“So, Ishu let’s meet at the Metro Station.”, said Vaibhav, over the phone line.
“Ya, but at what time, mate?” I asked him.
“A quarter to nine, that’s it.”, I replied disconnecting the phone, as Vaibhav is never on time.
Well, we just finished with our papers and hence it was time for us to go for a movie, like every year.
This three year old tradition had never impacted me so much, than it did this time. It changed my entire view point, the whole of my perspective about animals and how we humans, knowingly or indirectly, do everything we can to make the lives of innocent animals as bad as possible, if not worse.
This article can be rather long, once I begin writing and expressing what I truly think..........
Standing under the shade for fifteen long minutes, in a hot morning of New Delhi April isn’t as easy as it sounds. I was blessed to see Vaibhav walking towards the metro Station, this should be rephrased as, strolling towards the metro station as if he had all the time in the world.
Soon we reached the theatre premises. As my friend bought the tickets, I decided to have a look around. Usual college students, outgoing students like us, there was not much crowd for the morning show. Most of the restaurants were not open yet. Not even that famous chicken restaurant, we’d planned to visit.
“Hey , we’ll have lunch here, Vaibhav”
“Very well, Ishu”.
You guys will not get the story of the movie here. For I’ve got something much more important to tell you. The basic theme of the movie. Well... a couple of hunters gang up with modern artillery to shoot down an elephant herd. Why? For its tusks? And then take pride in it.
This was what pricked my conscience. This was something that left me in tears.
We humans are by far the most technologically advanced organisms on the planet. We rule over land, sea, air and now even over space. Apart from being the smartest, we are also the most sensitive. We have the ability to feel the pain and suffering of others. Now one simple question arises. Why do we have to kill innocent animals?
Be it for ornaments, clothing, luxury items, food, the list goes on and on. We use animal made products all the time. From the shoes we wear to the handbags we carry, from the showpieces we decorate our homes with to the food we have, everything is stained with the blood of innocent animals. Animals, who have caused us no harm, who just do one thing ; mind their own business. Try to imagine yourself as an elephant going for a swim in a river and then suddenly being surrounded by a couple of heavily armed humans shoot you down ruthlessly for no reason whatsoever. This is what is happening everyday. Not only with elephants but to other animals as well.
For instance, let us talk about the national animal of India, the Royal Bengal Tiger or simply tiger. Once found all across the country, the tiger population fell drastically down to some number less than two thousand. Thanks to poachers, hunters, our very own elite Maharajas and how can we forget the British officials, for wall of whom, hunting down tigers was a matter of pride. A large number of British officials have been photographed standing over an innocent tiger, they killed, either for amusement or for “civilising” the country, which they never actually did. Another story being of Bisons, if I’m not mistaken were killed in large numbers in the fields of North America, for no reason.
I often wonder, how can one kill another living organism for no reason and then take pride in it. On the top of it when you have killed the opponent after cornering him with a large number of your people and weapons. I bet if any one of the hunters would have the guts to stand near any wild animal without firearms.
Now let us talk a bit about animals who lose their lives for being served to us in plates. Growing up in India, I was taught respecting animals. We worship animals in the form of deities. But I won’t talk about it here. I would put a bit more emphasis on the basic need of not eating non vegetarian food stuff. A reason, a convincing reason for not eating animals.
Humans, the most sensitive and emotive of all living beings, are always at the top of the food chain. They, scientifically and naturally are meant to eat plants, as we have an oral dental structure similar to the herbivores. We do not have long sharp canines but smaller teeth for eating the lkind of food that is suitable for us. Also we have emotions, feelings. I write it here as well, we have the ability to feel the pain of others. Cry for the losses of others. Be happy for others. Then why do not we think about the animals being killed before ordering a chicken burger or meat main course?
Are those animals born feed us? Don’t they have a right to move freely, breathe in fresh air, fly about and live their own lives? According to me they do. Like everyone else. But this does not usually happen.
How many of you have seen a chicken being beheaded? It is a horrible site. A bird, who did nothing wrong is killed only because someone wants to have it? I find it cruel..
Now a number of you would point out that plants also have life. Plants also have feelings. Why do I turn a deaf ear towards them?
A simple answer to this is because I as a human being emote better with animals. My heart equally pains when a tree is cut , but on any given day I’d prefer harvesting a crop of wheat over killing an innocent animal. As human beings, it is our duty to minimise bloodshed. A tiger or a lion or any other carnivore luves by eating meat. So for them, hunting down herbivores is justified. But for us is it?
The last thing that comes to my mind is now zoo. All of us have enjoyed going to the zoo at some time? Great experience isn’t ? Caged birds, who can only see the sky as a distant dream for they can never spread their wings and fly up above in the sky, do the very thing they are called birds for, imprisoned jackals, monkeys, elephants, who end up spending their entire lives in a small area, with a large number of curious people looking, staring and laughing at them, but never feeling their plight. Just think about the king of the jungle who is given everything food, shelter water, medical care but denied freedom and is treated the way criminals are treated, kept under supervision all round the clock in a thing called cage, if not a prison.
Animals do not want anything. Thjey want to be left alone, in their natural habitat, left to their own natural means. They do not want us to go killing each one of them either for food or for decorative items. They do not dream of humans destroying their natural habitat. They dream of a good forest, a pollution free environment, a non industrialised world where thjey can be the way they are, roam about unafraid. All theuy want is peaceful coexistence with us and nature.
“ What a fantastic movie, Ishu!, Now lets go and ahve some chicken” hooted Vaibhav.
“Why can’t we have something veg today?”