Mute but eloquent eyewitness
Television generally promotes and profits from encouraging and servicing viewers’ escapist proclivities. But, once in a bracing while, some shows confront us with harsh reality, pressuring us not to run away from it, but to try to do something to make it right.
Of late, the “eyewitness” images on TV in this regard have been along the lines of shocking incidents that reveal man’s inhumanity to animals.
Most recently, CCTV footage showed a man trying to run down a helpless pet dog with his car—and succeeding. This particular hate crime against an animal affected us deeply, because it brought back the traumatic childhood memory of our own beautiful family dog being intentionally run over by the envious driver of a speeding jeepney.
Other related acts of senseless cruelty against animals that we’ve witnessed include kids and even teenage youths stoning a helpless street mutt, another group “hunting down” a pet dog for its meat, and a security guard using a hapless pup for target practice.
Some months ago, another TV “reality” feature exposed the secret cultish “sport” or “game” of slowly snuffing out the lives of little dogs on-cam, with the entire mauling process recorded for “posterity.” It was both disturbing and instructive to see that the giggling perpetrators were teenage or young-adult women—what could they have been thinking?!
To answer that question, we should note that even human victims have been shown being slowly tortured and killed in cold-blooded “snuff” films, so the sadistic and psychologically warped motivation isn’t restricted to animal victims.
But, the fact that animals are victims of the “snuff” impulse as well gives it an even more reprehensible coloration, because most animals aren’t even aware of what’s happening or is being done to them—and why—so, their helplessness is extreme.
We hope that these and other televised incidents of cruelty against animals will goad viewers to go beyond being “properly” shocked, and motivate them to defend and protect potential animal victims in their own neighborhoods and communities.
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