First and foremost, I’d like to introduce you to “Responsibility”. When you receive, adopt, buy, find & take home, whatever it is you did to become an animal owner, you agreed to take on a life, one that depends on you almost completely.
Animals are not people, they do not do things to spite you, they are not out to get you. The closest thing an animal may do is to disrespect you, and that’s still not the same thing as another person doing the same. Respect is not some automatic prize like getting $200 in monopoly for passing go, you have to earn it… and cruelty generally doesn’t do the trick.
Pets are not born with the innate knowledge of what you want. They must be taught, just like you had to be taught. Did you just magically start using a toilet? Bah, you couldn’t even damned well walk. So, do you think perhaps there’s a learning curve for an animal being cared for by an utterly different species? That maybe there will be some… delay between the lesson and the learning? (And some creatures pick things up incredibly quick all considering)
Hey look! The dog pissed on the floor while you were out! That rat-bastard! How dare he! Quick… commence beating! Never mind the fact that you left the dog alone in the house before you left for work, not bothering to let him out before you went. Never mind the fact that he probably held having to go through the night, how often do you wake up without having to take one hell of a whiz?
Hey! The dog ate my shoes/hat/couch!! He’s the worst dog on the planet, he’s too stupid to breathe! Commence beating? Throw dog away like so much trash? Hey, maybe its not the dog who is too stupid! Maybe it’s the idiot who got a dog before they learned how a dog behaves, much less how to train one? For future reference, dogs eat things… everything… everywhere… if you’re lucky, it won’t be something that gave them the squirts. Oh and puppies… puppies can seem like evil incarnate, adorable ,devious little eating/destroying/havoc, poop making machines they are.
It doesn’t take a decent human being to abuse an animal, it doesn’t take a strong person, a smart person, nor a good person to do it. It takes a coward, it takes someone without the brains and forethought to know what they were getting into by taking on a living breathing sentient creature, or a cruel person. No one will look back and think “Wow, remember Bob? He could sure get some distance when he was out kicking cats for fun!” There will never be an article in the history books detailing the thrilling tale of the jackass who starved a farm full of animals, unless in disdain at best. Congratulations, you can abuse a domesticated creature, an animal bred specifically to be easily controlled by people; way to go! Here’s your cookie; do me a favour and go choke on it.
You can tell a lot about a person by the way they treat animals, those weaker than them, or anyone they exert control over.