It is very rare for heinous acts of animal abuse to be caught and documented on camera as they happen, but in a few rare cases when this happens an important window into the world of abuse is opened.
Among the many disturbing videos that have surfaced out of war torn areas in the middle east including US soldiers gunning down peaceful civilians, throwing puppies off of cliffs and taunting starving children from vehicles comes what animal advocates are calling one of the most horrifying and disgusting videos to date.
On November 24th, 2011 a video from Live Leaks surfaced on Youtube showing a group of US soldiers dragging a sheep into a crowded room and laughing with delight as one of their officers repeatedly and savagely smashes it in the head. As this is happening, several Afghani children jump up and down with excitement as soldiers clap, cheer and encourage the attacker on until the limp and lifeless body of the animal is dragged across the ground and out of the view of the camera.
To date, the US Army has released only one statement saying that they are investigating the matter but animal activists and concerned citizens have expressed their distrust in the process as in the past only minor disciplinary charges have been given out for similar offences.
According to the Live Leaks website the incident occurred on November 6th, 2011 as part of the holy festival of Eid and that the killing was “to represent a sacrifice made by Abraham of a ram when the angels told him that he had fulfilled the dream ordering him to sacrifice his young son, at which he laid down the knife and sacrificed the animal instead.” Although the soldiers may have been using this festival as an excuse to engage in the brutal killing of an animal the article also pointed out that killing the sheep in such a way “is not sanctioned.”
In response to the video, concerned animal advocates have started a petition calling on President Barack Obama to fully investigate the killing and to bring those responsible to justice and has prompted outcry from Facebook users decrying the actions of the soldiers.
“I finally forced myself to watch this horrific incident,” stated Gayle Fraley on the official Facebook event dedicated to the cause. ”I cried and just could not comprehend why. I did not want to believe that our military men would club this poor, innocent animal. I am absolutely sickened, not only by the incident but by the behavior of men that represent our country. I am the 64 year old mother of a former Marine … and of a Navy man. My father was a Navy man during WWII … I have been proud of our military my entire life. I raised my sons to be honorable men and was proud when two of them joined the military. When the video first began surfacing I denied to everyone that our military could be involved. Now, there is no question in my mind. There is absolutely no excuse, no justification for these actions. I am deeply disappointed that these men would behave in a manner that is not only dishonorable but down right sick. They say war makes men do things they would otherwise not do but I can find no reasonable explanation to bludgeon this poor sheep.”
At the time this article went to print, the petition had already received 7,758 signatures of the 10,000 organizers are aiming for.