Excerpt:Â With the recent charges that a major National Football League player had allowed cruel dog fights on his home property, the issue of cruelty to animals has been brought to national attention. Nearly everyone acknowledges the obvious â€“ that a person who is cruel to animals, who enjoys seeing an animal suffer, is likely to inflict suffering on human beings. Cruelty to animals is one of the very few predictors among children of later criminal behavior.
So, aside from altruistic concern for animals, we human beings also have a selfish concern about people who enjoy making animals suffer. People who enjoy hurting animals will very likely hurt us, too.
The problem arises when we assume that the converse is equally true â€“ that just as cruelty to animals leads to cruelty to human beings, kindness to animals leads to kindness to people.