What's Up With That? ~ Katy Byrne

Katy Byrne Katy Byrne, MFT is a Psychotherapist in Sonoma, editor and animal lover. Her private practice specializes in: life transitions, couples communication, eating issues, moving forward, conflict resolution and the kitchen sink.


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People are animals

Posted on August 23, 2016 by Katy Byrne

While the world spins around on its axis, there’s good news and bad news. Humans are shooting bison while they’re also naming them our “national mammal.” Which way is it? Are we killing, culling or protecting? And why pick on the voiceless ones?

But more good news: Inky the octopus “made a brazen escape… after the lid of his tank was accidentally left ajar… he clambered to the top of his glass enclosure, down the side of the tank and travelled across the floor of the aquarium… through a drainpipe 50 meters long” to freedom in New Zealand! And nowadays in Spain, dog “owners” who do not pick up their dog’s poop- will be fined…or will have to do street cleaning! Human beings keep fooling around with crap, but there’s movement in more ways than one.

NYPD now offers rewards for reports of animal cruelty, and heavier penalties for animal abuse are on the horizon. The ALDF in Cotati is offering a $5,000 reward this month to find whoever shot a cat with an arrow.

Still, in Zimbabwe, more than 1,400 animals suffered slow, painful, deaths in snares. It’s a rocky road: Trump’s kids are out shooting big game, including elephants, while Hillary votes in favor of some animal protection laws and remains neutral on others. So, what to do?

Keep your cameras nearby and your ears perked. Research on the close link between violent behavior toward animals and abuse of people could change things. The F.B.I. has found that, most serial killers, when they were children, hurt animals. Animal cruelty is not a harmless venting of emotion. In 80 percent of homes in which animal control agencies found abused pets, child welfare agencies had previously investigated abuse. So, don’t turn your head from suspicious situations.

Up to 75 percent of domestic violence victims report that their partners threatened or killed family pets; 50 percent of school shooters have histories of animal cruelty.

Neglecting or abusing animals is no longer seen as an isolated incident that can be ignored. It is often an indicator or predictor of crime, according to The Link Coalition.) Children exposed to domestic violence are three times more likely to be cruel to animals, and children who witness animal abuse at greater risk of becoming abusers.

It’s no picnic for the animal victims, either. The average American is responsible for the deaths of approximately 2,500 chickens over his lifetime. There is enormous suffering for many of these birds. And even “cage free” birds don’t mean the egg is good. So, which is it? The chicken or the egg?

What to do? Make kindness your motto. Take pictures when in doubt of possible neglect and inquire about how to help. Recognize and respect “individuals of another species.” Discuss why is that we can harm anything living. Take action like “The Black Mambas,” a group of women in Africa who joined together to become an anti-poaching unit with zero tolerance for hurting Rhino’s. Since forming this brave community, there has been a 76 percent reduction in snaring and poaching within their area.

Even the pornography site Pornhub is sticking up for animals: for every 2,000 dirty videos viewed, they donate one dollar to nonprofits that help whales. Hey, whatever works.

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