We shouldn’t watch animal cruelty videos. Why? Firstly, I’d like to say that there are lots of animal cruelty videos on YouTube. They don’t just have to be animal cruelty videos. There are many other videos that are not strictly about animal cruelty. They are very sad videos of cats and dogs that are in a bad way or dying. I am focusing on cats and dogs in this article but, of course, animal cruelty extends well beyond the most popular companion animals.
There is a very fine line between educating people about animal cruelty and voyeurism of people being cruel to animals. I’d like to make sure that I am clear about this. By “voyeurism of people being cruel to animals”, I mean that some people get a kick out of watching people being cruel to animals or seeing abused animals. Judging by the type of person who frequents YouTube, I believe that the percentage of people who are voyeurs of animal cruelty is higher than the percentage of people who want to be educated on the subject.
If I am correct, animal cruelty videos on YouTube are neither healthy nor beneficial to society. They can, and almost certainly do, damage people who watch them or, perhaps, reinforce the damage that already exists. By “damage” I mean psychologically damaged by early life experiences such that the person is likely to participate in animal cruelty. These are the young people who go on to hurt animals for fun and then humans for the same reason.
The only justification for videos depicting animal cruelty is to educate people about it but do you have to show actual, animal cruelty to be educated about it? I don’t think you do. Writing about the actual acts of cruelty in a moderate way is enough. The rest of the lesson should be about how to prevent it happening, that sort of thing.
I have learned that nearly all of us have the same fears, anxieties, hopes and loves. We are essentially the same. I know, therefore, that when people look at nasty acts of animal cruelty on video that the images can stick in the mind because they are so violent and powerful. These sorts of images are tailor made to become hard-wired into the memory. How do I know this? I know it because it has happened to me. I have seen two, perhaps three animal cruelty videos and the images on these videos are still clear in my mind, years later. Yes, these are vivid, permanent memories.
This is not education. This is psychological damage. Avoid animal cruelty videos. Learn about animal welfare by focusing on the positive aspects not the negative.
Associated: Crush Videos