ethel’s words

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ANIMAL CRUELTY: WHO GETS PUNISHED?

Because of proposed legislation in Utah, attention to cruelty and torture of animals provides an opportunity to study why and how we punish in our criminal justice system.

Reasons offered in opposition to making cruelty unlawful include (1)animals are pets, not humans, and (2) animal husbandry animals must not be protected against torture.

The first statement clarifies and confirms a common failure in our entire system of crime and punishment: We do not punish persons because they are cruel, violent, or for having killed. We punish according to VICTIM. (Among humans, status is the criterion, Human babies and children are just now beginning to be recognized as VICTIMS--worthy of attention.)

It is okay to be a vicious torturer so long as it is only pigs, cats, raccoons, and above all, that source of veal--the horrifying torture of calves in dog-houses, limbs tied taut, so they cannot move. Thus, their flesh, a product of torture, becomes the luxurious veal of the elite. I have seen it in Utah. Utah.

Hard to handle, that.

It has been pointed out, and I thank those activists, that the torturer who inflicts pain on helpless animals is the same person, and same kind of person, and same flawed personality who tortures human children to death. And other humans. Jeffrey Dahmer, when a boy, tortured cats. Nobody took it seriously.

Can you handle that?

For an adult to propose tolerance of cruelty that is inflicted only on "pets" shows a crudeness, a crassness, a callousness that is sickening to hear. It is revolting enough that animals are bred (unnaturally), fed vile rotten flesh instead of green vegetation, callously stabbed with prods when they sense death ahead and resist, and always treated as if they are not sentient, so that humans can find that pain-riddled product looking fresh and clean on styrofoam.

Vegetarianism would cleanse the Planet of this gross kind of cruelty. Vegetarianism is easy: Cheeses, omelets, nut loaves, as well as the exotic proteins, take the place of animal flesh, painlessly.

Vegetarianism is a blessing to Planet Earth.

Ethel C. Hale