Whenever I see a cat or a dog running around the streets without any visible owner, I just go, "Look, there's a dog crossing the campus." To me, its just part of the scenery. Nothing special or notice-worthy. A couple of weeks ago, I was reminded that this is not how everyone in the world reacts. My friend went, "Oh my God! Look, there's a stray dog! I am going to call the pound."
I am used to seeing stray dogs, cows, cats on the street everywhere in India. In residential colonies, if they happen to wander around, people give them left-over food. Cows, especially, have a field time during Pongal. They are in demand everywhere. Of course, these animals cause traffic problems and irritate some people who dislike having their picture-perfect neighborhood "dis-figured". But they manage to survive, procreate and have a life on the streets. I am not saying that it is a great life. But they manage to be alive.
I know people who run shelters and pounds are trying to save the stray animals from pain, cruelty and starvation. But if no one adopts an animal from the pound, they are euthanized. Is it fair to kill an animal because we want our streets to be picture perfect?
I think humans have developed this exaggerated sense of entitlement to Planet Earth. Like it belongs only to us and we can do what we want with it and all its other inhabitants. Everyone makes fun of President Bush's statement, "I know the human and fish can co-exist". But maybe one day, all the fish in the seas will get sick of being caught. Then, we'll have a fish uprising in history. Maybe, the fish and the rest of the animal kingdom will decide to euthanize us all because we are ruining their environment. And Bush will seem like a messiah. I know I am blaboring. So I'll shut up. :-)