but truly understand it?  Well, not so far.  I honestly understand the workings of a dog's mind better than a human's.

I feel that, because abuse is incomprehensible, it is better to look for positive actions that can be taken to prevent or stop it, than to try to fully understand it's complexities.  For the time being, we can write, call, or petition our elected officials asking for stronger laws to punish animal abusers.  Right now in most places punishment is a slap on the wrist and a fine.  Keeping in mind that the majority of serial killers started off torturing animals, it makes sense to deter this behavior with the promise of real and severe punishment along with compulsory therapy.

In three weeks I begin an advanced class in criminal psychology.  Maybe that will finally give me more insight.  If it does, I will fill you all in.  Meanwhile, I will concentrate on positive actions like the ones I mentioned.  I find that to be the best therapy.  It helps alleviate that feeling of impotence.  Knowing that we can make a difference is comforting in the face of something that is so egregiously wrong.  And taking action with a loving and caring heart is that much more satisfying.

                                           Peace and Love,




  1. I have no doubt there are many threads that come together in an individual to create an abuser. There's always a need for power, and perhaps a fear of not having it (thus finding helpless and defenseless creatures to control and harm). What the deeper contributing forces are I don't know. I am sure that people have theories and beliefs, but they provide little comfort in the face of the sad, sad stories.

    Perhaps your studies in psychology will take you to greater understanding or to some as-yet unknown path of helping change this situation.

    Judy Stone-Goldman
    The Reflective Writer
    Personal-Professional Balance Through Writing

  2. Thank you, Judy. No truer words were ever spoken. I have given myself a mission. I want to cure the world of it's illness. I want to make things right. I believe that to be my destiny.

    Love, Austin/Bill