“He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals. “
Animal cruelty became a talking point recently due to some pathetic incidents which occurred on our island and abroad. We got to know about how a black panther has succumbed to injuries after getting caught in a snare. Also, another sorrowful incident of a pregnant elephant dying after consuming a pineapple stuffed with crackers. I pray those incidents will be an eye-opener for all the people to get to know that its high time that we should collectively say no to animal cruelty. These two were only some highlighted incidents, but definitely, there are a large number of animals subjected to cruelty going unnoticed.
Statistics reveal that every 60 seconds, one animal suffers abuse. Close to 65% of all abused animals are dogs. Every year, more than 10 million animals die from violence in the US alone. From 2008 to 2015, more than 80,000 Greyhounds became part of the racing industry. In 2006, three slaughterhouses in the US killed and processed 104,000 horses for human consumption. These statistics may highlight the US but its the same situation in most of the countries worldwide. One-third of parrot species are in danger of being extinct because of the exotic bird trade. Every year, more than 115 million animals are used for laboratory experiments. Approximately 71% of people who are reported for domestic violence also abuse their pets. Animals are subjected to zoosadism, slaughter, lab testing and much more ill-treatment.
When looking at the Sri Lankan context, elephants which have become an endangered species die too due to the elephant-human conflict very frequently. Many more rare species of animals are hunted daily illegally for commercial purposes.
Just imagine you being a stray dog stranded in the street with no food and shelter, and a gang of mischievous boys throwing stones at you. Take seconds to call into mind the suffering you may go through when subjected to slaughter or when got caught in a snare. Most human beings turn a blind eye to animal cruelty. It is true that animals also undergo severe pain and suffering, but the only difference is that they cannot voice the injustice inflicted upon them.
In today’s morally corrupted society, you would discover millions of animals that do not have the liberties we individuals have. Though most people raise animals as pets, the underlying question is whether they handle those animals with care. Trying to be responsible pet owner has become the need of the hour to terminate animal cruelty. Every day, countless cats, dogs, and other animals suffer and die at the hands of the very people who are supposed to care for and protect them. Many animals are subjected to zoosadism. We are named humans as we possess the quality of humanity. Can we as human beings witness the painful death of an animal in front of our eyes, the way an animal yells in utmost suffering and pain until its last breath and derive pleasure from it?
It’s quite easy to feel despair when we hear about people who deliberately maim, torture or kill animals. But just as cruelty and cowardice are the causes of such behaviour, so courage and kindness are needed to combat it. The law enforcement authorities should impose strict rules and regulations against animal cruelty. The younger generation should be taught to radiate love and kindness towards all the animal species on earth. Prompt action should be taken against any act of animal cruelty happening in your locality. Be brave enough to voice your opinions against such ill-treatment to animals.
To cap them all, I leave you with some thoughts to ponder about. Are we humans born on planet earth to trample and hurt the voiceless species living on earth? Animals; are they the creatures mother nature has gifted to this world to fulfil the selfish desires of humans?
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