I. Is it not painful and paradoxical to see that in a land known for compassion and non-violence we should be dabbed as being “Cruel” by nature on account of the miserable condition of innocent dumb creatures? Inhumane cruelty to beasts and birds is shameful and shocking
II. It is naive to say that we are cruel or sadistic by nature, but the idea of AHIMSA and sancitity of life (i.e non-injury and non-killing of all living beings and universal love) and perhaps belief in the transmigration of souls is so deeply rooted in our minds that we prefer to remain passive, apathetic, indifferent and non-interfering. The ideas of legislative protection, humane education and extending expert veterinary aid dawned in Europe in 1824. It is regrettable that in the land of MAHAVIRA & BUDDHA, we have only about 80 animal welfare agencies. There are of course above 3000 ‘goshalas and ‘panjrapoles’ (80% in Gujarat). It is estimated that even among educated people, hardly one in ten thousand is seriously interested and involved in animal welfare and protection work. We need many more great humanit- arians like Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Albert Schweitzer, Bernard Shaw, Dr. Annie Besant, Smt. Rukmani Devi, Arundale, J. N. Mankar, Peela Ram Krishna, Babubhai Vadnagarwala who tried hard, by percept and example, to mould public opinion and waged ceaseless camapign in favour of animal welfare. They were keenly aware of the heartless cruelty that was being perpetrated on the animal kingdom in the name of food, fashion, fun, fancy, scientific research, religion, sports, and so called industrial progress.
2. Types of cruelty prevelant in India are:
(I) Exploitation of beasts by overloading cattle, donkeys, camels, tonga ponies and pack ponies.
(II) Transporation of live stock to slaughter houses mercilessly carried in over crowded trucks, tempos and tongas and even on cycles, causing serious injuries in transit. Overloading of animals, and poor food-water supply during the transit add to this misery, Loading unloading is inhumane and cruel, at times they are thrown like baggages
(III) Factory farming and scientific research. Most of the animals and birds. spend their entire lives in the concentration camp conditions or small cages. They have no access to fresh air or the sunshine and no freedom of movement.
(IV). Slaughter Method: The movement of animals to the slaughter area by “Stick abuse to anus and genital area” and inefficient stunning methods which frequently result in having their throat cut whilst fully con- scious. Humane slaughter is a myth, How many of us would be prepared to work in slaughter houses and kill the animals for ourselves?
(V). Cruelty to Zoo animals by ignorant visitors in order to derive sadistic pleasure.
(VI). Training of animals, for circus-show or festivals. The method of training is very cruel.
(VII). Ritual of animal seacrifice in the name of religion.
(VIII). Capture and destruction of stray dogs and pigs by civic authorities.
(IX). Roasting of baby pigs and picking hairs of Adults when fully conscious.
(X). Deskinning of live snakes and new born Karakul lambs.
(XI). Trapping of animals like musk dear, civet cats, seals etc: They remain trapped and helpless for hours or days without food and water.
(XII). Maltreatment of pets and exploitation of Milch Cattle.
(XIII).Chopping of hind limbs of Frogs & Frying live birds.
(3) What is the genesis?
(a) Wrong belief, Indifference, Ignorance, carelessness, poverty and pleasure.
(b) Exploitation of animals for professional and/or occupational purpose.
(c) Social customs, religious rituals and superstitions.
(d) Scientific ventures and acquirement of knowledge.
(4) Preventive Measures-punitive.
(a) The comiciousness of an enlightened age in India has resulted in a climate conductive to the promotion of animals wielare as reflected in the comprehensive piece of legislations. It is, however not an easy task to enforce the provision of Acts in the absence of trained and dedicated worker opposition from vested imerests and biased politicians is naturally to be expected and conflicts arise when offenders are challenged. Yor reasons not known the magistrate does not impose the maximum penalty required under the Act.
(b) A reliable ambulance service must be available for the transporation of disabled animals who should be attended by well qualified, experienced and sympathetic veterinary staff in an infarmary run by the society or state.
(c) For illegal slaughter activities, we should establish Animal Liberation Front in all the big towns and cities where unauthorised slaughter is carried Such animals to be confiscated and with the help of nearly police station, they are to be placed in panjrapoles.
(d) Legislative action should be backed up by a strong public opinion in favour of animal protection. It is therefore necessary to seek support of the mass Media for encouraging a programme of humane education in order to create an awareness of the various causes, and types of inhumane cruelties inflicated on the animal kingdonm. Publishing the authentic literatures and showing Animal films’ have a great impact on people.
(e) Correct humane education right from childhood-Childern trained extend kindness, mercy and justice to animals. It should be made the part of the curriculm. Essay competition on animal welfare.
(f) Surprise visit and inspection of Zoos and report to the proper authori- ties for prompt action.
(5) Compassion in Action:
With a little effort each one of us can play a significant role in checking illegal slaughter and cruel practicies. Avoid Flesharian foods in any form or minimise as far as possible. We should boycott all animal products, infurrier shops, fashions cosmetics, and drugs. We should refuse to hire a tonga drawn by injured, Lame or weak pony and one carrying more than four passengers. Snatch away the driver’s whip if he is found to be unnecessarily lashing a bullock, a pony, a donkey or any animal on the roadside. Inform the nearby police Station if you see cattle paired in three meant for illegal slaughter.One of the objective of the 4th World Jain Congress should be to prevent cruelty and illegal slaughter by proper legislative measures and implementation of existing laws of land, and promote kindness by help of mass media for propogating programme of human education. We may not be able to eradicate killing and cruelty totally, but we can certainly mitigate and minimise suffering and save more animals, if we all work in a crusading spirit for welfare and protection of our animal friends.