Animal Cruelty, A History
Animal cruelty is the human infliction of suffering or harm upon non-human animals, for purposes other than self-defence or survival. Another representation of animal cruelty can be harm for specific gain, such as killing animals for food or for their fur, although opinions differ with respect to the method of slaughter. It usually encompasses inflicting harm for personal amusement. Now a large issue pertaining to the topic is the lack of education on such subject. Concern for animal suffering is not a new or modern idea. Many read the ancient Hindu and Buddhist scriptures as advocating a vegetarian diet for ethical reasons. The ideology has evolved continuously over millennia, but many animal activists point to the publication of “Animal Liberation” in 1975 as the catalyst for the modern American animal rights movement. Alongside The Animal Welfare Act (Laboratory Animal Welfare Act of 1966, which was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on August 24, 1966. It is the only Federal law in the United States that regulates the treatment of animals in research and exhibition. Other laws, policies, and guidelines may include additional species coverage or specifications for animal care and use, but all refer to the Animal Welfare Act (otherwise known as the "AWA") as the minimally acceptable standard for animal treatment and care. Animals covered under this Act include any live or dead cat, dog, hamster, rabbit, nonhuman primate, guinea pig, and any other warm-blooded animal determined by the Secretary of Agriculture for research, pet use or exhibition. Excluded from the Act are birds, rats of the genus Rattus (laboratory rats), mice of the genus Mus (laboratory mice), farm animals, and all cold-blooded animals. Animal Liberation is a 1975 book by Australian philosopher Peter Singer. The book is widely considered within the animal liberation movement to be the founding philosophical statement of its ideas. Singer himself rejected the use of the theoretical framework of rights when it comes to human and nonhuman animals: he argued that the interests of animals should be considered because of their ability to feel suffering and that the idea of rights was not necessary in order to consider them. His ethical ideas fall under the umbrella of biocentrism (ethics). He introduced and popularized the term "speciesism" in the book, which was originally coined by Richard D. Ryder, to describe the exploitative treatment of animals.
Included because it's large. Yet flashing back in 1971 a law student, Ronnie Lee, formed a branch of the Hunt Saboteurs Association in Luton, later calling it the Band of Mercy after a 19th-century RSPCA youth group. The Band attacked hunters' vehicles by slashing tires and breaking windows, calling it "active compassion." In November 1973 they engaged in their first act of arson when they set fire to a Hoechst Pharmaceuticals research laboratory, claiming responsibility as a "nonviolent guerilla organization dedicated to the liberation of animals from all forms of cruelty and persecution at the hands of mankind." Lee and another activist were sentenced to three years in prison in 1974, paroled after 12 months. In 1976 Lee brought together the remaining Band of Mercy activists along with some fresh faces to start a leaderless resistance movement, calling it the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). ALF activists see themselves as a modern Underground Railroad, passing animals removed from farms and laboratories to sympathetic veterinarians, safe houses and sanctuaries. Some activists also engage in threats, intimidation, and arson, acts that have lost the movement sympathy in mainstream public opinion.
The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (1992) is a United States federal law that prohibits any person from engaging in certain conduct "for the purpose of damaging or interfering with the operations of an animal enterprise." The statute covers any...
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