Fortnightly Commentary No 70: 21st November 2014 circ. 2000 people


Dear Members and friends,

I had a panic attack a couple of days ago. My first. I’d heard others squawk about this in the past but brushed it off with feigned sympathy. Never again. It was horrible. I’m laying in bed, about 2 a.m. unable to sleep. Not fretting about any of the usual suspects ; upcoming audit, the stupid thing I said to so-and-so, etc. But suddenly I was seized with a sense that about 30 things I do, feel like spinning plates on sticks as there are too many of them, I don’t know how to do it, I’m afraid they’re going to fall! And my reaction wasn’t to try harder, but to drop them all. In a moment of panic I fantasized about getting up right then and there, and telling my family that I can’t find the strength to DO anything anymore. That I am in the throes of a nervous breakdown. But in the morning I saw the parade of winged wildlife who dart in and out of my view as I made the morning coffee. They had so much energy and purpose, not plagued by inertia or feelings of inadequacy. They just get on with it. Which seemed like a very good idea.

Fruits of Collaboration
Last week, Jaipur federation became the first in the country to issue identity cards to member activists. The cards were issued in appreciation of the tireless cruelty response work by its members and to identify activists trained to address animal protection issues. The federation also rallied its members for a three day survey of meat shops in the city. More than 20 shops were surveyed across 5 localities in the city. The Pune and Kerala federations, meanwhile, are keeping a close watch on local academic calendars having finished the groundwork for veterinarian internship and adoption camp in their respective regions.
Meanwhile, the movement in Varanasi is gradually gaining strength with the formation of a common consensus of activists over some commonly identified issues. Yes, first-aid for dogs tops the list. The other identified issues include an increased education and awareness generation activities, involvement of veterinarians and building a healthy rapport with the municipal officials in our work. Last weekend, our very first meeting with the activists ended on a positive note of enthusiasm at the fresh new start. In the backdrop of organizing a hands-on activity to help dogs suffering from skin infections, creating awareness in schools and conducting street animal first aid treatments near the ghats, the work is gaining synergies and momentum.

Living Free
This month, Living Free is bringing to you a national pledge signing drive called “Pledge to go Veg!” And what better day to carry out this mission than on World Meatless Day, the 25th of November? Our leaders have once again proved their worth and we’ re holding this event in as many as 15 cities where people will be encouraged to sign the pledge, be it for a day, a week, a month or – the option we best prefer – forever. We aim to have 5000 people Pledge to go Veg on the 25th. Come join us and help everyone Live Free! Email us at

Farm to Freedom
Perpetuating another ancient tradition, the Sonepur cattle mela, Asia’s largest Livestock Fair kicked off in Patna on the 1st of November. The fair has, so far, reported high sales of Milch cattle such as Jersey and Holstein Friesian cows. For a hundred dollars more, the buyer is offered the day old calf along with the parent. One can only imagine the condition of a day or two old calves in transit.
Falls in the sale of oxen has also been reported with numbers falling down from 5600 in 2012, 1700 in 2013 and are pegged to be even lesser this year.
These facts point to an increasingly industrialised dairy future, though all hope is not lost. The Hindu published an article titled “The sorry state of Milch Animals”, that received an overwhelmingly positive response! Read the article here!


Help 5000 people go Veg in a day – Join the 25th Nov World Meatless Day Pledge to Veg campaign! 

Delhi HC soon to allow park access to dogs

Zee News reports that The Delhi High Court says it will soon direct authorities to allow pet dogs to enter the city’s 6900 public parks or provide designated parks welcoming dogs. Considering a PIL requesting the bench to provide facilities for pet dogs comes as a result of conflict between those who want only human animals to enjoy parks, and those who think parks are also intended for other living beings. Read more here.


In Focus : Welfare for Animals in Goa

Here is an organisation which puts cuddling and TLC on top of its list of duties. and now, their newly operational surgical unit will ensure the cuddly ones get the best veterinary care as well. Read on to learn more!
Volunteer with us to stop Gadhimai! Write to us at!
Use of Captive Langoors to Frighten Monkeys Violates Wildlife Act, says Activist
Times of India reports that the President of the Animal Welfare Party lodged a complaint with the MoEF suggesting all who hold langurs captive for any purpose should be booked. Read more here. 

American Chicken Legs a Threat to Indian Poultry Farmers, an on-line news source reports that the booming Indian chicken and hen farmers are worrying about the market being flooded with the legs of chickens from American poultry farms. Although India is one of the world’s fastest growing poultry markets, the WTO has ruled that it cannot stop the US from selling meat in India. In America, apparently most consumers prefer breast sections over chicken legs, and hence the availability of these excess body parts.
Indians consume, per capita, about 3 kg of chicken per year. 20 years ago consumption averaged just .5 kg. And broiler meat has been gaining at 10 percent per year over the past 10 years. The farmers are, as always, worried about profits.Read more here. 

Sunni Cleric Threatens Hunger Strike to Save Cows
TOI reports a Sunni cleric is threatening to fast unto death if meat factories are not closed.
The Maulana told TOI, “Islam states think of the milk of a cow is like ‘amrit’ (nector) but it’s meat as ‘zeher’ (poison). But look at the factories exporting meat. They are not even sparing the Neelgai (blue bull) or the calves.” He added, “…I realized, that there is a general perception that Muslims are the ones who slaughter and consume meat which I wanted to remove from the minds of people who are, perhaps, oblivious to the fact that a majority of meat producing and exporting factories in India are owned by Hindus. Among them, many of the community which doesn’t even consume onion and garlic and are strict vegetarians,” he claimed. Read more here. 

Blue Cross of India’s Great Coverage of Animal Abandonment in Chennai
TOI has published a good overview of the problem of pet abandonment in Chennai, where 700 puppies and kittens have been dumped over the last two months.Read more here.

Farmers Co-Op Leader Calls for Monkey Killings and Export to Research Labs

A Shimla mother of two died last week when, according to the police, she jumped off a balcony in panic when monkeys were approaching her. According to Hindustan Times, Shimla Municipal Corporation deputy mayor Takinder Panwar charged the government with failure to contain “the menace.” Kuldeep Singh Tanwar, state convener of farmers’ outfit Kheti Bachao Sangharsh Samiti, said that selective killing of the marauding simians is the only solution.Export of monkeys, which was allowed till 1978, for research is the only option to tackle their growing numbers, Tanwar added. More than 85,000 monkeys have been sterilized till date through seven monkey sterilization centers.Read more here. 
Prosthetics for Dogs

TOI gave supportive coverage to Jivdaya charitable Trust in Ahmedabad, after they reported to have fit prosthetic legs for both a puppy and an adult dog. Though the reporter rather awkwardly attributes the successful prosthetic to a surgery performed by a vet, we get the idea and hope to understand what prosthetic engineering was used to guard against pressure sores at the attachment point.Read more here.



HP high court ordered all stray cattle be removed from street,yet to be implemented

Hindustan Times reports that all roads in HP are supposed to be free from stray cattle as per the order of the high court. The animal husbandry department has also apparently approved the plan. This was to be done by increasing the number of Gosadans (Cowsheds) at the district and block level. However, five months after the ban, little has been done. Read more here.


Gated Gurgaon Complex Resident Lodges Police Complaint over Stray Dog

TOI reports a resident of a gated community has filed an FIR after claiming that six children have been bit by stray dogs within the complex during past 10 days. The woman pressing charges says the dogs are gathering because a resident is feeding them. Read more here. 

I was visited someone who was staying in a 5 star hotel replete with bomb dogs. They had yellow labs and German Shepherds on heavy chains, very sleepy, handled by automatonic watchmen. Cars would pull up, the poor overheated dogs would hobble to the tire, sniff on one side, the watchman’s bomb-detecting wand would wave, a mirror would glance under the hood and the taxi could enter. Whenever I see a working dog, I try to make eye contact with them to tell them how sorry I am for their posting. We have wrongly been taught that their service is noble, but it is not noble, it is usually cruel. Most of these dogs are never permitted to play and punished if they try. That’s why they’re so lifeless. They’re kennelled ; alone– or working. They didn’t ask for their assignment. They were bred for it -to inhale exhaust fumes all day long and when a motor vehicle pulls up, to stand and deliver. And while I’m at it, I could shed a tear for the guard, too.
Help animals in your own way; remember – no action is too small.

Best wishes,
Erika Abrams


To subscribe visit
To unsubscribe email