Yes, we can all point out the problems with society. I agree with most of your views on prisons and always have thought that way. It's like that in part because they have no real influence in society (in addition to threatening society) and in part because of our collective mindset (conservative and less educated). The prison system in smaller, more homologous, better educated societies (Scandinavian countries) is more in line with my views on this subject. That's not to say that their system could be implemented here 100% due to the differing circumstances but that's the right idea at least. The first part of your post though is just "whataboutism". Yes, we probably treat animals that we eat more poorly than we should. We are largely meat eaters after all. Maybe that will change one day (or not). Rape is rape and other violent crimes do have to be dealt with. There are many people who grow up poor and even bullied who don't do the same to others. We should try to deal with the circumstances that cause bullying and abuse and that might be considered at the time of determining the length of a prison sentence but it doesn't make violence OK just because someone was abused. War is different, however if you start wars over nothing and do it continually, it's not much different to the innocent civilians on the other side. Most educated people do think that our military should be greatly reduced in scope, do think prisons should be more about rehabilitation and that far less people should be locked up and only as a last resort. The problem in the U.S. is that it's a big country and it's not homogeneous and isn't equally educated and more balanced economically. The most conservative, least educated, least tolerate, the most adverse to change have a large influence here. Religion has had a lot to do with that as well. It is what it is. Like most things it's best to try to adapt to our local circumstances. Get an education, make enough money to not live in a high crime neighborhood, be tolerate, try to make society better.