My friend, Brick Window, posted recently about a police raid on a puppy mill in Texas. Dozens of animal carcasses were found on site and most of the surviving animals were emaciated. I responded with:
With three dogs in the house and another one coming on Wednesday, this story, and others like it, just breaks my heart. I don’t understand how people can be so cruel. I know that the animal kingdom is cruel. but in a mindless, neutral way. In nature, there is no morality because it all comes down to basic survival; hunter and prey. Humans, however, are intentionally cruel and can actually derive pleasure from the suffering of other. It gives a whole different meaning to the word “civilized”.
Humans are one of the only species that are intentionally cruel to other species and members of their own. While we consider ourselves to be somehow more advanced and enlightened than our less sentient cousins in the animal kingdom, we can be purposely cruel. I was going to say “inhuman” instead of cruel, but inhuman assumes not human. Animals are not intentionally cruel, they just do what they need to do to survive. I think that instead of using “inhuman” to to describe cruelty, we should really use the word, “human”.