Abused pets? No! Abused humans? Meh

The online version of our local fishwrap had a story entitled “Study: People have stronger feelings for abused pets than abused humans.” The study was apparently done by professors at Northeastern University in Boston via the 108th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, but the ASA’s website doesn’t have its conference papers online so I’ll have to presume our newspaper is reporting correctly. Some tidbits:

4482321245_b35bf88ee0_zIn some cases, if a person claims to have been battered, nobody panics. But flash images of battered animals on a commercial, and more often than not that will elicit an emotional response…

“Contrary to popular thinking, we are not necessarily more disturbed by animal rather than human suffering,” said Northeastern professor Jack Levin, who co-authored the study. “Our results indicate a much more complex situation with respect to the age and species of victims, with age being the more important component. The fact that adult human crime victims receive less empathy than do child, puppy, and full-grown dog victims suggests that adult dogs are regarded as dependent and vulnerable, not unlike their younger canine counterparts and kids…”

Levin said … many people have become desensitized to violence and … feel as though adult humans can fend for themselves, while puppies and infants are less capable to do so…

“We have a tendency to express compassion and empathy toward those whom we consider to be in a vulnerable class, such as animals, young children, the elderly and the disabled,” [Julie Lewis, who works with PAWS of Northeast Louisiana] said. “We may feel a sense of guilt that the plight of homeless/battered animals is directly related to the actions, or inactions, of humans. We know that there are some people who have a lack of remorse for dumping elderly animals or litters of kittens/puppies in the country or at dumpsters, left to fend for themselves. Most cannot and die a cruel death.

Planned Parenthood, President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, nor NARAL were contacted for comment regarding this story.

I suppose it suggests that the pro-life message may gain a bit of traction in some quarters by showing the parallels between the horrific deaths of millions of unborn children annually to the abuse of animals. It’s certainly not a difficult task to demonstrate that the unborn exhibit the same tendencies and characteristics that make animals worthy of our concern.

If anyone knows of an online version of the paper, I’d enjoy seeing it. Gannett didn’t seem interested in pursuing the abortion angle, though it appears the paper should have some results for children if not the unborn. Let me know in the comments.


Categories:Abortion Pro-Life

  • Ruth

    Ah Barbara, Why don’t we just kill the children who are abused and neglected rather than killing children who MIGHT be abused and neglected. The incidence of child abuse have gone UP with the legalization of contraception and abortion, not down. When you kill a new born child now, they call it post-birth abortion. We Catholics care about ALL human beings. Not just those who are useful and non-burdensome to us.

    • Ron

      Ruth, making a woman’s right of choice illegal dehumanizes all women by taking away their God given right of choice, making all women little more than baby making machines controlled by society. This is the worst type of slavery that dehumanizes all of humanity and makes us little more than animals running wild or worse yet, machines with no higher purpose. How can you support that?

      • Randall

        God gave women the right to choose to kill their children? Really?

  • Julia

    I don’t think God wants us to abuse anything. People who fight for the protection of animals are often against any kind of violence to any living thing, animal or human. This survey is doubtful. Who did they ask? If I were you, I would not discuss further without examining conference paper. This simply creates scandal.

    • Patriot327

      Julia, I very much believe this survey having met many animal activists who are ardent pro-choicers. One woman, who I knew, actually protested against eating eggs, because they were potential chickens, while she wore a pro-abortion t-shirt!! That’s how aberrant our society has become!!

  • A

    It doesn’t help that we kill unborn babies on a daily basis. It also doesn’t help that a pending war seems to inspire zero emotion on American people. We are a culture of death.

  • Ron

    It’s more difficult I think, for us to project upon and therefore have empathy for a fetus not yet born. Once we look into the eyes of a new born baby or animal, we’re able to “take them on” so to speak and feel compassion and empathy for them.

  • Barbara Aureli

    When someone makes a mistake that results in pregnancy, married or not, they often realize their inability to care for a child. So they choose abortion. Sad but true. Why do we want to take away that option? That child, if born, could very well become neglected or abused. Why do we care more about fetuses than women and children who are already born?

    • Alex

      “Why do we want to take away that option?” Because that option is equivalent to murder.

      “That child, if born, could very well become neglected or abused.” The possibility of neglect or abuse is FAR better than the certainty of death.

      “Why do we care more about fetuses than women and children who are already born?” We care equally about all humans. The fact of the matter is that you, in deceiving yourself by believing that a fetus is less than human life, care less about fetuses than women and children who are already born.

    • Melanie

      We do not care more, we care as much. All people, from conception to natural death, deserve compassion. I have several friends who were adopted shortly after birth. The idea that they might have been aborted instead is horrifying. Adoption is the kindest option for all concerned when the birth parent/parents cannot care for a child.

    • Matt

      So you’re saying that because a child has a chance of growing up in a less than ideal environment, it is better to kill that child?

  • Donna Bockelkamp

    I pray our country looks within themselves on the respect for the lives of our unborn babies and our abused children and and people. what has happened to values and morals.? Wake up America!! you need to get on your knees and start praying. stop and open your eyes! what have we become!!!



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