For those who believe that animals have no consciousness, that is, those who purport animals as non-sentient, animal cruelty cannot exist.
Historically, Theodore Roosevelt and John Burroughs were in that camp, and stayed there so as not to endanger trophy hunting. But that began to change when Ernest Thompson Seton argued the contrary (he passed the 73rd anniversary of his death a few days ago).
Not everyone got the Darwinian memo about animals as relations. Case in point: Intentional cruelty in the form of M44 devices. Wild Earth Guardians and others refer to them as poison bombs or cyanide bombs.
I would like to suggest Animal IEDs as a more graphic term. IEDs became all too familiar during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Animal IEDs have a different target, often coyotes, but like their anti-personnel counterparts, anyone or anything getting too close comes to a bad end. Animal IEDs attract by scent, luring large wild predators, but also skunks, raccoons, foxes and dogs.
In human war, civilians and soldiers are killed indiscriminately. In our war on nature, all manner of curious or unlucky creatures, treated with the same insane disregard for life, meet the same end.
IEDs of both kinds represent an absence of simple morality and decency. I urge everyone to take action against these things. There are several groups leading the charge to ban these things once and for all.
And while we’re at it, all commercial animal trapping must be banned, from whales to foxes. The Middle Ages are over, we have no excuse to continue such practices.