As I look at today’s society, there is one problem imp articular that stands out to me. It affects my family’s farming operation, and it affects everyone in some way whether it is from watching it on the news from time to time, or having dealt with some form of it in your past. The topic I would like to propose is animal cruelty. I want to explore this topic because of the so many different points of view that our society has upon it. It may not directly affect everyone in our class, but I guarantee every single person will have an opinion on what defines animal cruelty. Does everyone oppose it? Are all animals that don’t live in your house being abused? Is keeping livestock in barns animal cruelty? If your pet does something bad and you beat it, is that animal cruelty? If you leave your dog in the car in 100 degree weather for a prolonged period of time, is that cruelty? There are so many different opinions on these questions, and I look forward to getting the chance to be able to examine the topic closely in this essay. I have always had my own opinion on animal cruelty and what it is, but I have come to find out, not very many people share the same view on this topic. So, the first thing I wanted to do in this paper was to get a good solid base to start off of, and I figured that would be an actual definition! I typed in the phrase “animal cruelty definition” into Google and a definition on Wikipedia popped up. It read, “Cruelty to animals is the infliction of suffering or harm upon animals, other than humans, for purposes other than self-defense. More narrowly, it can be harm for specific gain, such as killing animals for food or for their fur.” (“Animal Cruelty”) As it turns out this, in a sense, did not help me at all because within this definition, to me, there are two different definitions. Although it did not help me reach a consensus, it did spark motivation in me to do some more research for myself. The first thing I did whenever I thought of the differences in definitions, was immediately think of what the term means to me. To me animal cruelty is going out of your way to cause harm or inflict pain on an animal without viable reasoning. The biggest organization I could think of that is the exact opposite of this is People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). PETA is a worldwide organization that is pushing for animal rights and animal welfare, but to the max.
I typed anti-PETA into my Google search bar, and I came up with the website consumerfreedom.org. Within this website, I found so many other articles that completely sided with my beliefs. I just got lost reading through all of the articles, and I had to remind myself of the task at hand. There were several articles talking against PETA on that site, and most of them mainly talked about how PETA blows everything out of proportion, how everything they do is just a big PR stunt to raise money for their organization. One of the recent ‘so called PR stunts’ is something I am quite sure a lot of people found amusing. They claimed that pregnant mothers who eat Buffalo wings doom their sons to smaller penises (Miller, “Consumer Freedom”). Now that will attract a lot of attention! Although, the source that PETA cited in this statement didn’t even look at chicken when doing their research (Miller, “Consumer Freedom”). I’m starting to see how some of them might not understand what goes on within the food production industry. There is two sides to every story though, and since this is an exploratory essay, that means I have to explore the second side now. Since my first source got me thinking about PETA. My first instinct was to go directly to their organization’s website, and research their opinions and reasoning, so I did. The first thing I read on the screen was certain to get their mission statement across: “Animals are NOT ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any way,” (PETA.org). This only prompted me to find out more about why they believe that way. I only read a few of the many articles on that website, but believe me, that was more than enough. Even though I disagreed with what they said by the end of the articles, I did find them highly interesting to read.
They have some legit problems they address such as real animal abuse aka: someone physically beating an animal, which is probably their biggest one. They also have some other issues that don’t particularly pertain to animals, but somehow they find a way to. For instance, one of the articles I read was trying to convince people to boycott air travel. Why, you may ask? Why, because airlines ship monkeys to various parts of the world, so resulting from this they could possibly be used as part of an experiment. Now PETA is trying to get people to restrain from flying on certain airline companies until they agree not to transport primates (Mackey, “Monkey Business). The problems that I see within their ideas is that they view the problems from the animal’s point of view, and they don’t take into account what we gain from the animals, or why they are important to us. Comparing these two sources is going to prove to be difficult, to some extent. Their beliefs and ideas are completely different, and they stand for two separate causes: one is for getting animals human-like rights and treating them completely like humans, and the other is to try and stop PETA from ruining the production industries. However, there is one, lone idea that they have in common and that is they both disagree with animal cruelty and going out of your way to harm a creature. Trying to relate these two sources is, in fact, difficult, but why would you try and relate two things that are exact opposites? I believe that each of the two have the right to be different from one another because they both stand for what they believe in, whether it is right, or whether it is wrong. Based on using these two resources, my views on animal cruelty have not really changed based on the fact that the biggest organization supporting animal rights does absolutely ridiculous things. I believe that going out of your way to cause harm or inflict pain on an animal is the true definition, and I will stand by that. Animals are food, and we cannot feed this world’s growing population without producing livestock. Going into this paper, I kind of had an idea that my mind would not be changed, but you never know what will come of something until you do it. This was a really fun topic for me to research because it affects me directly as well as others in my area because we are related with agricultural production. I was almost hoping that I might find something in my research to make my feelings toward PETA a little less intense, but that didn’t end up happening. I sincerely hope that you enjoyed reading this essay and that I might have sparked a want, inside you, to learn more about this topic.
PETA. “Why Animal Rights?” PETA.org. N.p., Aug. 2013. Web. 3 Oct. 2013. “Center for Consumer Freedom – An Unlikely Source Berates PETA’s Tactics.” Center for Consumer Freedom. N.p., 9 Sept. 2013. Web. 3 Oct. 2013. “Animal Cruelty.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 17 Oct. 2013. Web. 19 Oct. 2013. Miller, Daniel. “Center for Consumer Freedom.” Center for Consumer Freedom Atom. N.p., 9 Sept. 2013. Web. 19 Oct. 2013. Mackey, Jeff. “PETA to Philippine Airlines: Ground the Monkey Business!” PETA.org. N.p., 23 May
2013. Web. 19 Oct. 2013.