The Role of Experts & Science in Understanding Social Problems

Animal Cruelty

ASPCA– American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Animal abuse is a condition that is medicalized when the abusers say they were abusive to the animals for the way they were behaving, that they bit them, or that they were not listening.

vicious dog

Viscous Dog

Through the medical model perspective, the animals are thought to need medical help due to being hyper or vicious, or needing professional training to be obedient.


Dog’s enrolled in Obedience School 


Science has become a powerful influence is how we understand the world because it makes changes possible and is the source of new and better things. Scientists are able to research to produce evidence that can support or challenge theories and this is extremely powerful.


Science Instruments

Role of Science

  1. Science is a slow process and takes time to fully understand complex issues.
  2. Evidence can be incomplete or interpreted incorrectly.
  3. Science is about replication and debate that ultimately leads to consensus.
  4. No single piece of research can be definitive.


Social Science

The claim of animal abuse is supported by social sciences.

For example, an animal being hurt could tie to the question of if it was abused. The answer is not clear cut and answer could change based on what happened and the context.

hurt doggo

Hurt Animal

Another example would be asking if puppy mills are exactly a bad thing. It would depend on who was asked the question. The people running the mill would say no, because they are making a profit from it. Society would see it as inhumane because the animals are being held in harmful conditions and it vast numbers.

puppy mills

Puppy Mill 

The claim of animal abuse is bad would bring about some consensus. There are a few people who do not care about animals and find other problems in the world to be of greater focus. On the other hand, there are a greater deal of people who find animal abuse inhumane and would fight “tooth and nail” for an animal.

Animal’s housed with the ASPCA are told to be all alone and unloved. The claim they are making can be also taken as they are not providing the love these animals need till they are rehomed. Most of these animals require a great deal of care, but we do not necessarily know if they are being provided with it.




100,000+ American horses are slaughtered each year for human consumption

This statistic is from a non- profit organization on how many animals they have rescued. They are based on facts.

“The Nova Scotia SPCA Inspectors work on the front line seven days a week, 365 days a year, rescuing animals that have been in an accident, abused or abandoned. Last year we intervened on behalf of 3984 animals, investigated 1214 cases and removed 697 animals from harm.”

This statistic is legal power who has the ability to help animals in need. They also are based off facts from the number of animals they have physically helped.

The risk would be helping abused animals getting out of bad situations. Some people would not go along with this due to the danger they could find themselves in.

Scholarly Journals:

Article One

Author: Clifton P. Flynn

Author is part of the crime law social change.

Article Title: Examining the links between animal abuse and human violence

This article talks about coexistence between animal abuse and interpersonal violence.People tend to move from violence to animals to violence to humans.

Article Two

Author: Geertrui Caaux

Author is part of crime, law, and social change.

Article title: Beauty and the beast: animal abuse from a non-speciesist criminological perspective.

This article talks about how some animals are cut up and ate while others are companion animals. It focuses on how some animals are seen to a higher standard than other. Basically, if we were to abuse a fish, it would not matter as much as abusing a cat. Speciesism is the discrimination based on an animals species, gender and ethnicity.

Article Three

Author: Ragnhild Sollund

Author is part of crime, law and social change.

Article title: Expressions of speciesism: the effects of keeping companion animals on animal abuse, animal trafficking and species decline.

This article talks about keeping companion animals contributes greatly to the endangerment of many species. Species suffer from being abducted, trafficked and traded. CITES works to protect animals from trade, trafficking and suffering.

Article Four

Author: Clifton P. Flynn

Author is helpful in family relations.

Article title: Why family professionals can no longer ignore violence toward animals.

Violence toward animals is a serious antisocial behavior by children and adolescents. The well-being of companion animals is being neglected; and paying attention to animal abuse will help achieve a less violent society.