Monday, May 21, 2018

Q [4] Why are we okay with human voilence but not animal cruelty?

After reviewing The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis, I realized a lot of people weren't going to read it simply because animals get hurt. However, this book includes rape, murder, drugs, etc., but fewer people have an issue with reading about those topics. What is the difference? Why can we read about people getting hurt but not animals?

I've had people tell me that animals are innocent and defenseless, but a drugged teenager in the woods with a group of heroin addicts is also innocent and defenseless. She didn't ask for that to happen to her, she doesn't want to suffer their abuse, but we can read about that and say the book was powerful or highlighted important aspects of society. I'm pretty sure I said similar things in my review, but also mentioned how I wish the animal cruelty had been left out. I can understand its importance and why the author included it, but I don't like to read about it. I don't like to read about people getting hurt either, but I don't seem to have as much trouble with it.

This question has been on my mind since yesterday, so I thought I'd ask and see what everyone else had to say. Why are we okay when we read about human violence and disturbing or dark topics, but we tend to avoid books that hurt animals? If the books are fiction, shouldn't we be able to tolerate reading about both?

Another example would be Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young. It was very violent, but the parts that made me cringe were the animal sacrifices. An owl having its throat slit was worse that a guy being stabbed through the torso. I feel like I should be equally disturbed by both.

16 comments:

  1. I thought about this after watching John Wick. *Possible spoiler*!! An animals is hurt in the first movie and no one go see the second (including me) unless they were sure it didn't happen in the second movie. However, there is SO much violence that no one cares about - it's probably the reason people watch it.

    I need to think on it more because I don't have an answer for myself yet. I can't watch animal cruelty or torture (on people), rape is dependent on how it's shown - it's usually sexualized for the gaze these days so that would be a no in those circumstances. But I DO really love ultra violent movies so....

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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  2. I'd rather not read about anyone getting hurt.
    As for animals, yes it cuts deeper, because we are jaded someone. Humans always get hurt, it really should not be like that

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  3. Great question, one I've wondered too many times. Animal cruelty/ deaths DO seem to hit a lot of us harder than people violence. I wonder if part of it is because we see people get hurt/ killed on TV all the time, but animal stuff is still shocking, even on TV? IDK. Just guessing, and I'm sure it's a variety of factors. also, you know how sometimes people say I'd rather be around animals than other people? I know not everyone says that, but I've heard it a lot and have probably said it too. There might be like a connection somehow between us and animals that way? Why does the animal death shock us MORE??

    Imagine if you took the kill count from an average action movie and then "killed" that many animals in a movie. The outcry would be crazy!!!

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  4. I think we have been somewhat desensitized to human violence from movies and shows. We see it so often that it really doesn't have the same impact that violence towards an innocent animal has.

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  5. I think we've just accepted that these atrocities happen. There's the idea of every man for themselves a lot in certain situations. Like the hurricanes that hit the states. Puerto Rico was stripped of power, but many states like Florida believed in "Us first, then them, but they should have known and saved themselves." For animals, it is like they can't solve their situation. They're helpless, but for humans it is like "You did this to yourself", "You can solve it", "Live with your mistakes", etc. That's just my thoughts on it. I have no clue if it's accurate or not xD

    Keep on Reading

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  6. I feel like it's because some animals can't necessarily fight back like a human can so when someone abuses one it doesn't go over well with the audience. Unless we're talking about like a lion or tiger etc, that's a whole different ball game

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  7. I'm honestly not okay with either but I know what you are getting at. For some reason people seem to react more if they see a hurt animal versus a person, which is seriously messed up.

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  8. Very good question! I’m one of those that wouldn’t read this because of the animal cruelty. I guess because I still believe that religious mumbo-jumbo that we’re to have dominion, aka take care of, animals. And I feel like animals can’t quite fight back like a human could...AND they usually stupidly, unequivocally trust humans. Especially dogs and then we turn on them and it’s bullshit. It gets me so upset. I also feel this way about children getting hurt for the same reasons. And I refuse to read about the holocaust. It’s just too much for me. I don’t know why it’s not as hard for me to see or read about adults being hurt. It’s not like I like it I just can tolerate it better. I’ll have to think about that now.

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  9. I don't know that I've ever read a book that had animal violence, but you're right when it comes to movies. I get way more upset if an animal is hurt or dies than if it happens to a person. I think part of it is that we're a bit desensitized when it comes to violence against humans...not just in movies and books but in real life. It seems to hit you from everywhere, all the time, but it's not the same when it comes to animals. Obviously, both are horrible and I'm still upset if a person is abused but I guess it's just a bit 'easier' to handle a person being hurt than an animal being hurt. Unless that person is a young child; I think they are similar to animals in that regard. VERY innocent and really unable to fight back (like someone else mentioned).

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  10. It's a good question and actually, when I first read it, it made me a little uncomfortable - because it got me thinking. I honestly think we are desensitized to human violence. Media, books, TV, almost everywhere you look there is violence. I also pretty much have the opinion that animals have such unconditional love that it makes me want to protect them. With humans, that isn't the case. Plus, when it all boils down to it, I've been hurt before by humans and that simply isn't true with animals. I also do not like to read about violence toward children but it's because I investigated it for so many years that it kind of brings back past experiences and horrific things I've seen. Good question and although I was tempted to use my general comeback - I like animals better than humans, you actually got a thought out response :)

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  11. I don’t know. Good question. I can’t do books or movies that show cruelty or violence to animals. I am not a big fan of violence to people either but I can handle more than animals. Maybe because animals are defenseless and they love unconditionally?

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  12. you're right, both are terrible but maybe because it's not staged a lot usually? I don't know

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  13. Great discussion idea! Now, I'll admit I cheated and read the other comments before I made up my mind LOL. Just kidding, I did read them, but only because I was interested. However, I agree with the general consensus here - probably we EXPECT humans to get hurt eventually, and we see them as less innocent and defenseless than pets (except when those humans are kids). Also, animal cruelty may be more gratuitous sometimes - like, you don't hurt the animal because you want something that it has, or out of revenge, etc., but just for kicks...On the other hand, this kind of torture can be aimed at humans too - so...??? I have to admit I react to both kinds of violence the same way, though (mind you, I've very rarely come across animal violence in my books so far...).

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  14. What an interesting topic and it's something I've often wondered about too. I don't really have an answer but have wondered if we've become somewhat immune to the idea of people hurting other people just because we see it so much - on TV, in the movies, in real life, on the news, etc. We still think it's bad but it somehow doesn't have the same shock value as hearing about someone hurting an animal. I don't know - just my rambling thoughts, lol.

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  15. Great question! I have no idea why we do that. Like you said, people say it's because they are innocent and defenseless. I do think that is true and we truly do believe that's the answer. Same thing for when kids get hurt. It's worse than when an adult gets hurt. But then you bring up the point of drugged individuals - I suppose that is similar, isn't it? So then that should also be up there with what we care more about. And I do think that we care about adult humans too, but for some reason it's just not as bad? Adults go through a lot of sh*t all the time - so maybe that's why it doesn't seem so bad? I don't know - haha. Great question, though! You've stumped me.

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  16. I have no idea... Maybe it's because we expect humans to be able to fight back in a way an animal can't? Maybe it's because violence is so prevalent amongst humans we're completely de-sensitised to it unless it directly impacts on yourself? I think people also react differently if it's kids than if it's adults so many there is an element of innocence in the outrage too? Like with the animals?
    However, I really don't know.

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