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DESENSITIZING: Shocking animal abuse pictures and videos will eventually desensitize us.

Updated on June 17, 2015

The Contagion of Abuse

Violence and abuse are now so routine in our culture that incidents are already yesterday's news, before tonight's news is over. We don't need scientific proof to understand that violence and abuse beget violence and abuse. It's so prevalent that nowadays we have "reality tv" that hypes more and more violence because some people can't get enough in normal real life.

This article is about the growing reality of abuse to animals and how forcing the reality upon us may only initially lead to increased donations to support animal welfare organizations. The reality is, however, that donations to these organizations will eventually level out, and the residual effect will be the feeling of yesterday's news. We are being desensitized to violence and abuse, and this will affect the animals we dearly love.

I will not include herein any pictures or videos of animal being abused. In researching for this I had to come upon some of these, but I couldn't watch, and what I did see will stay with me forever. I want my readers to think about what is best for the animals. So please watch the following tear-jerking reunion between Ace Bourke and John Rendall from Australia, and their friend "Christian the Lion".

Remember "Christian the Lion"? Way over 18 Million "Views"!

These two men were young Australians, maybe what we would have classified as Beatniks, in 1969. They went to London and while visitng Harrod's Department Store they bought a lion cub they named "Christian". After a year, as Christian grew, they determined that he had to go home, back home to the wild. They took and released him in Kora, Kenya. This video of their reunion with the cub they rescued from commericalism was taken a year after Christian's release, in 1971. Its so beautiful and I promise it will rescue you from reality. You will be Christian the Lion. The whole exhilarating story is at

Much different from the horrible pictures and videos now being used to encourage donations, this video was voluntarily sought and downloaded by millions of people, over 18 million people at just one of the websites that featured it.

Now let us return to the gist of things. I researched donations and other pertinent financial realities of the most popular and prevalent animal rights and welfare organizations. The following financial information spans the last 5 years of reports by a few of these organizations. Are increases in donations directly connected to the increasing prevalence of Animal Abuse Commercials on TV?

Please note: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), and Actors and Others for Animals, reportings are based on a fiscal year and the others are based on calendar years.

Gifts, grants, contributions, & membership fees received.

2009 $
2010 $
2011 $
2012 $
2013 $
Humane Society
Mercy for Anmals
Animal Legal Defense Fund
Actors & Others for Animals
None Reported
Not Available
Figures shown were collected from financial information either published on the organization- owned websites, or found published at

Except for Actors and Others for Animals, all other organizations have overall increases in donations.

Compensation for Top Leaders

President &/or CEO or Chair
2013 Compensation
Humane Society
Wayne Pacelle
Edwin Sayres
Ingrid Newkirk
Mercy for Animals
Nathan Runkle
Animal Legal Defense Fund
Sarah H. Luick
Actors and Others for Animals
Joann Worley

Now as you can see if you study the tables, the head of the ASPCA makes much more than any other leaders. It interests me only because the ASPCA commercials are the ones I most often encounter when watching my preferred TV channels. I'm not against any of these organizations and not looking to promote one over the other. I believe they all provide very important services to animals.

Desensitizing and Arousal

Desensitize: Webster Dictionary defines Desensitize as "to make emotionally insensitive or callous; specifically; to extinguish an emotional response (as of fear, anxiety, or guilt) to something that formerly induced it." It's a technique used in brainwashing and propaganda. It also can occur naturally as one is continually exposed to a thing or event that provokes an emotional response. Sometimes our brains learn to adapt and minimize our responses to emotion provoking stimuli.

I'm suggesting through this article that people, who presently can't stomach animal cruelty in any form, may become less sensitive to such because of the continuing barage of sickening commercials. I'm also suggesting that some people who don't love animals may take delight in what they are seeing. They may even become aroused. Arousal: is a physiological and psychological state of being awakened or reactive to stimuli. Arousal to cruely is a very scary thing, and is the case with people who enjoy hurting others, the state of arousal can become more difficult to achieve. Thus the levels of abuse intensify.

Statistics Regarding Abuse of Animals Don't Exist

Valid and verifiable statistical data for the abuse of animals is not available for several reasons:

  • The ASPCA states: "Currently, no government institution or animal organization is responsible for tabulating national statistics for the animal protection movement".
  • Also, most cases of abuse are not reported because there is no standard accountability for animals. Abuse or killing of people becomes known because of human networks. Hospitals, schools, neighbors, friends, family, creditors, and others will start asking questions if suspicion is ignited and an investigation may be initiated. Animals don't normally have a place in any networks.

Unfortunately there is no method to determine whether or not these advertisements are causing negative reactions. The issue has not been formally investigated by any scientific studies, and with a lack of reliable statistical data, it's likely that correlations are impossible to make.

The HSUS (Humane Society of the United States) estimates that nearly 1 million animals a year are abused or killed in connection with domestic violence.

Should you continue to donate?

Yes of Course. Donations are vital to the operations of these firms and most of the money does go to the welfare of animals.

My goal is not to discourage that, but to address the particular method of shocking, terrifying, and saddening us into donating. The ads I keep seeing appear during programs I watch at night and therefore most small children don't see them, thankfully. But I have to see them, or part of them, until I can change the channel or shut the TV off, and then I get to go to bed thinking of these horrors. I don't appreciate this or feel it's necessary, in fact I am concerned that these ads may be detrimental to animals.

In researching this article I found some organizations that need my cash and are not presently shocking me into giving it. Following is a list with summaries and links.

Animal Cruelty Advertisements

How do you feel about Shocking Animal Cruelty Ads?

See results

More Faces of Force in the Animal Welfare & Protection Crusade

Note: The HSUS (Humane Society of the United States), and the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) are not highlighted hereinbelow because they have been previously linked in this article.

Nathan Runkle - Founder and President of Mercy for Animals


Mercy for Animals: A Non-Profit agency that specializes in protecting the welfare of farm animals, particularly those raised for the food industry, by undercover investigating and exposing unethical practices and horrors, and promoting a Vegan diet/lifestyle as a compassionate alternative. The founder, and other leaders, work voluntarily for no compensation. The long list of investigations they've been involved in will surprise you.

Ingrid Newkirk - President of PETA


People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals: A Non-profit organization which concentrates on the following: animals used in the food industry, the clothing trade, in laboratories, and in the entertainment industry. President Ingrid Newkirk was compensated $39,657 for the 2012 Fiscal Year (reported 2013).

Joann Worley - President of Actor and Others for Animals


Actors and Others For Animals This is another organization that is Non-Profit. For cynics like me, these people really do love animals and devote their time to protecting them by volunteering, without pay. If they appear in an ad, whether it's an ad I will watch or not, they do it without financial compensation. is not a Non-Profit entity though the .org designation implies it is. Please be aware that though the causes are good, the pages may contain some horrifying pictures or videos.

2 causes being promoted and that I would like people to know about are:.

  1. The first cause involves people acquiring animals, via craigslist and facebook, for the purpose of subjecting them to abuse and death.
  2. The second cause involves the publishing of pictures and videos on Facebook wherein animals are shown being abused, tortured, or killed.

Animal Legal Defense Fund is another Non-Profit firm that specializes in litigation and improving laws that protect the rights of animals. The Top Leaders again receive no compensation, but the Founder (Joyce Tischler) did receive compensation in 2013 of over $118,000.


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