Animals are far more ‘civilized’ than we humans when it comes to wreaking violence on one another. Very few animals kill simply for the sake of killing. Their killing is done mainly for food, for survival, and as part of the mating ritual (a natural example of ‘survival of the fittest’, in a sense). They do not kill for sport, or simply for the sake of killing.
Not that I object to man killing for sport when he hunts. But there is a world of difference between shooting a deer and eating the meat, and training dogs to be bloodthirsty and vicious in order to enjoy observing the gruesome results, and to benefit financially by pitting them against one another.
On an even lower moral plane is a man who not only authors/participates in the aforementioned brutality, but also tortures and kills those animals who either refuse, by nature, or are not strong enough, to be victorious in these contrived barbaric ‘contests’.
Our daughter spent two weeks in Kenya on business a short time ago. When she had some time off one day, she visited an animal refuge outside of Kisumu. Infant animals whose mothers have either abandoned them or been killed are raised in this refuge, and spend their remaining days there. Releasing them into the wild once they have been rescued by humans does not work.
Debating whether or not that is a wise thing to do might be reserved for another time. With that said …
The refuge is enormous, and the infant-through-adult animals have very large areas in which they live. Such an existence for them is sad, in that they would be much better off in their natural habitat, but they are treated well at the refuge.
While there, our daughter spoke with some of the keepers and discovered that, in all the years of the refuge’s existence, these animals have lived together in complete harmony, among themselves, and with the humans with whom they come into contact every day – simply because their needs are met, and there is no need to attack or kill for survival. It is the need to feed, the need to ward off natural predators, and the need to prove one’s dominance in mating, that causes animals in the wild to be violent.
While our daughter was observing the adult cheetahs being fed, she was allowed to enter their area and sit next to one. Below is a photo. This is a ‘wild’ animal, at feeding time, allowing a human to pet him – and he responded by purring like a kitten. She continued to pet him for a few minutes, with three other adult cheetahs feeding in the vicinity as well.
When man’s needs are met, there are those who are satisfied, and willing and content, even privileged, to live in harmony with those around them. And then, unlike animals, there are those whose natural bent is to want more – be it power, influence, material wealth, etc. – and their insatiable desire for more, and their strange inability to ever obtain peace of mind, is the reason for the violence that some men insist on perpetrating on others.
We all know who on this earth fits neatly in the latter human-on-human group of madmen bent on violence. We hear and read about their atrocities every day.
There is also a fine line between abusing animals and abusing other men. The stories I have read describing what Michael Vick did to young dogs who either refused, or were not strong enough, to perform well in his vicious fights causes me to react in the same way as I do to descriptions of what Islamo-fascists do to their fellow man.
Just as I cannot wrap my mind around the beheading of what madmen choose to call ‘infidels’, so I cannot also comprehend how any man can find it pleasurable to force a dog to swim in a smooth-sided container until it has no choice but to drown, or tie a dog down to a stake and then beat it to death until nothing remains of its existence but a pool of blood and a few strands of unrecognizable fur.
Men who take pleasure in evil (even some who are worshipped and revered) walk among us. A year in prison, and a monetary fine, will not cleanse a heart so black.