I Can’t Look at Photographs of Animal Abuse Any More

Just a quick note to say that I can’t look at pictures of animal abuse anymore. They seem to be frequently thrust into my face on Facebook. Am I wrong in trying to ignore these photographs? Am I wrong in trying to put them out of my mind? Am I brushing them under the carpet to try and forget about them? I don’t know but I do know that I can’t look at them any more because they are too disturbing and upsetting and in the end it just comes down to that. You can put aside all the fancy arguments; at the end of the day it’s about me and what I can and cannot deal with. They remain lodged in the mind like a toxic substance.

No animal abuse photos please

No animal abuse photos please

It seems that Facebook thinks that I need to look at these photographs. I don’t now how Facebook works in terms of what it presents to me but it has got it wrong.

Do you feel the same way about horrible pictures of animal abuse? There really are some horror images out there. One difficulty that I have with these horror photographs of abused animals is that I feel helpless. I feel that I cannot do much about it. Perhaps I can do a bit about it and perhaps we should all do a bit so that it adds up to a lot. However, I feel I don’t have the strength in me anymore to do that.

In addition, I really sense that nobody cares. That’s wrong. People do care. Some people care a lot. A lot of people care but do we care enough to force change? How do we stop somebody abusing a donkey by overworking the animal in Asia? How do we stop somebody in China beating a dog to death on the street; treating the dog as some sort of inanimate unfeeling object?

It is a mightily difficult task to make a difference; to force change. Even the best of us and even the most committed of us including people in high places have achieved almost nothing to stop animal abuse in the poorer countries. Somebody will say why bother stopping it if the people are suffering and struggling to survive; surely we should focus on their welfare first?

I don’t believe in that. I believe we can do both at the same time. I believe we can stop animal abuse and improve the welfare of people simultaneously. As far as I’m concerned, there is still an insufficient amount of concern for animal welfare in all countries but particularly in those countries where people are poorer and without being critical of these people where people are uneducated. It takes education to make people aware of the needs and feelings of sentiment beings such as work animals. A lot of people simply have no sensibilities towards animals.

You can go back to industrialise countries like America and the UK to an era when even veterinarians were unsure that animals felt pain. So you can see that if a poor country is in effect 100 or more years behind in respect of development in comparison to industrialise countries in the West then it will be a long time before many people in those countries have refined sensibilities towards the companion and work animal.

Some people in the West enjoy animal abuse. It is not uncommon. It is an extension of sport hunting in my view. Think of people showing off animal abuse videos on FB and the like. Kids boasting of it. The internet works both ways: a force against animal abuse/cruelty and a showcase for it by perverted and psychologically damaged but dangerous people.

The more a person cares about animal welfare, the more it hurst to look at horror animal abuse photos. So, the best people are the most likely to shut them out for their own wellbeing.

Am I wrong? I could be. Tell me I am wrong.

Facebook Discussion


I Can’t Look at Photographs of Animal Abuse Any More — 20 Comments

  1. No you’re not wrong you’re absolutely right, but the thing is you have the courage to admit that you can’t take any more whereas I didn’t, for a few months now I have felt that I’ve reached capacity, I don’t think we can go on and on absorbing the misery and cruelty inflicted on animal without reaching saturation point where we simply have to delete it or look away because otherwise we will go insane. It seems that the people who do care are the ones targeted with these awful images of cruelty, almost it’s like preaching to the converted, we KNOW that there are these awful things happening, we care, we try to help stop them, we do what we can but we can’t change the world, we can only do our bit and if by seeing all this horror daily we become burned out then we can do no more to help, so we should sometimes permit ourselves to delete and to look away and let someone else deal with it because alone we’re never going to stop it happening, we’re only a drop in the great ocean of animal welfare fighting a huge sea of abuse and we should allow ourselves a little bit of fun time as well as time to try to change the world.

  2. If they offend you report them. There is a system in place to deal with offensive imagery. Abusive photos count as offensive. If enough people complain they pull it off. First complaint is a ban for 24 hours. Next can be anywhere from 3 months to life… no idea on why some are one way and others another. I agree with you and I report them.

    • Thanks Dan. I might try it. If the abuse pictures were of people they wouldn’t be allowed but because they are of animals some will argue they should be allowed. I think that is discrimination!

      • In my other Flickr group Cute and Furry Mammals, I have a woman who was sharing gruesome photos of abused animals her shleter took in. I finally wrote her and asked her to stop. I had to set specific ground rules for her and she has kept to them welll. I allow recovery photos, but not surgery or other horrible shots. Just sickens me that the poor things are injured like that, but I told her a story with a recovery photo is more than enough. The other puts people off. It is counter productive to her cause.

  3. I won’t look at it. I block anyone who posts it. It doesn’t help the problem by wide spread exposure. In fact, it probably exacerbates it.

    • I am pleased you agree DW. I don’t know how people can post these pictures. Words and deeds to help animal welfare are great but not grizzly horrific pictures that hurt us.

  4. Yes, its extremely hard to look at Animal Abuse Photos. I used, to be in a group called Animal Voices where there was Animal Abuse Photos all the time. I Choose to leave, as it was just way to much. It hurts me too much. There is only so much, someone can take emotional. I find it hard even when someone posts kittens and other cats or dogs. When they say, they are on Death Row. When they say, they are going to be destroyed. A-lot of these are only kittens,It breaks my heart. I know I’ve got to be Strong but sometimes there is just way too much. IF only people were Responsible & Get their Cats/Kittens Fixed it would solve all the Issues. :'(

  5. It is becoming more and more difficult to look at these types of photos.Though the world should know the truth and not support the abuse/slaughter in disguise.These pictures cause intense pain and anger in me.Ever since I watched the video of the live skinning of Raccoon dogs I cannot get it out of my head.I think some are traumatizing.The cruelty and slaughter of animals is heinous.We must continue to fight for them,be their voice,but I think we need lay off the brutal pictures.Personally,I am appalled that these crimes continue against animals and people use culture as an excuse. This is the 21rst Century,no reason for it.

  6. I must admit there are times when I feel I just can’t take any more of the fight against animal abuse. I’ve done it for almost 50 years now after seeing a horrific photo of a cat being experimented on in a laboratory. That image has remained in my mind ever since and been joined by many more, until now there is no room left and I have to ‘switch off’ or go insane with helplessness. I tell myself it has already happened, the animal is dead and at peace, so what point torturing myself with grief for that animal and burning anger at the person who did it! The only solution is to fight on and EDUCATE people and save the amimals we can save. We can never ever change the human race, some are just plain evil, we can only hope Karma exists.
    I have to force myself now to look at photos/videos of cruelty if I need to see them to be able to comment, but I do agree they don’t do any good because the evil people who enjoy abusing animals also enjoy those photos/videos, maybe it even encourages young idiots who would like to pose with a murdered animal or be filmed abusing one.
    Babz and I both reached saturation point lately because on top of our on line animal welfare and anti declaw education, we have animal worries here in our own neighbourhood, the death of a neighbour’s young cat through carelessness, young cats little more than kittens themselves breeding. Dogs neglected. We can only keep on EDUCATING in our own neighbourhoods and on line.
    Michael you need to do what we are doing right now, as Babz is on holiday from work we are visiting Nature Reserves and beautiful peaceful places, to recharge our batteries, then we are back next week to continuing the battle against cruelty. Even a small break would help you I’m sure.

    • I agree we need to surround ourselves with calm and beauty and that comes from nature for me. I love the sounds of nature and the calm it brings. It is the best “drug”. By contrast the worst kind of human behavior in abusing animals is so ugly. It is the opposite to the beauty of nature.

      I wonder like you whether we should fight animal abuse. Most of the world is more interested in cat celebrity. They don’t want to face reality.

  7. I don’t think you’re wrong at all! I can’t look at abuse photos whether they be human or animal. Never could. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words and that’s true to a point. I think that a well written post or article is just as effective.

      • I absolutely agree with that! Anyone who has even a thimbleful of compassion feels something when they see those images. The way Jackson Galaxy informs and teaches people about cats is much healthier than gory images and I think because of it the message reaches a wider audience. You never stop fighting – you just fight in another way that I think is more effective.

    • Thank you for getting rid of Woody’s rantings Michael, I’m only sorry you had to read his rubbish on your brilliantly written article about how we who care about animals, all feel. He is an insensitive idiotic moron who should do us all a favour and go and jump off a high cliff onto rocks!

      • I second that. I was getting depressed hearing from him. I think its important to still stand up for Cat rights. Just like De clawing will prob take forever but the more you put your view across the message will get though. I dont handle the graphic Images very well either.

  8. Absolutely nothing wrong in not wanting to witness or view violence of any kind. I am affected the same way but it doesn’t mean i do not care. It just means i channel my caring in other ways so that things get done! Let me just say this. I grew up in an abusive home. I witnessed things a child should never see, but that doesn’t mean i want to go around and watch every movie that involves humans inflicting violence on each other! I care about all those issues as well. NOT just animals altho i feel animals need our eyes and our voices in order to protect their best interest!

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