PEOPLESPEAK: Brotherhood of man and beast ‘Cause we all live under the same sun

Our country needs Animal Legislation more than anywhere else because I have seen these innocent soul suffering beyond imagination at the hands of human beings. Cows are kept at home for milk, but when the question of feeding them is concerned, they are let out in the streets to search for food on their own. Unweaned male calves, that are hardly two months old are abandoned in the street just because they are males and are of no use in Kathmandu Valley. They either die of starvation or dehydration. These animals roam the streets in search of food and are hit by running vehicles. They lie in the street without shelter, food or water until they breathe their last. Dogs did not grow in the streets just like that. The owners abandon them when they fall sick or get old or if they are females. Most of us know how cruelly these animals including birds are transported as if they do not feel pain. In the name of religion animals sacrifice is another barbarian act carried out by human beings. These are some of the reasons why we very badly need Animal Legislation and forceful and effective implementation of the law in our country.

— Malika Nepal, SPCAN, Kathmandu

Torturing animals is definitely inhumane but in a country like ours where human souls are shattered and battered, any special treatment to animals would be like a cruel joke to the Nepali people.

— Vinita Sharma, Kalanki

I don’t know if a dog has a soul or not, but certainly some human beings don’t. What is a soul? Isn’t it something that enables you to differentiate between good and bad? That little something that keeps you apart from other living things? Or is it? I have seen people mistreating their dogs or stray dogs and other animals without a thought. It does not matter whether the dog has a soul or not, it is you who have a soul. That is confirmed. You don’t see one dog torturing another, do you? So why do you lower yourself even below an animal and hit and kick something that gives you unconditional love? I appeal to all to behave like the one with a soul and treat all living beings with compassion and love. After all it is the sole right of everything on earth to live here and die here. Learn to give space and you will have yours. Our culture of worshipping dogs, cows, crows, snakes is not just a ritual, it is a lesson in coexistence. Should we just use our intellect for minute, it becomes crystal clear. The west is not free of animal mistreatment. No matter what legislatures are passed, it does not work just on that basis. Though we do need some law against it, awareness should be created and against cruel mistreatment of animals.

— Sunita Joshi

In many countries legislation has been proposed to punish cruel mistreatment of animals — this is not only because they have souls, but it is also because animals are very important to maintain the balance in the natural environment. Nowadays, the world is facing a huge climatic crisis. One of the chief reasons is due to the lessening of animals that play a vital role in environment. So, we must make sure that we do not bring about an extinction the animals.

— Tenzin Norbu

People are selfish by nature and Nepalis are no different. They are chiefly concerned about themselves and least concerned about others, not to talk of animals and birds. The rampant killing of animals is remarkably high in Nepal — be they meant for food or done in the name of animal sacrifice. Wild birds like parrots, mynahs are are openly sold here — it is supposed to be illegal. Torturous transportation of animals and birds, especially buffaloes and chickens are a daily phenomenon. Buffaloes are piled one on top of the other during transportation in trucks and sometimes they die on the way. Hundreds of poultry chickens can be seen being transported on a bicycle hanging upside down. It’s not only during Dashain that thousands of goats and other creatures are killed to appease the gods, the killing of animals in five-yearly Gadhi Mai mela in Bara is another such time. The state’s silence and indifference towards animal woos is painful. In many cases they are state sponsored. For example, during Dashain goats are imported from China, and advertised in electronic media. Also guthi-sponsored animal sacrifices go on. Even our heads of states have their share in it as on occasions they offer seven to nine black goat sacrifices; sadly, such deeds of theirs find place the front page of newspapers instead of condemning it. Likewise, export of monkeys should immediately be banned.

— Jagdish Aarohi

Poaching animals for fur, hide, tusk, horn is ill-treatment of animals. Mistreatment of animals is not only inhuman but also a huge loss to the bio-diversity. With decrease in the number of animals, the earth could one fine day change into a desert. It will be difficult for both people and animals to survive then. Today, some animals like pandas, polar-bears and many birds are on the verge of extinction. If these animals become extinct, the coming generations will know them from pictures only like we learn about dinosaurs from books and stories.

— Tenzin Thinley

In my opinion we should care for animals. Animals can feel. Suffering makes us miserable. Animals become miserable when they suffer. What is the use of being a human being if we don’t have compassion and love in us? There is only one difference between human being and animals — our physical structure but we all want peace and happiness.

— Jamyang Palden

Abuse and cruelty to animals is more violent and heinous than hate crimes and abuse to humanity since it is done to beings that are helpless, voiceless, and powerless to control situations we put them in. The cruelty to them mirrors that of the holocaust. To save our sense of humanity we need to begin stopping these acts of violence. Some people say animals feel no pain, how do they know? Have they never heard the cries or moanings from pain any have suffered? I heard a dog howling when her sister was run over and killed. It still sends chills up my spine! They do have feelings, emotions and compassion for others. Who are we to feel we are the ultimate supreme beings? Would we allow these kinds of tortures to be endured on humans?

— Nitu Kedia, Kathmandu

Agony is felt by all, even those that cannot speak. Legislation for mistreatment itself stands on weak grounds. If legislation applies to some animals, then it would be like segregating animals into upper and lower castes. Existence of souls is controversial, so self-realisation is the only way out even if it is some popular fantastical nonsense. Treating animals as a fellow being cannot be practical, but at least cruel mistreatment can be avoided with self-condemnation. Nature created mankind to nurture the speechless. So, we should just understand other creatures living under the same sun.

— Sworup Nhasiju, KU, Dhulikhel

Many believe in re-incarnations and rebirths. If we do bad things in this life, we are bound be punished in our future life — any form it may be. So, it’s better to make people conscious of their deeds rather than making laws as it is said laws are made to be broken. What one needs is not law but a good teacher to teach them to respect all animals.

— Suniel Raj Dhakal

I love animals so I believe people who mistreat animals should be punished. Everyone should understand that they are living beings, and can feel pain as much as we do, whether they are street dogs or your pet. Of course, there must be certain laws against cruel treatment of animals because unless we are not bound by rules, we are less likely to follow the right trail.

— Jyoti Dewan

Hunting of animals should be strictly prohibited. The recent reports that a rhinoceros was killed in Chitwan was very brutal. Such illegal hunting will ultimately lead to the extinction of wildlife in Nepal. Legislation should be proposed.

— Samikshya

Advocates of animal rights have different views and approaches to the issue. While some activists advocate total animal liberation, many organisations take a more moderate approach, working for practical improvement of the relationship between animals and humans. Several research studies on the behaviour of animals have proved they also have intelligence and ability to understand the world. Most of the theories applicable to the humans so far emerged, have been experimented on animals. Behavioural psychologists claim human behaviour can be predicted from the study of the behaviour of animals. So, there must be a strong legal provision for protection of animal rights in our country. In the name of worshipping gods and goddesses, we slaughter innocent creatures. The oxen and mules suffer due to the cruel and inhumane deeds. We are proud of being a supreme animal and rule unkindly over other animals.

— Kapil Dev Regmi, Tahachal

Mistreatment of animals is bad, but aren’t we saying something contradictory when we say they should be shielded from pain on one hand, while going on enjoying the flesh and blood of the same animals on the other? Animals have souls, and human beings will loose theirs if they say cruel mistreatment and slaughtering are different.

— Rashmi Baral

As far as punishment of people who mistreat animals is concerned, I agree with it and thank the Western countries for such bringing in such a legislation. But when it comes to a country like ours, I beg to change my view. We have people who are ultra superstitious, they discriminate people on the basis of caste, financial and social background.

People are regarded as soul-less creatures without feelings, who can be dominated to any level by the so-called civilised and educated class. Let’s take a look at the lifestyle of the so-called wealthy and popular personalities who treat their pets extraordinary nice. They eat, sleep, walk and play with their pets, but if a street child comes near them, then they behave with this child in such a way as if this child cannot even be looked at or that the child cannot be compared with one of the animals in their house. Such is our behaviour. In a country, where even human beings don’t have equal rights, the poor lead that life worse than that of a mangy dog’s just to be able to fill their stomachs.

— Prativa Nyaupane, Damauli

The big question is — has cruel mistreatment of human stopped? I look at it from the perspective that “conservationists are simply doing their job”, otherwise what else would they do? People involved in it would pull all sorts of strings to make it happen and win applause and credit for what they have done. Personal motives have always been behind it. Maybe not

in monetary terms, but it sure would inflate their egos. So who gives a d*** anyway? Let them do what they are good at. The answer and justification of right or wrong doesn’t matter. If they succeed, congratulations to them, and if they don’t, better luck next time. Ask the people involved in these activities — how many are pure vegetarians?

— Jayendra Thapa

Whether animals have souls or not, is a subject of debate and I leave to people wiser than I am. I just know what feel when I look into an animal’s eyes and I see the pain and suffering, or joy and happiness. We have been entrusted with taking care of all life on our planet, be it a one-day old kitten, a tree on our street corner or an endangered snow leopard. Every life — big or small — has a value. In many countries people are fined and jailed for cruelty or neglect of any animal, and the same should be done here. We need an animal police force. Rampant cruelty is practiced here and it needs to stop. People need to be educated about caring for their pets. It is a lifetime commitment — the pet’s lifetime. Pets need to run free, be given a proper diet, medical care, love and comfort. An animal can be wonderful companion, and it is time we taught ourselves and our children how precious all life is.

— Sonia Smart Pradhan

Exploitation of animals for selfish human motives like cosmetic production and scientific research is completely immoral. Ask to yourself — is it fair to sacrifice hundreds of poor animals to give one cosmetic item a tag of ‘No Side Effects’? Just because they cannot defend themselves, do we have absolute right over them? If you are a rational human being with even an ounce of feeling for others, the answer should be “No”. We are the most intelligent animals on the planet but that doesn’t certify us to play God and decide the fate of other less fortunate fellow animals. Think twice and I am sure you will agree with me. If still you don’t, I advise you to go and have a medical check-up. You might as well have a void in place where your heart belongs.

— Shailesh Dhakal, Lainchour

I have always been a great believer in the goodness of humanity. The frequent reports of maltreatment of animals are enough to sadden me. The issue of animal rights are often raised with hue and cry but very less efforts are put in in their favour. It as an open secret they have feeling like us. The only difference is that they cannot express theirs. In this regard, we should not forget that the wearer best knows where the shoe pinches. So, the time has come to put forward sterner steps to prevent mistreatment of animals. They are a part of our ecosystem and are vitally essential to maintain its balance.

— Subash Dahal, CMS Operator, Group 4 Falck