"..a bardy view!"

Too painful to title……

This is a story I have been following over the last few weeks, but due to the intense distaste of the subject I have tried to ignore it. It is a story of cruelty, exploitation, debasement and demonstrates the seedy perverted underbelly of the internet and the dark side of human nature.

It's a story that hasn't been broadcast in the popular western media, and in that respect many have been spared it. Cruelty to animals and the exploitation of children are both subjects which are abhorrent, but when they are combined together to satisfy a global market – however small that market may be – then it's time good people woke up and became aware.

It pains me to tell you that this story (which I will relate shortly) is from the Philippines, but it pains me more that the perpetrators – the instigators – did it for an audience extending way beyond the islands.

I have remarked in the past that cruelty to animals can often be attributed to ignorance. (Take my post on the young man who hung his puppy on a washing line for instance and broadcast it on facebook). I have seen many instances of such ignorance, such as keeping pets without realising that their conditions are extremely detrimental to their welfare  and such as children chiding and mistreating animals simply because they do not know any better.

Examples abound in many different cultures, but generally education solves the problem. Wilful cruelty however, for sadistic pleasure, is a different matter entirely.

I'm rather squeamish when I come across this type of thing, and it weakens my knees and churns my stomach. I also believe that a person who is wilfully cruel to a dumb animal is also unfit to be a parent or guardian – I make no apologies for that statement.

I had a friend once – a paediatrician – who once asked me why was there a Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals but only a National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children? I couldn't answer that – but he'd had a bad day by all accounts.

A man who works in an abattoir and kills a creature humanely is probably desensitised to his activity – he's doing his job to feed his family, and he is probably a loving father. We may not like it, but the job has to be done, and I doubt anyone who frequents a MacDonald’s or KFC will concern themselves much about where the food came from or how it was killed.

We are all desensitised in that respect. Just as when we look at the meat counter at a supermarket, where the leg of lamb is wrapped clinically in Clingfilm – we don't think about how it got there. Equally we may condemn animal sports be they cock-fighting, fox-hunting or Bull-fighting. But fundamentally – are they sadistic? Does it mean we are inherently inhumane?

The Grand National often sees a horse destroyed, and greyhounds are expendable after they can't run fast anymore. What happens to them? We don't want to know – and we can live in blissful ignorance. We could find out – and Joe at the bookies who bets on Sunshine Stan chasing the robot rabbit around the track couldn't give a monkeys. In fact, he may even be a subscriber to endangered primates in Africa, but he doesn't give a dog's breakfast about poor old Stan – win or lose!

A man who microwaves a cat however, or rips the ears off a rabbit to hear it squeal, stones a swan as a pastime or regularly takes pleasure in causing pain and suffering to his dog is a different beast altogether. How much worse when children are encouraged to commit such acts?

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) offered a significant reward for any information leading to the arrest of a Filipino couple involved in the production and sale of "Crush" videos. This is the term for a gruesome fetish which shows animals being tortured to death by scantily clad girls – some as young as twelve years old.

The videos, sold online as “erotica” worldwide, featured rabbits whose ears were cut off before they were burnt alive or stepped on until their organs leaked. Dogs were restrained and had stiletto heels pressed into their eyes, or had their legs hacked off or burnt with a clothes iron. The girls were hired to kill the animals for about £1 to £10 per video.

Initially the couple would entice them to look after their children, but later ask them to dance in their underwear in front of a camera, and then order them to perform the cruel acts.

It's painful reading, and although the Philippines Daily Inquirer showed an edited image – which they have since removed – it would be too shocking to reproduce here even if it was still available.

Due to a huge response, the couple were found and have been arrested facing charges of violating the Philippines Child Abuse Acts, animal welfare laws, the Anti-trafficking in Persons Acts, plus the Wildlife Protection and Conservation Acts.

Peta became aware of this a year ago – due to a tip off from someone in Russia (I said it was global).

There has been a volume of comment from Filipinos about this, ranging from suggestions that the couple should be skinned and stilettoed themselves just like their victims, to expressions of sadness, shame, anger and disgust that such behaviour has blighted the nation and the people.

But this is not about the Philippines. It is about the dark side of human nature, which ferments and grows on the internet. It is the dark underbelly where the low life crawl.

If there is any good which comes out of this, it is that this insidious practice has been exposed, and the Philippines have confronted it. This is a country which is continually facing up to its demons and excess baggage – both a legacy from successive European and US influences – and they should be applauded for that.

When we look at Africa, South America, China, Eastern Europe, Russia and it's ex-soviet satellites we should remember the adage about stones and glasshouses. The Philippines is a translucent jewel by comparison.

There's some bad stuff out there in the wide world which I really don't want to see. But turning a blind eye is cowardice.

I write about the UK and the Philippines. I'm not qualified to write about anywhere else. Maybe you are? If so, do so. Ipso facto.




August 5, 2011 - Posted by | Culture, Current Affairs, Dogs, Education, The Philippines, Travel | , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Saddened, sickened and appalled by this. It just goes to show that when one drops one standards (if you have any)? Just how perverse people can be. I’m inclined to agree with you that in the past this type of thing was under covers, but, in today’s world anything goes. How sad.


    Comment by Spook | August 6, 2011 | Reply

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