Tuesday, November 30, 2004
(Project Coordinator: Srini)
"They are the beauties, we are the beasts."
This little cosmic rock we live on is an awesomely beautiful place.
And what makes it immeasurably more beautiful is the welcome presence of so many diverse life forms. Wild animals, pets, insects. Varying in size and shape from the one-celled amoeba (some of which look really beautiful under a powerful microscope) to the overweight "gotta-go-on-crash-diet" blue whale. Some cute, some scary. Some slow and lazy like Garfield, some quick and active like Odie. Some beautiful, some ugly-pugly. Some impressive, some yawn-whats-so-great-about-them. But all, without exception, very very important. Critical in their own little ways for sustaining our world as we know it.
Have you ever seen a little squirrel having lunch? Click HERE to catch Chiki, a female squirrel who had been frolicking atop the branches of a mango tree with Chikoo, her better half, but who has now succumbed to her hunger pangs and is sitting on her hind legs and balancing herself with her long tail and nibbling on a nut while rubbing her beady nostrils with her furry front paws.
Have you ever petted a cow when she has looked at you with those melting, drooping eyes? Click HERE to see Moo the Cow, flapping her big ears to keep the flies away, hoping that you will stop by and rub her shiny long nose and tickle her under her chin and pet her on the head.
Guess my personal favourite pet? Hint: It's cute, soft, warm, fuzzy, furry, innocent, sweet ... Hark! Do I hear you say "This description fits most pets ... kittens, puppies, even koala bears and pandas?" Well ... actually I'm referring to the Bunny Rabbit :-))))
For the TV addicts among you, Animal Planet is an entrancing channel. It shows us how beautiful and how marvellous the diverse animal kingdom is.
Alas, the fact is that life is not always as smooth and pleasant for the animal world as is made out on television.
In fact, for the vast majority of all animals in the world today, existence sucks.
Do you enjoy going to zoos? I really did. Until one of the caretakers in the Alipore Zoo in Kolkata, a true-blue animal lover himself, told me, with sadness and bitterness and frustration in his voice, of how badly the animals there are treated. True, they are given safety and a good prescribed diet and medicines when they fall ill. But for a moment, place yourself in the paws of a Royal Bengal tiger. A king of the jungle, whose dominion once included vast open spaces. Now confined to a 20 ft x 20 ft space in a cramped zoo, with little children chucking pebbles at him through the bars. No space to stretch its legs; no patch of green to lie upon; no stream of cool water with which to quench its thirst; no thrill of chasing a deer and hunting it down. Doomed to never taste, or smell, or feel, freedom. Is this what it was born to do -- entertain humans?
Do you enjoy going to the circus and watching wild animals putting up skilled performances for your viewing pleasure? I really did. Until I came to know how wickedly some of them are punished and tormented on days when they do not perform up to the mark. Tell me, which animal would like to jump through hoops of fire? Would we force humans to do likewise? Would you like to?
The MAD Club hereby launches Project LUBKTOA -- Let Us Be Kind To Our Animals.
This project does not require much effort on your part. You need not turn totally vegetarian or carry slogans. All you need to do to participate in this project, is avoid cruelty to animals. For all they need, all they ask for, all they cry out for, is a little love and understanding. Stop them from being kicked or stoned. Teach your children to appreciate how innocent and beautiful animals are. Feed biscuits to hungry dogs; an occasional packet of Parle-G will do. Stroke any puppies or kittens you come across; it is our solemn promise to you that they will not bite you. Try not to litter, or dirty any natural water bodies, or pollute the air; innumerable fishes and migratory birds will bless you.
And if you are in Mumbai, you can carry the following numbers around with you in your purse or wallet, and if you see any animal in pain or suffering, whether in your own house or on any street or anywhere else, just call up:
- For dogs and cats: WSD (+91-22-23733433 / 23891070)
- For all other animals: SPCA (+91-22-24137518 / 24133451), PETA (+91-22-26281880, Fax: +91-22-26281883)
- For first aid and emergency services: Karuna Mobile Clinic (+91-22-26701413)
For those who live in other cities and countries, and for those who wish to volunteer for a more active role than prescribed above, details of some animal rights organizations are given in the links below:
- Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA)
- Beauty Without Cruelty (BWC)
- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
- PETA India
PETA India can be contacted by postal mail, voice phone, fax, or e-mail.
Those using e-mail, please include both your name and mailing address when requesting any information to be mailed to you.
P.O. Box 28260
Mumbai 400 049
For other contact numbers and details, queries, or suggestions, please email email@example.com.
Come let us do our bit in making the world a better place for all life forms. Come participate in Project LUBKTOA.
And let us Make A Difference.