Saturday, January 17, 2009


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. :-)


SUBASH said...

I wonder what really happens if the stray dogs on the roads stop getting food?do not leave out the pigs.

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Badhri said...

While the "picture perfect" element is there in their attitude, the animals are also viewed as "safety hazard" since they are sure not to have been vaccinated.

Its all part of the fact that America can afford to live in a more "ideal" world than India or other dev. nations.

However euthanasia has always weirded me out. I know a friend of mine stating. "I love my dog, but he is getting old and will have to be put to sleep. I will be sad that day!"

I was amazed at the extent to which they have subscribed to the idea if it is animals but becomes a controversy if its for humans. I believe explanation to this apparent contradiction may come from Christianity which says that God has created everything else for humans to use, enjoy and rule over!

அக்னிபாரதி said...

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.

Reminds me of that line from The Guide - 'Man has always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much - the wheel, New York, wars and so on - while all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time.

But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man for precisely the same reason.'

I've never seen a buffalo or a dog on the road without a tinge of jealousy in my heart. In our colony, the strays and the home-dogs reside peacefully, with even a few elopings happening occasionally (Only a few days before, we saw our neighbour give food to her new stray 'daughter-in-law' after she had delivered a new set of 'grandchildren' :-) )