The cruelest animal…

“People speak sometimes about the “bestial” cruelty of man, but that is terribly unjust and offensive to beasts, no animal could ever be so cruel as a man, so artfully, so artistically cruel.”

Fyodor Dostoyevsky


From http://izquotes.com/quote/285251

* * *

India
2014

A few days ago, two Indian girls were gang-raped and murdered after doing what half a billion women and girls are forced to do every day – go outdoors to try to find somewhere discreet to go to the toilet. Those two cousins were just 14 and 16 years old.

“The father, a 45-year-old agricultural laborer from a low-ranking caste, said in a telephone interview that the two girls were last seen alive on Tuesday evening in a mango orchard, in the company of a man named Pappu Yadav. (The man’s surname is the same as his caste.)

The father said a relative saw the girls with Mr. Yadav and two of Mr. Yadav’s brothers and that, for reasons he did not explain, the relative tried to intervene between Mr. Yadav and the girls. One of the Yadav brothers pulled out a pistol “and put it to the head of my cousin-brother,” the father said, using a common term in India for a close relative. “He got scared and ran away.”

When he heard what had happened, the father said, he went to the local police station and asked that Mr. Yadav’s house be searched. But the police officers, who are members of the Yadav caste, “took the side of the culprits,” the father said.”

The girls were members of the Dalit community, India’s lowest caste once known as the “Untouchables”.

From http://filipspagnoli.wordpress.com

* * *

Russia
1800s

One old nobleman, along with a band of spongers, moved to his countryside estate and took to hunting with hounds. One day, a peasant boy (the nobleman had three thousand souls there) accidentally hit a hound from the landlord’s kennels in the leg with a stone. When he saw that his Nalet was limping, the landlord became incensed and asked, “Who injured the dog?”

The kennel attendants had to reveal the little boy’s identity. They produced the boy. He confessed.

In the morning, the landlord ordered preparations for the hunt in full complement. They went to the field and took their places near the forest, the hounds were let out, and the borzois were held on leads. There they brought the boy. The landlord ordered that the little boy be stripped of his clothes and set loose in the field to run. Then they let out the dogs from all the packs to chase him—literally to hunt him.

The borzois approached the little boy, sniffed at him, but did not touch him… His mother got there in time; she had run through the forest. She clasped her child in her arms. They dragged her back to the village and again set the dogs loose until the little boy was torn to pieces. The mother went insane and died within three days.

From ‘A life under Russian serfdom’


From http://eco-trophy.ru

However don’t put all the blame on men. As history shows, women in power are as cruel as men. Take as an example Darya Nikolayevna Saltykova, commonly known as Saltichikha who made her infamous mark with the atrocious killings of her serfs. She enjoyed torturing and mutilating her victims. Saltichikha was the epitome of boyar abuse of serfs in pre-reformation Russia. She pleaded guilty to the murder of at least 138 serfs at her estate, and the torture of many more. The name Saltychikha became a synonym for bestial treatment of the peasants.

Дарья Николаевна СалтыковаFrom http://russiapedia.rt.com/

I wonder sometimes where such cruelty originates. Is there a template for cruelty laid down in the human brain? Is it something that is unique to our species? Why do human beings find pleasure in deliberately inflicting pain on other living things? And what can we do to stop it because…

“Not much we can do about that,” you might say.

I think we can. The stories presented in this post have one common theme: these cases are the product of certain beliefs (or memes) held in the society. The stories from Russia happened at the time, when surfs were not perceived as human beings – they were perceived as property and therefore their owners believed that they could do anything with them, including torturing and killing them. Russian writers and artists were the first to object that deeply ingrained belief. Book after book, painting after painting, they slowly changed that ‘meme’ and eventually serfdom, like slavery, has been abolished.

This clearly demonstrates that even the most deeply ingrained memes and beliefs can be changed. We just need to keep talking about such cases and spread positive beliefs to combat mind viruses and memes that cause cruelty and violence.

Don’t close your eyes to ‘Hell on Earth‘. As Martin Luther King once said, “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”

Martin Luther King Jr. I Have A Dream Speech Quote "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." Go here to read the article: http://www.jamiepelaez.com/i-have-a-dream-do-you-have-a-dream/  #InspirationalQuote #MartinLutherKingJr #IHaveADream #MLKQuoteFrom Pinterest

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18 thoughts on “The cruelest animal…

  1. kindadukish says:

    The Nietzsche quote is simply not true. What is true is the fact that “man has the potential to be the cruelest animal”………they are very different propositions.

    • Otrazhenie says:

      Hm, I can see your point. If we are talking about ‘Man’ as an individual, than ‘potential’ sounds a bit better. However if we are talking about ‘man’ or ‘mankind’ as a species, then I do agree with the Nietzsche quote – as a species, we are the cruelest.

      Thanks for your insightful comment.

  2. JF says:

    Very thoughtful post! But there is no need to go 200 years back. We know about war in Syria, about daily killings in Iraq, about recent deaths in Ukraine, about massacres in the USA (Boston marathon and others).

    • Otrazhenie says:

      Totally agree with your points – there is plenty of violence in the world around us and I do have a number of other posts on that in my section ‘Hell on Earth’ at https://otrazhenie.wordpress.com/hell-on-earth/

      The stories presented in this post however have one common theme: these cases are the product of certain beliefs (or memes) held in the society. The stories from Russia happened at the time, when surfs were not perceived as human beings – they were perceived as property and therefore their owners believed that they could do anything with them, including torturing and killing them. Russian writers and artists were the first to object that deeply ingrained belief. Book after book, painting after painting, they slowly changed that ‘meme’ and eventually serfdom, like slavery, has been abolished.

      This clearly demonstrates that even the most deeply ingrained memes and beliefs can be changed. We just need to keep talking about such cases, breaking those harmful cultural memes and beliefs.

      Bringing together stories from different cultures and time periods helps to identify certain patterns and root causes that otherwise might not be clearly visible.

  3. Mélanie says:

    what a realistic and depressing post, Miss O… I did hesitate to click on “like”… I do hope you’ll have lots of opinions and comments.
    * * *
    @”Why do human beings find pleasure in deliberately inflicting pain on other living things?” – sick people have always existed and they’ll be around forever, hélas! 😦
    * * *
    @”And what can we do to stop it because…” – nothing much, even the greatest scientists and philosophers haven’t found answers and solutions… and I’m quite skeptical that someone will ever “save” mankind from its original cruelty and sadism… I guess there’s a vicious cercle: cruel and sadistic people exist because they fear nothing/nobody and because there are “masochistic” people who never dare rise up or fight against their tormentor…
    * * *
    last but not least: I’ve often thought that people who are cruel to innocent and harmless animals can’t be completely different with their (human) fellows…

    • Otrazhenie says:

      Thanks for your comment, Melanie. I do not see these stories as just isolated incidents. To me these cases are the product of certain beliefs (or memes) held in the society.

      However, there is a positive message in that post too. The stories from Russia happened at the time, when surfs were not perceived as human beings – they were perceived as property and therefore their owners believed that they could do anything with them, including torturing and killing them. Russian writers and artists were the first to object that deeply ingrained belief. Book after book, painting after painting, they slowly changed that ‘meme’ and eventually serfdom, like slavery, has been abolished.
      This clearly demonstrates that even the most deeply ingrained memes and beliefs can be changed. We just need to keep talking about such cases, breaking those harmful cultural memes and beliefs.

      The same with our attitude to animals and other living beings.

  4. People are cruel and unkind. They destroy others with their actions and their words. I love that Martin Luther King quote and I agree wholeheartedly. We must share the awful stories of the world. We cannot hide from them and pretending they do not exist dies not make them any less real. It is discouraging for sure. I try my best to seek out stories of kindness. Stories that make my heart smile and restore my hope for a better species. One person at a time we can be the change. The question is…will that be enough?

    • Otrazhenie says:

      Thanks for your insightful comment. As Cesar A. Cruz once said, ““Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.” Therefore I believe that stories of kindness are as important as stories of sadness.

      Also, there is a positive message in that post too. The stories from Russia happened at the time, when surfs were not perceived as human beings – they were perceived as property and therefore their owners believed that they could do anything with them, including torturing and killing them. Russian writers and artists were the first to object that deeply ingrained belief. Book after book, painting after painting, they slowly changed that ‘meme’ and eventually serfdom, like slavery, has been abolished.
      This clearly demonstrates that by changing one person at a time we can eventually change even the most deeply ingrained memes and beliefs that cause cruelty and violence.

  5. Reblogged this on #integridad and commented:
    So often, man seems to lack any #Integridad whatsoever…

  6. both storys very very sad, but perhaps the most recent as news of it has reached other continents means this barbaric act is not quietly accepted any more

    • Otrazhenie says:

      Both stories are very sad. However in my view these are not just isolated incidents. These stories demonstrate how certain memes or beliefs held in the society can produce such cruelty. As an example, in Russia, surfs were not perceived as human beings – they were perceived as property and therefore their owners believed that they could do anything with them, including torturing and killing them.

      Yes, we did move away from those beliefs in some parts of the world. However such harmful memes still persist in some societies. By talking and writing about such stories we can get rid of those harmful memes that cause such cruelty. Hence that post.

  7. satzie says:

    And what can we do to stop it ?
    There are many ways. However let us focus on the core factors.
    1) First to feel a deeper compassion even to those who are hunting.
    “To be genuine, compassion must be based on respect for the other, and on the realization that others have the right to be happy and overcome suffering just as much as you. On this basis, since you can see that others are suffering, you develop a genuine sense of concern for them.” – Dalai Lama
    2) “Find the best in everybody. Just keep waiting no matter how long it takes. No one is all evil. Everybody has a good side, just keep waiting, it will come out.” – Randy Pausch
    3) Let the other know that it is wrong. Also like you said, by creating awareness.
    4) Find ways to help others learn compassion, empathy and sympathy.
    5) To educate victims that they deserve to be happy, strong and peaceful.

    Good post Otrazhenie 🙂

    • Otrazhenie says:

      Personally, I do not feel compassion for murderers, torturers and ‘hunters’ in these stories. They might not be all evil, but their cruelty to others has neither compassion nor forgiveness in my heart.

      With regard to the victims in these particular stories, how can someone be ‘educated’ to be happy when they and their beloved ones are under constant threat of being tortured and killed? 😦

      • satzie says:

        1) True Otrazhenie. I wouldn’t be feeling the compassion for such people, particularly when the incidents/tortures touch me so deeply.

        I have felt angry at such cruelties at live incidents, in news, in articles and even in stories. But when i read this particular article, i didn’t get the angry feel on the torturers and i also didn’t get the compassion feel with the victims & murderers.

        2)The points that i had commented earlier is based on thinking outside the situation.

        I see both the hunter and victims, equally. I see that they both need help, in different ways.

        3) The focus isn’t about educating to be happy, but educating that we all DESERVE to be happy.

        In situations like those described in the post, it doesn’t seems to be possible of educating victims. And the better solution appears to be those who become the watchers, to take the required action.

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