Would animals in general be better off if no one could ever again be punished for inhumane treatment of an animal?
The term "humane" is definitely unconstitutionally vague and we have to face the fact that the politically active humane societies use "inhumane" the same way that people once used the "n" word or words like "faggot." They use it the way that people still use the word "pervert." It is a verbal club.
How many thousands of dogs, cats, lions, tigers, and so on must be killed or prevented from being born for the sake of this "humane" crusade? If you knew for a fact that a certain number of each species would be tortured to satisfy someone's sick sadism, would you think that it is better that the whole species dies out? I've seen words to that effect, animal rights activists saying that extinction is better than humiliation at the hands of humans.
Any book that accuses a segment of the population of being evil and sadistic attracts a like-minded following. Focusing their anger creates a certain pressure that gets people to believe that something "has to be done" no matter how stupid or destructive that something is, or how unnecessary it is.
I've said it a dozen times. What actually encourages humane treatment of animals? It is love. Love is the active principle of life. That is why people risk their lives to save the lives of animals. That is why we feed them and pay a lot of money for their medical care. Threats of punishment take a lot of the virtue out of the good things that we do for animals. Worse, they give the threateners undeserved credit.
If you try to threaten people to make them get in line, you become a threat to society and yourself. Overall only scientific progress and prosperity improve animal care. Laws that threaten people have too many takebacks. If they do provide some temporary benefits, the people who wanted those laws go around and steal what they feel like stealing. The stealing, the laws that ban breeds and species, and the limit laws actually reduce the number of paws on the ground, which reduces the number of animals that are being cared for humanely.
Maybe we can do better without any humane laws at all.