On Human Cruelty
Written by Alfonso Elizondo
Human cruelty is an action that causes pain and suffering. It may be committed by people of all ages and harm any type of creature.
It is also considered cruelty when heavy carts are attached to a horse for it to pull, spraying poison on a public street to kill street pets or leaving a dog that has an owner abandoned in the middle of a long highway.
All these are clear examples of human cruelty.
Cruelty encompasses aberrant practices by humans, such as the heartless acts that cause suffering to the elderly who are exposed to physical or psychological abuse, while the people who perform these deeds are unperturbed because they know such people are helpless.
So it is precisely human beings that are less able to defend themselves who are the recipients of more acts of cruelty. Animals, which are not human, head the list of victims at the hands of the human species because they are used to satisfy all kinds of needs and whims.
First there is the human diet; the injustice of depriving millions of edible animals of their freedom cannot be denied. They are forced to live in crowded conditions and to eat compulsively to get fat in the shortest possible time, with their young being snatched to be slaughtered or tortured, and just like their mothers to be killed without giving them any chance to defend themselves.
From our perspective as human beings, we would not think it fair for a new species to appear and do the same to humans, even if that species assured us that it did not need our flesh to survive. It would be an apocalyptic picture, with millions of human beings locked in cages, separated from their children, forced to reproduce when their owners chose, then to be mutilated and to have their parts sold.
In other words, cruelty is the basic language of human beings and the way to treat other living creatures, although there is no awareness of it. The society in which we live forces us to unwittingly seek a specific position in an arbitrarily created social pyramid.
The society says we have natural rights over the other species and that allows us to carry out all kinds of acts of cruelty shielded by a cowardice that is never mentioned.
If we are capable of hurting our fellow human beings, of mistreating children, of abusing weak old people, of insulting people with a different skin color and those of another ethnicity, it is logical that cruelty will be used as the basis of communication with the other living creatures.
On the other hand, from the point of view of psychiatry, cruelty is a psychological disorder that involves deriving pleasure from the suffering of others or indifference towards the pain of others. It is also associated with sadism, which is the pleasure caused by the pain caused to other people.
Addendum: The vast majority of people are so immersed in this subjective reality of being unconsciously cruel that they never recognize this terrible human condition that is born with their species.