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Why The Double Standards In Case Of Animal Cruelty And Crime Against Human Beings?

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By Sumithra Sriram:

A single cell, the initiation of every form of life now present on earth. From a bee to a blue whale, a toad to an elephant, and a cockroach to a human being- we started out as one, genetically evolving and gradually adapting to the rapidly changing times and needs. The humans, having won the race for survival with their so called sixth sense, quickly took over the world, pushing most of the other equally important species to a small cordoned corner, destroying many others in the process. We humans have treated our fellow earthlings with great disrespect, and have exposed them to grave injustice. There should be just one common law of conduct for all the species on earth, and it’s time that the animals had their share of justice too.


Poaching of animals for their skin, fur and bones is an equivalent of cold-blooded murder. But the penalty given for the murder of a human being and the murder of an innocent creature cannot be more vastly different and more unjust. According to Section 302 in India, a person who commits murder can be punishable with death or imprisonment for life, while a poacher on the other hand, is only awarded a maximum of a few years of imprisonment. It is time that the poachers around the world are made to pay up for their actions, and are forced to wipe the blood off their hands by serving a sentence that can equal the audacity of their deed.

The aerodynamically gifted creatures face their share of injustice every day too. The prettier they are, the harsher is their fate – cooped inside cages, their beaks chipped off, wings clipped off and claws ripped off, peeping between the bars and looking at the uglier but luckier birds soaring in the sky. While confinement and mutilation of humans is a punishable offence, the same activities performed on birds are not only completely legitimate, but are also performed with a sense of pride, for decorating houses. Like Jacques Deval said, “God loved the birds and invented trees. Man loved the birds and invented cages.”

Land, an important entity that is required by every living being to live a life of quality, is another aspect that these creatures without the sixth-sense are denied. Predators like lions and tigers mark their territories by scent marking the areas with their own characteristic scent and leaving their claw marks on the barks of the trees. Elephants are constantly on the move through the wilds, in accordance with the seasons and the availability of food and water. Birds have their own particular spots for nesting and roosting. But what have we humans done? Destroyed and occupied their habitats, and by doing so, paved the way for the extinction of various species. Corridors between the various national parks have been encroached upon, leaving migratory species, especially the elephants, exposed to the wrath of humans as they cross our farms and homes in the course of their migration, leading to death on both sides. We desperately need to redeem these corridors and free them of human settlements, so that these creatures can migrate in peace. Netherlands has taken a very innovative initiative to solve this problem. They have built over 600 bridges all over the country, over highways and human settlements, exclusively for the animals, successfully preventing these human – animal conflicts. Land encroachment of one human on another human’s property is never tolerated. Why should we expect the animals to tolerate this, and why should we humans who encroach, go unpunished?

The creatures closest to humans in terms of intelligence and genetic constitution – the chimpanzees and the other primates are not left alone either. Having had the misfortune of resembling us humans, they are used in laboratories and research centres to test various drugs, cosmetics and other physical and health manipulative substances. Punishments for human testing can go up to ten years of imprisonment, while animal testing is legally allowed! Just because these poor creatures do not have equivocators to twist the laws and represent their side of the case does not mean that we can take advantage of them and use them for those demeaning activities that we cannot abject other humans to. As Charles R.Magel aptly said, “Ask the experimenters why they experiment on animals, and the answer is :’Because the animals are like us.’ Ask the experimenters why it is morally okay to experiment on animals, and the answer is: ‘Because the animals are not like us.’ Animal experimentation rests on a logical contradiction.”

Having ruled the world with an iron fist ever since early man could walk on two feet, we humans have let mother earth down with our atrocities and our barbarity towards not only the other inhabitants of the planet, but towards our own species too. Let us learn to live in harmony with each other and with every other creature on earth. Let us not forget that we are insignificant and helpless in front of mother nature’s wrath and fury. Let us realize that we are all equals in the eyes of nature, and do not have the right to exploit other creature’s vulnerability. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Yes, it’s time that the animals had their share of justice too.

You must be to comment.
  1. K.B.Srivastava

    Killing of an innocent animal is not justified. But I believe that God will certainly punish them who kill innocent animals.

  2. K.B.Srivastava

    At least there is a question of protection of women, government should (1) create an extra post of female home minister and female DGP in all states under whom a large number of female police personnel should be deputed to ensure security of women.(2) All girls should be provided a pistol free of cost with bullets containing anaesthesia to get the culprits unconscious so that he can not rape. The lions are also shot to get them unconscious before their treatment.(3) There are 80.8Cr young voters in India whose vote make the government and if they stay in hotels with their wives or girl friends they are raided by the police for prostitution which create a disturbance to them. Some of them who are unable to pay bribes are sent to jail also. Government should make such provision that hotels are not raided for prostitution and action against khap panchayatas and others should also be taken who are against of freedom of young voters and young voters should not have to go to Russia, Europe, Australia or America for more freedom.(4) Some poor mothers go to work for brick kiln and some of them go to other houses to wash utensils, leaving their children alone at home. Some of them are raped and some of them are murdered. Therefore, in each mohalla a crèche should be opened where these children should be admitted and a female constable should be deputed to look after these children.(5) There were no rape cases up to 1955, when prostitution was regulated in India. Prostitution is still legal in India, but it is punishable up to a distance of 200 meters from a public place like schools, temple and hospitals etc. But after 200 meters, regulations have to be framed by the government. So to reduce number of rape cases, government should regulate it as it was in 1955.(6) There are shortage of girls in India in comparison of boys. So all boys can not be married. Therefore if foreign girls come in India and stay in hotels for fulfilling sexual desires of Indians, hotels should not be raided for prostitution.(7) Poor ladies do not have toilets in their houses. They go out of their houses in bushes, sugarcane and arhar crops where they are raped and sometimes murdered there. The government should transfer amounts sanctioned for social welfare in their accounts directly to enable them construct their toilets in their houses. The measures suggested above will certainly reduce number of rape cases in India.

  3. HP

    there is a ministry for Animals, a Ministry for Women and Children but no body cares for men or their welfare. First care for your boys and men, then raise these kind of issues.

  4. Gowtham V

    1. When years of struggle to develop a drug to save even a single life is blocked as we, as you say, morally, cannot test it on an animal that is found to respond “similarly” to such pathogens, as was very eloquently pointed out, it cannot replace the misplaced sense of attachment felt towards creatures that can at the most be a self-serving past time as long as human lives are not on the line.
    2. Test of cosmetics and similar chemicals purely on a profit basis, just because technology has failed to keep up to synthesize artificial skin etc., is unforgivable

  5. Gowtham V

    I think it is a luxury we cannot afford

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

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.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

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.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

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MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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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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A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

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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.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

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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