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Life Arts    H4'ed 5/20/14

Are We Inherently Cruel to Animals?

Suzana Megles
Message Suzana Megles
Every day I read about animal cruelty, and I have been reading about
this since 1975. Some of you who also care about animal suffering may have done this even longer. However, do any of you ever wonder if we care about human suffering as well? I have often thought about this and have come to the conclusion that we who care about animal suffering probably also care about human suffering. Sadly, I personally do not believe that the reverse is usually true. At least that's my truth. I hope that I am wrong.

This is the title of the petition which struck me this morning. As I daily sign petitions,I found this one making me wonder if we are inherently cruel to animals. Of course, in my heart I know that we could not be if
we believe in a loving God who loves all the creatures He has made (Ps.145). I also hope that the majority of people must be good.
However, there are still way too many people in this world like Larry and Carol Sams of Prince William County, Virginia whose complete disregard for the well being of their animals is truly astounding to people of compassion. It seems they believed that they could do anything they wanted to their fellow living creatures without any feelings of remorse.
The Sams have been charged with 57 counts of animal cruelty. Seventeen horses, 19 sheep, 4 dogs, a cow, and a llama were found suffering in unsanitary conditions on the farm.
Even though Larry Sams had already been convicted on two counts of misdemeanor charges of inadequate care for farm animals last year, he was permitted to have animals. This is a huge part of the problem. Many other states also have inadequate laws to protect innocent animals from cruel people like the Sams. Felony laws are needed to protect our animals from suffering and abuse. Misdemeanor laws do almost nothing to
protect them, and are little more than a slap on the wrist for the cruel perpetrators of animal suffering.
The Sams farm -- Cross States Stables advertised riding lessons, pony parties, and animal sales at its facilities. Sadly, this "friendly" word
picture was woefully inaccurate and deceitful. Thank God that a concerned citizen finally alerted authorities regarding the lack of care being given to horses and dogs on the farm.
When a police officer accompanied by a veterinarian came to inspect the premises, they found many sick animals living in squalid and unsanitary conditions. The veterinarian found a horse with an open wound which
was badly infected. Rabbits and poultry were kept in filthy cages with no access to food or water.
The petition we were asked to sign read:
"Given the pattern of cruelty to animals exhibited by the owners of Cross States Stables, they should not be allowed to care for animals in the future. Please sign this petition to encourage the authorites in Prince William County to prosecute these animal abusers to the full extent of
the law."
Let's hope that Virginia has updated animal cruelty to the status of a felony. However, I doubt it but hope I am wrong.
Maybe, you as I, enjoy reading the comments which follow accounts such as this one or any other newsworthy petitions or posts. Here are the first five I found:
Sherry: "These idiots are monsters....they are. There are no words to adequately express my outrage. These so called farmers should have
done to them what they perpetrate on these poor animals."
Christina: "I couldn't agree more, Sherry. Am sick of humans who abuse animals."
Elaine: "This couple should never be allowed to make a profit off the backs of these deserted and mistreated animals. More must be done to protect animals. There is abuse day in and day out, and we are supposed to be a civilized country?"
Herbert: "Love and Respect for ALL LIFE."
Debra: "This man was already convicted! Why does he still have animals? This is obscene. If their punishment was the same treatment they give the animals, it would STOP!"
From their remarks -it is obvious that we do have compassionate and caring people. My prayer is that we have many, many more of them, so that incidences like this become fewer and fewer. However, we still have to take a good look at how we are treating our animals in the Confined Animal Farm Operations (CAFOs). These poor farm animals daily suffer horribly. I will never understand how we continue to let this happen. Obviously, there are a precious few of us who really care. We are called
But, everyone who cares about animal suffering can help and agitate for more compassionate spaces and family life for our chickens, pigs, and cows. At one time they lived on family farms, but these were snapped up by corporations during the Reagon administration. I have read somewhere that it will be impossible to turn back the clock and start them again. Why? Probably because the demand to satisfy our meat and dairy lust is so great. But this can be changed too if we have the will and the heart to lesson our dependence on animals and their products. We, who have, do not feel deprived. If we can dismiss needing to have meat, dairy, and eggs, surely you can at least lesson your dependence on these products which cause so much animal suffering.

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I have been concerned about animal suffering ever since
I received my first puppy Peaches in 1975. She made me take a good look at the animal kingdom and I was shocked to see how badly we treat so many animals. At 77, I've been a vegan for the (more...)
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