More than ever before, the issue of animal cruelty is contributing to headlines all over the world.  As the debate ranges on, reports by animal welfare groups, animal clinics and individuals claiming rights over their animals continue to emanate. A lot of people classify animals as part of their property, which logically is true, and proceed to use them for various purposes such as food, labor, entertainment and research.  This involves activities such as bull fights, cock fights, dog fights in music videos, ferrying goods and scientific experiments. However, observing most of these activities from a different perspective, they portray precise elements of animal cruelty.

Various animal welfare groups have given an explanation for animal cruelty as any active or passive infliction of suffering or pain upon animals. This categorization is, however, viewed as unrealistic by many people especially due to the descriptions given for passive animal abuse. These people believe that they should use them in whatever manner they desire.

They hunt and/or kill animals for food and other products; use them as beasts of burden, organize amusement events such as cock and bull fights, use animals, especially dogs, in violent music videos, and for carrying out experiments as has been the infamous case with apes. The common argument is that there is no inherent wrong in using animals for the various human purposes, as long as the owner treats the animals in ways that minimize pain and suffering upon them. Some people will go as far as quoting the Bible in support of their argument.

In most of these cases, however, these activities are by nature, or often result into various aspects of abuse; among them are infliction of unnecessary pain, starvation, dehydration and sickness. This is evident in sports such as bull and cock fighting where the animals or poultry end up badly injured or at the worst, dead. Where animals serve as beasts of burden, they are often subject to carrying too much load and get severe beatings; donkeys are worst affected in most parts of the world. The manner used to slaughter various edible animals has also made a significant contribution to active animal cruelty; where people fail to adopt modern methods that inflict minimal pain.

Passively, many people are guilty of animal cruelty through neglect. Starvation, dehydration, parasite infestations and inadequate shelter are bad examples of such adversities in this category. All in all, animal cruelty is a reality that happens either deliberately or unintentionally through mistakes or ignorance. It needs addressing in all possible ways so as to protect animals from suffering.

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