• Fight animal cruelty by studying body language of pet

    Date: 08.10.09 | by Judge Tom.

    Children’s books including “Mrs. Crump’s Cat” and “Max Talks to Me” are being used in elementary schools across the country to reach children on an emotional level.  The Humane Education Ambassador Readers are volunteers who lead activities to help kids develop empathy for animals.

    catsdogsnalilo

    Photo by Nalilo (Flickr)

    Many children have no pets and some grow up afraid of them because of a bad experience.  Learning about a pet’s body language such as tail-wagging or purring builds a child’s understanding of an animal’s needs.  Acting out the story after hearing it teaches them about the joy of having a pet as well as the responsibilities that go along with ownership.

    An added benefit to becoming sensitive to the animal world may be a reduction of puppy mills and animal fighting.  Some students have also expressed concern over stray animals.  There is also research indicating a connection between animal abuse by a child, domestic violence later in life and child abuse. 

    For more about caring for animals, see:  http://askthejudge.info/what-if-i-see-animal-abuse/98/

    Update:  In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a federal law that made “crush videos” illegal.  The Court ruled that the law was too broad and violated free speech protections.  A crush video usually shows a woman crushing a small animal to death with her bare feet or wearing high heels.  They are said to appeal to a certain sexual fetish.   In July, 2010, Congress began work on a new bill that is more narrowly written so as to pass a constitutional challenge.  It passed the House of Representatives by a 416 to 3 vote and moves on to the Senate.  The new law makes it a crime to sell or distribute videos that violate bans on animal cruelty by showing animals being burned, drowned, suffocated or impaled.  Exceptions are made for normal animal husbandry films or films depicting hunting, trapping and fishing. The new legislation makes the sale of crush videos a crime subject to fines and imprisonment of up to five years.

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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