Article by Puhar Pallab Baruah, The North-Eastern Chronicle

Visuals by: Manas Jyoti Saikia

Animal abuse which is also called animal cruelty can be defined as causing harm or suffering for any particular achievement; like killing animals for sport.

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Acts of cruelty against animals cannot be left out as a mere mental flaw in the particular human but it indicates a rather deep mental disturbance in the minds of the abuser. There are many reasons why individuals indulge in animal cruelty. However, it can mainly be divided into two main categories: active or commission and passive or omission.


Active cruelty or acts of commission implies causing intentional harm to animals. The intended harm of animals is most disturbing in nature and the serious psychological issue is at the backdrop of the abuser. Such behaviour is mostly associated with sociopathic behaviour and should be taken very seriously. In violent homes this form of animal cruelty takes place to simply psychologically torture the victims, to assert dominance.

Passive cruelty or acts of omission can be classified through acts of negligence towards the animals. It is where the crime is a lack of action rather than the action itself. However, even though the word negligence doesn’t sound too serious, it is to be noted that in some cases negligence causes the animals severe trauma and pain.

But there are also some other kinds of abuse that must be mentioned:

  • Bestiality- Bestiality or sexual abuse in animals, is the term given to intercourse between a human and non-human (animal).

  • Organised animal abuse

This category can be classified as to where animals are abused in the way of animal fighting like dogfighting, bullfighting and cockfighting, mostly for entertainment purposes.


  • Laboratory experimentation- This type of abuse is exactly as it sounds, millions of animals are used in laboratories for drug testing and other stuffs under the pretext of progress. Animals in such conditions mostly die due to chemical reactions in the body or worse living conditions.
MOSCOW, RUSSIA – APRIL 15: Russian scientists prepare monkey during testing at the Medical and Biological Problems Laboratory on April 15, 2003 in outside Moscow, Russia. Russian scientists at the country’s top space medicine centre use animals to test the health effects of life in space. (Photo by Dmitry Korotayev/Epsilon/Getty Images)

Various well-known figures throughout history have stated their concerns on animal cruelty, to cite such examples: Leonardo da Vinci purchased caged up birds to set them free and stated his anger at the fact that humans used its dominance to raise animals for slaughter.

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Charles Darwin through his theory of evolution has stated that not only did human beings have a direct kinship with other animals, but the latter had social, mental and moral lives too. Later, in The Descent of Man (1871), he wrote: “There is no fundamental difference between man and the higher mammals in their mental faculties.”


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