Fortnightly Commentary No 50: 31st January 2014 circ. 2000 people

Dear Members and Friends,

Yesterday my daughter saw the immediate aftermath of a terrible road accident when a car carrying four people slammed into a truck. From her bus window she saw that one of the passengers was still alive, drenched in blood and flailing in the street. People had gathered but no one was actually doing anything to help her or those who appeared unconscious or dead in the car. Most people are probably so shocked when they see an emergency they become almost paralysed.
But we in the animal help field see blood and death every day. Many animals who would have died did not die, because people knew what to do, and even if they weren’t sure, they tried their best. We owe it to all the animals we have saved and all who we must save to be prepared. I have one tip – learn CPR! CPR stands for Cardio (heart) Pulmonary (Lung) Resuscitation (Bring back to life). The technique is so simple that anyone can learn it in just a couple of minutes! I’ve had a chance to use it on 7 dogs, 2 cats and one human being (very drunk man who fell into a lake.) (Resuscitation successful on 4 dogs, 2 cats, and the man, although he did die in hospital the next day.) 1-minute video on hands-only resuscitation CPR on Dogs – CPR on People –
This rescue can save a human life or an animal. It could save your father, your wife, your child, your dog. If someone’s life is in danger, don’t forget to tell the bus driver to stop!
Fruits of Collaboration…
Prashanth writes: This past week, movement building has been centered around building support for the Kerala federation. Federation members attended the seminar on animal welfare organized by the CPREEC and discussed issues ranging from street dog management and captive elephant welfare with experts like Dr. Chinny Krishna and Raman Sukumar. The Federation also welcomes its newest member- Street Dog Watch, who, along with Raksha Trivandrum lent their support to the ‘share the world’ cycle rally organized by PFA Trivandrum. In Jaipur, the local federation hosted a workshop by Gauri Maulekhi on animal welfare laws in the country. 
Will feelings matter at India’s new fish “hospital?”
Despite the fact that the Department of Fisheries works for the  “Expansion of aquaculture in fresh, brackish water, welfare of fisherfolk, etc” (in other words, increasing the number of fishes which can be caught, killed and eaten) a fish laboratory is coming up in Kerala to study, among other things, the impact of pollution on fish. Might be a good thing if the pain experienced by fish is recognized in this “hospital.” Read more 
Living Free…
Bikramadittya writes: While conducting outreach among college students, the most frequent question I have been facing is ‘why give up dairy products?’. Now, with the country’s first milk ATM in place, dairy products are going to be commoditized even more.  Time that we made people aware of the cruel practices of the milk industry – and let’s tell this to every people we meet. Start outreach today! 
Holy Cow…
Shweta writes: India’s biggest ever agriculture fair (to be held in Nagpur in February) will celebrate the growth of the farming sector. Don’t just picture the latest chemical pesticide booths and display cases filled with large, genetically-modified, pesticide-doused vegetable. Picture trade booths featuring expanded industrial animal breeding efforts techniques. The article doesn’t mention animal welfare, only animal production. 
Farmageddon: The True Cost of Cheap Meat by Philip Lymbery, CEO of Compassion in World Farming and journalist Isabel Oakeshott, is a fascinating and terrifying investigative journey behind the closed doors of the factory farming industry across the world – from the UK, Europe and the USA, to China, Argentina, Peru and Mexico. It is both a wake-up call to change our current food production and eating practices and an attempt to find a way to a better farming future.
Cornered Market Dooms Nature’s Chickens
Natural species and types of chickens are on the way to extinction, courtesy of the poultry farming industry’s “table chickens” –birds who have been genetically modified with such rampant disregard for nature’s way that even farmers are squawking about it. Eighty percent of all chicken produced globally — some 44 billion birds — come from one of three companies. 
Monstrous Maduri Jallikattu hurts 42 humans – and 543 bulls 
If you can stomach the reporter’s use of the phrase bull “tamers” rather than bull torturers, shake your head in dismay with us over the possibility that the police sold bull participation tokens to this tradition of torment. 
Good People of Chennai Airport
This story about air transport of race horses reminds us of the lives of these boxed-in beauties, many of whom may live a life so abused that they never learn to trot, only to walk or gallop. The tolerance, let alone enthusiasm, for the sport of horse racing completely misses the lost lives of the horses perpetually behind bars or a bit. They’re never allowed to touch each other, although horses are extremely social animals who need mutual grooming and play for psychological health. Their long necks are made for grazing but they will never graze a moment of their lives. At least the live cargo handlers at the Chennai Airport seem to have a heart. 
Precious Lives Recognized by NDRF
Animals in natural disasters will have a better chance of survival now that the National Disaster Response Force is officially preparing their rescue procedures to include animals. Although nuclear disaster is mentioned in their roster, other more routine disasters such as those man-made horrors of unregulated slaughterhouses and poultry factories are not. We hope these will be next on the radars of disaster-helpers. 
Trouble Ahead for the World’s Biggest Cheaters
For poachers, the term “nothing is sacred” was invented. But various government law-enforcement and customs authorities are teaming up with NGOs to crack down on those forest robbers who break up homes, steal nestlings, shoot and kill mother chimpanzees to rob the orphans for the wide open black market. 
Infocus: Street Dog Watch Association, Trivandrum
A young organisation filled with energy and purpose, Street Dog Watch have partnered with two other groups in the region to form Animal Care Trivandrum (ACT), the first locally managed coalition for animal welfare in south India. Read on to know more  
Last October we moved house after 15 years. Although the shift was the most positive geographical transition of my life, the departure has left that weird hole you feel like when you leave a workplace—although you can go out to lunch with your old colleagues, it isn’t “the same.” 
Yesterday I went back to the village to welcome the new baby of a former neighbour. I stopped to see Bitu, who for 10 years had taught me more about Rajasthani culture by her casual gupsup than I ever learned through more formal media. Now, we sat awkwardly in her cement living room. We had little to say. So and so had died; so and so was getting married. 20 paces from Bitu’s house, was old Goverdhan sitting on his driveway, to whom I’d said Namaste every day for 10 years. If Goverdhan was feeling garrulous, he would complain about his sciatica and we would sympathise.  “There are 10 new people living in your old place now, but I feel empty,” he said. Tears filled both our eyes. Let's remember how hard change is for animals, including ourselves.
As I left the village, I said goodbye to the three black dogs who always accompanied me on my walks; goodbye prancing dog Nanu, goodbye Blossom, a gentle white cow who used to stand the whole day long by our water trough waiting for table scraps to be dropped from our roof. Now, the trough is dry. Now, she is not standing there.
Help animals in your own way; remember – no action is too small.
Best wishes,
Erika Abrams
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