Aristotle decides it is time to tell a few truths about humans and the selfish needs that motivate their actions.


It’s heartening to read Blackbuck’s letter. His faith in mankind is touching, though few others on this planet would share the same sentiment. Take it from me, a wise and learned donkey — man rarely does anything that does not benefit him.

At times, it may appear that man cares for us but take that with a pinch of salt. If he moves us one place to another on the globe, it is for selfish reasons. If he breeds us in captivity, it is only for financial gains. Anyway, this is my jaded opinion of the Homo sapiens who are hell-bent on destroying our planet. Here is a tale that I never tire of telling. So Blackbuck, be all ears!


A long time ago, perhaps a 150 years ago, farmers in Australia had a huge problem. Their crops were destroyed by crickets and other insects. It was then that someone came up with a brilliant idea. Why not “import” grasshopper-gobblers found in India and other South-East Asian countries to solve this problem?

“Who were these pest eaters?” — is the question that pops up in your unimaginative mind, right? Well, the innocent one, it is none other than our garrulous, cantankerous, brown-plumed, yellow-beaked mynah bird.

In the early 1860’s, the first batch of illegal yet welcome immigrants landed Down Under. Little did the Aussies understand then the fiendish power of the new arrivals. Little did they expect what was to come.

Have you seen these birds’ aggressive bullying? They attack other birds, destroy their nests, break their eggs and peck hatchlings to death — all for what? To evict them! To take their space! With horror, naturalists watched the mynahs settle in their new home and expel local resident birds.

A question to quiz you, dear deer!

What is the Indian mynah bird saying Down Under?

Veni, Vidi, Vici! I came, I saw, I conquered!

What award did he get for his behaviour? “The Greatest Pest of Australia 2008”!

What reward does he get for the same? He is caught in hundreds and gassed to death.

Now, do you see how selfish man is? I could tell you a hundred more similar tales about man’s stupidity.

Do you know that the common house crow too faces a similar situation in Tanzania, Africa? Many hundreds of years ago, crows were sent on ships from Madras port to the island of Zanzibar off the coast of Tanzania. Why do you think they were sent there? It was free labour for man. The crows, being scavengers, were taken to clean the beaches of the island. Today, the crows are facing the same hostility in Tanzania as the mynahs in Australia. All this is to satisfy the whims and fancies of man!


Correction: In “The buck stops here” it was mentioned that Bishnois rear sheep and goats. This is incorrect. Based on their religious principles, they do not. The error is regretted.