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Have You Seen Anyone Being Cruel to Animals?

By 06/06/2015writing
Donatella Versace Sunday Morning thoughts

Cruelty to Animals

Each morning I read the news, I’m astonished by some of the ill-advised stuff people do.

I read this post (you can read it below) and had to snort with laughter: what part of “Do not approach a wild animal” is difficult to understand?

I’m happy that in this case the humans are punished for their stupidity– and can’t go unscathed as they do on various instances of wanton cruelty to animals.

I’ve been reading about a few of those on my Facebook, and writing a story that involves this. Nothing gives me a bigger smile than when I witness nature punishing human stupidity, or worse, viciousness.

Far away from the practice of compassion I’ve been working at, I know. I just don’t feel very forgiving of people kicking puppies or ‘hunting’ animals for sport.

Have you seen anyone being cruel to animals? Have you been witness to any animals giving humans their just dues? Any links to videos of people being a little dense around animals– and suffering for it?

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her next literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and was published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • violafury says:

    Yeah, this always amuses me. I’ve had a bison stick his head in my car (I was the driver) slurp my face with his tongue and grab the bag of bison treats and go on the run. The poor zebras ended up with nothing. I had to make a 2nd circuit of the park in San Antonio to make sure they were fed. We were all told to STAY IN OUR VEHICLES, but we’re not informed that we might have ride-alongs. No one was hurt and it was a good story.

    A few years back I witnessed abuse being done to dogs on Nebraska Avenue and I am not called “Viola Fury” in da ‘hood for nothin’. I had to be held at bay, until the police arrived. The miscreant was arrested; I kind of have a “get out of jail free card”, as I am considered mentally ill, but I would have seriously hurt that man. Although legally blind, with a cane, I am not shy about using it. That type of behavior toward any smaller, innocent being is untenable, immoral and inexcusable. Never have I seen that person since, or the dogs, so I assume, the dogs were removed from his car, or he had other outstanding warrants. That is often the case here.

  • lexacain says:

    I’ve only seen someone be cruel to an animal once. It was a couple of 8-10 yr old jumping on a box with a kitten on it. I told them “Abe” (“shame” in Arabic), but I doubt they took me seriously. In Egypt, cats and dogs are mostly feral. They eat from garbage cans. It’s not unusual in a 3rd world country where people are worried about their families eating and not having something cuddly to play with that they must also feed. Surprisingly, stray cats are usually well Egypt. It comes from Pharaonnic times when cats kept mice from eating stores of grain. Now they keep the rat population down. They also stroll through restaurants at will and beg for food from tourists! lol

    • Damyanti says:

      Lexa, I’ve seen too much of this in India, where your description of animal cruelty holds true. For similar reasons, too. I think love of animals needs to be inculcated in kids from when they are young– rich or poor, there’s no reason to hurt a creature.

      I’ve seen cats wander about some food courts in Malaysia– dogs are not so popular because of religious reasons, so people tolerate cats better.

  • As commonplace as cruelty towards animals in our country, the most shocking thing I have witnessed was apathy. About a year ago, on a busy road in Chennai – a kitten (much like the one in your post) was horrifically injured in an accident and ended up convulsing on the ground. It was surreal how high his body took off in pain. It was incredibly sad that none of us did anything about it, just a made a sad face and hoped that someone else would help.

  • Peter Nena says:

    Damyanti, last year, some two Kenyans spotted an elephant in the forest and ran over to take photos with it. The elephant killed them, and the game rangers promptly gunned it down. I felt very bad about the incident, considering the struggles with conservation measures to save the elephant. Those two men had provoked the animal. I remember a similar event also happened in South Africa when some tourists went too close to an elephant and it hurt them, prompting the rangers to kill it. A friend of mine, who works for Kenya Wildlife Service, told me that if an animal kills a human it has to be hunted down and murdered in retaliation. Regardless. I wonder at such a law. He told me how once a dunk Maasai man wandered carelessly across a herd of elephants whereupon one of them stumped him. In the morning, the wildlife officers had to look for that specific elephant and retaliate with their bullets. It saddens me. If people could just stay away from dangerous animals . . .

    • Damyanti says:

      Oh, man. I wonder what gave humans the right to be the judges and executioners of animals. Humans kill far more animals than animals do humans. And unless an animal shows repeated aggression (and not even then, cos why venture into the animal’s territory?), there should never be an attempt to ‘put the animal down.’ What if the same rules applied to humans? Everytime a human shoots an animal…sigh.

  • I don’t forgive cruelty to any living thing either.

  • Ellie says:

    I can’t stand animal cruelty of any kind. Full stop. I think only cowards are cruel to animals. As for buffalos being aggressive, well I suspect they’re just trying to defend their territory like many other animals will do – after all, we humans have taken over a lot of the areas animals used to be free to roam. I firmly believe that this planet is not just ours for the taking and we need to learn to better share it with other species.

  • I spent three summers working in Yellowstone back in the late nineties. Tourons just don’t get it when it comes to wild animals. They get too close and think “it” will never happen to them. Animals are so unpredictable. Signs abound. My favorite “do not molest the wildlife” but the warnings are not often heeded.

  • Rhonda Albom says:

    When we were in Singapore we went out to a small island known for its little tortoises. A man who was on our boat first kicked, then stood on one of them. We went and got the caretaker. Too bad the tortoise couldn’t fight back.

  • And there was this recent tragedy with that editor being mauled to death. I’m glad I have a healthy fear of ‘the wild’ and its inhabitants. There’s a good reason for that term, I think.

  • any1mark66 says:

    The bison will cross the road between cars. So the potential is there for lots of bison incidence. The people are lucky the bison are trying to drive then off. They have rammed tour buses, once in awhile. Anyone who don’t respect nature, at some point will.

    • Damyanti says:

      Yes, we need to respect Nature, and all her children. I don’t know why we think of us as something apart from all of earth’s creatures.

  • Hi Damyanti, I feel very sad when I see animals suffering because of human stupidity. When I see people throwing stones at monkeys and dogs, or kicking street dogs who are just sleeping on the footpath, I feel bad for these animals and pity the people’s mentality.

    • Damyanti says:

      Rachna, I feel doubly sad when this happens in India– where the religion is so forbidding of cruelty to animals– the sacred cows, elephants and monkeys are all tortured, one way or the other.

  • Not the animal’s fault. What part of ‘wild animal’ do people not understand? It’s like the lady who was mauled by a lion when it attacked her through an open window while she filmed it. People need to respect animals and use their brains.
    As for animal cruelty, that’s just as horrid to me as hurting people.

    • Damyanti says:

      So agree, Alex. I don’t know what gave us the right to think our entertainment is so much more important than the life and well-being of animals.

  • Whatsup Guy says:

    There are just too many such incidents. Its sad when the animals get hurt for the stupidity of humans which is usually colossal.

  • Kalpanaa says:

    Hahahhah – serves them right is all I can say! People are ridiculous – how would they like being stalked with cameras while eating a candle lit dinner?

  • I enjoy watching animal planet. Especially when they are on safari in Africa. They capture so much of the animal behavior. Recently I was disturbed by the sound of engines starting. The commentator said that they the lions don’t pay attention to the humans. I didn’t believe this. There were several engines starting. I don’t know how many but at least 3. Last week on the news they reported that a woman was mauled by a lion on safari. They get up close and personal with these animals. How would you like your every moved watched? Sad that the woman was killed but maybe now they will respect these animals free space and not take them for granted.

    • Damyanti says:

      Taking a lion, or any wild animal for that matter, for granted, is not very wise. I think all that wildlife brought to our living rooms via television, fools us into thinking the wildreness is all sanitized and tame.

      • I don’t see how when the show in detail how easy they kill their preys. They are strong massive animals that kilp when hungry and feel threatened. Even the elephants who are passive and usually gentle fight man when abused.

  • tuhinmech says:

    The society need to improve its mindset as well as its approach toward the animals. What is more disturbing is too see that even some of the educated and learned individuals fail to have a sensitive attitude toward these innocent beings.

    Cruelty on animals is on the rise and a lot of such incidents go unnoticed. Spreading awareness about this issue seem to be the only option left.

    • Damyanti says:

      Yep, like Gandhiji said: ‘The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.’

  • Its sad to come to know of across incidents of people kicking puppies, flinging them out of windows, hitting them with rods etc..Don’t know how people have the heart to do such things. Kind of perversion I guess.

  • mgill0627 says:

    What crushes me is when the animal is forced to suffer for the person’s stupidity. If a person is mauled by a wild animal because of their own idiocy, often the animal has to be put down. Once a predator learns how fragile, slow and tasty humans are they will always see us as prey, so don’t put that temptation in their way. Stay on your side of the line, look but don’t touch and use your camera to capture them.

    • Damyanti says:

      Agrre. Reminds me of a man at a Delhi zoo who climbed fences and jumped almost twenty feet into a tiger’s enclosure. The other visitors pelted the tiger provoking it, and it ended up mauling the man who died of the injuries. The tiger was put down.

  • Sammy D. says:

    “Oh, was that sign meant for ME? But I only wanted one close-up and THAT guy over there was getting closer … “.

    We see it in wilderness here over and over. I guess because they are viewing in ‘parks’ or ‘preserves’ they think they won’t be attacked. Fools.

    The only cruelty I witness is neighbors leaving dogs home alone – inside or outside – who bark incessantly. It can’t be any better for the dog’s blood pressure to bark for hours than it is for mine to have to listen!

    • Damyanti says:

      Sammy, I’ve seen folks pelting stones, or food at animals at the zoo.
      I hear you about the barking dogs– they must be insecure and stressed out. Here in Singapore/ Malaysia, people sometimes keep their dogs caged, like birds (not that birds should be caged, either).

      • Sammy D. says:

        Damyanti, it is sad to think of inhumane conditions that many pets are living in. I hope most here in the States are aware of their responsibility. They just seem to lose common sense when they are tourists!!

        • Damyanti says:

          I see enough instances of cruelty to animals on television, from the world over. There’s compassion, too, of course. But I wish humans would learn that being cruel to animals is the same as being cruel to ourselves.

  • macjam47 says:

    When talking about wild animals, the word “wild” is enough said.

    • Damyanti says:

      I know, right? But for some people it apparently isn’t enough. Even wild deer are just that, wild, and completely capable of head-butting you. The ones I met in Nara, Japan, at the temples, would push and shove for food.

  • IreneC says:

    I tell so many people about the time (40+) years ago when my family took a trip out there. We were amazed when we saw a man put his toddler, about 3 years old, on top of the buffalo’s neck to take a picture. Luckily, nothing bad happened. All these years later, I still have not gotten over his stupidity.

    • Damyanti says:

      Wow. That poor kid. I also can’t understand parents who have small kids keeping pythons and other snakes. (Well, I don’t understand anyone wanting to keep snakes, but if they’re being responsible and respectful about it, that’s their right. All those stories of escaped pythons frankly make me shake my head.)

  • Buffalo are mean, nasty animals, but maybe too many people have seen “Guy on a Buffalo” and think they are nice creatures:

    • Damyanti says:

      Buffalos are buffalos, they act according to their nature. It’s us humans who are supposed to know better, who are either nice or mean. 🙂

      • Have you had much interactions with buffalo?

        • Damyanti says:

          Not the wild variety, but definitely the domesticated ones in the outskirts of my childhood town. They were wilder than most domesticated animals, and gave chase without much provocation, even from a distance. I learned to give them (very) wide berth. But at the end of the day, they were being territorial, or protective of their calves, so I wouldn’t really call them mean. Aggressive? Definitely.

        • If I may humbly add, I have been attacked by a wild gaur before and suffered a broken leg and concussion. At no point did I ever feel that they were violent animals. Certainly not in the way humans are with our thoughts and deeds. It wasn’t because I love animals. Sure I do, but it only seems logical that we take a share of the blame for their aggression. Our ignorance doesn’t help either. If one does enough reading, they’d know to keep a safe distance from wild animals – no matter what.

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