As you all know by now, animal welfare is one of my great concerns in life. What many people don't realize is what a strong connection there is between violence against animals and violence against humans.
I want to share with you a couple of links from the Humane Society:
First Strike: The Connection Between Animal Cruelty and Human Violence
Frequently Asked Questions about Animal Cruelty
Here's a sample from the FAQ:
Please do what you can to raise awareness, to prevent animal cruelty and to rescue and/or care for animals who have been subjected to abuse. In doing so, you will be helping humans as well.
Is there any evidence of a connection between animal cruelty and human violence?
Absolutely. Many studies in psychology, sociology, and criminology during the last 25 years have demonstrated that violent offenders frequently have childhood and adolescent histories of serious and repeated animal cruelty. The FBI has recognized the connection since the 1970s, when its analysis of the lives of serial killers suggested that most had killed or tortured animals as children. Other research has shown consistent patterns of animal cruelty among perpetrators of more common forms of violence, including child abuse, spouse abuse, and elder abuse. In fact, the American Psychiatric Association considers animal cruelty one of the diagnostic criteria of conduct disorder.
Why would anyone be cruel to animals?
There can be many reasons. Animal cruelty, like any other form of violence, is often committed by a person who feels powerless, unnoticed, and under the control of others. The motive may be to shock, threaten, intimidate, or offend others or to demonstrate rejection of society's rules. Some who are cruel to animals copy things they have seen or that have been done to them. Others see harming an animal as a safe way to get revenge on someone who cares about that animal.