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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Crush Videos, Silent but Deadly...

A few days ago, I posted a blog discussing what procedures to follow when evidence of animal cruelty is discovered on the Internet.  At the end of the blog, I quoted the following  from a page from the American Humane website as follows:

"How does the law currently handle Internet animal cruelty?


Because communications through the Internet have the ability to cross state lines, the Internet is largely governed by federal law. Improving the federal laws as they pertain to Internet animal abuse is critical. Currently, only a few federal laws address the issue directly:

The Crush Act (P.L.106-152) penalizes the display of acts of cruelty and sexual abuse of animals that is intended for interstate commerce. If convicted, offenders may receive up to five years in prison or a large fine. Two criteria must be met before this statute applies: 1) actual abuse must occur and 2) the website in question must intend to sell the images across state lines. In other words, a website may legally display images of animal cruelty and sexual abuse under this law as long as it is not charging visitors for access or otherwise selling the images. In 2005, the first conviction under this statute occurred in a federal district court in Virginia. "

It has been brought to my attention that this Crush Act was nullified by the supreme court in April of 2010.   According to the website, http://www.stopcrush.org/ , since the nullification of the act, their animal welfare group has been intentionally bombarded with emails containing photos and videos of animal cruelty, by those who were celebrating the nullification of the law.

I am not one to question the Freedom of Speech.  It is a freedom that is necessary for our society, necessary for education, and necessary for blogging.  However, when images of people crushing animals to death beneath high heels or boot treads in order to gain sexual gratification are considered Freedom of Speech, I do believe there is something GREATLY wrong with the perception of this freedom. 

In a NY Times article by Adam Liptak, dated April 21, 2010, "Chief Justice Roberts rejected the government’s analogy to a more recent category of unprotected speech, child pornography, which the court in 1982 said deserved no First Amendment protection. Child pornography, the chief justice said, is “a special case” because the market for it is “intrinsically related to the underlying abuse.”


Crush videos are a fetish.  Crush videos are a form of sexual desire in which full sexual gratification depends to an abnormal degree on images of animal cruelty, specifically the crushing of small live animals to their death, such as kittens, puppies, rabbits...    Crush videos deserve no First Amendment protection.

In an article on CBSNews.com, Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Calif., who also sponsored the 1999 law, noted that since the nullification of the original Crush Act, the market for the videos has increased.  It is a simple business calculation that when the market for an item increases, production of the item increases.  Consequently, animal cruelty acts also increase in response to an increased market for Crush Videos.  If the market for these videos is not "intrinsically related to the underlying abuse" in the same way as child pornography, then I must be missing something.


The trafficking of child pornography is illegal.  The trafficking of severe animal cruelty, mutilation, and death for sexual gratification should also be illegal. 

Acts of animal cruelty are proven predecessors to acts of violence against people.  Ted Bundy and "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski were both animal abusers prior to becoming serial killers.  The link between animal abuse and human violence exists... we need to stop the cycle before it progresses from animals to people!
We need to introduce another law to protect animals in the same way that victimized people are protected.   Many states have their own animal cruelty laws, although many are weak, they do exist.  The difficulty with crush videos is that they rarely reveal a location, a face, or a date.  This makes them hard to prosecute because no state can claim the act.  This is why it is so important to make the production and trafficking of these videos a federal issue and an illegal act.

There is a dedicated and hard working group whose sole purpose is the prohibition of Crush Videos.  This group is http://www.stopcrush.org/ .

Please visit the Stop Crush website, and follow their updates.  You can help them make such important animal welfare legislation happen by contacting your legislators when needed.  Remember that you don't have to write much or write well to address your legislator about such important issues.  The receipt of your opinion, even in few words, matters greatly to your legislators, and they just might listen. 

Too many people sit quietly hoping others will write or act.  Legislators are very aware that for every letter they do receive, that there are many silent people that also agree with it's message.  To receive many letters about this subject would create a very loud voice to them.  If you neglect to let your legislator know how you feel about such matters, you have no right to criticize how they vote on these matters. 

So step up and become active.  You can help to make that difference happen.  Sponsor a Tea for Paws party where you and your animal loving friends come together when animal related legislation is presented.  Each party attendee writes a letter to their legislator, and you can celebrate your actions together after placing the stamp or hitting the send button. 

Remember, that these issues, although they may be new to you, are similar to dog fighting. You may not see it happening in your backyard, because its market is kept deeply underground, but it is a much larger problem than you and I can imagine.

Visit http://www.stopcrush.org/ for updates regarding crush video legislation.  SHARE AND ACT.




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6 comments:

JeansandTs said...

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It is so hard for me to realize people are really this cruel!! I love rescuing dogs. I fall in love with them instantly. I hope all people that do wrong to animals of any kind or abuse them in any fashion, would be prosecuted to the full extent of our abilities to do so. America is the safest place for animals in the world. I sure hope we continue to make things better for frieghtened and abused innocents.

Erich said...

America is the safest place for animals in the world?

Which animals and which world?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the link, but unfortunately it seems to be offline... Does anybody have a mirror or another source? Please reply to my post if you do!

I would appreciate if someone here at www.vetrescue.blogspot.com could repost it.

Thanks,
Jules

Tammy Hartwig said...

Thank you SO much for providing this information and especially for the link for an organization that just might be able to help!

I have seen such videos and they deeply sicken me as I have spent the last 7 years fostering the severely abused. However, I can't believe that such videos would not sicken and affect even people who have nothing to do with the animal welfare industry or may not even own an animal; sick is sick!!

I even had the opportunity (if you can call it an opportunity) to foster and rehabilitate a sexually abused dog. She was not crushed to gain sexual gratification but was raped repeatedly for years with his body parts as well as items. How sick does an individual have to be to "get off" on such acts...oh yes, he was actually proud of this at age 19!!

It still never ceases to amaze me the abuse and destruction people can inflict on the innocent! I too, believe animals should be in the same category as children; they are both equally as innocent and vulnerable. The days of, "it's just an animal" MUST end!

Thanks again!
Tammy Hartwig

Immydog said...

Jules,
I double checked the links, but they all appear to be working. Could it be something with your computer? Antivirus or something? Is anyone else having difficulty with the links? Is it one link in particular?

Urd-chan said...

Actually, the new law replacing the one that was pulled earlier this year is now in place. The original law was too vague and there was concern it would make things like hunting videos and TV shows illegal. The new law is more specific and definitely includes crush videos.