For decades, animal cruelty has been one of the longest-standing issues in the world. Topics concerning animals, particularly animal rights, have spurred much debate and controversy among people and cultures. Every year, events that violate animal rights occur, causing public debates vocalized in the media. Outspoken activists have advocated the protection of animal rights along the way as well including high-profile celebrities. Here are 25 examples of legal brutalities done to animals that continue to spark outrage and debate among groups around the world.
This really weird, sadistic festival was celebrated every January in Manganeses de la Polvorosa, Spain, where usually a bunch of young men threw a live goat from the top of a church. After the animal died in a bloody mess, people from the crowd who “enjoyed” the “show” would pick up the remains of the goat and place them in a canvas sheet. Thankfully, after local animal rights groups demanded the end of this festival, it was eventually banned in 2002. Now a fake toy that resembles a goat has been thrown in the recent celebrations.
The major event of the Tado Festival is called horse jumping. In this activity, men ages seventeen to nineteen ride horses that run up a hill before jumping over a wall about two meters high. The horses do this twelve times in the course of the event.
Force-feeding has been fatal in many cases when it is conducted on other humans since there are many recorded cases where people (especially infants) have lost their lives, but things aren’t much better when humans do it to animals, even though it’s considered legal pretty much everywhere. To be more specific, force-feeding of ducks and geese in order to fatten their livers for the production of quality foie gras has caused a lot of controversy globally and there are several groups throughout Europe who have tried to criminalize this act as one of animal cruelty.
Debeaking is a legal procedure that consists of the partial removal of the beak of poultry, especially chickens and turkeys, even though it is also performed on quail and ducks. The reason for this act is usually the excessive aggression and even cannibalism that has been noticed between ducks, turkeys, and roosters, but the procedure is considered quite brutal and in many cases the animals’ beaks are trimmed with a heated blade without any anesthetic.
Anti-moose mats might seem necessary in some places, like Alaska for example, since a full-grown moose that weighs up to one thousand pounds and stands six feet tall can cause serious accidents in places like an airport or a motorway, causing people to die. However, there have been a few recorded cases in which a healthy moose died from the shock of the electrical mat, which usually just frightens the moose without other consequences.
Another festival that tortures animals, specifically bulls, comes from Spain and is called Toro Embolado. In this primitive tradition the organizers attach burning balls of flammable material to a bull’s horns, which is then released into an ecstatic, angry crowd who then harass the bull. As you’ve probably guessed, in the end the bull is killed after he has been tortured and humiliated for hours. For years animal welfare activists have been trying to stop this festival because of its extreme cruelty but without any success so far.
How would you feel if someone amputated your finger at the first knuckle just for the fun of it? That’s exactly what onychectomy is all about and believe it or not there are many people who own pets, especially in the U.S., who will pay thousands to surgically remove their animal’s claws in the name of convenience.
Remote control animals
This might sound like a sick experiment from a low-budget sci-fi flick but unfortunately a remote control animal describes test animals that are controlled remotely by humans. Most applications require electrodes implanted in the animal’s nervous system (usually the brain or back) and after that the poor animals, usually mice, are controlled through radio signals. Science can be so sick sometimes!
Pinikpikan is considered a very popular, tasty chicken dish in certain regions of the Philippines, but after a little research about its preparation will probably turn any sane human off. Why? Believe it or not, a man will beat a live chicken to death with a wooden or metal stick prior to cooking. Supposedly, beating the animal brutally bruises its flesh, bringing blood to the surface, which is believed to give a distinct flavor to the chicken after you have cooked it.
By the term “stunning” farmers usually mean the process they follow to render an animal immobile or unconscious, without killing it, before they slaughter it for consumption. There are many legal ways of stunning nowadays but after you find out more details about them you realize that most of them are somehow similar to torture. Electrical stunning through the brain or heart of the animal, and gas stunning, where the animals are exposed to various gases that cause their death through hypoxia or asphyxia, are some of the “civilized” ways of stunning an animal.
We have all seen films where hunters proudly decorate their walls not with paintings or photos but with the heads of bears, deer, and others animals they have murdered. This barbaric hobby, also called canned hunt, is a “hunt for animals that have been raised on game ranches until they are mature enough to be killed for trophy collections.” Canned hunt has been officially banned in twenty U.S. states, which unfortunately means that it is still permitted in the other thirty.
This traditional spectacle of countries such as France, Spain, and Portugal as well as Venezuela, Ecuador, and the Philippines involves baiting bulls to entertain the audience. Though some people prefer to consider it “a fine art,” this continues to cause outrage among animal rights advocates who consider it a blood sport. Many bulls are killed in the arena during bullfights.
Though illegal in most parts of the world, in places such as Afghanistan and some parts of Japan, this brutal display of abuse is still practiced and legal. The torture of this “sport” is not limited to the actual fighting event; rather it extends to the way owners train and treat these animals with training methods that involve harsh beatings, animal bait dismemberment, and dog executions if the dog is found lacking potential or is weak.
Blowing up animals is uncommon but legal in many countries during various experiments and tests. One of the most famous cases includes pigs that have been blown up by bombs in military testing, and a Romanian movie named Tales From the Golden Age shows a pig explosion with the blessing of the government in then-communist Romania.
Japanese chefs have apparently “invented” a new way to keep fish as fresh as possible before it is consumed, whether raw or cooked. How? They paralyze the fish by quickly inserting a spike in its brain, which is located slightly behind and above the eyes. In this way the fish is said to stay fresh for as long as possible, and the “experts” say this method is the fastest, most humane method of killing fish, but for some reason we’re not convinced, especially after learning more details about the procedure, which many times goes wrong, and as a result the fish suffers terribly before dying.
Eating Live Seafood
Again, in many Asian countries including Japan, South Korea, China, and India eating live seafood is particularly popular. We can accept people who eat live oysters but watching a fish or octopus fight for their lives as they are literally chewed to death causes the same horror in some people as seeing a human being eaten alive by a shark. Keep in mind that people have choked to death trying to eat a live octopus since the animal use its suckers to stick to the inside of their throats in order to survive.
Shark finning is a very profitable business with a global value between $500 million and $1.2 billion, according to various estimates. In case you’re wondering what shark finning is, it is the removal and retention of shark fins while the remainder of the living shark is discarded in the ocean. As you probably know, a shark without its fins is like a man without legs or hands; it can’t move effectively through the ocean and ends up sinking to the bottom to die or be eaten while still alive. Even though I am not a fan of sharks, I suddenly feel great sympathy for this beautiful animal.
Animal Testing/ Experimentation
Some people argue that experiments involving animals are necessary to the further advances in medical treatment for humans. However, animal rights advocates remain firm in the belief that animal testing is unacceptable. Between 50 and 100 million vertebrates around the world are used in testing every year, and most of these are euthanized after they have been used in the experiment.
Animal-borne bomb attacks
Though it’s not clear if this is legal during peacetime, the only sure thing is that many governments, including the US, have used various animals as ways to bomb targets. The explosives are usually strapped to an animal such as a horse, dog, mule, or donkey. I don’t have to tell you what happens to the poor animal once the device is triggered, right?
Animals sold as key chains
CNN and several other Internet sources recently uncovered a practice in China that seemed like a bad joke for many but wasn’t. This practice involves the use of animals, particularly fish, lizards, turtles, and other amphibians, as key chains. They are trapped inside small plastic bags that contain crystallized oxygen and are sold as key chains.
Zoo Animal Slaughter
This one is specific to one case, mainly the Copenhagen Zoo who deliberately shot and dismembered a 2 year old giraffe and then proceeded to feed it to the Lions in full view of the public. As if that wasn’t bad enough; soon after they euthanized four resident lions to make room for another unrelated male. And yes, this was all legal.
All right, we are cheating a bit here since cat-burning isn’t considered legal in any free, democratic country but a couple of centuries ago it was perfectly fine to torture cats and burn them alive in France. Believe it or not, in a progressive country like France cat-burning was a form of sadistic entertainment during the 1700s (at the peak of the Enlightenment) and during a typical cat-burning people would gather dozens of cats in a net and hoist them high into the air in a bundle and lower them onto a bonfire.
More commonly known as seal hunting, seal clubbing has drawn much attention from the media because of the disturbing images of seals clubbed to death that have spread throughout the Internet. In 2006 alone, 325,000 harp seals, 10,000 hooded seals, and 10,400 grey seals were killed in Canada. Other countries that have legalized this activity are Greenland, Russia, Norway, and Namibia.
Dolphin and Whale Slaughter
Hundreds of thousands of dolphins and small whales are slaughtered annually for their meat when they are forced into a small cove in Taiji, Japan. Considered the largest-scale dolphin and whale slaughter of its kind in the world, this activity lasts up to six months. The dolphins and whales are trapped inside the cove at which time their throats are slashed and they die.
A ritual practiced in the village of Brodilovo, Bulgaria, every first day of Lent, dog spinning involves suspending dogs from a rope above water. Once suspended, the dog is repeatedly turned in a certain direction then released so it spins rapidly.