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Wednesday , August 21 2013
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Feeling Outraged About Animal Crushers?

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Houstonians are outraged that a judge has tossed the case against animal fetish torturer Ashley Nicole Richards. Comments on the article include:

- these sick sick piece of garbage scum bags have no place in this world

- I sure hope when they get to hell they suffer long and hard I would love to meet up with these little cowards

- This bitch needs to star in a snuff video

and

- THIS BITCH NEEDS TO DIE!

So, people are kinda mad, but what about exactly? The torture of animals in general, or the fact this the act of torture itself is the product being marketed? Our morality makes these types of distinctions between a person committing bad acts that are by-products of other ends (like children being killed in the collateral damage of a drone strike), and bad acts that are the end-product themselves (like intentionally killing children). However, whatever the ends, the vast majority of animal torture in the U.S. is done by the food and clothing industries simply to save money.

Aside from a few who raise their own animals, hunt, or buy meat from trusted acquaintances, Americans eat meat that has been factory farmed. All of the factory practices include routine torture through an animal’s entire life. If we were to criminalize all animal torture, meat would cost much more.

Among those outraged about crush animal torture are many who also purchase tortured animal meat to eat every day. They don’t have to think about the lifetime of suffering they create, or even know it exists. Those who crush animals know exactly how much suffering they cause. Intent is and should be relevant, and taken into account when charging and sentencing criminals. However, for the victims, being tortured by factories trying to save money is not any better than being tortured by people providing videos for others indulging in fetishes.

The same distinction exists between the West Texas fertilizer plant explosion and the Boston marathon bombing. The factory owners didn’t try to hurt people, the Boston bombers did. The Boston bombers will be punished as much as possible for murder and terrorism, whereas the West Texas fertilizer plant owners might never face jail time for their criminal negligence. For the victims of either explosion, it is equally horrible.

No one is advocating penalizing negligent factory owners as much as intentional bombers, but there should be some serious penalty. It makes sense to be more mad at intentional animal torturers than willfully ignorant meat-eaters, but we shouldn’t pretend eating meat is less brutal. Our righteous indignation at the misdeeds of others is often so overblown that it must stem from a fear that we might be hypocrites. Before wishing others to hell, we should strive to hold ourselves accountable for our part in extreme brutality. If you want to help prevent an animal from being tortured, there are much easier and effective ways to do so than cursing at animal crushers.

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