All About Animals: The Issues (Ages 11-14): Bullying

What makes someone bully another person? Often the bully is scared deep down that no one will like him and so he develops a tough exterior and hides behind it. That person may be very insecure and think it will make him feel ‘better’ to have power over someone else. Of course, it doesn’t make people like him more. In fact, it makes people like him less. A lot less.

Bullies don’t have friends, they just have people who are scared of them, and those people are not their friends. Real friends will help you out when you need them; they will be there when you need to talk or when you have a bad day. Real friends want to be with you because they like you.

Bullies don’t just bully people – they bully animals too. A bully is such a coward that she will bully anyone smaller and weaker, even if that ‘person’ is a kitten, a butterfly or an ant. What kind of person hurts an animal on purpose just to show how ‘powerful’ they are? A very sad person! Anyone can hurt an animal who is smaller than them but it takes a truly kind and lovely person to take care of all animals, and it takes a brave person to speak out, especially when other people are harming an animal on purpose.

Sadly, the newspapers are full of stories about people who hurt animals for fun. And lots of those people are arrested and end up in court. If you know someone who hurts animals deliberately, tell a teacher, your parents or another adult that you trust. It is just as important for the bully as it is for the animal. Research from all around the world shows that if young people are allowed to get away with being cruel to an animal they are likely to progress to hurting other children too. As they get older and grow, so does their violence and who knows who their next victim will be?

Animals have feelings like us. They feel fear, pain, love and kindness. And they want to live out their lives without being deliberately harmed, just as we do. And so they should – it’s their planet too!

So be an animal’s pal! Never bully an animal and don’t walk away if you see someone else bullying one. Speak out! Animals need you.