Coexist is one of the most important concepts in this world. However, we often forget that animals are part of our moral community as well. Animals must be treated as we like to be treated, and there is no reason to intentionally hurt them. Many people are unaware of how many animals are being abused and killed on a daily basis. There are people who raise roosters to fight each other to the death. Dogs are forced to fight other dogs and are rewarded for their victories but beaten brutally. Matadors taunt bulls and slowly kill them by stabbing. People watch as dogs attack and murder wild pigs. These are just some of the issues that we are currently not taking care of. There are currently laws in place to protect animals and prevent such blood sports, but they are not enforced as they should be, and this needs to change.
The animals who are victims in these blood sports are treated far worse than many people realize. For example, in bullfighting bulls are weakened prior to fights by many things, such as being drugged, having their horns shaved down and made dull, getting sandbags thrown on their backs, or petroleum jelly rubbed in their eyes to blur their vision. Then, during the fight, a matador is able to stab them repeatedly, slowly killing the defenseless bull. Another inhumane sport is cockfighting. Breeders raise roosters training them on “game farms.” If a bird shows that they are not willing to fight, then their lives would not be spared. In cockfighting, two roosters are sent to beat and claw each other until the opponent is dead, or nearly dead. When a match is over and the losing bird is only close to death, he is often disposed of in a garbage can. There is also dogfighting, in which dogs, usually pit bulls, fights each other with the objective of killing the other.
Usually the losing dog is fatally wounded. Preceding a match, they are starved in order to trigger extreme survival instincts and encourage aggression. They are physically trained by hanging on with their jaws while dangling from a chain baited with meat, being motivated to run on treadmills by the terrified cat dangling in front of them, being forced to tread pools of water, or having their teeth sharpened. Some people are cruel enough to inject the dog with steroids, thinking nothing of it. Breeders will strap a female pit bull to a “rape stand” to prevent her from defending herself as a male dog impregnates her. All of these events are held solely for entertainment and gambling.
There are many things that people can do to become proactive in preventing animal cruelty. A good place to start is becoming familiar with the various websites set up for this purpose and with their resources. A simple google search brings up many such sites, such as PETA’s (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) site, www.peta.org/, ASPCA’s (American Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) site, www.aspca.org/, and The Anti-Cruelty Society’s site, www.anticruelty.org. The website makingadifferencerescue.com will tell you that if dogfighting, hog-dog rodeos, cockfighting, or anything of this nature are suspected in your residential area, then you can write your state legislators urging them to make these things a felony.
There are many other ways that a person can get involved, including the very important aspect of raising public awareness about this issue. Often local charity events are held to get more people in the community involved and to raise money as well as help legislative efforts. Many websites and organizations are full of information about ways to get involved in their charity events. Another way to help directly as well as to raise public awareness is to foster animals in need, or to take care of them on a temporary basis while helping to secure a home for them. This automatically involves talking with lots of people, either directly or via social media, informing them about the animals, their previous situation, and what their needs are – all great ways to raise public awareness. Some people may even choose to become involved and take action by purchasing posters and print ads that publicize the animals’ needs.
Many people say that there are already laws in place to prevent these things from happening. Forty-one states and the District of Columbia have laws making a few forms of animal cruelty a felony. (Each state does make its own laws on these subjects, so it is important to check on the laws in your state.) Also The Animal Welfare Act is in place, which is a federal law that has to do with animal research, how shelters and pounds are run, stolen animals, and how animals are transported. The problem with the argument about these laws preventing animal cruelty, is that in many cases the laws are not being enforced. Websites agree that local authorities are often alarmingly tolerant of these heartless events.
Now that we are aware of how horrifically animals are often treated, it is our responsibility to coexist and cohabit this earth with them by taking action. Everyone who knows about these things should feel a desire to do more research on their own and to write to state legislators demanding change. Foster an animal, get involved in charity events and things happening within your community. Raising public awareness is very crucial. We all need to do our part to ensure that this does not continue.