Cruelty to Animals
Animals are dumb creatures-. They cannot plead or argue. They act according to their instincts. They deserve our sympathy and love. It will be very cruel if they are not properly looked after. The Bible says, “A righteous man regarded the life of his beast”, thus making kindness and justice to domestic animals an essential part of human virtue. The man, who starves his horse, beats his dog or unmercifully overloads his ass or camel is a brute and a bully.
St. Francis of Assisi considered all living creatures as his brothers and sisters. His passionate love of them is famous. Isaac Newton loved pets greatly. When his dog Diamond destroyed the papers containing his discoveries for twenty years, he patted him on the head with his usual kindness. An ordinary person would have killed the dog, Blake and W.H. Hudson loved animals and birds greatly. Blake writes:
A captive Redbreast in a cage
Sets all Heaven in a rage
A dog starved at his master’s gate
Predicts the ruin of the State.
Among the animals that are domesticated, the dog has a special place. No other animal shows as much love and gratitude as the dog. Our friends may not stand by us in our adversity, but the dog will remain with his master at all times. “If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you,” says Mark Twain. “That is the principal difference between a dog and a man.” In Wordsworth’s poem Fidelity, we read about a dog-that remained for three months near the dead body of its master, who had died as a result of his fall from a cliff. In Jack London’s Call of the Wild we come across a dog called Buck that saves his master from drowning. Dogs are used to detect crimes. They draw sledges, tend sheep and watch houses.
In the West, cruel treatment of animals is a crime. The Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) are very active there. These societies do good work in bringing to book those brutes that ill treat animals.
The pets in families are properly taken care of. In the USA, on an average, people spend $125 on a dog and $75 on meat a month. They are members of the families. No cruelty inflicted on them is tolerated there.
While the German Air Force was bombing England during the Second World War, Englishmen were busy taking their injured dogs to veterinary hospitals. In 1988, a dog was operated on in Hamburg (Germany) and a pace-maker was inserted in its body. The-owner of the dog-had to spend a good amount of money on this. A few years ago an English writer pointed out the necessity of removing the idiom ‘lead a dog’s life’ from the English language since the dogs in the West are living a comfortable life. The solicitude of the people there for the welfare of dogs and cats is very great.
In our country, animals are very .cruelly treated. They are thrashed. Nor are they properly fed. Gandhiji said, “By every act of cruelty to our cattle we disown God and Hinduism. I do not know’ that the condition of the cattle in any part of the world is so bad as in unhappy India. Criminal negligence is the only cause of the miserable condition of our cattle.” Some people put birds like parrots in cages and feed. They think that these birds are in seventh heaven. On the contrary birds are very unhappy in that situation. Even ambrosia will not give these birds any happiness. They will be happy only when they are allowed-to fly in the sky and share the company of their mates. We cannot excuse the cruelty of these people on grounds of thoughtlessness.