Bombay Showcase

Stop cruelty to animals

Of late, accessing my Facebook account requires a lot of courage. News of all kinds, from that of a puppy tortured and hanged by laughing soldiers in Taiwan, to the more local incident of an Indian dog, Bhadra, being mercilessly thrown off the terrace by two medical college students is appalling, to say the least.

I sat at my breakfast table one morning, shocked after reading a post about a pit-bull that was sedated and skinned alive by its barbaric owner. The dog was forced to pose for the camera once awake, so that the photo could be posted on social media.

What is happening to us? When will we start showing some consideration for species that are less privileged, that have nothing to give except love and loyalty? Animal lovers adopt and foster; activists file cases against perpetrators, fight legal battles; and animal NGOs rescue or shelter the wounded. A lot of kind souls are doing their bit, but we need more compassionate people to stand up against animal atrocities happening in our midst.

Research in psychology and criminology reveals that people who commit acts of cruelty to animals don’t just stop there; many of them do the same to humans.

Should we let such people get away with bailable offences, petty punishments or meagre fines, because the life of an animal is valued much less than that of a human being? While we wait with hope for stringent laws and enhanced government support, let us start by bringing about change in our neighbourhood.

Having shifted to a different locality after my wedding, my husband was worried when I locked horns with a man who was beating a barely two-month-old street puppy because it happened to play with the kids in the building, apparently posing a threat to them. The man was taken aback when he was questioned and my husband eventually understood that if we don’t stop such people, they will only repeat the offence.

All of us contribute to animal cruelty in some way or the other: in the stylish leather bags we flaunt, the cosmetics we use that are tested on helpless lab animals, and the palm oil we buy that comes from clearing rainforests, rendering animals like orangutans homeless. The days of being ignorant are long gone and information is aplenty to help us make ethical choices.

Let’s raise our children to be compassionate to animals, and maybe even learn from them if they teach us a thing or two about humanity. There is a reason why we are born humans; let us make it meaningful by standing up for the weaker species. We don’t have the right to inflict pain or suffering on any living being, but we do have the right and means to stop it from happening.

As they say, it may not make a big difference to the world but it will make a world of a difference to that one grateful animal.

The writer is a media professional and animal enthusiast


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Printable version | May 21, 2022 12:38:21 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/entertainment/Stop-cruelty-to-animals/article14483289.ece