Animal abuse is a phenomenon that exists quite frequently in our society, as one only needs to take a look at social media to realize that many people injure, torture and inflict pain on helpless animals.
And although many people are outraged by this type of behavior, this cruelty to animals is not always condemned by our society. Just look at the passion aroused by bullfights or certain cultural phenomena such as “packaged beef”.
In the latter cases, group influence phenomena are decisive, but in others, especially those where individuals act alone, a number of traits predominate in the personality of the animal abuser. In this article, we will talk about this topic and delve deeper into the psychological characteristics of these types of abusers.
Motivations for animal abuse
Unfortunately, cases of animal abuse continue to repeat themselves around the world, And that’s not strange, as humans can engage in excruciating and savage behaviors. But … what can go through the minds of these people that they are able to behave so cruelly against dogs, cats and other animal species?
That’s what Alan Felthous, a psychiatrist who conducted an investigation to determine the reasons that lead an individual to become an animal abuser, wondered. According to the data of his study, the main motivations are:
- Project frustration onto animals and use them as a scapegoat
- Shows power and authority
- teach submission
- infuse by
- Hurt for fun
- Have fun seeing another suffer
- As part of the show and the bets: bullfights, dog fights. traditional festivals
Types of animal abuse
Some studies show that in 30% of cases, animal abuse is practiced by young peopleAnd often, animal abusers are more likely to be family abusers in the future: they are 5 times more likely to be. However, there are two ways to mistreat animals: directly and indirectly.
Direct abuse is when the person engages in a series of behaviors intended to harm the animal at that time, for example, beating or torturing it. In contrast, indirect animal abuse occurs when the abuser does not provide the necessary care for their well-being. For example, depriving them of food.
Other authors distinguish between active and passive abuse. The first occurs when the aggressor performs a series of behaviors to harm the animal (suffocation, kicking, etc.), and the second when the subject abuses the animal for other reasons such as: abandonment , neglect of hygiene, commercial exploitation, dog fighting. , etc.
Psychological profile of the animal abuser
In the following lines, you can find a list of traits exhibited by people who mistreat animals.
1. Lack of empathy and remorse
It is impossible to become an abuser when people are able to put themselves in each other’s shoes and understand the suffering they are going through. People who show cruelty to animals and brutally punish them are insensitive to their pain and suffering.
Lack of empathy is a trait that only animal abusers present to us, but it exhibits any type of abuser. Outraged, animal abusers do not regret their actions and do not self-criticize, And often spread this type of behavior with other people, for example with their children.
2. Antisocial personality
Antisocial personality is characterized by the fact that the individual who presents it tends to be bound by behaviors contrary to social norms and even to the laws, and ignores the rights of others in favor of their own.
A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law in 2002 found that people who mistreat animals often have an antisocial personality disorder, Antisocial traits and substance abuse (in the case of adults). The same study indicates that half of people with this personality type engage in sadistic behaviors, and if they commit such acts before the age of 10, the prognosis is worse, even while committing crimes.
3. Lack of adequate education
Childhood is an important stage in life, and the parenting styles of parents greatly influence the growth of children as individuals and as social beings. Many (but not all) animal abusers are individuals who grow up in families or environments with violent behavior, sometimes directed against the weakest (the elderly, women, children and pets. ). By experiencing it since childhood, its negative effects are perceived as normal.
4. Stimulation through violence
Some studies also show that these people are prone to violence and feel energized by it.. As a result, some animal abusers, especially younger ones, often perceive animal abuse as an act of impunity and even amuse them. Additionally, these subjects tend to have a low tolerance for frustration and an explosive temper.
5. Autocratic personality
As psychiatrist Alan Felthous concludes in the research mentioned above, “Animal abusers are people who want to show power and authority and take action against weaker victims. They are authoritarian people, who generally do not listen to the opinions of others and are inclined to be in charge. “
these individuals they have undemocratic beliefs and often direct violence on weak victims or “Turkish leaders” in order to be strong and fearful. They are cold and calculating.
Animal abusers are intolerant and are not only more likely to break the rules, but also the opinions, attitudes or behaviors of others. They tend to have prejudices (sexism, racism, etc.), so they tend to react violently, resentfully and cruelly.
People capable of mistreating animals are selfish people who they only think about themselves and do not connect emotionally with other people or animals. And it is that animal abuse can occur in many ways, and can even be associated with economic benefits. For example, rhino poaching.
Selfishness is often present in this form of abuse, which is why when an owner tires of having a pet in their home that was bought on a whim, they are able to abandon it on the spur of the moment. a road and wish -Lucky without any remorse.