Why do you think people react so differently?

@James72 (26832)
Australia
September 15, 2008 11:32am CST
I am talking about bad acts towards animals versus bad acts towards people. I was reading various different websites that had news from all different areas and two stories stood out. One was in relation to a soldier in Iraq that threw a puppy off a cliff; and the other was about a man that had buried a cat alive. There was video footage of both but I had no desire to watch either one of them. This actually got me thinking. Many people become absolutely horrified when cruelty against animals happens like this, yet we are hit daily with news of bombings, murders and everything else under the sun concerning cruelty and violence against people but maqny of us do not react as intensely? (Me included to be honest) Does it all come down to us becoming desensitized towards human cruelty towards other people because of movies and TV? Or is it something else? Are you one of those people that gets offended more easily by animal cruelty or not?
1 person likes this
4 responses
@SaintAnne (5454)
• United States
16 Sep 08
I get offended when I witness some form of animal cruelty, especially when we finally got a pet of our own. But then I was also raised in a culture where people flock to cockfights and horse fights as if they are involved in just another gambling venture. I do get very angry when people mistreat animals but then I also have to remind myself that some forms are actually a part of someone else's culture and who am I to say which one's right or wrong. Although I don't think its culture that led to those two men doing those. Sometimes I feel hypocritical for feeling offended because all my life, I've been consuming meat and I know there is no humane way to kill a cow, a pig or chicken in order for me to satisfy my hunger/craving. As for human cruelty, I think we have been desensitized to such. Also, I think not reacting so intensely is in some way a defense mechanism. Unless one witnesses the bombing, murder, the killing firsthand, there is that "screen" that lets us ignore the truth that this is actually going on. It makes us feel safe because we're on the other side or we're far away from all these human madness and senseless killings. To not react so intensely allows us to deny that real people, children, parents, innocents, are being killed for no reason whatsoever and to not feel so helpless because we don't get to do anything about it. Although I enjoy most of your discussions, I think this is one of the better ones, James. I read this last night but I had to give myself a few more hours to think about what I really want to say because such topic deserves a really thought-out answer/opinion. Thanks!
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@James72 (26832)
• Australia
17 Sep 08
I have seen roosters trainuing for cockfights in the Philippines but have thankfully never seen an actual cockfight for real. This is the first time I have heard of horse fights though. In Australia there is this underground culture for illegal dog fights and I find this horrendous also. I think that we all merrily eat meat because we do not have to actually slaughter the animals ourselves. I am sure that if we had to catch and kill our own animals for meat there would probably be far more vegetarians in this world. Once again it is a case of out of sight, out of mind! I most definitely agree that we have become desensitized to human cruelty to a degree. Movies, TV shows, video games..... All of them have displayed violence and cruelty to people at one time or another and we sit placidly and never really give it a second thought. Then the real deal comes on screen on CNN or something; or we read about something in a paper or online and we again seem to just accept it and move on. Ignorance is bliss maybe? I don't know. I think that we are just programmed internally to discount many things in this world until such time as it has a direct effect on us personally. Thanks for responding and for the compliment regarding this discussion.
@SaintAnne (5454)
• United States
17 Sep 08
When I was a kid, we used to go to my paternal grandfather's farmhouse on holidays and sometimes, the town would have these horse fights. I've never seen one since we weren't allowed to but I know what was going on. I've read Fast Food Nation and Eric Schlosser was our graduation guest speaker but that still hasn't stop me from eating meat. For a lot of people, ignorance is bliss.
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@James72 (26832)
• Australia
18 Sep 08
Thank goodness you never actually saw one of these horse fights then. It probably would have been quite traumatic. I actually used to work in a slaughterhouse when I was younger and still eat meat myself. I did not actually kill the animals but I was part of the process. It was disgusting but has not put me off eating meat.
@mimpi1911 (25455)
• India
16 Sep 08
James it shouldn't be a concern that animal activists having their ways and could ensure animal safety and animal protection (even though its shocking meager) when we humans are grossly killing each other! We cannot and must not compare like that. It's a good thing that animal lovers are doing their bit to save them. We shuld be more concerned about the issue of dehumanization of mankind. It's gross and bizzare! Thanks.
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@James72 (26832)
• Australia
16 Sep 08
No argument there mimpi! There are humantarian groups making progress on both sides of the fence and there passion fo their causes are nothing short of inspiring. It is not a case of comparison with a view to make one evil more important then the other at all; it is a question regarding why some people tend to react so differently in relation to one evil versus the other. For example, I have seen people recoil in horror when they see footage of an animal being beaten yet they sit there passively when CNN shows atrocities towards people in Iran. Both are equally as bad as each other yet one seems to have a more profound affect. Why? It is this that I find intriguing. Thanks for responding mimpi.
@mimpi1911 (25455)
• India
16 Sep 08
This makes much sense, James. I think this has to do more with normal human pshyche. We are more perturbed to see some physically challenged person being tortured than a normal one! Since animals are considered largely as beings that is below humans we bleed more.
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@miryam (6510)
• Italy
17 Sep 08
i think that is a good, also the world was nois, like is well because change... bye myryam
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@James72 (26832)
• Australia
18 Sep 08
What is good miryam? I am not quite sure of your point here.....
• United States
17 Sep 08
Animal cruelty and harming children are the two things that get me going the most. I cannot stand to hear stories about someone abusing, beating, killing, etc. an animal or a child. I honestly do not get as upset about the violence towards adults and stuff for the most part. There are some stories that really get to me, but for the most part animals and children get to me the most. I am not sure why we are like that. It may be that we see so much on tv that it doesn't phase us. Or, maybe society as a whole is just desensitized to violence and war. Maybe we have accepted it as a part of life and that is why we don't react as strongly to it.
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@James72 (26832)
• Australia
18 Sep 08
I agree that we have become desensitized as there is so much violence around us in the form of entertainment. Maybe we also tend to get more riled up about children and animals because they are less able to fend for themselves like an adult can? Thanks for responding to the discussion.