Most people oppose cruelty to animals. But, I have often heard people say things like 'killing is a part of life', or that our methods of killing are generally less cruel than in nature. Some have even asked whether we are obliged to mitigate such naturally occurring cruelty, if we are obliged to reduce our own. I don't think these 'arguments' are well-reasoned. My sense is that our capacity to understand the suffering that our actions cause, and consider alternatives, confers greater responsibility, making our indifference to cruelty and suffering more troublesome. Is there a more elegant and thorough way of addressing all this?