Animal Abuse In Water For Elephants

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Animal abuse is defined as the human infliction of suffering or harm upon a non-human animal, for purpose other than self-defense or survival. Animal abuse is a controversial topic shown throughout society for many years. The evidence for this disputed topic is limited because most of it occurs behind the scenes. There are two main types of animal abuse: passive and active. Most circus animals do not realize they are being abused because it becomes a daily part of their lives for many years. Animal abuse is displayed in the novel Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen by describing the animal’s living conditions and how the trainers treat them compared to circuses in current society. Passive animal cruelty is an indirect way of animal abuse,…show more content…
Active cruelty is defined as “cruelty inflicted with deliberate intent to harm an animal creating immediate pain and suffering” (“Animal”). Rosie is one of the most abused animals in the novel Water for Elephants. Rosie is abused with the bull hook at least three times throughout the book. One of the first scenes of Rosie’s active abuse is when the circus recently buys Rosie and an elephant car. August is in an irritable mood and stabs her multiple times with the bull hook to make her move into her elephant car, “August smacks her from behind…When August catches up, he whacks her again, this time hard enough that she raises her trunk, bellows, and scampers sideways” (Gruen 140). August gets very aggravated at Rosie and plunges the bullhook very hard into her shoulder, “Even from this distance, we can see that she’s trembling” (Gruen 141). The second scene where Rosie is abused again with the bullhook is when she runs away and injures Marlena. Even though Rosie comes back to the circus and Marlena only slightly injures herself, August still took his anger out on Rosie, “I’m going to teach her a lesson…The band will drown out the noise” (Gruen 170). The last major scene of abuse on Rosie is when Uncle Al told August he is deducting his pay because Rosie stole the lemonade and she is his responsibility. As a result, August beats Rosie without any genuine reason, “I’m not the only one who’s going to pay for the lemonade” (Gruen 215). Rosie is not the only animal that is physically abused, some animals are treated far
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