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There needs to be a respect for all life

There needs to be a respect for all life There needs to be a respect for all life

Vox Pop

While driving up Clark Dr in the Lublin area on Thursday, June 7, I came upon a horrific act of cruelty. Placed upside down in the middle of the gravel road was a mature snapping turtle. The turtle was a bit over 12” around, and due to its size, it could not right itself. Next to it was a fairly-large rock. I believe it was the rock used to smash the turtle’s jaw, breaking a portion of the lower jaw. To add to my horror, the creature was still alive, left to bake in the hot sun until it died. I righted the turtle, and assisted it to the side of the road where a shallow creek ran below the road. The turtle repeatedly lunged at me, and appeared to have enough use of what jaw was left undamaged, that I hoped for its survival. Checking back three hours later, the turtle had made its way down the steep embankment and disappeared into the wetland area. It was at this moment the anger I had experienced for three hours turned to relief, and I burst into tears.

Over the years a link has been shown between animal abuse and violence perpetrated against humans. From Cynthia Hodges at MSU: “Cruelty to animals and violence towards people have something in common: both types of victims are living beings, feel pain, experience distress, and may die from their injuries. Until recently, however, violence towards animals had been considered to be unrelated to violence towards children and the elderly, and other forms of domestic violence. A correlation has now been established between animal abuse, family violence, and other forms of community violence. A growing body of research indicates that people who commit acts of cruelty towards animals rarely stop there. Murderers and people who abuse their spouse or children had frequently harmed animals in the past. People who abuse animals may also be dangerous to people.” Her full article is at: link-cruelty-animals-and-violencetowards- people The FBI also published an informative study at: https://leb.fbi. gov/articles/featured-articles/the-linkbetween- animal-cruelty-and-human-violence . Just an internet search of “animal abuse and human violence” will bring up many many studies linking the two issues.

There were bicycle tracks present on Clark surrounding the turtle, but I do not know if children or adults or both were present for this torture and cruelty toward the snapper. I plead with your readers to take acts of violence against animals seriously. Animals are living creatures, and a lack of respect for animals signals a lack of respect for life, including human life. If you know of a child or adult who is violent toward animals, encourage them to seek mental help before their violence explodes onto humans. Perhaps we can save lives, both animal and human.

— Gayle Davis, Owen