David J. Mauriello

April 13, 2009


Filed under: Uncategorized — djmauriello @ 11:38 pm

Edited February 2011; April 2014

“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”   John Muir

(this is a work in progress)


To prove that perpetrators of cruelty are literally attacking all members of society and all other sentient beings resulting in dire health issues both emotionally and physically and in some cases death and thereby to make the case that banning cruelty is an act of SELF DEFENSE.

To provide the basis upon which to bring law suits, on the grounds of SELF DEFENSE, against perpetrators of cruelty to animals, including governmental officials and agencies that fail to protect animals under their care from cruelty.

The process

In the first part of the paper a general discussion of the theory of Second Hand Cruelty will be offered. These comments will be augmented in the second part of the paper by essays and tales that illustrate and expand them in, hopefully, a more readable and engaging way.

The author is a lay man who through his own study, intuition and contemplation and especially his feeling of being directly attacked by acts of cruelty, believes that there is a case to be made for stopping cruelty on the grounds of Self Defense. The growing awareness today of the interconnectedness of all life helps makes this case. The author seeks validation (or not) of his theory. All comments are welcome.

Compassion is not enough.

We may write about or show pictures and videos depicting animals suffering but some people just don’t care. But they do care about their own self-preservation. We must prove to them that banning cruelty to animals is necessary to protect their own health and welfare.

What is “second hand”?

The dictionary defines second hand as ‘an intermediary person or means.” Received from or through an intermediary.” “Indirectly.”

The smoke given off by smokers upon non-smokers is called second hand” smoke. It has deleterious effects on the non smoker just as smoke has on one who smokes. Non-smokers have been successful in having smoking banned on the grounds of self-defense.

What is “second hand” cruelty?

Cruelty is the act of being cruel which is to inflict pain and suffering and death and/or to endanger life or health or to cause mental suffering and fear.

Second hand” cruelty is cruelty inflicted indirectly upon a secondary victim(s) (in this case ALL SENTIENT BEINGS) as a result of a direct act of cruelty by a perpetrator(s) on a primary victim (s). The secondary victim need not be aware (and usually is not) of the direct act of cruelty in order to suffer the effects “second hand”. And the perpetrator of the direct act of cruelty may not (and usually is not) aware of the “second hand” cruelty being inflicted. “Second hand” cruelty therefore is “hidden.”

Just as we have the right to Self defense against a direct attack upon our person, we also have the right to Self defense against a “second hand” attack.

The (invisible) sympathetic nervous system

Second hand smoke victims are inflicted with smoke through the air.

Second hand cruelty victims suffer cruelty inflicted upon them by way of the invisible sympathetic nervous system that connects all life. Other names for this invisible connection are the “energy field”, the “collective unconscious” or the “universal mind.”

Among the variety of definitions of “sympathy” in the dictionary is – “the correlation existing between bodies capable of communicating their energy vibrations to one another through some “medium.” (quote marks mine) The dictionary leads to other words such as affinity, kinship and the autonomic nervous system, all of which support the idea of all life being totally connected.

In this case the medium is an energy field which scientists and physicists are more and more beginning to accept as the fabric that makes all life ONE. The sympathetic nervous system is part of this energy field. What happens to one happens to all. Just as we receive a radio broadcast transmitted over the air waves, we also receive the horrible experience of the direct victim of cruelty that is transmitted into the universal consciousness.

The “fight or flight” Syndrome

Second hand cruelty, because of the “fight or flight” syndrome results in physical ailments to the secondary victim just as second hand smoke does.

When under the stress of an attack upon us this syndrome comes into play and causes major bodily changes. Chemicals are produced, hormones secreted, blood vessels restricted. The energy of the body rushes from the heart, lungs and other growth and health related parts of the body to the muscular part where it is needed to fight the attacker. If of a short duration this state has a beneficial purpose. Because we are aware of the attack the surplus chemicals have a place “to go.”

Because of our connection to the primary victim via the sympathetic nervous system the stress we suffer from second-hand cruelty is chronic and the problem is compounded because we don’t even know we are under attack. Unfortunately, ignorance of an act of cruelty does not inoculate us from its consequences.

Second hand cruelty puts all bodies into a constant “fight or flight” state resulting in adverse effects on two levels. First are the more emotional effects such as anxiety, fear, despair, terror; conditions which ultimately wreak physical and quality–of- life havoc. Secondly, because the constant “fight or flight” state has cut off the growth /health parts of the body, the immune system is depressed and opportunistic organisms, always present, exploit the situation making bodies sick. Just a cursory look at the health of our society on both emotional and physical levels indicates something is wrong.

The “fight” component of the syndrome may lead to alarming and dangerous consequences. When attacked, the victim may fight back and deter the attacker with a new found strength created by the chemicals and hormones secreted by the body. But in the case of second hand cruelty, the attacker is not known. Who, therefore are the self defense mechanisms of anger, rage, and chemically induced violence turned upon? Is it the cashier at a slow check out counter or the driver of a car who stops when the light is still green? Is this unfocused “fight” the cause of drive by shootings or the slaughter of fellow students by a suicidal college student? Could it be the fuel for terrorism? Does second hand cruelty raise the odds of a person being murdered?

The sources of this chronic stress (second hand cruelty) are many and worldwide and must be addressed.

However, the author has focused on those sources of cruelty pertaining to animals in the United States as a starting point because it is an area in which the public has been made aware of the problem by the good work of so many animal rights/welfare groups. The stage has been set for the Self Defense argument. Whether a person is for the animals or not, every person wants to protect themselves.

These sources of cruelty and second hand cruelty are the wild horse roundups and their deadly ends, factory farms, puppy mills, slaughterhouses, and vivisection laboratories and the many other cruel acts inflicted upon animals. Imagine the deadly vibrations being transmitted into the universal consciousness from these terror factories and the constant stress that both the first victim(s) and the second (us) are experiencing. And because we have not made “the cruelty connection,” which is to connect our ailments to the root cause (cruelty) we wander aimlessly trying to cure these ailments with pills or visits to the psychiatrist.

Throughout the ages wise men, teachers, Saints have not only agreed that we have a right to happiness and well being, but that these qualities are the basis of creation itself.

It is our duty to reclaim our rights by taking action in the courts to ban cruelty to animals and to ourselves.


Society is familiar with and commonly accepts the existence of non-phenomenal situations.

For example, a law suit in a divorce situation where the injury is one of ‘mental distress” is accepted as a breakdown of a prior connection that is not just physical but emotional, too.

Although people may be unfamiliar with concepts such as the universal sympathetic nervous system, the collective unconscious or the universal mind they will recognize and accept the commonly used distant cousins to these concepts such as “team spirit”, “esprit de corps” or “rally the crowd”, all of which are evidence of an overarching invisible connection. We have all experienced our own moods being “psyched up” or “depressed” by someone who is either very up beat or sad and dreary. We have all walked out of a theatre drying our eyes, just like everyone else, because a work of art “touched” us and in doing so made us “one. And we have all experienced prescient ‘hunches” or two or more people having the same idea at the same time.

That all life shares a common, non-physical connection is supported by society’s concept “crimes against humanity” A crime against humanity is one in which there are actual victims, but also a crime in which harm is done to a non-physical victim, in this case a quality; humaneness. Cruelty is a direct attack on our humaneness.


Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: