If, as Justice Arnold suggests in the foregoing quotation, our animal protection laws are indicative of the level to which "the justice and benevolence of men" has risen, then truly the human race is in sad shape. An examination of the history of the subject clearly reveals that man's inhumanity to man is exceeded only by man's inhumanity to animals. The popular image of animal existence fostered by innumerable Walt Disney movies and a plethora of children's books is so far removed from reality that it borders on the fraudulent. The fact is that neglect, torture and destruction of helpless and usually inoffensive animals is so widespread and chronic in both history and contemporary society that one is tempted to conclude that cruelty to animals is a basic human instinct, only lightly obscured by a veneer of hypocritical platitudes and an occasional "Be Kind to Animals Week."
Charles E. Friend,
Animal Cruelty Laws: The Case for Reform,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol8/iss2/4