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Animal cruelty - What everyone can do against the mistreatment of animals

You want Stop cruelty to animals and any Animal mistreatment counteract? Then you've come to the right place! "Everything that man does to animals comes back to man." This was said by the Greek philosopher Pythagoras, who not only dealt with right-angled triangles, but also with animal ethics. And he was right. It is not humane to exploit defenceless, helpless and emotional creatures. Whether cow, pig, mouse or fish - all animals feel pain. And there is no difference between pets and farm animals.

In this article, you will therefore find out everything you need to know about animal cruelty. From the definition, to instructive examples and causes, to solutions. Above all, learn what you can do about it in everyday life.

  1. Definition
  2. Reasons
  3. What to do?
  4. Closing words

Tip: In a separate article, you can find out more about the emotional side of animalswhich will increase your motivation in the fight against cruelty to animals immeasurably.

What is cruelty to animals?

The Duden dictionary, for example, describes it as "unnecessary torturing and crude mistreatment of animals". While the torture, mistreatment or unnecessary killing of animals is referred to as active cruelty to animals, the neglect or neglect of animals is considered a passive form of animal abuse.₁

Colloquially, however, we use the term cruelty to animals to refer to all pain and suffering inflicted on an animal - up to and including death.

Types and examples

A cat in an experimental laboratory / Image source: PETA Deutschland e.V.

It is of course important to be aware of when animals are generally mistreated in everyday human life - whether consciously or unconsciously. Here are therefore some types or examples of cruelty to animals.

Movie Tip: For deeper insights, you should definitely take a look at the Dominion film watch. There you can see how - sometimes systematic - cruelty to animals takes place in all the areas mentioned. Also take a look at my recommendations for further vegan documentaries.

Food industry

Germany ranks first in pig slaughtering with more than 60 million animals killed per year.₂ Congratulations. Without brutal Factory farming this would not be possible. The animals' curly tails are cut off, their teeth ground down and they are given antibiotics. They sit without freedom of movement in cages that are far too small and in their own excrement. And this despite the fact that pigs are actually such clean and highly intelligent animals. They are then gassed or stunned with a captive bolt pistol and slit open. This entire procedure means physical and mental pain. In addition to pigs, cows, chickens, sheep, geese, ducks, rabbits and many other animals in factory farming are also subjected to this.

Notice: Did you know that male chicks in factory farming are gassed or shredded immediately after birth? You can find out more about this in the article about the Chick shredding.

Clothing industry

The skin of cows, the wool of sheep and the fur of rabbits are also used in the clothing industry. Mink fur is particularly popular, which is why there is also cruel factory farming for it. The animals are kept in narrow cages on a grid floor. They spend many months living their monotonous lives directly above their own excrement. The greed for new outfits and profit - but also the combination with the fast-moving fashion industry, which dictates new trends every week Fast Fashion thus ensure the mistreatment of animals.

Entertainment Industry

Bullfighting, circus animal abuse, dog racing, cockfighting or animals as tourist attractions. Cruelty to animals occurs, for example, in cages, during the training process or as a result of inadequate feeding. All because we humans are entertained - and other people want to make a lot of money by exploiting animals.

Laboratory animals in research

According to the German Animal Welfare Association, almost three million animals suffer and die in German laboratories. For example, their genetic information is manipulated there to make them artificially ill. The majority of Animal testing is used for basic research and has no benefit for humans.

Abuse and neglect of pets

Of course, animal cruelty also frequently occurs in private households. For over 20 years, worldwide studies have shown that violence against animals often precedes or can be coupled with violence against humans (child abuse/domestic violence).₃ Intentional cruelty to animals is an antisocial personality disorder - but it does exist.

In addition to active animal abuse, many animals are simply neglected and left alone with a parasite infestation, dehydration or starvation, for example.

Traditional customs

Of course, the abuse of animals can also have a cultural background. Animal cruelty as a tradition? Phew. But in fact, some customs are so ingrained that people forget what they are actually doing to the animals. In France, for example, "fat bunting" is popular. This involves catching the Ortolan songbird and fattening it up in the dark for 14 days. When it is fat enough, it is drowned in brandy and cooked in a pot.₄

Can you think of any other examples of cruelty to animals? Then feel free to write a comment below this post with your pointers.


In Germany, cruelty to animals is classified as a criminal offense under Section 17 of the Animal Welfare Act (TierSchG). According to the law, anyone who kills vertebrates for no reason or causes them considerable suffering or pain is considered an animal abuser. The infliction of repeated pain or suffering or over a longer period of time is also considered to be cruelty to animals by law.

Attempted or negligent cruelty to animals and animal abuse, on the other hand, are only administrative offenses punishable by fines. Animal abusers only rarely have to go to prison.₅

Statistics for cruelty to animals

Here are some facts and figures about the mistreatment of animals that will give you an even clearer picture of the current state of this problem:

  • In 2016, 771 people were convicted of mistreating animals in Germany. These included 748 adults, 16 adolescents and 7 juveniles.₆
  • Only 50 people were sentenced to prison for animal cruelty in Germany in 2016. 46 of them on probation.₇
  • In 2018, a total of 2,825,066 vertebrates and cephalopods were used for scientific purposes. 68,352 animals were killed without prior testing.₈
  • In 2018, 2.1 million mice and 300,000 rats, 230,000 fish, 3,324 monkeys, 86,000 rabbits, as well as 3,993 dogs and 765 cats were used in animal experiments.₉
  • According to the European Commission's report, 11.5 million animals were used in experiments in the EU in 2011.₁₀

Quotes against cruelty to animals

Here are some sayings that are sure to motivate you to take a stand against animal cruelty:

"As long as people think that animals don't feel, 
animals have to feel that humans don't think."

"Animal welfare is education for humanity." (Albert Schweitzer)

"Like humans, animals feel joy and pain, happiness and unhappiness." (Charles Darwin)

"Animals are my friends and I don't eat my friends." (George Bernard Shaw)

Any stupid boy can crush a beetle. But all the professors in the world can't make one." (Arthur Schopenhauer)

Tip: If you need more inspiration in the fight for animals, just take a look at my extensive collection effective animal welfare quotes.

Causes and reasons for cruelty to animals

Causes of animal cruelty and abuse

Whether impulsive or passive - there are so many (bad) Reasons for cruelty to animals. The natural attitude of animal-friendly people is, of course, that there should be no reasons for the mistreatment or exploitation of animals. However, if you take a closer look, you will notice that the reasons are primarily psychological. Here are some of the causes of animal cruelty to give you a clearer picture of the problem.

  • Monetary drive (e.g. income from occupation as operator or employee of a company in factory farming).
  • Hatred and anger (e.g. due to misbehavior of the animal)
  • Retaliation (e.g. for revenge on an ex-girlfriend)
  • Peer pressure (e.g. during a test of courage)
  • Animal phobia (e.g. for fear of pigeons)
  • Ignorance (e.g. Feeding ducks with bread)
  • Lack of money or time (e.g. if the costs of keeping horses are too high).
  • Thrill (e.g. to prove how strong and brave you are).
  • Low educational skills (e.g. misbehavior of the animal punished with kicks).
  • Negative attitude towards animal species (e.g. if someone has had bad experiences with Rottweilers in the past)

Can you think of any other reasons why animals are tortured in our society? Just write me a comment and I'll add them here in this paragraph.

How can everyone stop cruelty to animals?

Stop cruelty to animals and protect animals

Perhaps we will never be able to make up for what we have done to the animals. Nevertheless, we have the chance to ensure that cruelty to animals comes to an end, at least in the future. In any case, it is important that you always stick to your animal-friendly attitude and don't let others tempt you to commit any misdeeds just to be part of them for a moment. You don't want to belong to animal abusers. Animals are sentient beings, not things. Here is some advice, information and recommendations that anyone can use to reduce and stop the mistreatment of animals.

Recognizing cruelty to animals and collecting evidence

If you want to do something about the mistreatment of animals, you have to take a closer and often regular look. Sometimes you can recognize animal cruelty directly through the active influence of an animal abuser - but often only after looking several times. Here are some tips for recognizing this constant animal abuse:

  • Are there any unusual wounds on the animal?
  • Is the animal aggressive and does it seem trained?
  • Do far too many animals live on a property in a confined space?
  • Does the animal appear emaciated, hungry, or dehydrated?
  • Is the animal in poor physical condition?
  • Is the animal homeless?
  • Does the animal seem traumatized?

If you have any concerns about these questions or your gut feeling, it's time to take action. Document evidence and write down everything important about your observations. (Witnesses, time, facts, etc.)

Notice: Of course, vets also have to take a very close look and, if necessary, seek a personal conversation with the pet owners.

Talk to responsible persons

If you have witnessed cruelty to animals or mistreatment of animals, you should - of course after assessing the situation - seek a conversation with the animal abuser. Sometimes such things happen unknowingly due to a lack of education. And sometimes people show understanding. In many cases, however, the opposite is the case. Then nothing helps and you should report the cruelty to animals.

Report cruelty to animals

Animal welfare associations are not allowed to control handling, but you can still report cruelty to animals and mistreatment of animals to them. However, the violations will be forwarded to the veterinary office anyway, which is obliged to take action against acts and conditions that violate animal welfare If, for example, you see emaciated horses in a paddock or a dog owner kicking his four-legged friend aggressively, then you can report the animal cruelty or abuse directly to the veterinary office.

When displaying, you need to know the following things:

  • Animal
  • Infringement
  • Location
  • Contact details of you and the animal abuser
  • Please check and confirm receipt

Tip: You can But you can also report cruelty to animals via organizations such as PETA.

Demand bans and penalties

If you want to change grievances, you have to raise your voice. There is no point in complaining when action should have been taken long ago. The Circus Roncalli, for example, does without circus animalsas the pressure from guests and general criticism of this type of animal exploitation became too great - and is therefore a positive example. In Sweden and Bolivia, circus animals have even been banned by law.

There would be no such bans if nobody was committed to them. You can, for example Start online petitions or stand up for animal welfare at demonstrations.

Animal-free nutrition

The fact that not eating meat alone has an incredibly positive impact on the lives of animals is self-explanatory. Because no animal wants to die. A plant-based diet or even a reduction in your meat consumption ensures that no animals, or at least animals, have to suffer and die for your taste experience.

You're off to a good start with these contributions.

The meat-free and ideally completely animal-free diet also has an impact on many of the biggest environmental problems of our time, like the climate change or the Deforestation of the forests.

Save animals

If you see an orphaned animal in acute distress, then you should save it - after considering common sense in the respective situation. No living creature deserves to suffer.

For example, do not try to raise a fawn that has been hit by a car yourself, but give it to a specialist rescue center nearby. It is best to report the accident to the police, who will then locate the hunting tenant or gamekeeper.

Supporting animal welfare organizations

If you don't have a lot of time to do more for animals yourself, you can also support existing organizations and associations that do this every day. For example, by financially supporting their work to protect animals with a (regular) donation.

I have given you here a List with recommendable animal welfare organizations who are sure to appreciate your support.

Anyone can stop cruelty to animals!

What everyone can do against animal cruelty

Future generations will look with disgust at the way we have treated animals. From this moment on, no one will be able to claim that they were unaware of all the atrocities committed by mankind against animals. We must learn to question their connection with our own habits and behavior. No one should look the other way when animal cruelty is observed. And no one should allow animals to suffer for our meals, our entertainment or our clothes.

Do you agree? And do you have any questions or suggestions about this article on animal cruelty? Then simply write me a comment.

Stay animal-friendly,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS.: Feel free to look around a bit in the animal welfare blog around. There you will find many more tips on how to actively or simply incidentally stand up for animals in your everyday life.

₁ V. Faust: Psychiatrie Heute - Seelische Störungen erkennen, verstehen, verhindern, behandeln, available at [19.03.2020].

₂ M. Beckers, C. Dietz; Süddeutsche Zeitung GmbH: Was Sie über Massentierhaltung wissen sollten (as of 03.03.2014), available at [19.03.2020].

₃ J. Schultz, Landestierärztekammer: Gewalt gegen Tiere: Tierquälerei als Indiz für Gewalt gegen Menschen, available at [19.03.2020].

₄, G+J Medien GmbH: Are we allowed to get upset about other countries' culinary cruelty to animals? (as at: 11.06.2019), available at [19.03.2020].

₅ Einbock GmbH; Penalties for cruelty to animals (as at: 10.04.2016), available at [1903.2020].

₆,₇ Research Services, German Bundestag (2018): Statistics on the punishment of cruelty to animals in Germany, available at [19.03.2020].

₈,₉,₁₀ DEUTSCHER TIERSCHUTZBUND e.V. (2018): Statistics on laboratory animals, available at [19.03.2020].

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

2 thoughts on “Tierquälerei – Was jeder gegen die Misshandlung von Tieren tun kann”

  1. Animal cruelty is just what people who have animals but do not want and therefore treat them as if they were worth nothing.This is unfortunately not true they protect us and, They do what we said even if they sometimes do not do it is still not one of the many reasons to mistreat them.I myself have no pet but I know no matter whether,bird and a few more all animals are worth the same whether it is a lion or a tiger all are worth the same and that's why I want it to stay that way so all the torture animals are just people who do not deserve to live

  2. @Christoph Schulz
    Very good informative article!
    For animals, the devil does not have horns and a club foot, but a human visage.-

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