Thursday, 24 May 2012

Life on Earth

Life on Earth
We always do that-that thing, when we’re in the middle of an argument or if we see something violent or atrocious, we immediately start comparing that person to an animal. I’ve heard things like, “Oh! You’re such a dog!” or “How can somebody do that? Is he an animal?” Never for once thinking that we also consider a dog as a man’s best friend or that an animal does not dictate a human beings behavior or thought processes. We were given brains and are placed at the apex of the intelligence chart NOT to blame animals if we did something erroneous. Before you start thinking that this is yet another speech on animal cruelty let me clear it up for you-it’s not. Neither am I trying to get you to give up meat, I am a non-vegetarian myself, that’s how the frigging food chain goes. What you are reading is just a bunch of incidents that I have seen and observations that I have made. After all, it was the Father of our Nation, Mahatma Gandhi who said, that, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
                 Just saw the news a couple of days ago, where I came across this piece about how the poachers in our country were killing the tigers for their skins. They were caught, but considering the lax laws of our country, I bet they would be on the streets in no time back to doing what they do best. Astonishing fact that the news lady with the caked face said was that since there are already less number of tigers left in the country, we might have to import tigers like we import cheetahs… WE IMPORT CHEETAHS??? How did that happen? Then there was the news of a crocodile being found in the gutters of one of our suburbs and a leopard that entered a housing complex. And there were interviews of visibly stressed residents who were overcrowding the camera man trying to give their best versions of what would make for a very thrilling story to tell the kids in the years to follow. Never for once did anyone mention the fact that it wasn’t the animals that were invading our space but the other way round. How many of the new breed of towers and skyscrapers are being built on forested areas or stagnant water creeks? The crocodile had to come in our sewers because it was testing the waters or the leopard came into the building because it wanted to play board games with the families.
                Then there was something much closer to home, literally. A 5 yr-old kid sitting on a white horse, waving her hands in the air in glee, her parents watching as she kept circling the lane and the horse keeper tugged on the horse’s reins and directed it back to its holding spot. Except that the horse was not a horse but a pony. A frail looking exhausted pony that was being used as an entertaining way of outdoor excursion by us. Or another incident involving a kitten that was run over by a fast speeding car and the worst part was that the kitten was stuck in the middle of the road, breathing its last few breaths, hurt with a broken foot that made it impossible to move. I was out on an errand and when I saw it, picked it up and placed it on the far side of the road in the corner where it would be safe or I thought so, because when I came back I saw it lying still, not moving, and not breathing.
So I’d like to conclude with a quote from the man who invented light bulbs for you to ponder over:
“Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.” - Thomas A. Edison


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