Wednesday, September 23, 2009

CRUSH VIDEOS - DOG FIGHING - ANIMAL ABUSE: Are animal torture videos free speech?

Interesting piece from the Chicago Tribune, previewing an animal rights/free speech issue that the Supreme Court is expected to tackle next month:
A tiny white kitten squeals in pain as a flame from a lighter burns his fur. Another terrified kitten cries in agony as it is crushed by a woman's spiked heel. Another video clip shows pit bull dogs viciously ripping into the neck of a trapped pig.

The Supreme Court has often said freedom of speech includes ugly and foul speech, but this fall, the justices will be looking at some of these video clips to decide whether selling films of dog fights or the torture of helpless animals is protected from prosecution under the First Amendment.

The dispute, due to be heard in October, has driven a wedge between traditional free-speech advocates and the defenders of humane treatment of animals.

What do you think? Read the rest of the story here. Here's the New York Times' take on the issue.

Photo of sweet kitty from Katie Tegtmeyer's photostream on Flickr.


Name: Mr. Hendrix said...

if these videos showed a baby being crushed to death, or a child torn apart by dogs, "freedom of speech" would be a nonissue.

the KKK can "say" anything they want during the evil parades they have, and be covered, but they couldn't sell videos of them beating or killing and call it "speech"

i can't believe the supreme court is even going to waste time considering allowing these videos to be covered. they should just make them illegal.

SeaThreePeeO said...

This is very disturbing. If the court was to rule that these video distrubuters cannot be Prosecuted due to free speach then what next?

Child abuse becoming legal?

Cheysuli and gemini said...

I thought that free speech didn't include the use of such videos showing something illegal--ie killing the child in the example above. Isn't torturing animals also against the law? And if so, how can it not be illegal to film and how could it be protected under free speech?

Alasandra said...

This has nothing to do with freedom of speech. The stupid beans can SAY whatever they want. That doesn't give them the license to torture, abuse and kill innocent animals. These people ARE SICK!!!!!

ML said...

It is furry disturbing.
Me an Mommy jus wonder about tha kinda folks that would even wanna watch sumfing like that, much less fink of doing it.
We can hardly read about it wifout feeling sick.
Yeah, an like Mr. Hendrix says, what next?????
Love & Purrs,

Amy and The House of Cats said...

I can't believe they would even need to consider this - they should be illegal. And dog fighting - well you mentioned the Trib and I was on their site a while ago (maybe an hour) and the front page item was about a dogfighting ring being busted - that was also a daycare center. I couldn't finish the article because it just made me sick. So does the idea of these videos. People who make them should go through what they put these poor animals through.

LC, Ayla, and Iza said...

Torture is always wrong, and it is NOT "free speech". An act is not speech.

Cheyenne -Millie said...

We can't stand torture! We think that some humans are mean!

Anonymous said...

As many of you know, the US Supreme Court is ruling on the very issue that would better protect our animals from these "crush videos". The case, to be reviewed by the Court on Oct. 6th, is United States v. Stevens.

International Society for Animal Rights is hosting a 15 minute Skype presentation titled "Unpublished Insights into United States v. Stevens".
This presentation is free and will take place on Wednesday, September 30th at 1:00PM EST.

ISAR will present an analysis by Professor Henry Mark Holzer of the possible outcome of the Stevens case. He will focus on what can be expected of each justice in light of Supreme Court precedent, their own philosophies, and the nature of the case. Immediately following the presentation there will be a Q&A session.

In order to listen, you must have Skype. You can download Skype for free at; After you have Skype, add the username ColleenGedrich to your contacts.

For more information, please see the link below:;