Abuse of animals often develops into abuse of humans

Posted on 2019-10-11 07:30:42


Our long-term education programme - now some fourteen years old - which teaches children about the work of the SPCA and how to care properly for animals has an orientation that might surprise some, yet it is something that all schools should be teaching.

Teachers of any subject are particularly well placed to encourage compassion. Whatever subject is being taught, teachers can pass on valuable comments on ‘living one’s life in the best possible way’ and can lead by example and by the stories they tell and the discussions they encourage. Teaching and lecturing were my own professional career, so I know that there are plenty of opportunities to talk about the role of compassion towards all life.

It is heart-breaking that many people all over the world still do not accept that animals are sentient beings and experience pleasure and pain, anxiety and tranquillity, and a wide range of emotions, just as we do. Our sharing of many feelings is not surprising, since we all evolved from a common source. Animals also have abilities that we do not possess and that developed out the struggle by species for long-term survival.

It is hard to understand why human beings can often be so cruel, but childhood experience can have a strong influence. Research has shown that adult abusers were often abused as children and that they themselves abused animals. Many serial killers were cruel to animals when they were children. Animals are generally helpless and easily fall victim to cruel human beings.

One would expect abused children to be more kindly towards others because of their own painful experiences, but the opposite is frequently true. When children are taught compassion, it is far more likely that they will feel deep sympathy for the suffering of both humans and animals because they have been taught sensitive awareness.

I have produced The Animal Angle for almost twenty years and am still amazed at the dedication of the SPCA management and staff and the courage and devotion of the Inspectorate. There are even times when Inspectors’ lives are at stake when animals are in hazardous situations.

The evidence is that children who abuse animals often later abuse humans as well and also commit other crimes. Never hesitate to report abuse of both animals and humans.

Animal Angle

Read the latest issue of our official Durban & Coast SPCA magazine online

Shirley's Blog

Shirley Bell, editor of Animal Angle, writes specially for us about animal issues

Subscribe to our newsletter

Recent Posts

  • Lockdown Diaries

    A glimpse into what we got up to during lockdown   Posted 2020-09-11 08:43:17

  • Hot dogs . . . and kitties

    Grateful thanks to all who donated blankets to keep our animals toasty through some exceptionally chilly days and nights this winter.    Posted 2020-09-11 08:05:00

  • Goodbye to Oogies and Rufus

    Two popular Yard Cats pass away during lockdown   Posted 2020-09-11 08:03:14

  • Need a mask?

    We’ve got you covered   Posted 2020-09-11 07:57:00

  • Paws for Thought, with Caroline Smith

    When you love animals, as my staff and I do, you know that it’s not good for them to live in cages for weeks on end.   Posted 2020-09-11 07:53:13

Amanzimtoti: 031 904 2424/5

Dolphin Coast (Ballito): 083 659 5482/082 374 9905

Dundee & District: 034 212 2851

Empangeni: 034 792 9129/078 306 1439 (Emergencies)

Eshowe: 035 474 4169

Estcourt: 36 352 1476/083 555 9758 (Emergencies)

Greytown: 033 413 1181/033 413 1522

Howick: 033 330 4557/033 330 2672

Kloof & Highway: 031 764 1212

SPCA Inspector

Kokstad: 082 771 7229

Lower South Coast: 039 312 0962

Mooi River & District: 033 263 1526

Newcastle: 034 318 2346

Phoenix (Avonford Crescent) : 031 500 6452

Pietermaritzburg: 033 386 9267/8/9

Richards Bay: 035 753 2086

Sani: 033 702 1884