animal cruelty

Don’t turn Diwali into a scene from a disaster movie

Usually, I wake up to the sound of birds. As noisy as my city can be, it allows for such luxuries. But in two days, my playlist for the wee morning hours will drastically change. Because people will be celebrating Diwali – the Festival of Lights. Every year, around this time, they become a discourteous lot. Armed with fireworks, they act like kamikaze arsonists. By exercising archaic cultural rights, they turn the neighborhood into a battleground. Not just for me but every other species – stray, domestic or wild.

Despite all the smiling and cheering, my city paints a grim picture. The air is thick with the stench of harmful gas. Plant life-forms rot because of toxic substances. Birds hide in their nests. Animals run scared. The fortunate ones find shelter under sofas. The rest shake, like autumn leaves, frightened and helpless. Roaming the streets, they sniff for some sign of humanity.

It resembles a scene from a low-budget disaster movie.

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Paw and order: The act of killing

Recently Kerala, a southern state in India, has ordered the mass slaughter of rabid stray dogs. This was after government officials made panicky and untrue statements about their menace. And for the past two months, stray dogs (not just the rabid ones) have been mercilessly hunted down.

The State government’s reaction has been an expected one. Some of the authorities are claiming ignorance. While others – fabricating the truth. A few are talking about vaccination drives and exporting dog meat as practical solutions.

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