Animal Cruelty blog
Most Americans agree the animals that are raised for food should get to live without cruelty or abuse. Instead, most of farm animals raised for human consumption each year in America suffer from overcrowded conditions. Most of our meat comes from industrial farms where efficiency is valued over welfare of the animals. This way, farm animals are paying the price. Unfortunately, there aren’t many laws in place for animals raised for food. Animals raised for food are actually the least-protected animals, from forms of cruelty, in our country.
Factory farms, sadly, are large corporations/operations that raise a large amount of animals for food. Surprisingly, over 99% of farm animals in America are raised on factory farms that focus on efficiency and profit. This comes at the expense of animal welfare. For example, about 238 million turkeys are raised for meat in America every year. Most turkeys are forced to live in large groups on the floors of long sheds. They are denied fresh air, pasture, and sunshine. Turkey’s are also forced to breathe high levels of ammonia from their own waste.
Unfortunately food labels are deceiving and indicate that animals have welfare standards. In reality, only a fraction of factory farms have animal welfare standards. This deceiving tends to prevent consumers from voting for better treatment of farm animals. Phrases like Natural, Free-Range, Humanely Raised/Humanely Handled, etc. that are on food products actually have no effect on animal welfare. For example, Cage-Free means that hens weren’t raised in cages, but still are raised in crowded sheds.
I think that we could all do a better job of reading labels, becoming educated, etc. It sucks that there aren’t any laws put in place to protect farm animals. In the next four years with our new president, I hope to see more animal cruelty laws put in place. That means having a set of charges and fines that someone will be presented with in the event of animal cruelty. I believe that animals, even if they are just farm animals, deserve to have rights and deserve to at least be treated with some form of respect.
Blog Post 10 - Thursday, November 10th, 2016
Take about five minutes to listen to my Animal Cruelty Podcast! You might find something interesting you didn't know about it.
Even though Iowa is small, we still have places that can help with animal cruelty, animal rescue, etc. The Humane Society of North Iowa is one of the places in Iowa that can help. The Humane Society of North Iowa was founded over 50 years ago. Their primary mission was/is to provide temporary food, medical care, shelter, and comfort to neglected and displaces animals. They also strive to educate the public about the humane care of animals and have a goal to reduce overpopulation. Sybil Soukup is the Executive Director of The Humane Society of North Iowa and this is a great place to turn to if you are ever in need of assistance with an animal or want to help make a difference in animal cruelty.
Another great thing about the Humane Society of North Iowa is that anyone can help out to reduce animal cruelty. Fortunately, there are many ways people can help out. Donations are always greatly appreciated, but if one can’t donate money, time is also appreciated all the same. Most people may choose to foster animals, walk dogs from shelters, but the best way to help is to adopt an animal yourself. Sadly, just adopting a dog or cat won’t completely end animal cruelty because it goes far beyond just pets, but at least it will help in some way.
The Humane Society of North Iowa works closely with the pet adoption center in Mason City, IA. They have a 6600 square foot facility dedicated to the animals that are in need of rescuing. The facility is home to about 100 neglected/displaced stray animals. One of the ways they spread the news about stray animals in need of homes is through TV and radio! Every Wednesday on KISS Country and KIMT they talk/show a pet that is in need of a home. They also talk about what people can do to get involved with The Humane Society of North Iowa.
I think that it is great that Iowa actually has places that someone can help out. When I hear these animal cruelty cases and how many different forms of it there is, it seems like there is no hope for these animals. However, when you dig deeper, there is actually a great deal of people working to help these amazing animals. I think anyone who donates anything, if it is money, time, anything deserves to be acknowledged for it. No donation is too small and anything someone is willing to give will help immensely. Unfortunately, animals can’t talk, so we have to be their voice if we ever want anything to change.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” - Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
Sunday, October 30th, 2016 - Blog Post 9
Animal Cruelty is when someone hurts and animal or doesn’t care for them in the correct way. It is against the law to be harmful or cruel to animals. Animal Cruelty can also be called animal abuse or neglect. Animal Cruelty is considered, in the U.S., to be a misdemeanor with a fine that can be up to one thousand dollars and/or jail time up to one year. If you are caught with a fourth offence pertaining to animal cruelty or extreme animal cruelty, it is a fourth degree felony with a fine that can be up to five thousand dollars and/or jail time up to eighteen months or more.
With animal cruelty being illegal, why do people still participate in this inhuman act? Most people who abuse animals aren’t doing it on purpose. Someone may forget to feed or give water to their pet, they may have mental issues of their own, etc. Unfortunately, in cases like dog fighting, Greyhound racing, etc. people do it for the gambling aspect and for the money. In addition to the money, the people being cruel to these animals may not view them as living things. These cruel people often view animals, instead like objects that are incapable of feeling pain.
When I started to research animal cruelty, I wondered what can I do to help stop animal cruelty. If you see animal cruelty happening don’t try and stop it with force, this could result in injury of yourself and/or others involved. The best thing to do is call an emergency service so they can help the animal. Emergency services and animal control have more knowledge and experience in these situations and can handle them with the correct amount of force, care, etc. It is important to report animal abuse because these animals don’t have a voice, so we need to be the voice speaking for them and their rights. Even if they are just animals they still have rights and shouldn’t have to go through pain like that.
I think it is good that we have organizations like ASPCA, PAWS, PeTA, etc. because they help to give out information and to raise awareness on animal cruelty. Before, starting to research animal abuse and neglect, I didn’t realize how many different forms of animal cruelty existed in the world. Animal cruelty is, in my opinion, inhuman, unethical, and just plain wrong. I am glad that animal cruelty became illegal and it has significant consequences. I feel that threatening animal abusers with high fines and jail time help to cut down on the amount of animals that are neglected, but, unfortunately, animal cruelty still happens today. I encourage everyone, if they see animal cruelty happening, to report it right away. It is important for us to be the voice for the animals.
Thursday, October 20th, 2016 - Blog Post 8
An endangered species is any species of plant or animal that is at high risk of extinction. There are over 60 species of animals all over the world that are critically endangered or endangered. Most animals that become endangered are because of threats from changing environments or predators. This could be because of human intervention such as building roads, deforestation, poaching, etc. Animals can also become endangered from natural circumstances such as natural disasters, invasive species, etc.
An Extinct Species is any species of animal, plant, or organism that can’t be found in the wild or in captivity any more. There is over 906 animal species that have been recorded as extinct in the world. In the last forty years we have lost over ten species of animals, that means there has been ten different types of animals completely wiped off the Earth never to be found again. For example, the Golden Toad (1989), Zanzibar Leopard (1996), Po’ouli (2004), Madeiran Large White (2007), Tecopa Pupfish (1982), and many more. Scientists are worried about the high rate of recent animal extinctions in the world. Scientists have estimated that about half of the the species that are alive on Earth today may possibly become extinct within the next seventy five years.
Invasive species is any species of animal, pathogen, or plant that aren’t native to the ecosystem that they are put into. An invasive species’ introduction to foreign environments usually result in harm to the animals and plants that are native to that environment. Most of the time, invasive species are introduced by humans for various reason. Usually invasive species don’t have any natural predators causing them to reproduce at rates that can’t be controlled naturally. This relates back to endangered and extinct species because, often, invasive species will cause a native species to become endangered or extinct in their own habitats.
Many people may be wondering, well what does endangered, extinct, and invasive species have to do with animal cruelty? Well, a majority of animals that are endangered and/or extinct become that way because of human interaction. Us humans are probably one of the most invasive species. I say that because we are responsible for most of animal habitats getting ruined. We do a great deal of habitat destruction, for example: deforestation, desertification, coral reef degrading, etc. The main reason we do these things is for agriculture and manufacturing. In my opinion this is a form of cruelty. I think before ruining animal habitats for our own gain, we should stop and think is the risk of harming or endangering a species really worth it?
Friday, October 14th, 2016 - Blog Post 7
Greyhound racing is a “sport” where Greyhounds are made to race around a oval or circular track and usually spectators will put money/bet on the outcome of the race. Greyhounds are a bred of dog that is generally tall, slender, has keen sight, and is usually capable of higher speeds than most dogs. In ancient times, Greyhounds were often used for hunting of small game, but now mostly used for racing and coursing. About every year, there are many healthy, young Greyhound pups that get killed, because they aren’t good enough to race. Luckily the racing of these Greyhounds has declined a fair amount in recent years, because people have become more knowledgeable of the awful things associated with this sport. Sadly, there are still over twenty tracks in the U.S. that are operational.
Even though Greyhounds are generally a pretty strong breed, the Greyhounds forced to race often endure gruesome injuries on the track. Some injuries include cardiac arrest, broken legs, broken necks, spinal cord paralysis, etc. Not only do these dogs suffer on the track, they suffer off the track as well. The Greyhounds that get involuntarily caught up in this brutal activity often spend most of their lives in warehouse-style kennels for over twenty hours a day or kept outside in dirty areas that have little to no shelter. Often times these enclosures aren’t heated or air conditions, so most dogs suffer from internal parasites, ticks, and fleas. These Greyhounds aren’t usually provided with human affection, adequate sustenance, or veterinary care either.
You would think that this would be enough for all states to turn their back to this disgusting practice, although some states have, their are still states that don’t really care. Unfortunately, Greyhound racing tracks are still being operated in seven different states: West Virginia, Alabama, Texas, Arizona, Iowa, Arkansas, and Florida. Luckily, Greyhound racing attendance is slowly getting smaller nationwide. The reason for this is most states are or have passed laws that end/prohibit the “sport”. Also, part of the decrease of Greyhound racing could be due to a large loss in profits, track facilities are losing money on these races. Plus, state government usually end up having to spend more to control these places and don’t make much profit from it. What is even more surprising as that over the past ten years, Greyhound breeding has declined by 57% and gambling on dog racing has declined by 66%.
I think that it is great that states are slowly becoming more and more against Greyhound racing or any dog racing for that matter. In my opinion, I don’t think any animal should be put through that sort of torment and physical brutality. What is even worse about this is that often times dogs that come out of this racing have many health problems and usually don’t make very good pets. It is like the people who race these Greyhounds and bid on them aren’t even giving the dogs a chance in life. I feel like every living thing should get to have a chance at a happy life, plus, dogs are meant to be companions and to protect. By throwing these dogs into racing at such a young age, they don’t know any better and aren’t serving the purpose they were originally meant to serve. I am a big dog lover, so I generally feel very strongly towards this topic, but other people may have different views than I do.
Monday, October 3rd, 2016 - Blog Post 6
What is horse slaughtering? Horse Slaughtering refers mainly to the killing and eventually processing of horses for human production, consumption, etc. The last three known U.S. slaughterhouses were in Illinois and Texas. All three of these facilities were foreign-owned and eventually shut down/closed in 2007. These places killed and processed over 90,000 horses for human consumption, mainly shipping the meat overseas. Some laws/bills are now put in place to try and prohibit killing and selling of horses and horse meat for human production and consumption.
Horse’s that are bound for slaughtering are treated very inhumane. Most of them are usually shipped for over 24 hours in over populated trucks. Most of the time, these horses are shipped without food or water. Horse Slaughtering is NOT humane euthanasia. The procedure’s used to eliminate these horses almost never are quick and painless deaths. Sometimes horses can even remain conscious during dismemberment of their bodies.
Most of the time, slaughterhouses are/were not “green” or clean enterprises. These places have been shown to be very economically draining and environmentally damaging to the communities involved in them. These issues were so damaging that the states that have had experience hosting horse slaughtering facilities don’t want them back. Illinois, Texas, and other states made laws that particularly ban selling, giving, and owning horse meat that is intended for human consumption. Still, about 150,000 American horses are taken over the border to slaughterhouses in Mexico and Canada. Luckily in April of 2015, congress introduced the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE), which was put in place to attempt and prohibit the slaughter of horses for human consumption and ban their export abroad.
In my opinion, anyone in their right mind wouldn’t want to eat horse meat, but there's still people who do. I feel this situation is similar to how we feel about eating dog meat. We view horses and dogs as pets, work animals, etc. However, some countries don’t find a problem with it, in fact, some countries view horse and dog meat as a delicacy. I am glad that the put the SAFE act into play to try and prohibit the killing and selling of horses for human consumption. All in all, in my opinion, horses shouldn’t be killed for human consumption.
Sunday, October 2nd, 2016 - Blog Post 5
Animal hoarding is when a person or individual is keeping/housing more animals than he/she can sufficiently care for. Animal hoarding is a complicated issue, because it has to do with mental health, public safety concerns, and, above all, animal welfare. This issue is generally defined as the incapability to provide even very little standards of sanitation, shelter, nutrition, and veterinary care. This often results in animal starvation, illness and sometimes even death. In most cases, animal hoarders think they are helping these animals and refuse to believe, that in reality, they are hurting the animals more than helping them.
Animal hoarding puts the animals in the household at risk for a variety of different diseases and health concerns. The most common health issues that come from animal hoarding are malnourishment and problems related to neglect and overcrowding. Results of hoarding are usually long-lasting and keep affecting the animals even if they have been rescued and been given better care. Malnourishment is lack of food and water. The instant consequence of malnourishment is starvation and eventually death. However, malnourishment also leads to growing susceptibility to other, more serious, diseases. Plus, when there is a limited food supply, animals usually turn to aggressive behavior and compete for available food, eventually killing and eating other animals in the household.
Animal hoarding presents a risk that threatens both individual and public health. By definition, hoarders are people who fail to upkeep sanitary conditions of their houses/living spaces. Animal hoarding can potentially be at the root of a string of human health problems such as sanitation, fire hazards, envenomation, neglect, and zoonotic diseases. Substandard sanitation conditions pose many health risks to humans and animals. In most animal hoarding situations, animal waste is found stuck to interior surfaces, like beds, countertops, cupboards, etc. In addition to posing health risks, sever odors and waste outside may become an annoyance to neighbors and communities.
I believe that animal hoarders suffer from underlying problems like mental disorders and should be helped in more ways than just condemning their houses. Unfortunately many cases go unnoticed and/or un-dealt with. I think that their needs to be more organizations devoted to helping animals and people who suffer from animal hoarding. However, most of these organizations are volunteer run and there aren’t many people who would like to commit to something that would take up most of their time without getting paid. I think that animal hoarding is a bigger issue than it appears to be and I wish there was more we could do about it.
September 21, 2016 - Blog Post 4
Many cosmetic companies, hair care companies, cleaning companies, etc. continue to test on animals. Why do these companies test on animals? Most companies still test on animals, because cosmetics and medications can contain components and chemicals that can have bad side effects if a human uses them. In 1938 Congress passed the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, that began requiring animal safety testing of cosmetics and drugs. The reason Congress passed this act is because there were several negative incidents involving untested products.
In the 1930s over a dozen people went blind after using a popular mascara called Lash Lure. Lash Lure was made with a chemical component that could burn the skin if it came into contact with it. There was one woman who had burns so severe that she died, because of an infection caused by Lash Lure. Also, in 1937, more than a 100 people died after using a recently developed cough syrup called Elixir Sulfanilamide. The medicine had a chemical in it called in diethylene glycol, which is a very toxic product to humans. After both these incidents and a couple more, Congress thought it would be a good idea to mandate testing on animals, before humans were able to purchase products.
This day in age, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) looks over safety of drugs, cosmetics, foods, and even medical devices. There are also other federal agencies that demand safety test for products that can be used in someone’s home, the workplace, and also the environment. All of these agencies have begun working together with other industries to try and develop ways to get reliable drugs without testing animals or to minimize the amount of animals needed. As soon as new test are found as effective as testing on animals, government agencies can agree to replace animal tests.
We, as human beings, have become so advanced in areas like technology, medicine, etc. so why are we still testing products on animals? There are up to thirty-eight companies that still test their products on animals. I personally didn’t realize that there were so many companies that still test on animals. I understand that we have to test our products some way, what I don’t get is why it has to be on animals. I feel that, because we are so advanced, companies shouldn’t still be testing their products on animals.
9/18/2016 - Blog Post 3
A puppy mill is usually a group or establishment that mass produces/breeds dogs. The dogs that come from puppy mills are sold to outside distributors. Puppy mills are different than small families or groups who breed dogs. The difference is that the small groups aren’t breeding them as rapidly and they are looking after each puppy with care. The owners of puppy mills are invested into it usually only for money, they don’t care about the well-being of the dog.
Puppy Mills appeared in the U.S. after World War II. Farmers took them is an opportunity for farmers to make money while agriculture was down. Pet store owners began to realize that by having puppies available to purchase in their stores brought in more people and more money. This caused Pet stores to continuously turn to farmers for their puppies. With such a rapid increase in demand, puppies began being bred and raised in facilities that were very low maintenance. It started in the 1940s and we still see dogs being raised in this awful establishments.
There is no legal definition of a puppy mill, but the ASPCA defines them as any commercial breeding facility that puts profit ahead of the wellbeing of the dog. Most dogs in these places end up living not nearly as long as other dogs and usually develop many health problems. A lot of times, dogs are kept in overcrowded areas with small cages stacked on top of each other. The wire flooring of these cages/areas can be harmful to their paws. Females are usually bred every heat cycle to produce as many puppies as possible.
I think puppy mills are awful, because these facilities that they keep the dog in are detrimental to the puppies. It wouldn’t be so bad if the people that own these places actually cared for the dogs, but most of them just look at each puppy as a dollar sign. The more puppies they breed, the more money they make. That is why the wellbeing of the dogs are pushed aside, so the owners can make more money. The next time you think about buying a puppy from your local pet store, make sure that the dog isn’t coming from a puppy mill.
9/11/2016 - Blog Post 2