There are several good counter arguments for an essay against animal cruelty. One argument is that humans must control the animal's behavior. Another argument is that one must defend himself or others against an animal attack. Some people justify animal cruelty as a means to enhance bravado in sport or other activities. There's also an argument for survival rights pertaining to slaughtering animals for food.
In an article written by Shawn E. Klein titled "The Problem of Animal Rights," the author goes into an argument about several scholars and their views on animal rights, according to the Atlas Society. Some scholars have a viewpoint that animals should have the same right as humans. Others have the viewpoint that animals should have advanced rights because they can't fend for themselves in society. Others believe animals should have no rights unless a human's livelihood or life is directly affected by using the animal. Klein states, "We should treat animals humanely. But the moral issue of how we should treat animals is a different and much wider matter than the issue of what legal obligations there should be for protecting animals." His argument is that the legal cloud over animal rights should outweigh animal cruelty itself, which makes for another good counter argument against animal cruelty.