“One of the most dangerous things that can happen to a child is to kill or torture an animal and get away with it.” Margaret Mead, anthropologist, women’s rights activist.
As a feminist, it has been important for me to recognize animal protection laws and welfare efforts as part of my feminist mission. Studies has shown that “from 54 to 71 percent of women seeking shelter from abuse reported that their partners had threatened, injured or killed one or more family pets.” (paws.org) Also noted on the Paws website is that “(t)he FBI sees animal cruelty as a predictor of violence against people and considers past animal abuse when profiling serial killers.”
Individuals lacking compassion for animals and who use violence to exert domination lack empathy for all. Reporting animal abuse and mistreatment is critical, as this cruelty could be a sign of a much larger and serious mental health problem. Violent attitudes toward animals in children is not “natural” or “normal,” either. It is not an exploration of limits. It is a sign that building empathetic qualities and understanding in the child is desperately needed if we want to provide him/her with all possible opportunities for a fulfilled and independent life.
When we co-habitat with animals and our domesticated pets peacefully we all get along and survive better. You can even look to the pop culture television show “Pitbulls and Parolees” for an entertaining example of the therapeutic gifts animals and humans give to one another.
For those inspired into action right now, consider in participating in The City of Alexandria’s Spring2Action 24-hour online donation event. Until 11:59pm on April 9, 2014, Spring2Action is helping Alexandria’s nonprofits raise money through drives and prizes. While there is an incredible list of nonprofits to which to donate, consider supporting King Street Cats today.
King Street Cats is Alexandria’s only free-roaming, no kill shelter. 100% volunteer run, KSC relies solely on donations to pay for the cats’ medical expenses, food, litter, cleaning supplies, rent, and the list goes on. Follow this link to learn more about their mission and other adorable photos of kittens. To donate today, please follow this link.
To learn more about the connections between domestic violence and abuse, here’s a short list of articles and ways to prevent abuse and treat abusers. Your tips and suggestions, as well, are always welcomed and appreciated!
In Washington DC to report animal cruelty call (202) 723-5730
Next time you are considering bringing a new pet into your family, consider adopting from a shelter or rescue, not a puppy mill or pet store. Most puppy mills and pet stores have a factory-style business method and therefore treat these living creatures as product to be distributed and sold at a profit. Read these “Six Common Misconceptions About Pet Adoption” from Petfinder.
Remember to spay or neuter your pet!
Report Cruelty by Washington Humane Society
Animal abuse is a public safety issue by Allie Phillips. alliephillips.com
Animal Cruelty and Human Violence by The Humane Society of The United States
Animal Cruelty and Human Violence by Cathy Kangas. Huffington Post.
Buying Versus Adopting by American Humane Association
Photo and video from King Street Cats.