Thursday, April 23, 2009

Animal Cruelty And Freedom Of Speech

I am probably more interested in the Supreme Court's docket than most normal people. Really. Lately, there haven't been many cases to wonder about, but I just discovered a new one the other day and thought to share.

The Supreme Court justices just accepted U.S. vs. Stevens. In 2004, a district court in Pennsylvania convicted Mr. Stevens of knowingly selling images of animal cruelty through national commerce. Which is actually illegal under Section 48 of a federal law, which makes depictions of animal cruelty illegal, in addition to the actual act of cruelty.

A U.S. Court Of Appeals overturned Mr. Stevens conviction in July 2008, and said that Section 48 is unconstitutional.

And said that images of animal cruelty are not on the same level as child pornography. And that the images of cruelty are free speech. “Preventing cruelty to animals, although an exceedingly worthy goal, simply does not implicate interests of the same magnitude as protecting children from physical and psychological harm,” the majority held.

They also determined that the animals involved could not see themselves in their cruelty photos. Thus, it was important to uphold free speech because the animals could not see the photos to get upset about the abuse.
I tended to agree with the Court of Appeals, and couldn't understand why the Supreme Court was taking up the issue. I always wish they'd eliminate abortion first. We should protect free speech. These animals aren't even able to understand photos of the abuse.

I was infuriated that once again, we seem to have some left wing liberals trying to legislate from the bench. And end free speech. One of the best things about our democracy.

And then something changed.

For the first time I was exposed to the evil world of crush videos. Apparently, there is even a sexual fetish for these images of little animals being stomped on. What is the world coming to? I don't know if I've ever cried harder, with the exception of the day I saw the mass "halal" slaughter of 25 sheep on Eid, or the time I watched a video of how Thai bush traders handle the killing of rhesus monkey's.

I am now praying that the Justices prevent animal cruelty from being free speech. We must silence these evil, disgusting, crush video monsters.

I never thought I'd say that we should partly ban free speech. But, looking at these precious kittens, and imagining them in a crush video is too heartbreaking not to do the right thing.


  1. I really agree with you on this - I do support free speech in a sense, but there are some things that I would just prefer to not have allowed - a prime example would be photos of those kittens :(

  2. You have no idea the kinds of kinks that are out there...really. As horrific and terrible as crushing is, there's worse. And since I adore animals, and would save an animal from death before a human, that's saying something.

    Free speach is all well and good, but some things are simply wrong. Wrong wrong wrong and the people who engage in it, encourage it, hells, freaking *laugh* at it, should be shot. Or stomped on.

  3. revolutionary spiritApril 24, 2009 at 8:16 PM

    Maybe this is going over my head but what does animal cruelty have to do with free speech? I don't get it.

  4. i pity for poor animals - since they can't speak, we can't understand how much agony they are facing in the hands of atrocious human beings

    before killing an animal, why we cannot think for a minute, that if i were an animal ...

  5. Ellen 557,

    I know. Just imagining these sick fetishes which I knew nothing about, it's so nasty. I just hope that the Justices do the right thing for once, but I honestly don't hold out a lot of hope. Look at what they have said about so many other things. Love you dear, glad you are far from some of these American issues.

  6. Amber,

    It's hard to imagine worse, though I will never forget that rhesus monkey video. You may know what I'm talking about, it promoted vegetarianism. Had to do with Thai trainers. So sad.

    What scares me is that Scalia and Thomas might be the deciding factors here, and say that once this starts it also opens a door to hunting laws. Because remember that if we can't depict this, we may not be able to depict hunting, and you know how Scalia and Vice (Cheney) like to hunt birds. Love you Amber.

  7. Revolutionary Spirit,

    Are images of animals being brutalized still part of free speech? This is what the Supreme Court must decide. Love you dear.

  8. Srinivas,

    I know. One of the very first things I loved about you, was your compassion for animals. This is one of the most wonderful things about India, and sadly America hasn't taken a cue from you all.

    I wish they would, because you would not believe our slaughterhouses. Oh brother, I dare say it would pain you to see. And MANY of them are right here in Texas, not far at all from my house!

    Love you dear one.

  9. When has been doing something illegal the same as TALKING about something illegal? Gah, some people are sick. This isn't an issue of preventing free speech, but a way of preventing the crime.

  10. revolutionary spiritApril 26, 2009 at 11:28 PM

    I think that animals being slaughtered in a name of a fetish is a criminal offense but I don't correlate it to free speech. Free speech should not compass every thing.

    As for the Court, Americans need to get over this Democrat and Republic divide. Both parties are the same and both parties are evil. I cannot stand them! The only solution to it: multi-party system with a parliament then the Supreme Court would be varied. I do not agree with this judges for life. NO one, liberal or conservative, should have not power.

  11. revolutionary spiritApril 26, 2009 at 11:29 PM

    I meant that I don't see this as a free speech case and that not all cases encompass free speech.

    Secondly,I meant should have that power.

  12. Okay, but hunting is one thing. Do they typically take videos of themselves hunting? Or do they shoot the animal, wound it, and then start slicing it up, slowly, making sure it suffers first? All the while it's crying and screaming? And then post the video to the web so that people can get off on it? I certainly hope not. And if they do, they should get the same treatment.

    And lets please leave the Palin moose 'hunting' from a helicopter thing out, because the woman's a frickin' moron, and how is that hunting?

    I'm a meat eater...I accept hunting as something that occurs, and I've done it myself. But I make damn sure that I kill the animal quickly. There's no reason to cause suffering to another living being, just for sport.

    Also, Cheney needs to work on telling the difference between animal and human before he goes out hunting again.

    Animal cruelty is illegal, and depictions of it should *not* be covered under free speach. In the same way that murder is illegal and snuff shouldn't be covered under free speach.

  13. Pixie,

    Such a good point that is all too often missed! And you are right, the sick sexual fetish would die down, were we to prevent the crime in the first place. Love you.

  14. Revolutionary Spirit,

    The judges for life thing can get out of control especially when someone worthless like Thomas is still sitting there pretending to legislate.

    But, then again the problem isn't conservative justices. Sandra Day O'Connor ruled. The issue is the libs who legislate from the bench. Little old Ginsburg. We have to have the justices to allow for the checks and balances. They need to be reined in.

  15. Does it not encompass free speech because their animals though? Not everything should be a violation and censored.

    But, do you agree that hate speech is not free? Or about kiddie porn not being free?

    Love you.

  16. Amber,

    Right on! I have to agree that little miss Sarah Palin seems like the type that would love to slice and dice that moose on camera, just don't damage her Chanel suit :)

    And you are right, a depiction of murder is illegal so why not this? Question: Should still images of the 9-11 jumpers and the blood all over the awning of Tower 1 be illegal? I say YES. It is hurting the families. Love you.

  17. ):

    The whole free speech thing just escaped me once I read about the crush videos.

    I heard of those before and it makes me so sick. It extends to beyond cute furry animals like kittens or puppies. Those sick people stomp on live crabs/lobsters etc (that's what I've been told).

    Child pornography is...I don't even know what term is suitable for it. How can anyone stoop so low to film/photograph a child in such a way?

    I would like to imagine a world where there is free speech. Unfortunately, not everyone of us is capable of handling such a huge responsibility, responsibly.

  18. Lisa - 'Question: Should still images of the 9-11 jumpers and the blood all over the awning of Tower 1 be illegal? I say YES. It is hurting the families.'

    And I'm actually going to say no, that shouldn't be illegal. Should the families have the right to tell the news outlets to stop using them, sure. But we already sanitize the news too much in this country. We hear that so many people are killed in a car crash, in an explosion, whatever. But we never see the bodies. Then, we see death and destruction and mayhem in fictional shows and movies. And we see the same actor that just got smashed in another movie. So, in my opinion, death and destruction has become less real for us. It's entertainment. Fake blood, fake pain, and we become inured to real pain and suffering when we see it. We walk past people dying in the street, because it 'looks like a movie'.

    I think news, responsibly reported, with depictions of real death and tragedy might help mitigate this...distance that we've developed from reality.

    But that's just my opinion, so take that for what it's worth.

    Hmm, on another note, our paper ran an op/ed comparing Obama, favorably, to Reagan. I thought of you, and your head spinning around over that! :)

  19. xoxo Nadia,

    That last point was terrific. It's like wishing that every Muslim gir could run around naked, because men wouldn't ever do anything wrong. You have to have checks and balances!

    I love everything you said. I can see what you mean about the lobsters and crabs. It probably brings in a small fortune for a crush video like that, and if you are already at sa catching them....So wrong.

    Love you!

  20. Amber,

    I usually would tend to agree based on your exceptional argument. The issue here though, is not letting that video fall into the hands of terrorists to then create a cheerleader video about how great seeing the blood on the awning was.

    Love you!

  21. Lisa,

    While that's a better argument, I still can't say that I would want the video to be illegal. The good that can be gleaned must be weighed against the bad. And, to be perfectly honest, I can't see how removing one of their visual aids to insanity and assholery is going to have that much of an impact.

    "and now that you've all learned about the great shaytan, yadda, yadda, here's a video!"


    "i thought we had a clip? No clip?"


    "oh, okay. nevermindthen. call off the terrorism!"

  22. Amber,

    I have to admit that you've got a good point. It doesn't seem like making kiddie porn illegal has deterred it much. Love you!

  23. Lisa,

    Which is not to say that many things shouldn't be illegal. Kiddie porn, snuff, crush videos, etc. There's a *great* deal of things, even out of the sexual perversion range that should be and always remain illegal. But, as you said, making something illegal doesn't always deter the behaviour or seeking of the thing. Witness drugs, or even alcohol during Prohibition. Yes, some will say, oh, no, it's illegal, I won't. Others, those truly addicted or determined to try it, will find it. So, illegality is good, because it means, when caught, the perpetrator can be prosecuted, but I feel we need to have stronger punishments, once people are caught. I think that might make a far better deterrent than saying, don't, it's illegal.

    I, for one, have some *excellent* ideas on what to do with pedophiles, rapists, etc. But apparently they're somewhat outlawed... 'cruel and unusual' my behind.

  24. Amber,

    Part of me was actually hoping Lousiana would realise their plan to make certain sex crimes against kids merit the death penalty.

    But, I get what your saying dear. We are on the edge of a really slippery slope with our current decision to illegalize almost everything. And at some point it will be too much. Love you!

  25. Since I'm of the opinion that *all* sex crimes should be punishable by death...yeah, with you there.