The roots of violence are deep. Our front teeth are incisors. We kill to survive. (Yes, carrots have feelings, too.) But there is a difference between that and cruelty. Among hunter/gatherers it is common that men kill each other, usually over women, occasionally over status; and they kill women, also. That said, it remains that hunters have propitiating rituals. They thank their prey, or beg forgiveness, or sometimes blame the other tribe. We do none of that when we kill an herbivore from a blind 3 meters up and 100 meters away. So, when a police officer accidentally kills the wrong fleeing felon, there is no restoration. The officer does not apologize; and the state which empowered the homicide admits no harm and pays no compensation.
The Abrahamic religions, especially Christianity, and derivative philosophies such as Objectivism hold that only humans have souls (or free will or reason). Thus, what is done to an animal is less important.
However, we know that causal links tie violence against animals to predation upon family, neighbors, and strangers. Cruelty to pets correlates to domestic violence. Children who abuse animals will later victimize people.
- “Bringing Peace Home: A Feminist Philosophical Perspective on the Abuse of Women, Children, and Pet Animals,” Carol J. Adams, Hypatia, Vol. 9, No. 2, Feminism and Peace (Spring, 1994), pp. 63-84
- "Dogs'/Bodies, Women's Bodies: Wives As Pets In Mid-Nineteenth-Century Narratives Of Domestic Violence,” Lisa Surridge, Victorian Review, Vol. 20, No. 1 (Summer 1994), pp. 1-34.
- “Exploring the Link between Corporal Punishment and Children's Cruelty to Animals,” Clifton P. Flynn, Journal of Marriage and Family, Vol. 61, No. 4 (Nov., 1999), pp. 971-981
- “Why Family Professionals Can No Longer Ignore Violence toward Animals,” Clifton P. Flynn, Family Relations, Vol. 49, No. 1 (Jan., 2000), pp. 87-95
- “Contesting Tradition: The Deep Play and Protest of Pigeon Shoots,” Simon J. Bronner, The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 118, No. 470 (Autumn, 2005), pp. 409-452.
In North America an address of pardon or apology to the bear is reported for the following peoples: Montagnais-Naskapi, Malecite, St. Francis Abenaki, Eastern Cree, Northern Saulteaux, Tate de Boule, Plains Ojibway, Ottawa, Menomini, Sauk, Fox, Ojibway,. The Tlingit and possibly the Winnebago may also be mentioned in this connection. … It seems worth while to record the statement of Mr. Frank Gallenne of Seven Islands, P. Q., who has been a resident there for forty years and speaks one of the Naskapi dialects. He told me that he had been with the Indians when they hunted bear and that on more than one occasion they asked the animal's pardon before killing it. He cited it as one of the most curious of their superstitions. Comeau (p. 85) writes that "when caught in a steel trap or seen at a distance, he (the bear) is spoken to and asked that vengeance be not taken for his death."ALSO ON NECESSARY FACTS
The hunter "tells a bear before he kills it that he is sorry that he is in need of food and has to kill it."… "I killed you because I need your skin for my coat, and your flesh so that I can eat, because I have nothing to live on." … The bear hunter explains that nothing but hunger drove him to kill it and "begs the animal not to be offended," nor "permit the spirits of other bears to be angry." … The hunter approaches the lair and says, "I am thankful that I found you and sorry that I am obliged to kill you," promising the spirit of the beast a sacrifice of maple sugar or berries. … "When they kill a bear they make feast of its own flesh, they talk to it, they harangue it, they say, 'Do not leave an evil thought against us because we have killed thee. Thou hast intelligence, thou seest that our children are suffering from hunger. They love thee and wish thee to enter into their bodies. Is it not a glorious thing for thee to be eaten by the children of captains'." … The animal is told that the "killing was accidental or else that he must forgive him this one offense for his poor family is starving." … Although a Bear (sib) man may kill a bear, he must first address himself to it and apologize for depriving it of life.... "Should an Indian of the Bear totem, or one whose adopted guardian is represented by the bear, desire to go hunting and meet with that animal, due apology would be paid to it before destroying it." … In Asia we may refer to the Kamchadal, Yukaghir, Ostyak (Ugrian). … Among the Ainu, a speech of this type is an important feature of the bear festival." -- “Bear Ceremonialism in the Northern Hemisphere,” Irving Hallowell, American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol. 28, No. 1 (Jan. - Mar., 1926), pp. 1-175.
Active Defense and Passive Aggression, Part 2.
Shifting the Paradigm of Private Security
Minimizing the Likelihood of Bad Cops
Laissez Faire Criminology