Animal cruelty is a problem because it represents a perception that is degrading to the human spirit. What defines cruelty? Th dictionary definition states that it is (1) a deliberate infliction of pain and suffering; (2) feelings of extreme heartlessness; and the (3) the quality of being cruel. Nowhere in the definition does it specify that cruelty applies only to humans. If you knew beyond a reasonable doubt that animals suffer from physical pain and fear (emotion) would it influence your perspective on what constitutes cruelty?
Living things are not made up of just the physical elements that we see with our eyes. We know that there is a life force that must be present for the physical encasing to exist. In trees, plants, atoms, etc. there have to be certain elements that exist before physical life can be sustained. Looking at life from this viewpoint can aid in the understanding that within each of us is another being' that feels pain and some level of emotion. Committing cruelty to animals for our own gain and pleasure is not on the right side of morality. If we persist in our actions from this level of thinking, whether consciously or unconsciously, we scatter and pass the seeds onto our children and the next generation. The seeds of cruelty, if not eradicated from our consciousness, can erupt into destructive behaviors between siblings, spouses, and often with our own children.
Ask yourself what type of world do you want to help create for your grandchildren. If that world would be peaceful, then cruelty cannot exist. If you want the world to be kind, cruelty would not exist. If you want it to be trusting and fearless, then cruelty will not exist.
There is evidence that points to the evolving awareness of society that it is unacceptable to use animal skins for our own greed in the manufacturing of fur coats. Because of investigations into the treatment of animals in research laboratories, conditions there have improved. As the media uncovers the cruel atrocities of factory farming, the numbers of vegetarians are rising.
The problem with animal cruelty is not that animals are being acted upon cruelly. It is because cruelty exists in our consciousness. Someone once said, and I am paraphrasing, "You must become that which you would like to see in the world." Take cruelty out of yourself if you would like to see it gone from the world.