Fortnightly Commentary No 53: 14th March 2014 circ. 2000 people

Dear Members and Friends,
Together, Readers, we have observed hundreds of thousands of animals. We have seen them know to lick rocks for minerals and watched them practice pouncing and performing amazing feats with instinct and intelligence. And we have also seen their mysterious indulgences: Rambo must put his front legs in the water tub but never his hind; Suzie must pee on windows; Jungles must sleep in the sink.
We humans, too, have our good instincts and our quirky ones. When I was four, I glued my fingers together with glue from a metal tube I found in a drawer.  When my mother found me, I remember feeling yanked from the throes of reverie. Why did you DO that? she asked in dismay.  I needed to.
My husband, at a similar age, took a toy hammer and smashed all four headlights out on his parents' car. Why did you do that? they demanded. It needed to be juked! he reported.
I still want to glue my fingers together and I am certain my husband still wants to juke the headlights out of cars.  
Moral: humans are animals. Most of us have an inexplicable silliness. Children, unfettered by social norms, express it easily.  And too, every animal has as complex and delightful a personality as our children. Every animal who lives in confinement is forced to suppress her personality to such an extent that she does not appear to be unique. That is only because she has literally lost her mind. Confining animals destroys their personalities. That's another reason why no one should accept anything that came because someone was chained.
India for Animals – India's largest conference for animal protection – will be held in Jaipur, September 12-14, 2014. Mark your Calendars!
Fruits of Collaboration…
Prashanth writes: Last week, the Pune federation members held focus group meetings on reforming the ABC programme in the country. This followed sharing of awareness building resources and two awareness events about street dog management in the city. PFAPO members will be meeting this week to further ABC reforms with the municipal corporation. KFAPO has initiated the process to improve its adoption rates and augment fundraising by engaging a person for the same; while Jaipur keeps up its sustained efforts to liaise with municipal authorities to bring about petshop regulation.
FIAPO's member organisation in Banaglore, Let’s Live Together will host a 3 Day Spay and Neuter Drive FREE for community dogs and LOW COST for pet dogs on the 14-16 March, 2014. A team of skilled veterinarians from The Humane Society International, will perform the spay and neuter Surgeries. The event has been specially planned for community cats and dogs and pet cat and dogs, to support responsible guardianship. For more details, contact
Living Free…
Richa writes: Living Free is going national! And what better time to do this than in spring, a time of rebirth and revival, of new beginnings and possibilities. To celebrate, FIAPO is organizing the Day of Living Free on 12th of April. At ethical stores in Chennai, Pune, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Trivandrum, and Udaipur, Living Free leaders and supporters will spread awareness about cruelty free lifestyle and provide samples of animal-friendly products such as soy milk. This event kicks off the coming year of personal, group, audio and video presentations, and leafleting in each of these cities. Join FIAPO in making this spring a new beginning for the animals in India. Email
Holy Cow…
Shweta writes: Based on a FIAPO-filed petition against confinement of egg-laying hens in battery cages, the movement against poultry factory farming in India has received a boost by a new action taken by the Punjab & Haryana High Courts who have issued a notice to the Central Government, Poultry Federation of India and the Animal Welfare Board of India. The case will soon come up for further hearing. See more here
Imported Cruelty
A Frenchman, having trouble finding practices decadent enough to satisfy his culinary standards supplying to hotels and private consumers in India, set up his own farm where he grows animals he can prepare with a free reign. He says the market for cruelty-crowned foix gras—goose liver damaged by force-feeding– is growing.  Note the enthusiastic tone of the BBC writer who slobbers with enthusiasm over this sorry catastrophy. Read more here
Definitely Dogs
Sudhersena writes: AWBI has issued a legally-informed circular banning Housing Societies from requiring pet-owners to leash their pets or form independent laws or rules regarding pets. Read more here
Wild Matters…
Puja writes: FIAPO, with CUPA Bangalore, having been working to help the animals of the Moonlight Circus – the animal-and-child-abusing circus now statuoned in Maharashtra. Special credit to the AWBI who cancelled the registration almost immediately upon notice. The circus management has been arrested for child trafficking and the animals including four elephants are in transition—still in the horrible circus conditions but in the process of legal confiscation and sanctuary re-homing. See more:
It was extraordinary.  I accompanied a friend in search of his mother's grave, which he had never seen. She had died in childbirth; my friend is now an adult. His family had moved from the city of her burial. We entered a cemetery. Was it the right one? Hundreds of markers stretched out before us. My friend walked slowly down one of the paths. The leaves above us sparkled and the air grew perfumed, its fragrance spread by gentle breezes. My friend approached only one stone. There was no search; there was no discovery. This was but recognition. Somehow, incredibly, the voice of the woman memorialized by this single stone rose beyond the ordinary portals, beyond seeing, beyond hearing, beyond knowing, and called I am here.
The bond is absolute. Mothers wail and rage when their children are taken from them. The separation of calves from mothers is a cruelty almost impossible to grasp, and yet we not only tolerate it but institutionalise it through ever more aggressive schemes.
For eternity my friend and his mother will call to each other. To nurture her young is more than a freedom of a mother. It is the imperishable necessity of her being. Preventing it, as we do in the animal trades, is unthinkable. Witnessing the reunion of my friend with his mother was not only beautiful, it was right.
Help animals in your own way; remember – no action is too small.
Best wishes,
Erika Abrams
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