An Animal-Friendly India
by Dr. Monika Rastogi (India)
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." - Gandhi
Very appropriately, the Father of the Nation said a nation’s greatness lies in the manner it looks after every soul living on its soil. Animals are very much a part of a nation’s territory. How can their existence be undermined by us? How can we call ourselves a happy, fulfilled nation when our birds and animals are not leading safe, secure and happy lives? .
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* Why Chain Cattle?
* Enclosed Dumping
A truly great nation would be the one that makes sure every living creature on its soil is living in complete bliss and solace, whether it be a human being or an animal. Can we call ourselves great when we see our animals being tortured and slaughtered in front of our eyes, for our selfish ends?
Thousands of animals fall prey to deadly diseases caught while searching for food in filthy heaps of garbage found in every corner of almost every locality. Unaware of the consequences, these animals end up eating highly toxic substances from the waste, and the worst thing they consume polythene which causes a slow, painful death.
Thousands of roosters and goats are stabbed to death every day to provide non-vegetarian food for humans, people whose food requirements could be met instead, by the bounty of vegetables and pulses granted by nature.
Our newspapers tell of slaughterhouses that are busy, endlessly slaughtering cows, buffaloes, and pigs to extract animal fat, animal skin and what not!
It’s shameful to know that large quantities of animal flesh and other items derived after killing animals are exported from a country like India.
Our national parks and wildlife sanctuaries are still not safe havens for wildlife. Poachers kill our exotic species, selling their body parts for a miniscule amount of money.
All this is happening for two reasons: Firstly, because of lack of awareness and interest by the general public, and secondly, due to the indifference of the government towards these issues.
We see our citizens as well as the government wasting so much of time, effort and resources on meaningless issues that bring no gains for anyone at the end of the day. Why can’t we direct ourselves to things that really matter in making this world a happier place for everyone?
There are laws to protect animals but they are not being implemented. Good governance must ensure that it gives a voice to the speechless. Any kind of injustice done to them must be addressed and reprimanded without delay and without fail.
There are countries where governments take good care of its animals. How much is our government doing in this direction? The little that is being done is due to the efforts of NGOs, but they only have the capacity to touch upon very few issues, both in terms of quantity and welfare. These organizations are not able to deal with these animal welfare problems completely and permanently.
Let’s envisage a nation where its birds and animals are given their full rights of good living in safe surroundings, where not a drop of their blood is shed for our selfish ends.
Let’s not forget that India’s greatness lies in its ethics and its strong foundations of spirituality, in its rich heritage of loving and respecting our livestock and worshipping all forms of life. This is the land where even trees and stones are worshipped, then how can it see the killing of innocent living souls.
If India has to reach its zenith of greatness, it needs to go back to its rich ethical foundations creating a vision for a land full of goodness - goodness to birds, goodness to animals, goodness to nature.
HOW OUR GOVERNMENT CAN HELP
* Arrange for animal homes in every district – separate homes for stray dogs and cattle. Government run homes, aided by donation.
* Strict reprimand to people running slaughter houses.
* Complete ban on non-vegetarian food and eggs.
* Poachers to be subjected to life sentence. Hi-tech devices to be used for guarding sanctuaries.
* Immediate ban on all animal products.
* Ban on industries thriving on animal kill (shoes, belts etc.)
* Ban on using animals for carrying loads.
* Dairies run under government supervision. Implementing hygiene animal keeping practices according to government regulations.
Once these measures are taken, most animals will come under our safety net, and these innocent souls will once again be set free from all fear, free to enjoy a happy and healthy life.
ENCLOSED DUMPING GROUNDS
Statistics state that an alarming number of animals are being subjected to serious illness and death due to our reckless disposal of garbage. Numerous places in villages and cities, heaps of garbage can be seen, containing all sorts of harmful substances-plastic, glass, sharp-edged metal scrap and the list of noxious contaminants is endless.
Our stray animals fall easy victim to the hazards of these harmful substances. Searching for food, they eat dangerous items leading to lifelong illness or choking to death.
Cows and buffaloes have been found dead with alarming quantities of polythene bags in their stomach.
In spite of the awareness created by the media regarding correct disposal of garbage, little effort is being made to handle this problem.
Only the government can actually help to improve this situation. I propose enclosed dumping grounds in every locality? These waste areas need to be walled on all four sides so that animals cannot enter and eat this extremely harmful waste.
This garbage can then be turned into compost and non bio-degradable substances be sent for recycling.
In some countries, waste from garbage dumps is being used as a renewable fuel resource.
WHY CHAIN THE CATTLE?
This article is to express my concern over the miserable plight of cattle in our country. Most of our cattle are living in intolerable conditions, with the saddest part being that they are chained for almost all day and night. They are tied to chains so short that they are not even able to move their neck back and forth. One’s heart goes out to see them so helpless over their unending misery. These voiceless creatures that are meant to provide us with our basic essentials of food are living in such a pathetic state.
Freedom is every living being’s birthright and must be provided to them too. Dairies should be managed in such a way that enough walking space is available to them.
WHY CHAIN THEM? It is understandable to tie them while they are being milked but after that they must be unchained. Even when it is essential that the cattle need to be secured, the chain must be long enough to allow them free movement of their body and to walk around a little.
My hope is that we make this world a better place for these poor animals.
"One is dearest to God who has no enemies among the living beings, who is nonviolent to all creatures." - Bhagavad Gita