Are there really “kick the cat clubs” on social media?
The news media e.g. The Sun and the Daily Mail are telling us that the notorious Kurt Zouma cat kicking incident which went viral has spawned cat kicking clubs on social media. The members of the so-called clubs entertain themselves by kicking cats. Clearly if that is the case it is horrendous.
I went in search of these clubs and I couldn’t find any. I did though find people entertaining themselves on TikTok on the back of Zouma’s alleged criminality.
On TikTok there is a man who looks as though he is kicking a cat in a garden. I couldn’t watch the video but he claims that no animals were harmed. It seems that he substituted the real cat with a plush toy of some sort. It’s a trick but he gives the impression that he is kicking a cat which is almost as bad because it promotes the idea that animal abuse is okay and entertaining. There are other cat kicking memes.
But both TikTok and Facebook don’t have cat kicking clubs per se, as far as I can tell. They would certainly be in breach of their policies if they did exist. However, there appears to be a band called ‘Kick the Cat’. They have a Facebook presence. I don’t know anything about them but I do know that the name of their band is disgusting. It’s not clever. It is stupid. And once again it is liable to promote animal abuse. Shame on them.
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Cats Protection, the cat rescue charity, claimed that both these social media platforms are normalising abuse by allowing the publication of harmful content. They claim that some videos are just amusing and harmless but others show real pet abuse.
I can actually believe that. I don’t think that these abuses are part of a club but there are people who are copycat cat kickers. Because the Zouma incident went viral young men (normally) pick up on this and try and achieve some minor form of fame on social media by copying him. They appear to have forgotten that what they are doing is a crime because there are so focused on social media success. It’s extraordinary.
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This kind of animal abuse to entertain has happened before. There was a craze not long ago of putting Sellotape or sticky tape on cats’ feet and then videoing their distress. Or forcing ears into tight headbands. The objective is to cause distress to a domestic cat. They find the reaction of the cat amusing.
Is this what society has descended to? How can people find animal abuse amusing? They do though. They really do.
And what is equally distressing is that this animal abuse is being played out against a background of the possibility of a world war developing in Europe. A lot of people would think that a world war is impossible to envisage but it’s a possibility because Putin is deranged. There’s no accounting for a deranged person’s behaviour. He has threatened nuclear war twice. Although these are just threats the West is taking them seriously because NATO refuses to put troops on the ground to protect Ukraine. Or instigate a no-fly zone over Ukraine.
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Ukraine will probably lose this war. However, Putin is on a pointless mission because if and when he subjugates Ukraine to Russia’s might and runs the country, it’s going to fail because the people of Ukraine won’t accept it.
But the point of this discussion is that talking about domestic cats in any context seems, unfortunately, to be a bit hollow at this very moment because the only discussion in town is the invasion of Ukraine and how that will impact the rest of the world.
And within the context of a Ukraine war, we have to think of the animals as much as the people. Children and mothers are being killed because Putin is targeting blocks of flats with ostensibly illegal armaments such as scatter bombs or vacuum bombs but within those areas companion animals also dying. I would like to remember them.