“Almost without exception, the perpetrators of animal cruelty crimes are the same individuals who carry out aggressive and violent acts including assault, partner and child abuse. Thus, animal cruelty crimes should be treated with the same seriousness as crimes against humans. Moreover, the punishments should reflect their severity”, declares leading psychologist Professor Eleonora Gullone, Associate Professor in Psychology at Monash University, Australia.
The controversial claim is made in Professor Gullone's pioneering new book Animal Cruelty, Antisocial Behaviour, and Aggression: More Than A Link, published this month in the USA and Europe.
She argues that animal cruelty behaviours are a form of antisocial behaviour that appear right alongside human aggression and violence. The book maintains that “by enacting adequate animal cruelty laws that properly indicate the seriousness of the animal cruelty crime committed, future violence toward both human and animal victims can be prevented.”
The book is part of the Palgrave Macmillan Animal Ethics book series in partnership with the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics.
The book series is jointly edited by internationally known theologian the Rev Professor Andrew Linzey, Director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, and Professor Priscilla Cohn, Emeritus Professor in Philosophy at Penn State University and Associate Director of the Centre.
In addition to being Professor in Psychology at Monash University, Professor Gullone is a Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society, the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, UK, and the Institute for Human-Animal Connection, University of Denver, USA.
Her research areas include emotional development and regulation, antisocial behaviour and animal cruelty. Professor Gullone’s research has focussed upon the emotional development of children and adolescents, including empathy development and she has published more than 100 articles in internationally renowned journals.
Commenting on the publication, the Rev Professor Andrew Linzey said: “This carefully researched and ground-breaking book provides clinching evidence that a world in which animal cruelty goes unchecked is bound to be a morally unsafe world for human beings”.
* Animal Cruelty, Antisocial Behaviour, and Aggression: More Than A Link is published by Palgrave Macmillan on 26 October in Britain.