By : N. Munal Meitei
Our father of nation, Mahatma Gandhi once told, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” The country celebrates Wildlife Week from 1-7th October every year. The World animal day is also celebrated on the 4th October. In our face, the eyes, nose, teeth and ear etc. have their respective shapes and functions. Likewise, without the animals the world would be really a miserable place. This day calls for increased attention to wildlife habitats, endangered species, the animal rights and their welfare and also the relationship between humankind and the animal kingdom. This day also make us remembrances and paying tribute to all animals and the people who love and respect them.
Let every day be World Animal Day, and for that let’s assumed ourselves to be the animal too. We can’t ignore that animals play an important role in our lives. They not only provide support and enrich our lives but also give companionship and make us better human beings. The best part of this day is everyone can celebrate it without the restrictions of nationality, creed, caste, religion, political belief or ideology.
No matter which country you belong and where you go in any corner of the planet, animals will consistently have a strong impact on the region’s culture. Every single culture in history contains animals in its folklore, traditions, costumes, mythology and art. The cave drawings of the oldest civilization to the modern fables, our affinity with animals is so ancient and pervasive that it is virtually universal. Many of us derive deep joy, companionship, and healing from the animals that share our homes. We also connect with animals by identifying with their perceived characteristics.
Researchers suggest that an affinity towards animals may be partially rooted in the similarities of emotional expressions that are shared across human and animal species. While studying the elephant’s character, it showed elephants mourning their dead, much like we human do.
Affection of animals may differ from person to person but regardless of your feelings, humans have lived and worked closely with animals for centuries. From companion cats in ancient Egypt to messenger pigeons in the 19th century, the space warrior Laika to the bomb-detection military dogs today, we have long need of animals. We cared for animals because we have needed them for our survival.
But Jacque-Yves Cousteau, a French explorer once said, “We only protect what we love, we only love what we understand, and we only understand what we are taught.” But, though we are not taught, we now need to love and care for the animals.
As we humans do, the animals on earth have our similarities: that they all see, hear, touch, smell, eat, rest, play, mate, raise young, and die. Animals are our best of friends, they are loyal to us, love us and serve us and moreover, they can also defend and die for us. Mother Teresa told that, we should love animals because they give everything asking for nothing back, they are defenseless amid men’s harsh and calls, they don’t know hate or war, they don’t know about envy or grudges, forgiveness comes natural to them, they love with loyalty and truthfulness, they recognize and appreciate respect, they don’t buy love, they just expect it, they are our companions, eternal friends that never betray and also there are a thousand other reasons they deserve for our love and care.
In our locality, sometimes, we have seen, dogs can better welcome us and they can show more love and affection than even our friends. When we go through a setback, our dogs will never laugh at and look down on us. They can share our pain and sorrow. They may do all kinds of funny tricks and even make a fool of themselves to console us, and make us laugh and become happy. I cannot imagine a world without animals.
They have every right to co-exist with us on this mother planet.
Thus, to our ethos and morality, we should also include how we live and treat with animals. Neither can we claim to have love in our heart if we have no love for animals. We can never be truly in touch with our soul if we do not realize that animals can suffer pain and sorrow like us.Hence, we should defend the animals when they are being treated with cruelty. When we save an animal and learn to live with them, we are not just keeping them alive but keeping an act of compassion, kindness and inspiration to our children and our children’s children. With this we can also leave behind a wonderful legacy of working towards a better environment. With this day, we must work hard to achieve the goals of peace, safety, and coexistence. We should not forget that by taking care of other animals we also take care of ourselves. Animal rights is an ideal in which all non-human animals are entitled to the possession of their own existence and that their most basic interests. Almost all religions around the world espouse some forms of animal rights. They maintain that animals should no longer be viewed as property or used as food, clothing, research subjects, entertainment, or beasts of burden. Cruelty to animals is the infliction by human suffering or harm upon any non-human. More narrowly, it can be the causing of harm or suffering, such as killing animals for food, for their fur or even their tusks. With approximately 65 billion animals killed annually for food. Killing of animals in religions procession should be stopped immediately. The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act was enacted in India in 1960 to prevent the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering on animals. Now-a-days, we find rearing of animals of our country origin in the houses, hospitals and farms to exhibit them which is a punishable offence under the Law and such animals should immediately be handed over to the Forest department. The country also has the Wildlife Protection Acts, 1972 to deal with all sorts of wildlife crimes. But, whatever the law we may have, the most important is we need to realize and understand about animals and feel the love care for them. If it is so then we can proud that we are really participating on this World animal day. Let us not harm the animals today and before that, think twice for an earth without the animals.