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Animal Rights And How We Ignore Them!

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By Pavithra S:

It is quite ironical to note how less we care for other humans and much less for other living beings. Laws and protests can only make people hear their voices and cries, but do they succeed in spreading their message? Has there been any progress in animal rights protection? Before answering these questions, let us look into the common ill-treatments towards animals and why we need to stop it.

The world is populated with as many animals and birds as there are humans. This signifies the fact that they have a right to survival and well-being. But what good can this argument be if the animals cannot speak for themselves. We use animals in every stage of our life, be it for milk, meat, skin or most commonly as pets. But little do we realize that in every stage the animals are being ill-treated and tormented.

Animals, most commonly donkeys, cows and horses are used for transportation of bulk commodities. The first concern would be whether they are well-fed and taken care of since they carry ridiculously large loads. The answer is negative in most of the cases owing to the owner’s poverty and greed. Apart from this when the animal gets hurt there are few practices followed that not only cause agonizing pain but also intensify the wound. For example, any inflated area is treated by laying hot iron rod over it. The belief is that it reduces the swelling but in reality all it does is causes open wounds. Another practice is to apply battery acids on wounds to speed up the healing process, but it does just the opposite and causes an overshoot of pain.

Yet another cruelty to which everyone remains oblivious is the use of animals in research works. It is pitiable to learn the various ways in which they are misused for no benefit of theirs. It is a common practice now to test every drug and cosmetic product on the laboratory animals before it can be certified for use on humans. Though such inhumane practice is widely accepted, is it not against our morals to allow such cruelties? Most of the animals either succumb to the harsh chemicals or they are slit open to study the extent of damage to the internal organs.

Dogs and cats are the usually favored pets, but do the owners, who take an extreme liking towards their pets, actually tender to their needs? We treat them in the way that pleases us and appears to be the right one. Is that what the animals want? We very easily fail to realize that animals not only appear in every part of human life but also have equal rights and feelings towards survival and pain. The few of us who understand the cruelty towards animals cringe back from taking any responsibility for eradicating it.

Over the past few years many animal rights organizations and NGOs have stepped forward and voiced out the woes of these animals. But how far the broad-mindedness of the society has improved still remains an issue of concern. The Farm Animal Welfare Council, an independent organ of European Committee has enlisted few rights for the farm animals like freedom from hunger, thirst, pain, injury and discomfort and freedom to express normal behavior. Though these laws date back to 1979, how many of us are aware of this? How far has the awareness spread?

We need to understand the fact that animals feel pain and solitude in the same way as humans. It is our moral responsibility to take care of these animals and see to it that they are well nurtured and groomed. One need not adopt all the stray animals in order to make this happen. All you have to do is call any animal welfare organization when you see an injured or stray animal, report animal abuse and raise voice against the ill-treatment of any animal by its owner.

Simple measures can save many of these animals from torment and agony inflicted by humans. Though the NGOs and self-help groups have spread far and wide they have not succeeded in eradicating this social evil, the reason being negligence and ignorance of the people. A radical change is possible only when every one of us considers this as their moral responsibility and fights for better treatment and handling of animals.

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  1. kanika

    Do you expect humans to care fr animals wen dey don’t even care fr fellow humans?when ppl still fight n shed blood over pity issues like religion n caste ,where women r raped n dumped ,when a human kills a human ?

    why do u urself eat flesh n meat if u care so much abt animals ? wat if sum1 was eating ur or mine flesh ?aaren’t animals living ? don’t dey feel pain n get hurt while slaughtering ?????

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Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

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The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

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Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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