ANIMAL WELFARE - Mr. M.C. Appandai Raj

Even from the beginning of civilization, animals  have contributed much for the well-being of the human beings.  We, human beings utilized the services of animals for various purposes.  We used the animals to get milk, meat, wool, eggs, leather entertainments, sports, experimentation, security, for producing bio-gas from their faecal matter.

For the survival of human beings on earth, it is quite essential that the animals must co-exist with them.  Every creature on earth has a definite role to play.  So, for the welfare of the human beings, animal welfare practices are very important.

Animals must be treated with kindness and compassion.  Nowadays, most of countries, have enforced laws to protect and preserve animal life.   Animal welfare had become an important movement in several countries.  Those countries also take necessary steps to conserve the diminishing species of animals.  They also control the over population of animals, by adopting humane and scientific methods like ABC (Animal Birth Control).

In India, we have a rich tradition of non-violence, love and compassion for animals even from the period of King Asoka, Lord Buddha and Lord Mahavira.  King Asoka loved animals to a greater extent and he even opened hospitals for their treatment.  Our Father Of The Nation correctly pointed out that a country is judged by the way its people treat animals.

India is one of the first countries to enforce the prevention of Cruelty to Animals act in 1960.  India has prolonged reverence for all living beings and animal welfare  as a concept  has mingled with all religious beliefs.  It has established animal welfare institutions and veterinary care services in antiquity.  Even at present, Gosalas and pinjarapoles are set up  in both rural and urban areas to give protection to discarded cattle like cows, buffaloes and goats.  In spite of the above establishments, millions of animals in our country are subjected to severe pain, torture and sufferings in agricultural farms, households and also in laboratories.

It is quite essential that animal welfare topics must be integrated with educational curriculum.  It is appreciable that Tamil Nadu is the only state, which has taken efforts to integrate animal welfare, in the school curriculum in primary and high school level.

Nowadays, animals are treated ruthlessly in slaughter houses.  In transportation of commodities the carts are overloaded and hence the bullocks suffer a lot.  They develop bruises on their neck.  The cart men beat them severely if they fail to move fast.  In races, the bullocks and horses are tortured greatly.

In a sport called ‘Jallikattu’ in South India, the bulls are severely and badly treated.  The men, force feed the animals with alcoholic beverages.  Animals are also sacrificed, in temples cruelly to propitiate the gods and goddesses.  Even in mountainous regions, the mules are treated cruelly, to carry heavy loads while ascending the mountains.  Moreover, many animals are cruelly treated in experimentation and also in manufacturing various things such as silk, varak, toothpaste, gelatin etc.

So, we human beings must realize, that the animals are also created on earth just like us.  We must take steps to treat the animals with compassion, love, affection and mercy.  We must treat them as our own kith and kin.  The N.G.Os like PETA, PFA, S.P.C.A. and Karuna International, must take strenuous endeavours to safeguard the lives of animals.  They must conduct seminars, rallies training programmes and propagations to instruct the students of Schools and Colleges and the common folks about the significance of animal welfare.

Only if we stop killing the animals for our own need, we can save the Earth, from the natural calamities such as earth quake, global warming, sea level rise and water scarcity.  By protecting the fauna flora of our World, we can prevent ecological imbalance and bring harmony and tranquility to the entire humanity.

M.C. Appandai Raj
Former Educational Officer
Karuna International

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