Urge Facebook to Protect Human and Animal Rights Activism and Reject Those Who Glorify Violence

A day in an Italian slaughterhouse. Photo by Francesco ScipioniFacebook’s current policy on depictions of graphic violence is unjust. Why? While Facebook will take down pages and block users who expose violence to humans and animals in animal-using industries, they will defend pages and users who glorify and celebrate violence to animals that they deem “socially acceptable.” That’s why I’ve written an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO at Facebook, asking him to update their policy. If you believe this policy is misguided also and needs to be updated, I ask you to sign on to this letter. You can also contact Mr. Zuckerberg directly with your thoughts onhis Facebook page. It takes 30 seconds to help animals in a big way by influencing the largest social media site’s policy on animals! My letter follows below:

Dear Mr. Zuckerberg,

My name is Robert Grillo and I am the Executive Director of Free from Harm, a non profit organization that advocates on behalf of farm animals.

I’m writing to urge you to reconsider your position on the type of graphic violence you consider permissible on your site in two key ways.

First, I ask you to protect those users and pages that expose violence and abuse to animals by individuals and industries with the clear intent to educate and advocate on behalf of animals and promote an end to animal exploitation.

Second, I ask you to take a hard look at the pages that Facebook currently deems as “socially acceptable” forms of violence to and denigration of animals. Any user or page that glorifies, celebrates and/or sexualizes violence and killing of animals should be grounds for removal (just as it would be if humans were the victims). One such case in point that I reported to you recently is the page entitled, The Texas Huntress at https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Texas-Huntress/329725713124?ref=stream.

Simply put, a number of highly-respected studies provide empirical evidence that violence breeds violence. The perpetrators of violence seek the most vulnerable, both human and non human animal alike.

This strong link can no longer be justifiably ignored. Thus, I ask Facebook to review the sources I’ve compiled below and take common-sense steps to remove pages and users that promote violence to animals and to protect pages and users that advocate for an end to such violence.

Examining the links between animal abuse and human violence by Clifton P. Flynn, Department Chair of Sociology at The University of South Carolina Upstate (see http://www.humanespot.org/content/examining-links-between-animal-abuse-and-human-violence). His new book, Understanding Animal Abuse (for details see http://www.ebooks.com/932616/understanding-animal-abuse/flynn-clif/).

Frank R. Ascione PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a key figure in the field of animal-human welfare who has published an exhaustive collection of work. For details see http://www.humananimalconnection.org/r_pubs.htm.

The book, Every Twelve Seconds: Industrialized Slaughter and the Politics of Sight by Professor Timothy Pachirat Ph.D. of Yale University. Details at http://yalepress.yale.edu/book.asp?isbn=9780300152678 (provides a startling and detailed look at institutionalized violence and the coping mechanisms we use to deal with violence in everyday life).

Numerous important studies and reports conducted by The Animals and Society Institute (http://www.animalsandsociety.org/main/), a nonprofit, independent research and educational organization that advances the status of animals in public policy.

The Humane Research Council at http://www.humanespot.org/. Contributor Carol Glasser’s “primer” entitled Violence Against Human and Nonhuman Animals: Understanding and Evaluating the Link at http://www.humanespot.org/content/violence-against-human-and-nonhuman-animals-understanding-and-evaluating-link.

The Link Between Animal Cruelty and Violence Towards People by Cynthia Hodges, MA, J.D. Candidate, South Texas College of Law, and legal intern in the Environmental Crimes Division at the Harris County District Attorney’s office in Houston, Texas (December 2007) http://www.incasa.org/PDF/2011/animal_human_violence.pdf.

These and others studies reinforce Russian author Leo Tolstoy’s eloquent prophecy: “Where there are slaughterhouses, there will be battlefields.”

I urge you to take a rational and common sense look at the evidence and act accordingly. If I can be of any further assistance in this matter, please feel free to contact me.


Robert Grillo
Executive Director
Free from Harm

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About Robert Grillo

Robert Grillo is the founder and director of Free from Harm. As an activist, author and speaker, Grillo focuses awareness on the animal’s experience and point of view, drawing on insights from sociology, psychology, popular culture, ethics and social justice to bridge the gap between humans and other animals. As a marketing communications professional for over 20 years, Grillo has worked on large food industry accounts where he gained a behind the scenes perspective on food industry marketing.

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