Graphic images on news shows and television commercials rightly rouse us to horror and indignation. Imagine if those tortured and disfigured creatures were helpless humans.

That’s the thought that occurs every time I see this new ad for an anti-cruelty organization, filled with closeup photos or videos showing the ravages of harsh treatment by their owners. These commercials assault our sensibilities, but that makes them effective.

Accompanying these images, the voiceover says “no animal should be treated cruelly, abusively or inhumanely”…And then adds: ‘but they don’t have to, with our efforts to save the animals at (website plug)’.

For crying out loud. No human should be treated that way. Let’s start there.

I love animals. Really, really love nature and animals and that means just about everything except skunks and snakes, rats and other rodents, and some insects like spiders (I just wish they hadn’t made the ark). I love our dogs as part of our family. I get it, I really do.

But do the animal activists get human cruelty? I’m not a proponent of pro-life demonstrations of graphic images of aborted babies. I understand the belief that ‘Americans won’t reject abortion until Americans see abortion’, as one prominent leader (and friend) frequently states. Maybe true. But I don’t go about promoting human rights and dignity in quite that manner.

However, this new television ad campaign is provoking the instinct that if graphic images of brutalized cats and dogs should stir up outrage and the rush to send relief, how much more so the cause of rescuing brutalized human beings who are even more vulnerable…and more brutalized, being tortured as they’re put to death. In abortion.

Really. It’s just that stark.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....