We need to stop people torturing animals, starting at school [OPINION]

Support us and go ad-free

The RSPCA has voiced its concerns about the link between animal cruelty and social media. There has been a worrying rise in the number of people taking photos and video recordings of themselves torturing animals and sharing the content on platforms like Snapchat. The animal welfare charity says this trend is on the rise because “people feel invincible and untraceable”.

This appalling behaviour has to stop. Not only are people growing up thinking that inflicting pain on animals is acceptable, but many are finding it entertaining. Which is even more disturbing.

Preventing animal cruelty must involve an effort to educate children and young people about the ethics of how we treat animals.

Animal abuse on the rise

Data shows that, in 2015, there were 27 reported incidents of animal abuse shared through Snapchat. So far in 2017, there have been 119 complaints. That’s a 340% increase. The RSPCA believes social media has influenced this spike.

On Snapchat, your posts can disappear within seconds, which makes the people making these horrific videos feel that they can get away with it. But the videos are not untraceable. The RSPCA has tools to “trace those responsible in most cases”. The charity added:

When you consider that Snapchat is particularly popular with children and young teenagers, it’s particularly troubling that they could easily be witnessing animals being beaten, tortured and even killed in graphic detail.

Not only are young people seeing these heinous acts but, most of the time, it is also young people who are witnessed in the videos carrying out these sickening incidents or are often the ones who share them.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

As The Canary previously reported, there are many instances, all over the world, of social media encouraging people to abuse animals. Animals are suffering for the sake of selfies, or so that people can joke around with their friends on Snapchat. The RSPCA highlights that teenagers are laughing as they carry out these “savage attacks”.

Teaching animal welfare in schools

Torturing animals for entertainment indicates a serious lack of awareness about the lives, capacities and interests of animals. This is why the RSPCA is arguing that animal welfare has to be added to the national curriculum. Otherwise, what is to stop further animal abuse from occurring? Parents have a role to play. And so does the law. But an effective and holistic approach to preventing animal cruelty must include education as well. The charity argues [pdf, p1] that:

The inclusion of animal welfare within the National Curriculum would increase public understanding of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, ensuring children leave school with respect for animals and a basic understanding of how to care for them.

The inclusion of animal welfare in science and citizenship subjects will encourage empathy for living things. This is an important factor for the effective integration of young people within society.

A survey [pdf, p1] carried out in 2011 showed that 53% of respondents supported animal welfare being taught in schools. As spelled out in the Animal Welfare Act, the RSPCA says [pdf, p2] schools should teach children about the five welfare needs of all animals:

  • The need for a suitable environment.
  • The need for a suitable diet.
  • The need to exhibit normal behaviour.
  • The need to be housed with or apart from other animals of the same species.
  • The need to be protected from pain, injury or disease.

Teaching animal ethics in schools benefits not only animals, but society as a whole. Fostering empathy and compassion for members of different species ensures that their interests are protected; plus, it encourages a mindset of doing no harm, which can affect our interactions with other people as well.

Get Involved!

– Support the RSPCA.

– Check out more articles from The Canary on animal rights.

Featured image via Wikimedia

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed