Human v. Animal Punishment

Kylie McKinney, Reporter

The subject regarding human and animal punishment has been a controversial topic for quite a while. Some people agree that humans who kill humans, humans who kill animals, and animals who kill humans, should be punished through death. However, this ideology should be reconsidered based upon the situation. 

Humans killing humans, whether it is out of spite or self-defense, is common. There have been cases in history where it is proved that in many situations, it is human nature to turn to violence, such as WWI and WWII, known as the “bloodiest war in history.” These scenarios can be argued from both perspectives, however some cannot.  

According to, the term murder is considered to be “based on a person having premeditation and the intent to kill.” The term self defense killing is considered to be “the right of someone to protect himself or herself from harm.” 

In cases where the killing of another human is targeted through passion, strict punishment is put into place, whether it be 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree. However, when it comes to self defense killing, laws vary from state to state, although in most cases, if he or she felt it was reasonably necessary to exert their actions, accommodations will be presented. 

An example of murder in which would result in serious punishment, is if a couple had an argument and one of them pulled out a gun and shot the other person. An example of self-defense, is if a person breaks into someone’s house, begins to rob them, and then is shot by the owner of the house. 

Humans killing animals, once again, whether out of spite or self-defense, Is common. However, the situation is a little tricker to differentiate right and wrong than humans killing humans. In many cases, murdering animals is necessary in order to produce basic life necessities such as meat, as well as preventing the spread of disease. When people begin to go an opposite path of reasoning, is when things become morally wrong.  

According to, “humane killing” of animals is described as when an animal is either killed instantly or rendered insensible until death ensues, without pain, suffering or distress.”  

In cases where the killing of an animal for reasonable reason such as food source, the “killer” should not be punished, especially if the animal experienced no suffering. However if an animal is killed through torture mechanisms, or pleasure to the person, punishment to said person should without a doubt be implemented. 

Animals killing humans, is once again a tricky situation. Due to the inability of animals to defend themselves verbally, in many cases the animal is immediately euthanized whether it was out of spite, or self-defense. However, the immediate reactions should be reconsidered regarding the situation.  

There is often a bit of controversy regarding to what extent do an animals actions need to be taken in order to be killed. Many times, animals become enraged, lash out, and end up seriously harming another animal or even human. However, they sometimes come in contact with a situation were attacking and killing is their only way of self-defense. 

In cases were animals kill a human, they should first be put away, and trained for their behavior. If the attack/killing continues, they `should be euthanized. If an animal kills out of self-defense, there should be no punishment for the animal, but should be punishment for the person who caused the animal to feel in danger.   

The subject of murder and self defense are very sensitive. However, they are necessary to be talked about in order to differentiate right and wrong when it comes to punishable actions.