Friday, February 11, 2022

Public are outraged by Kurt Zouma's cat abuse. I'm pleased.

The public are outraged by Kurt Zouma's Bengal cat abuse. I'm very pleased. I am also surprised by the strength of the sentiment. And it isn't just the public; the news media have come down hard on him too. It is great. Anything which supports cat welfare is progress as far as I am concerned.

There has been an outpouring of anger against Kurt Zouma because of his obnoxious behaviour in drop-kicking one of his Bengal cats and also slapping the cat while the cat was being held by a child. And he slapped the cat hard. Arguably that is also child abuse. He is at least potentially psychologically damaging this child and he is certainly teaching his child that it is all right to behave like that was an animal. Shame on him.

RELATED: Premier League footballer videoed kicking and slapping a Bengal cat.

Kurt Zouma
Kurt Zouma. Photo in public domain.

And to compound the bad behaviour, his brother videoed the whole thing and uploaded it to social media. And to make matters even worse his brother laughed while he videoed the abuse. It was terrible but what is delightful is the fact that the public have got behind cat welfare. They want to see Zouma punished. They don't want him to play in the forthcoming football matches. He has been fined two weeks wages which has told the world how much he earns because the fine is £250,000.

Ironically, his playing colleagues are complaining that they are underpaid because they have, for the first time, discovered what he earns. David Moyes the West Ham manager insists that he will play in the next match this weekend against Leicester. He was criticised by the public and others including Garry Lineker for playing him in the match against Watford which occurred 24 hours after the cat abuse incident. Garry Lineker accused West Ham of being tone deaf to the gravity of the event.

And this is what I really, really like about the story. People are concerned about cat welfare. I do not think that this would have happened like this 10 years ago. There is much more awareness about animal welfare nowadays than in the past. I believe that this may be a result of a concern for the planet in general because of global warming. People are concerned about the environment and what they do that might damage the environment.

It is quite a short step from this way of thinking to be concerned about animals. In part this is because the way we treat animals has an impact on the environment. I'm referring to livestock and meat eating.

Some people have been surprised. One person wondered if cat abuse is as bad as racism. I don't think that you can compare the two. But if a premiership footballer was prosecuted for racism or homophobia or was punished by the club for a racist remark, this person argued that he would be punished less than Kurt Zouma will be for abusing his cat. I get the point but this person is guessing how Zouma will be punished. We don't know. The RSPCA is investigating on behalf of the police and we expect them to make a statement about their intentions soon. They've seized his two cats. They may or may not return them depending on the outcome of their deliberations.

Here are the screenshots from the video of Zouma kicking and slapping his Bengal cat. Please click on the links.

Zouma's brother - the guy who filmed the abuse - has been dropped by his football club which is in one of the lower divisions (Dagenham and Redbridge). A different approach. Moyes wants to play Zouma because he is a good footballer (left back) and Moyes is desperate to finish in the top four in the Premiership to enable West Ham to play in the European Championships next season. It is money over morals.

They should prosecute him under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 for animal abuse and cruelty. I expect that to happen. And if he's convicted, he will be punished but the punishment will not be severe. Although he could, technically receive a five-year prison sentence as a maximum, this is not going to happen. The abuse was not as bad as that. It was bad and callous and stupid and it betrayed an ignorant person but he will be fined if he is prosecuted and convicted.

There are much wider issues too, which come out of the story. A lady on LBC radio made the point that the UK is not a nation of animal lovers. This is the opposite to what people in other countries believe. Great Britain is portrayed as a place where animal welfare is prioritised. It isn't true. Of course, it is better than all the countries of Asia and South America and the Middle East but there is still lots of animal abuse in the UK. There are lots of idiots in the UK would like to harm animals. We could do a lot better.

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