By Moonyeen King
The term “cruelty to animals” describes many things, slaughter to eat, for clothing, for research; when it is only for pleasure of humans, it is called ZOOSADISM, which is the precursor to sociopathic behavior, as observed by Ernest Borneman. It can also cause intense sexual pleasure in some deriving from sadistic cruelty to animals.
According to Wikipedia, the current civil laws in Mexico condemns physical harm to animals, even those viewed as property by owner. In Dec. 2010/12, the Legislative Assembly of the Federal District reformed the penal code, establishing abuse and cruelty to animals as a criminal offense, provided animals were neither a plague or a pest. Abandoned animals are not considered a plague. Law provides penalties of six months to two years and can be increased with repeat offenders.
The link between those who abuse animals and those who abuse their fellow man is clear. According to ALDF (Animal Legal Defense Fund), children involved in violent households have likely been abused, and represent one-fifth of animal cruelty cases, children who witness animal abuse will become abusers.
The cockerel and dog fights are passed down from father to son in Tepehua, fights are in restricted areas and the animals have very little room to do anything but fight for their life. Never has the author seen women and girls at these occasions. The boy is given a bird or puppy, and is taught how to train them by older men. Of course it is against the law, as is domestic violence, but implementation of the law is a different thing. This form of entertainment is part of the culture. Bull fighting in rural areas is less brutal than in the cities; the rural arena is more entertainment, the bull is never killed and goes from arena to arena...a tired old bull that is used to the antics of the caballeros. Local cowboys cannot afford to kill their prized possession, the bull. It is a fun event where instead of the audiences tossing roses to the caballero of their choice, they toss cold beer.
Ex-pat and local Animal Rights Activists have a hard road ahead, but just starting awareness is the first step, and that has been taken. Tepehua has a long way to go for Human Rights and Animal Rights, but there is no doubt that change is coming. Mexico is taking notice of the link between Animal Abuse and Domestic Violence—especially on local government level.
Live “toys” of children in Tepehua are puppies, chicks, little bunnies, and other little critters that are as vulnerable as children themselves. As each species age, they become less lovable and are put aside. How did it get so unbalanced? Lack of education. With education comes compassion, and the vets at Lakeside certainly have that. So please assist the organizations that are attempting against all odds, to balance the scales.
Tepehua has many animals running wild in the streets, beaten and abused, because they do become pests. They follow the smell of food, of bitches in heat, urinate and defecate in areas close to the people. To keep the strays out of their life, people become abusive to protect their young children. Family planning is also a new thing in Tepehua; too many children cause stress emotionally and financially and breeds abuse. Education has come to Tepehua, and the people are open to change, not of their culture, but their knowledge for a better life. A life they can take control of and not leave it up to God.
President of the Board for Tepehua.