By Rahim Melpan
Whether at home, on the farms, or at the dinner table, animals play an important role in everyday human life. They serve as companions, a source of livelihood, entertainment, inspiration, food (of course), and for clothing to people all across the world. Yet animals can and do exist independent from people and, as living beings, they arguably have interests separate and apart from their utility to humanity.
In an article titled “introduction to Animal Rights (2nd edition), Joseph Lubinski writes: “As such, society is increasingly faced with legal, economic, and ethical dilemmas about the proper place for animals and the extent to which their interests should be respected, even when those interests conflict with what is best for humans. Recognition of these issues has given rise to a new social movement, one that seeks to attain increased legal protections, and even the recognition of actual “rights”, for nonhuman animals. Not surprisingly, this push has met with a considerable amount of criticism and ridicule from those who believe that the cost of animal rights specifically, and increased protections more generally, is a corresponding reduction in human freedom.”
There are many things that are illegal in this country such as drugs, theft, bribery and animal cruelty to name a few. These laws are almost always broken, especially the abuse of animals is rampant in our society.
For me this is one of the worst things that a person can do. Being cruel to animals that can’t defend themselves, is the lowest level we can stoop to. Many people abuse animals for fun. Which is disheartening.
An incident that fills my eyes with tears happened a couple of days back. I saw a man mercilessly beating a poor donkey with a metallic rod. The man was beating the donkey to make it run faster, while himself riding the animal. There were bruises on the donkey’s skin. I went to the person and asked him why he was beating the donkey so mercilessly. He said his livelihood depended on the animal, and it needs to run faster to complete the tasks for the day. I don’t think the man ever thought about the animal. He was just happy earning a few rupees extra by being cruel to the donkey, which, by the way, could have died due to excessive beating, leaving the person completely unemployed.
The incident made me sit and think. What gives us the right to be so cruel to the animals? We claim to be civilized, and evolved species, but our conduct is barbaric, in many cases, and we tend to ignore basic values of care, compassion, kindness and mercy. We seem to think lesser about the lives of others, while remaining busy about improving our means of livelihood.
Since the animals can’t speak for themselves, it is upon the conscious and conscintious ones among us, to speak for them.
We need to stop being cruel and selfish. Not only should we be kind towards the animals, we should also feed them properly, take care of their health, and also provide them good shelter. That’s the least we can do for them.
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