Become a Fan
On not abusing our might over animals. On taking small steps to make our world less brutal for these voiceless, defenceless lives... this piece was published in the indian magazine, FEMINA (it won the best letter of the month in the environment column)
Imagine, just for one moment, that you are a cow. You saunter to the garbage dump; see some stalks of greens and some vegetable peels, and you begin to eat them. With great gusto. You are so enthusiastic in fact, that you fail to even consider for the first few moments, that something could possibly be wrong. You realise that you are eating something that is much more than vegetable waste…you suddenly find something sharp that’s slashing at your tender gums, and making it difficult to swallow.
You think, ‘okay, maybe I can just separate the painful things from the food’. You make an earnest attempt to separate them with your hooves. Alas! Hooves are not as well developed as the fingers on a human being that are capable of such seemingly simple tasks! With no other option, and little else to eat (thanks to man’s extensive defforestation), you swallow the entire mouthful, and continue eating the rest. It doesn’t seem to hurt much for the first few minutes. Then you feel intense pain—as the vicious glass shards of a broken bulb slowly and steadily tear apart at the delicate mucus of your stomach, bit by bit, slash by slash… you don’t want to die.
Melodramatic? Hardly. Ever took a closer look at the garbage dump across the street?
Hundreds of cows die this way. Everyday.
Beautiful bovine creations, really, if you have noticed their kohl-lined eyes and gentle demeanor. Of course, it is not just cows that meet this fate. Buffaloes, crows, rats and other rodents suffer as well.
If you are thinking, ‘I can’t change the world’, I completely agree. You may not be able to change the world, but you certainly don’t have to join it!
So what can you do about it? A great deal. Remember all those sturdy cardboard cartons that a lot of groceries come packed in? The next time you buy that refill pack of your malt drink, or your favourite breakfast cereal, don’t throw the carton away. Keep it in a shelf, or some unseen corner of your house, preferably with a thick plastic cover,( that could contain all the tiny shards)
As you come across potentially harmful things like that bottle you broke yesterday, or jagged pieces of metal and plastic, keep putting them in. In fact, even the foil that tablets and other such medicines come wrapped in are harmful. Once the carton gets filled, tie up the top of the plastic bag securely and seal the carton with tape before you dump it.
You could also use the carton to throw away poisonous chemicals… You’d be surprised at the amounts and kinds of toxic substances that we nonchalantly and carelessly dump everyday, like for example, the ash left behind when mosquito coils are used. This might sound like a lot of work but it takes just a few minutes, and the feeling it leaves you with is one of true exhilaration.
Mother Teresa once said, “You can do no great things. Only small things with great love.”
So methinks, ‘high time we all did our bit of loving.’
What say you?