I agree that cruelty to both animals and children is heinous and should be stopped, and that people who are insensitive to the pain of others are likely to abuse both. However, it it interesting to note that in both the USA and the UK the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was founded BEFORE the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. In New York City, the SPCA was founded in 1865 by Henry Bergh, based on the English model, primarily to protect the city's many draft horses (for example there was no limit to the number of passengers who could pile onto a horse drawn trolley). He went on to found the SPCC in 1875 - ten years later. Obviously furry critters win hands down over squally brats.