Animal cruelty and it’s many cases of selective outrage
Animal cruelty has always been an issue around the world with most people so prone to it, that they do not even acknowledge that animals too feel pain. After the death of the elephant in Kerala, a whole lot of politicians and people reacted and demanded justice for the creature. While it is great that people have started to care about animals, the main question is, does the concern for flora and fauna only contain itself to social media? The main issue is not the ignorance of people towards animal welfare, but the agenda of selective outrage driven by political leanings.
When the news of the murder of the Elephant did round on the Internet, reports on several other animal cruelties also surfaced and people reacted over them. Recently, a pregnant cow was reportedly given food stuffed with a bomb in it which blasted in her mouth in Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh. A dog in Thrissur, Kerala was found who was taped wound tight around its mouth for almost two weeks, who was rescued by People for Animal Welfare Services (PAWS) later in the district.
But the same media outlets never took note of the animals being mercilessly murdered for the amusement of some and convenience of others. Animal cruelty has always been mainstream in human society and a lot of them assert this as their right to religiously ignore it.
This selective outrage and ignorance about animal cruelty have let us where we are today, locked in our rooms and only getting out when it is absolutely very necessary. While it is not guaranteed that if we all had been eating vegetables, there would never ever have been a pandemic like COVID-19, but the chances of those pandemics would be quite low.
If animals are removed from the food web, the whole web is disturbed and everyone has to suffer and the prime example of this are vultures. Then it takes an enormous amount of resources to raise animals for food. As per available data, Two-thirds of all agricultural land in the U.S. is used to raise animals for food or to grow grain to feed them.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the animal agriculture sector—which includes the production of feed crops, the manufacturing of fertilizer, and the shipment of meat, eggs, and milk—is responsible for 18% of all GHG emissions, measured in carbon-dioxide equivalent. In fact, the farm animal sector annually accounts for: 9% of human-induced emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), 37% of emissions of methane (CH4), which has more than 20 times the global warming potential (GWP) of CO2 and 65% of emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O), which has nearly 300 times the GWP of CO2.
While animal cruelty is also in practice in various religions, people think it is their duty to kill the animals prescribed some religious text. As it is said that, “religions are made for humans, not the otherwise”, but the humans blindly follow age-old practices without any concrete research about the efficiency or the long-lasting effects of those actions on the environment.
The rise in animal cruelty and silence of animals rights groups like PETA and various other local organisations along with the international bodies made for their conversation like WWF talks volumes about their priorities. Animal cruelty has historically been celebrated in various parts of the world where they have used various animals for amusement.
In 2011, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) euthanized the overwhelming majority of dogs and cats that it accepted into its shelters. Out of 760 dogs impounded, they killed 713, arranged for 19 to be adopted, and farmed out 36 to other shelters (not necessarily “no-kill” ones). As for cats, they impounded 1,211, euthanized 1,198, transferred eight, and found homes for a grand total of five. PETA also took in 58 other companion animals — including rabbits. It killed 54 of them, reported the Atlantic.
Now, when people have started talking about the right of unborn foetuses, it is high time that the society recognised the rights of fully alive animals and look after them. One empty space in the food web can lead the ecosystem on the verge of extinction, causing a potential disturbance to the cycle on a whole.