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Animal Cruelty Essays and Research Papers

Instructions for Animal Cruelty College Essay Examples

Essay Instructions: My assignment is to present a 4-6 minute Infomative speech on animal cruelty linking to human violence. It needs to include a thesis with three main points. intro ending with theisis, point one in thesis, point two in thesis, point three in thesis, conclusion and a works cited page with 4 sources. it can have as many print resources as needed (magazine article, book, newspaper, periodical, published document, any thing off of vitual library like ebscohost). Only one true internet source.
Informative speeches about issues provide an overview or a report of problems in order to increase understanding and awareness. Informative speeches about issues have the greatest potential of "crossing the line" into the persuasive type of speech. Yet, as long as your goal is to inform rather than advocate, you can ligitimately address issues in an informative speech.
When you describe information, you provide an array of details that paint a mental picture of your topic. Explanation goes beyond simple clarification of terms or concepts or a description of them. when you explain something, you provide reasons or causes, demonstrate relationships, and offer interpretation or analysis.

Excerpt From Essay:

Title: animal cruelty

Total Pages: 3 Words: 1087 Works Cited: 0 Citation Style: MLA Document Type: Research Paper

Essay Instructions: This paper needs to be written like a fairy tale. think of how fairy tales's sound. It needs to be set in modern day time. the topic of the fairy tale is animal cruelty. the story can straightforward or funny but, the message behind the story must be serious.

Excerpt From Essay:

Title: United States vs Robert J Stevens Dog fighting

Total Pages: 4 Words: 1054 Bibliography: 2 Citation Style: MLA Document Type: Essay

Essay Instructions: Write a legal “Opinion” of the Court. Essentially, how the Court will hold in this case. Opinion should be 3 – 4 pages in length, double spaced. There is no right or wrong side. Make sure the argument is backed with legitimate reasoning. Feel free to use any legitimate source you deem necessary in your argument. You must cite all of your sources. Provide a separate works cited page (in addition to your 3 – 4 page Opinion, any format is acceptable as long as it is standardized).
If you need further assistance than what is provided below, try researching past rulings on the case and past precedent from those rulings (in LexisNexis or Also, I have embedded a couple of links in this document that you may find very helpful when conducting your research. You can further use Thomas ( and US Codes ( to assist you in obtaining any legislative information that you feel is pertinent.

The Supreme Court must balance both the legal and social demands of the country. Keep this perspective in mind when writing your argument.

Deliver your Opinion similar to an actual opinion of the Court. Set up your arguments in an organized fashion. Support your argument with LEGAL precedent, similar to an actual Opinion. Grading will be based on critical reasoning skills, your paper’s organizational structure, and your ability to back up your Opinion with relevant points.

Citations must be cited. Back those points up with references and holdings in previous cases.

Synopsis (compiled by Lori Odessa with some direct excerpts from case; amended by Bill McGeeney):

• Radio Times audio debate over case provides a nice overview of the issues revolving around this case: (roughly 1 hour, skip through the commercials).

• FACTS (pulled together from various sources by Lori)

“The indictment arose out of an investigation by federal and Pennsylvania law enforcement agents who had discovered that Stevens had been advertising pit bull related videos and merchandise through his business. Stevens advertised these videos in Sporting Dog Journal, an underground publication featuring articles on illegal dog fighting. Law enforcement officers arranged to buy three videotapes from Stevens, which form the basis for each of the counts in the indictment. The first two tapes, entitled, “Pick-A-Winna” and “Japan Pit Fights,” show circa 1960s and 70s footage of organized dog fights that occurred in the United States and involved pit bulls, as well as footage of more recent dog fights, also involving pit bulls, from Japan. The third video, entitled “Catch Dogs,” shows footage of hunting excursions in which pit bulls were used to “catch” wild boar, as well as footage of pit bulls being trained to perform the function of catching and subduing hogs or boars. This video includes a gruesome depiction of a pit bull attacking the lower jaw of a domestic farm pig. The footage in all three videos was accompanied by introductions, narration and commentary by Stevens, as well as accompanying literature, of which, Stevens is the author.

As a result of their investigation, law enforcement officers obtained a search warrant for Stevens’ Virginia residence, executed the search warrant and found several copies of the three videos, as well as other dog fighting merchandise.

On March 24, 2004, a federal grand jury sitting in the Western District of Pennsylvania returned an indictment charging Stevens with three counts of knowingly selling depictions of animal cruelty with the intention of placing those depictions in interstate commerce for commercial gain, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 48. In November of 2004, the District Court denied Stevens’ motion to dismiss the indictment based on his assertion that § 48 abridged his First Amendment right to freedom of speech. The case proceeded to trial, and on January 13, 2005, the jury returned a verdict of guilty on each of the three counts. The District Court sentenced Stevens to 37 months of imprisonment and three years of supervised release.”


Stevens’ case is the first prosecution in the nation under § 48 to proceed to trial, and thus, the first substantive constitutional evaluation of the statue by a federal appellate court. 18 U.S.C. § 48 states:

(a) Creation, sale, or possession. — Whoever knowingly creates, sells, or possesses a depiction of animal cruelty with the intention of placing that depiction in interstate or foreign commerce for commercial gain, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

(b) Exception. — Subsection (a) does not apply to any depiction that has serious religious, political, scientific, educational, journalistic, historical, or artistic value.

(c) Definitions. — In this section—

(1) the term “depiction of animal cruelty” means any visual or auditory depiction, including any photograph, motion-picture film, video recording, electronic image, or sound recording of conduct in which a living animal is intentionally maimed, mutilated, tortured, wounded, or killed, if such conduct is illegal under Federal law or the law of the State in which the creation, sale, or possession takes place, regardless of whether the maiming, mutilation, torture, wounding, or killing took place in the State; and

(2) the term “State” means each of the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and any other commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States.

• LEGAL ISSUE(s) (info below is from the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals decision)

Government’s Argument:

Government contends that depictions of animal cruelty restricted by 18 USC § 48 qualify as categorically unprotected speech.

Government analogizes between the depiction of animal cruelty and the depiction of child pornography – New York v. Ferber (1982) holding that child pornography depicting actual children is not protected speech. The government suggests that its position is supported by the Supreme Court’s decision in Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire
(1942) which establishes a balancing test to determine whether to recognize a class of speech as unworthy of First Amendment protection. The test weighs the government interest in restricting the speech against the value of the speech.

In reaching the NY v. Ferber conclusion, the Supreme Court cited four factors favoring the creations of a new category of unprotected speech:

1) the State has a “compelling” interest in “safeguarding the physical and psychological well-being of a minor.”

2) the distribution of photographs and films depicting sexual activity by juveniles is “intrinsically related to the sexual abuse of children.

3) The advertising and selling of child pornography provide an economic motive for and are thus an integral part of the production of child pornography.

4) The value of permitting live performances and photographic reproductions of children engaged in lewd sexual conduct is “exceedingly modest, if not de minimis.

Ferber stands for the narrow proposition that a category of speech may be constitutionally restricted where it depicts the intentional infliction of physical harm on a class of especially vulnerable victims in violation of law, where the distribution of such depictions spurs their production but laws prohibition the underlying acts are woefully under-enforced, and where the speech’s social value is so de minimus as to be outweighed by the important governmental goal of protecting the victims. The depiction of animal cruelty proscribed by § 48 possess these essential attributes. The Government applied the Stevens facts to the Ferber factors as follows:

1) Preventing animal cruelty is also a governmental interest of the most paramount importance. The Govt argues that government interest is compelling because the law serves to protect not only the animals, but also the individuals who commit the cruelty, and more generally, the morals of society. Our nation’s aversion to animal cruelty is deep-seated. Today dog-fighting is prohibited in all the fifty states. And empirical evidence now bears out that understanding—the increasing body of research which suggest that humans who kill or abuse others often do so as the culmination of a long pattern of abuse, which often begins with the torture and killing of animals. Because the interest protects the animals themselves, human, and public mores, that it warrants being labeled compelling.

2) The speech/depictions at issue here is intrinsically related to the underlying crime of animal cruelty, most clearly because its creation is also predicated on a violation of criminal law, so as to weigh in favor of its prohibition. Moreover, the animal abuse, such as dog fighting, counsels toward the conclusion that the harms suffered by abused animals also extend far beyond that directly resulting from the single abusive act depicted. In addition, Congress has reasonable concluded that targeting the distributors would be the most effective way of drying up the animal-cruelty depictions market. In particular, police struggle to prosecute those involved in crush videos because the videos are generally created by a bare-boned, clandestine staff; the woman doing the crushing is filmed in a manner that shields her identity, and the location of the action is imperceptible. Similarly, individuals involved in dogfights are also elaborately insulated from law enforcement.

3) The presence of an economic motive driving the production of depictions of animals being tortured or killed is perhaps the critical consideration that distinguishes the speech at issue here from ordinary depictions of criminal activities.

4) The depictions of animal cruelty are of de minimis value because the statute excludes depictions that have any serious value.

Banning depiction of animal cruelty as prohibited by § 48 also satisfy the second part of the fundamental First Amendment balancing inquiry because they have little or no social value. This is guaranteed by the terms of the statue which excepts speech that has “serious religious, political, scientific, education, journalistic, historical, or artistic value from its reach. And if some serious work were to demand a depiction of animal cruelty, a simulated depiction is permitted under the statute. (the exceptions are from the Miller v. California (1973) Supreme Court opinion which banned obscenity from Free Speech protection.) Section 48 (b) exceptions are nothing more than an analogous codification of the Miller v. Ca framework, tailored to the animal cruelty context.

Section 48 outlaws depictions that “are [of] no essential part of any exposition of ideas, and are of such slight social value as a step to truth that any benefit that may be derived from them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in order and morality.” Chaplinsky.

In sum, the speech at issue possesses the essential attributes of unprotected speech identified generally in Chaplinsky and of child pornography as discussed in Ferber. The Government has a compelling interest in eradicating animal cruelty, depictions of animal cruelty are intrinsically related to the underlying animal cruelty, the market for videos of animal cruelty incentivizes the commission of acts of animal cruelty, and such depictions are of de minimis value. The statute is merely one prohibiting depictions of a narrow subclass of depraved acts committed against an uniquely vulnerable and helpless class of victims.

Stevens’ Argument:

Stevens contends that Section 48 is unconstitutionally overbroad because it criminalizes depictions of conduct that was not illegal when or where it occurred, such as videos of dogfights in Japan, where dog fighting is legal, or videos that were produced in the United States before dog fighting was outlawed.

1. The statute is overbroad because it reaches individuals who took no part in the underlying conduct.

2. The statue is overbroad because it could extend to technical violations of hunting and fishing statutes.

3. The statute is unconstitutionally vague because the definition of “depiction of animal cruelty” is predicated on state law and federal law cannot incorporate state law.

4. Section 48 is void-for-vagueness because the word “animal” is defined differently in different states.

Potential Ruling:

Based on the series of questions and hypotheticals the Government’s attorney was peppered with during oral arguments (, it is more probable than not that the majority of Justices will find that the federal law violates the First Amendment because it is too vague/overbroad. The majority of Justices seemed to indicate that the test of what depictions fall under the exceptions, i.e., serious educational, scientific, artistic, etc., is difficult to distinguish and should not turn into a subjective test for the government, judges and juries to determine.

Excerpt From Essay:

Title: Ethical treatment of anmials

Total Pages: 8 Words: 3045 Sources: 6 Citation Style: MLA Document Type: Research Paper

Essay Instructions: In this course, we look at classical ethical theories of utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue ethics. We also look at the different kinds of perspectives on ethical issues introduced by relativism, ethical egoism, and emotivism.

For this paper, you will pick an ethical issue to discuss, but one that is not a specific topic addressed in our text (thus, gun control or product liability would not be possible choices). Some examples are given below, but it is recommended that you choose to write on a topic you have already encountered or you have thought about previously. (One way of thinking about this is to think of an ethical issue that either worries you or enrages you.)

Identify, specifically, the ethical issue and the ethical problems it presents. Drawing on various sources, explain how one of the classical theories (utilitarianism, deontology, virtue ethics) would resolve the problem. Then, contrast this response with the perspective brought to the issue by relativism, emotivism, or ethical egoism. Finally, state which of these views is closer to your own, supporting your response with a clearly-presented and well-supported argument. The more specific you can be the better, and feel free to include examples that will strengthen your account.

The Final Paper must be between eight to ten pages long, using at least five (5) resources Format your rough draft according to APA (6th edition) style and properly cite all your resources.If you would like to refer to APA samples and tutorials, log into the Ashford Writing Center (USER NAME: ashford; PASSWORD: student). Click on the ENG122” tab and review the resources in the “Week 5” section.

Writing the Final Paper
The Final Paper:

Must be eight to ten double-spaced pages in length and formatted according to APA (6th edition) style as outlined in the approved APA style guide.
Must use at least five academic resources in addition to the required text, at least two of which are found in Ashford Online Library. Wikipedia is an example of a source that is NOT acceptable.
Must use APA style as outlined in the approved APA style guide to document all sources.
Must include a cover page that includes:
Title of Paper
Student’s name
Course name and number
Instructor’s name
Date submitted
Must include an introductory paragraph with a succinct thesis statement.
Must conclude with a restatement of the thesis and a conclusion paragraph.
Must include a Reference Page that is completed according to APA (6th edition) style as outlined in the approved APA style guide.

The issue of ethical treatment of animals is an important one and also one that many people are passionate about because it gives a voice to animals who are not capable of speaking for themselves. It is noble and right to be for the ethical treatment of animals. It is not enough, however, to merely be emotional; one must also understand why it is not just a passionate issue but why it is one that needs attention because it is not right to treat animals badly. Merely questioning the problem and asking one’s self why they believe in the ethical treatment of animals makes the issue one that is subject to reasoning as opposed to emotion. In his book Animal Ethics, author Robert Garner (2005) says that, “Animal ethics seeks to examine beliefs that are held about the moral status of non-human animals.” Animal ethics can also be defined more generally by acknowledging that animal ethics is about acting for the moral good of animals by understanding animal-human moral issues through knowledge and cognitive reasoning. Using virtue ethics as a moral framework, this paper will examine how virtue ethics can help prevent the unethical treatment of animals.
Virtue ethics hold that one must act how a virtuous person would act and that one “cannot isolate the making of ethical decisions from your personality” (Panaman 2008.) a person who has good character will act accordingly. Good character can be defined (though is not limited to) qualities such as compassion, kindness, respect, toleration, courage, and honesty (2008). When one possesses these types of qualities, one is thus thought to be a virtuous person.
Aristotle is the ancient philosopher believed to be the main theorist behind virtue ethics. He believed that virtue is the middle road between two vices, the middle of two spectrums ??" for example, courage is superior to fearlessness or cowardice (Animal ethics 2011). While later ethical theories (mainly ones with God at the forefront) took over the popularity of virtue ethics, virtue ethics theories came back in the 20th century and made it more modern (2008). The modern tradition of virtue ethics says that people should be virtuous in all aspects of their lives and this means that they must be a good person always.
When it comes to the issues of the ethical treatment of animals, virtue ethics can support ethical treatment because it forces people to ask: How will my actions support being a virtuous person? The morally right action comes from doing what one believes a virtuous person would do as opposed to other ethical theories that might make one do something out of obligation or duty, or what will get the best results (Panaman 2008). The main concern in virtue ethics becomes about a person’s moral character. When people choose to develop their moral character, better virtues will be created, and thus there will be more people acting in virtuous ways in all aspects of their lives ??" and this includes how they treat animals.
One example to be considered when thinking about how a person with a strong sense of virtue might behave is to counter it with how a person with a strong sense of duty might behave. From a duty sense, if one were a livestock farmer, he or she might believe that his or her duty lies in what is best for the people because, after all, the job is about raising livestock for slaughter, which will then become food for people. Therefore, the first duty would be to humans and the second duty to animals (Panaman 2008) (which may entail being as good to the animals as possible while they are in his or her care on the farm ??" i.e., not allowing torture, giving them adequate living space, feeding them food that is good for them, etc.). with virtue ethics, however, one will apply reason, experience and logic as well as emotional abilities like beliefs, faith, etc. in order to act how a virtuous person should act (Panaman 2008). A person who believes in virtue ethics would think that as a person one should be kind and compassionate to all living things. Therefore, one should not cause the suffering of animals. As a livestock farmer, the person would probably find that he or she is in the wrong profession as it goes against what he or she believes is virtuous and right.
Virtue ethics could encourage the more ethical treatment of animals because it forces one to think in terms of kindness, compassion, and fairness. It doesn’t bring up issues such as duty or what is better for the most people. Surely if one were to look at the issue of the ethical treatment of animals from a virtue ethics perspective, any sort of unfair or unethical treatment would be considered morally and ethically wrong.
Ethical relativism holds that there are not any moral truths; this is, all ethical viewpoints are equally valid and the individual is the only one who can determine what is true and relative for him or her. Moral relativism is not uncommon. People often say just because that’s right for them doesn’t make it right for me, but they may still hold that the viewpoint is valid. Ethical egoism holds that people are generally selfish; that it, each person has one ultimate aim: his or her own welfare. Ethical emotivism, on the other hand, more of a meta-ethical theory, argues that a moral claim (This is not moral or That is moral) isn’t a statement about the action itself or about the person saying it. It’s merely a raw expression of emotion ??" just like an emotional reaction to pain (e.g., a scream, a cry, etc.).
When it comes to the ethical treatment of animals, ethical emotivism is the theory that is often used to prevent the unethical treatment of animals. C.L. Stevenson (1944) who wrote the book Ethics and Language argues that these moral statements aren’t just expressions of emotions but they are attempts to get other people to share the same emotional reaction that a person is having. When animal activists use images of animals being tested on, slaughtered animals, or images of the consequences of dog fighting, they are tying to get others to react in horror at the images that elicited that horrific response in them.
In dealing with the issue of the ethical treatment of animals, there are some who take an ethical relativism approach; that is, there are some who choose to eat meat, wear leather shoes, and buy products that have knowingly been tested on animals. They may believe that these things are common in our society and if others don’t like it, well, they don’t have to do it. That is, I may not want to eat meat, but that doesn’t mean that I think it is wrong for you to eat meat. I choose to wear leather shoes and carry a leather purse or wear furs, but that doesn’t mean that I think if others don’t want to it is silly. It is all relative. Some may take ethical egoism approach and decide that their enjoyment of life is more important than the ethical treatment of animals.
Virtue ethics is more along the lines of how I see the world and issues related to the ethical treatment of animals. I tend to be guided by ethical emotivism as the topic inspires me to do things in order to give these animals a voice. I am horrified by people who hurt animals and who don’t think that it is wrong. I don’t have an ethical relativism viewpoint about animal issues. I don’t think that anyone should hurt animals for any reason. I think that a lot of theories are created in order for people to feel better about what they do. Emotivism is the real thing because it inspires a true and real feeling that has to do with innately or inherently what we know to be right or wrong. While there is the theory that people are only out for their own welfare (ethical egoism), I think that this is merely because some people are not inspired or cognitive enough to contemplate the ethical ponderings of issues such as animal cruelty. I believe that people are inherently good and if they were to follow their core beliefs, the emotional beliefs that come from within, there would be a lot more goodness in the world and there wouldn’t be unethical treatment of animals.

Garner, R. (2005). Animal ethics. Polity.
Panaman, R (2008). “How to do animal rights ??" and win the war on animals. Animal “Chapter 2: Know your animal ethics & animal rights.” Accessed on March 20, 2011 :
Stevenson, C.L. (1944). Ethics and language. Yale University Press.

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