“Protect me too!” – World Animal Day Special!

I always wondered how the Almighty/God – The Creator of this Universe created this world with utmost beauty – the way the nature is built, created beautifully in different shades – from the mighty mountains to the deepest seas, from the colorful flowers to the pretty little butterflies or insects, from human beings called God’s best creation to animals of all types and varieties. I really wonder how Almighty has been such a great artist to have created all of us with utmost detailing and care. Imagine if we had our eyes below and the mouth above on the face – imagine how we would have eaten food without seeing it or just doing a balancing act of seeing below and then lifting up to eat – No fun in eating a cheeseburst pizza where we would miss the lovely view of the cheese stretching out of it or it may end up falling on our eyes.

I really admire the beautiful nature, the lovely animals (though I am not a pet lover or own one) but I do really think of them as how Almighty made them in different shapes, sizes with each of them having their own strengths and weaknesses. From Dinosaurs that lived here on this earth centuries ago to Giant elephants, from the snakes to the snails crawling on the ground in their different sizes, from the crocodiles that can live on water and land to the fiery sharks in the water waiting to grab on their prey. The underwater world is even more beautiful – I am so addicted to the Discovery channel or Nat Geo’s underwater shows that I just love admiring the mixture of colors among the water plants and animals/fishes that are underneath our biggest oceans and seas. There is so much creativity in the Almighty’s creations – we all should take time to admire but most importantly protect such beautiful creations because we are on the verge of losing them resulting in the next generations not getting the gift of nature because of our selfish ways of living.

Among all my admiration to the wonderful creations of nature, I wish to draw your attention to the lives of animals. I am not sure if it takes a ‘World Animal Day’ (observed on every 04 October 2020) to draw people’s attention to their ill treatment and remind everyone that they need extra protection and care to live like we do, but I did realize that with the current COVID situation – animals have been worse affected than us humans.

Animals – God’s creation of all shapes and sizes. We have so many similarities with animals. They have the same birth to death cycle with different ages, they have families of their own, they also fend for food to feed their families, they also sleep like we do, they give their best to do those things that they are designed/created or structured to do. The things that differentiate us is definitely lack of speech, we human beings have been considered as highly intelligent primates when compared to animals but I really feel animals are no less in any manner when it comes to intelligence. Even to this day, a dog guards our homes, we have specially trained dogs as part of Bomb detective squads that help us identify the bombs and also identify/nab the culprits. The parrots and cats give us company and never make us feel alone. The wild animals are equally intelligent while hunting and eyeing their prey as they best know when to pounce and take the first bite.

I always believe that animals are our best teachers that teach us all the beautiful virtues even with their voiceless nature – from a dog being the most loyal friend wagging it’s tail to show it’s love for you to the cats being smart yet friendly. From the horses symbolizing courage and a spirit of fightback to the spiders showing us that every step of trial never goes waste. From the ants that show us how disciplinary life is lived by following a queue to the deer that shows us how to be active and cautious all the time. From the tigers and lions that show us how to live life king size to the chimpanzees that display how being with the family is truly lovable. From the panda that can just chew the bamboo throughout the day and show how lazy it can be to the honey bee that gets busy all day long collecting nectar from the flowers and producing it’s own honey. From the pigeon that picks little twigs to make it’s own nest and lay it’s eggs to the vulture that showcases willpower and strength to focus on it’s prey and gather all the food.  

With COVID scenario, all of our focus shifted on our well-being, how we should sanitize, protect ourselves, wash our hands often, wear a mask etc so as to avoid getting infected by the deadly yet curable disease of COVID 19, we all chose to stay at homes to safeguard ourselves and we bonded with our families with time, but have we ever thought how this current scenario affected the animals ? The street dogs that long for food, the wild animals that you went visiting during your vacations, the birds in the sky that long for water or food and keep flying in search of some or the water animals that swayed in the oceans/seas.

How did lockdowns in different countries affect animals? –

Lockdowns, the period we all stayed at homes in the fear of getting affected by COVID-19 was a mix for animals. While there were pictures of different kinds of species coming to the fore on the roads, clean waters/seas etc (like the mountain goats seen in London streets, sparrows in India, rabbits in New Zealand, seabirds in Venice etc –  those that we thought went extinct) ,though this was a happy sight to see but lockdowns affected our national parks, tourist places, zoos etc that had variety of animals who survived on the contributions that came in from visitors like us. Lack of visitors resulted in shutdown of some best tourist places thereby putting in danger the lives of thousands of animals that struggled with no food and facilities.

An ecologist of Canada confirmed that animals are strongly influenced by human footprint, which means any change in behavior of humans will affect the change of behavior in animals. India is a land with lots of monkeys around, even in crowded cities. These monkeys are always fed by human beings either willfully or out of fear. I read an article where an Indian ecologist mentioned about monkeys how once being fed by humans, they get habituated and display hyper aggression if not given food.

Not just monkeys but we as human beings do have a soft corner for animals on the road like the stray dogs, cats etc. I read many instances where strict lockdowns resulted in many people missing out on their daily routine of feeding dogs/cats etc resulting in hunger and troubled times of survival for these animals. Though sparrows came alive with clean fresh air in cities during lockdowns, there were bird deaths in thousands due to lack of proper water and food. There was an incident in a market area of Bangalore, India where due to lockdown , the different exotic animals, fishes etc that were kept in a building died due to suffocation as their owners failed to move them to a better open area due to lockdown. This was so unfortunate to know.

Another advantage lockdowns brought about was lowering the road mortality rate of animals (animals that died on roads due to speeding automobiles) which was a good sign especially for all those places/highways that cross the dense forest areas filled with wild animals of all kinds. During the times I went to shop for groceries once in a month, the roads were bliss. I could see squirrels running across the road freely without the fear of being run over by vehicles to butterflies of beautiful colors flying around, the trees looked fresh green and the nature looked brand new, clean, pollution and dust free that I was thankful for lockdowns in a way that they at least made us realize how much we were harming nature for our own selfish benefits or even neglecting the environment with our own ways of living. Nature belongs to each of us from human beings to animals of the land, water/seas etc with everybody having equal rights over it but the truth is because we call ourselves highly intelligent creation of God, we dominated nature in such a way that we used it, misused it, overused it and destroyed it for our own good leaving no scope for the animals to survive in nature happily.

I still remember one cartoon that was doing the rounds in the internet where all the human beings are standing within a cage with their clueless angry faces and the animals looking at them and laughing and the heading this cartoon had was – ‘Lockdown’. This was the truth but lockdowns had its good or bad effects on animals in our absence and it is worrying as well but I have also realized the fact that they are dependent on us for survival.

Adding to the pains of lockdowns, a lot of the recent wildfires from the one in California to the Amazon forest fires and also the Australian bush fires resulted in the loss of homes of many wild animals and the pictures that we saw all over the internet were highly disturbing. The visual of a little Koala bear, being picked up from the ground and attended by the firefighters in Australian bushfires , with its little eyes wandering and looking lost just broke my heart.

There is this beautiful quote on animals by Immanuel Kant that says – “We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals”.  There are numerous ways of helping out animals in all big or small ways and we should do it for the welfare of them. They do not have a voice, they cannot tell you in words, that they are hungry or sick but you can definitely help them out in your own ways and help them survive and not struggle during such tough times –

October 4, 2020 is observed as ‘World Animal Day’ where people are made aware of the sensitivities of animals, how they can improve their lives and the need for their welfare. Within the confines of our homes or our cities, how can we reach out and extend a helping hand to those voiceless animals who need our help and care in these pandemic times? – We can make an impact (in small or big ways), that can help save a voiceless animal’s life like feeding the stray dogs with buns or biscuits whenever you can or for the benefit of the birds, you can keep a slightly bigger bowl of water on the terrace wall or in your balcony so that they can quench their thirst with no worries.

You can also make an impact by planting more saplings around, that way you can help them create a home of their own. I have definitely seen the efforts of a pigeon making her own nest by getting twigs one after another flying from here to there multiple times. Avoid cutting trees, you are just adding to the burdens of destroying nature like any other selfish human is.

You can also join any organization that is working closely in helping stray animals or wild life. If your contribution in any manner can help save or give care for the endangered animals or animals that are stray, it will definitely be a great effort from your side.

Every little effort goes a long way to help the voiceless yet intelligent animals. Just imagine, when any enemy or criminal enters our premises, either we get scared, call the cops and try to safeguard our family members or we confront, fight back , try our best not to let anything happen to your home or family. We at least have a voice to raise and fightback for our homes for our families. Imagine the animals, we do everything selfishly , torture them, destroy trees – their homes all for our own good without having any concern for them, all because they don’t have a voice of their own to raise. On this World Animal Day, let’s take a pledge to help feed the voiceless animals. We can all safeguard our families in all our best ways. Let’s treat the stray animals as our families and safeguard them too. Let us be selfless in letting the animals have their homes protected and their lives cared for :). Let us learn to co-exist peacefully and have a big heart to save families of the little ones too 🙂

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