A couple of weeks ago, a local news channel reported the killing of a couple of Indus dolphins which had strayed on one of the shores in Sindh. The channel further reported that the dolphins were beaten to death after being caught in the fishing net of a fisherman. Instead of freeing the struggling creatures, a whole mob gathered around them and beat them with sticks, stones and all they could find just for the sole purpose of their entertainment. According to the Indus Dolphin Conservation Centre based in Sukkur only a meagre number of 918 dolphins remain in waters which were once plentiful with them. The few of these highly intelligent creatures which survive the contaminated waters of the Indus are killed by vicious mob mentality.
This incident is one of the few examples of animal abuse which plagues Pakistan as a country. From little children to adults almost everyone has at least once kicked a sleeping dog merely for the twisted pleasure they get out of a yelping dog. What we as a nation are failing to realize is that these creatures are part of our ecosystem and as they go extinct, the human race endangers itself.
Many people respond to any animal rights’ debate by saying that this country does not provide basic human rights and animal rights’ is the last thing which should be on anyone’s mind. However, what most of them fail to realize is that without animals, there might not be any humans left in the not so distant future.
It can be argued that the common Pakistani man does not have the awareness and education to think about the above mentioned factors. However, isn’t it all the more reason to start thinking about such matters and teach our children at a young age? The general public needs to be made aware of the hazards of animal cruelty. It is not only the responsibility of only media houses to ensure this but also the duty of each and every individual of our society. Mahatma Gandhi had a fair point when he said:
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
Every time one of us sees a person mistreat an animal, we must raise our voice and put an end to it. It might not change things overnight but it would help cause a ripple effect on things in the longer run. It is time we realize that animals deserve our care and compassion rather than hatred and cruelty. For us to call ourselves the “most superior of all beings” we must fulfill our responsibilities towards other creatures. There are organizations such as Ayesha Chundrigar Foundation (ACF) and Pakistan Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) which are working tirelessly to ensure the welfare of animals. By joining hands with organizations such as these, each of us can give an animal a better home. An act of kindness towards an animal might not take much effort from us, but it could probably change the whole trajectory of that animal’s life.