Cruelty is not given much thought, nor much reflection, maybe because Cruelty is a given, a commonality, a fait accompli, a fact, an intrinsic part of being "Human".
I don't find animals cruel, at least not deliberately so...but humans can be and some are and deliberately so...
I always believe in what I call the primary intention. Of course only the "actor" i.e the one who inflicts cruelty knows what his (I will use the He for convenience sake but the She is also applicable) primary intention is - no one else does.
Cruelty as opposed to hostility or anger is premeditated, always. People don't ponder enough on that word "premeditated" - to meditate before, this is what it means. To meditate before means to ponder something beforehand, to plan something before carrying out an act - act here can be verbal, physical or both.
The notion of premeditation is a giveaway, because it reveals what the primary intention was/is all about.
Having said that, if find cruel people terribly pathetic. Yes granted, their acts may have terrible consequences on others, but in themselves, cruel people are pathetically stupid.
Their stupidity derives from the "grand illusion" of their own powers. Inflicting deliberate harm on someone else, gives them that illusion. Also the fact that they premeditate their acts gives them another illusion - that of smartness, intelligence. Mistaking deviousness and viciousness for Intelligence is pretty stupid, no ?
They place themselves in a position of power/authority, and that insignificant ego of theirs can finally take up the space...In fact cruel people, when you unmask them, have no space of their own...deep down, their existential insignificance is really what troubles them...they have no center and no core self, they are in fact a mass of instincts held captive by their own demons.
They are pathetically stupid precisely because of that.