Fortnightly Commentary No 68: 24th October 2014 circ. 2000 people



Dear Members and Friends,Nine months ago the 23 year old boy who lives next door fell 50 feet, paralysing him from the waist down.  I sometimes see him on his verandah watching a blaring TV. The family are caretakers for an investment property filled with fruit trees and flowers. Father smokes the day away; mother smiles toothlessly and occasionally peers into our back yard asking if I have work for her other son, who I once saw throw a lamb into their water tank and laugh about the way it screamed, so I say “not right now.” Sometimes she hands me a squash from the garden and I give her popcorn or lemons. The other day she asked me for cotton because her son “has a sore.”   When I saw him next I called out across the lawn, past a huge parrot they keep in a tiny cage, asking about a wound. He pointed to his thigh, but I realized he was shy, and told his mother I’d send one of our animal compounders and my husband to have a look at him. They were shocked at what they found—an enormous pressure sore covering his entire backside, almost to the bone, “the size of two plates” reported my husband. His parents hadn’t known they needed to turn him regularly; he feels nothing.  There were no social service workers to make a home visit.  The wound may possibly be fatal. I asked a doctor friend what can be done?  All he could say was “he’ll need morphine soon.” Why hadn’t I thought of preventing pressure sores months ago? If he’d been a dog, I would have known better. When, oh when will I learn that the fragile are all around us?

Farm to Freedom

A recent study showed that, as a result of controlled breeding, on an average, a chicken today weighs twice as much as it did 50 years ago, i.e. 2.2 kgs in 2014 as opposed to 1.2 kgs in the 1960s. Chicken feed is often laced with anti-biotics, which find their way back to the food we consume.  the study by the Centre of Science and Environment (CSE) showed that every one of two chickens in the country has antibiotic contamination.

In such a scenario, working for farm animals often poses us with difficult options as to how to best relieve an animal from their most potent misery. Antibiotic fed, confined in cages, transported in abundance, and kept without food or water, a saving grace becomes a difficult call to make. The same need has now arisen in Jaipur; what aspect of their lives should we be fighting for?

Fruits of Collaboration

Following the wildlife week celebrations, members of Jaipur FAPO have convinced local zoo authorities about the need for continuous engagement for improving living conditions for the animals housed there. As a follow up exercise, Help Suffering Lives Society- a  JFAPO member- conducted a detailed survey of the Jaipur zoo and has given its preliminary recommendations to the management. The federation has also resolved to write to the local municipality for better regulation of chicken shops in its jurisdiction after a recent survey of chicken shops in the city. Pune FAPO member organisations’ are set to showcase their work and facilities to the state university next week (30th and 31st) as the final step to formalize their participation in the university’s internship programme. With over 200 students from 3 colleges affiliated to the university, this is the biggest annual internship event in the state of Maharashtra.

Living Free

Following the success of Gandhigiri, Pune proved that the love of food can now come with a dab of good health! The recent Vegan Master Chef competition at Maharashtra State Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology saw a wide variety of dishes served to look and taste their absolute best whilst showing sensitivity to the environment, animals as well as human beings. Chefs from two five star hotels, JW Marriot and the Westin, were invited to judge, and were highly impressed by both, the strength of the movement, and the dishes they prepared

A big round of applause goes out to Darashana, Susannah Garton and others, who had held a seminar in the same college, educating about 200 young minds about the importance of a plant based diet, prior to the event!

Click here to see pictures of the Gadhimai Protest in Delhi!


Outstanding News: No More Animal-Tested Cosmetics Imported to India After November 13th 2014, animal tested cosmetic products and ingredients will no longer be legal to import into India. The animals who would have burned eyes, scorched minds, abrasions, shocks, and slower poisons coursing through fragile bodies until they succumbed during the testing process will be spared! The amendment to the Drugs and Cosmetics Rule, imposing ban on both testing and import, comes as a result of extensive lobbying on the part of organisations such as Humane Society International, PETA-India, People for Animals and Union Minister Maneka Gandhi, Beauty Without Cruelty and many other organisations and activists who have worked for this change for many years and in many ways. Read more here.


Trainings, talks and goodbyes! Day 3 of IFA in pictures! Click here to see more!


In Focus : STRAY KolkataStray no more if you are looking for an organisation in the eastern part of the country. With a healthy volunteer base and mission to change people’s minds to be more compassionate, this organisation multitasks between humane education, animal birth control, trauma care and the list goes on. Click here to read more.


Cow Trafficking in Rajasthan To Be Checked by 39 New Police OutpostsChief Minister Vasundhara Raje apparently announced her intention (on Twitter) to add new police outposts to reduce illegal cattle transport. Read more here.

Applause to Wildlife SOS for Tracking and Finding Abused Elephant

Rescued in Haryana by Wildlife SOS following a tip-off by a forest department staff, Lily was found with signs of beatings and struggle for food. After 30 years of slave labor, the elephant is free to live in a 400-acre compound jointly managed by the NGO and the Haryana Forest Dept. Geeta Seshamani, co-founder of Wildlife SOS, reported the elephant showed signs of severe abuse. Read more here.

FIAPO Helps Organise Protest in New Delhi Against Gadhimai, World’s Largest Animal Sacrifice

As the Gadhimai death marches gear up with an expected death toll of 5 lakhs animals, many from India itself, animal activists voiced their heartbreak and anger outside the Nepalese Embassy this week.

Read more here.

Delhi zoo draws up plan for improvement of facilities

After the tragic delhi zoo incident, security has been tightened. However, the most meaningful solution is to not hold carnivorous predatory species (or other species) in small controlled enclosures at all. We should ask why these white tigers are bred in captivity to be held as captive spectacles throughout their lives? Why do we accept a system which robs them of their most basic instinct: to roam vast territories and to hunt?  Zoos are big business, and it is a shame. Zoos are not sanctuaries. The education they provide is that incarceration is fine, that animals made psychotic by confinement are funny to look at, and they teach that the slow torture of animals by means of unrelenting boredom and deprivation of their natural environments, social practices and physical needs, is an acceptable human practice. Read more here.

After HC ban, Himachal Police Lodge First Animal Sacrifice Case

Times of India reports that under Cruelty to Animals Act, an FIR was lodged against a man for sacrificing several goats near Shimla, but the man’s defense is that the killing was not linked to sacrifice per se, rather, just for the eating.Read more here.

India’s Mission Rabies Founder Gets AwardLuke Gamble who founded World Veterinary Services and Mission Rabies was recently honoured in the UK by IFAW. Read more here.

Deccan Herald Publishes Strong Opinion Piece on Animals Used in Cosmetics

Animals’ body parts are often hidden ingredients in popular products. The industry of fish scales, feathers, beaks, horns and even animal placentas are found in many creams and cosmetics. These products are NOT against the law. But for the first time, a notification has been issued by the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs requiring the ingredients to be listed so that consumers can choose according to their ethics. The writer suggests that the labelling improvements will encourage consumers to think before they buy products that hurt animals in the making, and relieve animal protectors and other vegetarians of doubt.However, the move has been questioned by big retailers. Read more here.

11 Kerala Panchayats to Conduct Anti-Rabies Vac Drive for Cows, Goats, and Dogs

Claiming that 100 cows in a Kerala district near Kozhikode died after allegedly being attacked by rabid foxes and dogs, 11 panchayats plan to conduct a vaccination drive to cover cows, goat and dogs beginning 23rd October. The vaccination drive reported by Times of India is a progressive response by the Animal Husbandry Department, and we are relieved that dog and fox-killing has not been suggested as a reaction. Read more here.

More Milk Money Thirst from Agriculture Ministry

The Rashtriya Gokul Mission is a Rs 150 crore scheme launched by the government in July to “improve” milk production of indigenous Indian cows. Cheering for higher incomes, Minister of State for Agriculture Sanjeev Balyan is keen to benefit the farmers. This should keep busy those groups and activists who care about the well-being of cows.Read more here.

Reptile Day Should Be Observed, say Kerala Animal Rights Group

An animal protection group called Heritage Animal Taskforce urged the local government to follow the recommendation of International Union for Conservation of Nature to create reptile consciousness and habitat encroachment in the community. Read more here.


This week I was pleased and proud that Amir Khan’s social issues TV show presented many facets of the lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender community.  Why do I say proud? Because FIAPO trustee Angali Gopalin, who made history in 2009 successfully fighting in court to decriminalize homosexuality, was one of the special guests. It should not surprise us to know  Anjali Gopalin is a devoted  animal protector.  Anjali seeks justice for those who are dominated, controlled and hurt by people with power. She has a finely tuned eye for right versus wrong.  The fundamental rights of women, children, animals, ethnic, intellectual, age and sexual minorities, are joined.Anjali has received multiple awards and recognitions, and I myself saw her receive one of the most prestigious:  Along with about 12 others I was seated at the NAZ foundation headquarters at the edges of a large meeting room. The swinging door opened to admit  a big elderly Somebody. Extraordinary, heart-melting panic filled his eyes when in his confusion he could not find “his” Anjali. It was her dog Tiger, who nearly fainted from joy when, among the many unfamiliar sounds and scents that crowded his senses, he landed at last in the lap of Anjali.

Help animals in your own way; remember – no action is too small.


Best wishes,

Erika Abrams

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