I feel like it’s become less socially acceptable to hit your pet than it is to hit your child. And that’s… kind of absurd.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s absolutely abhorrent to be hitting your pets too, but I feel like when someone hits an animal everyone’s like, “Holy shit. Someone call animal control? How can you hit something that can’t even fight back? This is disgusting.” and then when someone whacks their kid everyone’s like, “Well, you know. That’s just their parenting style.”

The person who made this post has me blocked, so I’m not @ing them or naming them, but this really deserves commentary.

The reason we have any legal protection for children at all is that someone made exactly this argument to a court. Because it was, in fact, illegal to abuse animals, and was not illegal to abuse children, and someone went to a court and said “okay but if someone did this shit to a fucking dog you’d arrest them and send them to jail, and look at this little girl, is she actually less important than a dog?”

This isn’t “it’s become” on any time scale short of centuries. It has been that way in most of Western culture for most of history, with the idea that children deserve actual protections even from their parents being a relatively new idea.

So, like, the position taken is pretty reasonable, but the idea that the current state is a change for the worse is fucking idiotic, and $5 says they blocked me for pointing out some previous case where they had some Hot Take that consisted entirely of “hey, so, i have literally never opened a book or thought about this before, but i have this AMAZING new insight”.

EDIT: So some of the history is more complicated and subtle than I realized.

The NY Times article says there were no laws protecting children from abuse, the other sources I’ve found suggest that such laws existed, but were rarely enforced. But the SPCA existed and was large enough and powerful enough to get media attention for a case, so the idea of preventing cruelty to animals was better-established at that point.


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