Pope Francis has said that people trafficking turns the victims into commodities. I agree with this, of course. However, he describes the perpetrators of this crime as becoming like animals. This is surely incorrect. It would not cross the mind of an animal to traffic other animals and use them as commodities. People trafficking is a uniquely human occupation and concept.
Pope Francis says that, “any choice contrary to the realisation of God’s plan for us is a downhill road that leads to becoming animals.” This might not be a strict quote but it is accurate enough.
He says that trafficking disfigures the humanity of the victim, offending their freedom and dignity. It dehumanises those who carry it out. Perhaps it is the act of ‘dehumanising’ which leads to the conclusion that the traffickers become animals because they no longer have human qualities.
Well once again I have to disagree with Pope Francis. People trafficking is a form of slave labour. It is something you never see, as far as I’m aware, in the animal world. The animal world is far more pure in terms of natural or nature driven behaviour. It’s only when humans developed sufficient intelligence to distort nature and natural behaviour that they became perverted enough to indulge in people trafficking.
We should resist equating bad behaviour with animals. There are many instances when people insult others by reference to an animal. For example, people say I wouldn’t treat you like a dog or that person was treated like a dog. This implies that all dogs are treated incredibly badly. Perhaps far too many of them are treated badly but this is not a justification to use such a phrase with respect to the ill-treatment of person.
These sorts of sayings denigrate animals as does Pope Francis in saying that people traffickers are like animals. He has insulted animals I’d say.