His character on the upcoming season of American Horror Story may relish violence, but in real life, James Cromwell is committed to ending it.
That’s why the Oscar nominee has teamed up with PETA UK for a new video public service announcement that warns everyone to look out for people who hurt animals – before they move on to hurting other humans.
“People who commit violent acts often start out by hurting animals”, explains Cromwell in the video. “If you know of someone who’s abusing or neglecting an animal, don’t ignore it or just assume that someone else will do something. Call the police. And if you have kids or grandkids, please talk to them about the importance of being kind to animals. That conversation might save a life. Let’s stop the cycle of violence before it begins.”
Studies have shown that violent and aggressive criminals are more likely to have abused animals as children than criminals who are considered non-aggressive. Young killers Mary Bell, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables as well as serial murderers Ian Huntley, Thomas Hamilton (the Dunblane massacre), Fred West, Dennis Nilsen, Ian Brady and Raoul Moat all started out by deliberately harming animals. Because abusers target the powerless, crimes against animals, spouses, children and the elderly often go hand in hand. An abuser may even harm or threaten to harm an animal as a way of emotionally terrorizing a family member.
Known for his acclaimed roles in Babe, The Green Mile, The Artist and Six Feet Under, among many others, Cromwell will soon be seen on FXUK playing Dr Arden on American Horror Story: Asylum.
Cromwell is part of a long list of celebrities – including Pamela Anderson, Justin Bieber, Lea Michele, Tamara Ecclestone, Ricky Gervais and Joaquin Phoenix – who have teamed up with PETA UK to promote kindness to animals.
For more information on preventing abuse towards animals, visit PETA.org.uk.