Animal abuse – What does it truly mean?

The news of 2 mother dogs and their 14 puppies being buried alive in Rampura has taken the social media by storm. It was disturbing, distressing, heartbreaking, and further proof that we continue to fail as human beings and as a society. As heinous as this act was, it has shed light into another matter which may need immediate attention.

Various criminology studies suggest that a third to half of animal abusers engage in domestic abuse, sexual abuse, rape and even murder. This should be a massive wakeup call for us.

Intentional Animal Torture and Cruelty or IATC is a characteristic usually developed at a young age. Parents often overlook their children’s tendencies to harm animals without any reason. They usually label it as “they don’t know any better” or “they were just playing around”, but little do they know that this trait is often accompanied by certain other traits. The Dark Triad, a name given to a trinity of characteristics: Narcissism, Machiavellianism and Psychopathy are commonly associated to people who engage in animal abuse. Sadism is also another trait at work here. A study was designed to prove how dangerously dormant these traits can be.

Look for the signs

The University of British Columbia devised “The Bug Crunching” experiment. The subjects were made to believe that this was a research on tolerance for challenging jobs but were made to answer questions that actually measure the variables of The Dark Triad. They were then asked to choose from 4 unpleasant jobs: kill three bugs using the cruncher, help the experimenter kill three bugs, clean a dirty toilet, or submerge your hands in ice cold water. 27% of the applicants opted to kill the bug while another 27% were willing to help the experimenter kill them. The experiment ended for those who chose the other two options.


The bug cruncher was simply and illusion to assess
whether or not traits of sadism is present in the

However, the two remaining groups were made to then rate their level of satisfaction. Bafflingly, everyone who chose to kill stated that they gained a lot of pleasure from killing the bugs, showing signs of sadism and the triad being present in them. Don’t worry though – no bugs were harmed in this experiment; the “crunching” sounds were made using coffee beans. However, this showed how dangerously present these traits are in people.

One of the most consistent findings by the FBI profiling units amongst serial murderers and rapists is childhood IATC. This cannot be taken lightly. In addition to the existing laws to protect animals, which still to be taken more seriously – we need to raise awareness about how animal abuse can lead to bigger issues in the future.

Irfan Aziz

Irfan Aziz is a final year Economics student. He is a pug enthusiast who loves looking at memes, writing and sketching(not as much as he would want to).