Fortnightly Commentary No 74: January 16th, 2015, circ. 2000 people

Dear Friends & Members,

From the annals of Personal Shame: Bonnie was a fighting fish I bought from a fish store 21 years ago when my daughter was four. The fish store man told us he had to live alone because he would fight with other fish. He would be convenient because tap water would do. He had a few pieces of colored plastic as his sea-bed and a weighted plastic trinket in the shape of a plant to express the wonders and challenges of navigating the undersea depths. He lived without currents or tides or sunlight. After a couple of years he died there in the fish bowl on the book shelf near the entry hall. It took him about a day to complete his death march. He swam upside down for a few hours. My daughter and I watched and said “Good-bye sweet Bonnie. We’ll miss you!” As I write this, my throat swells in shame. Did I not know better? Had I not already seen the desperate eyes of an orca trapped in a pool in the Vancouver Marina? I believed the lie that cold-bloodedness or “fish; not-a-mammal” status meant a creature had no real will to live, only nerve impulses; no capacity for pain or suffering as we know it. Bonnie lived and died in tremendous frustration and agony. I watched it all, daily, devoid of recognition. Bonnie taught me never to give up on our mission to shine the light so that those lost in darkness can see. Oh Bonnie! I am so so sorry.


Fruits of Collaboration


The chilling winters of North India are keeping most of us busy warming ourselves at home or work. But the same winter-chill makes an open wound even more excruciating and unbearable. However, thanks to the FIAPO team in Varanasi, the city is kinder to her animals, as our activists stand by to protect those in pain and suffering. Last week, we were out with four local activists for first-aid and community outreach – 15 dogs were treated and the entire community of Harish Chandra Ghat educated.

Meanwhile, with the onset of the kite flying season, activists of J-FAPO have initiated an array of activities to reduce bird casualties this year. Various activities were done in schools to make the students known to the unkind situation. The recently concluded workshop ‘curators’ and peace rally also sought to equip animal activists to deal with emergencies and to raise awareness on the harmful effects of ‘manja’. Bird treatment camps can be seen all over the city to treat the injured birds.

Finally, in Pune last week, activists sought to bring order and accountability to the ABC programme in the city by training dog handlers on organized capture and release of street dogs. Members of the city corporations’ and all the NGOs dog catching squad staff attended the workshop. Followup now continues with the Municipal Corporation to ensure that ABC runs smoothly.

Living Free

“Our task must be to free ourselves… by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.”
– Albert Einstein
Inspired by Einstein, we have started Adopt A College in Delhi. By adopting a college one simply commits to conduct outreach at that college at regular periods of time – as little as 3 times a year – so we can easily engage with students on how they can lead a compassionate life and an animal-friendly lifestyle! The program has kick-started in two colleges in Delhi – LSR and Miranda House. The response of the students has been extremely encouraging, and the programme is expanding fast with colleges being adopted by inspiring leaders across country!
Want to adopt a college in your city? Mail us at: to know further details!


Farm to Freedom

While AMUL already exports products worth Rs 36 crore per annum to Bhutan, demand is still rising as Bhutan seeks to import 2000 cows from India (read the article here). The Bhutanese Prime Minister says, ‘My daughter is 15 years old but she is tall and big. It is all because of the power of milk.’ Meanwhile, we are reminding our own prime minister of his poll promise on meat policy and curbing the ongoing ‘pink revolution’ in India – ‘Achhe Din for Animals?’ Read the extremely positive user-generated comments here!




Colleges in Delhi ‘Adopted’ to reduce their animal consumption! Students of 6 colleges in Delhi are receiving message of Living Free – thanks to activists in Delhi who have resolved to make these colleges Centres of Compassion! Leaflet at a college for as little as three times a year and sign up to Adopt-A-College in your city! Grants are also available for this programme. Apply at today!




Police Heroes Seize Camel Smugglers

Rajasthan has declared camel as the state animal but still in Barmer and Jaisalmer districts, smuggling of camels is on. Police in Barmer stopped a truck and found 26 camels and arrested three smugglers. The arrested smugglers have accepted that camels were being taken to Uttar Pradesh for slaughter. Read more here.




Make a donation today to help us save animals! Click here to Donate!




Gurgaon MC fails
to issue ABC tender while
complaints rise

The TOI reports that the five-year ABC/AR contract of Friendicoes and PFA ended last year, but a new tender has yet to be selected. Complaints roll in about dogs, but without funding, ABC/AR is standing still. Read more here.




Infocus: Society for Animal Welfare (SAW)

An animal protection organisation which believes that Ahimsa is our tradition and
to extend this to all creations is what makes us a worthy race. Click here to read how they do it.




Saw a circus nearby? Contact us!

If you have any information about a circus that you’ve seen around, contact us immediately at –




AWBI fighting hard for elephant welfare in Thiruvananthapuram
The AWBI has revealed a myriad of gross violations of animal welfare rules to the Guruvayur Devaswom Board. In a TOI story, welfare violations are characterized as “unhygienic management practices” but looking at the infractions makes clear that the treatment of elephants at this “sanctuary” is rife with human negligence and cruelty. Depression and illness is so extreme that almost half the elephants fail to enter musth season—a clear measure of ill health, both physical and mental. Read more here.

Torchure Defended in Trichy – Villagers urge to lift ban on jallikattu
Residents near Trichy have held a protest urging the government to allow the bull-baiting sport jallikattu. The naïve TOI writer of this story suggests glibly that the bulls too joined the protest against the ban. Actions like this remind us never to rest on the laurels of victories for animals—when there is money to be made, there are always people burning to repeal steps forward. Read more here.

Activists will fight as Tamil Nadu takes steps to allow ‘Jallikattu’
As Pongal harvest festival approaches, bull-baiting enthusiasts have roused the Chief Minister’s support to overturn Tamil Nadu’s ban of Jallikattu. They’ll have a challenge ahead with top activists and animal sympathizers ready to defend the righteous ban of this cruel sport by the Supreme Court last year.  Read more here.




Govt suggests beehive, chilli fences to prevent human-elephant conflict
New Delhi: India is keen to adopt the African model of building beehive fences and chilli fences to protect agricultural crops and plantations from marauding wild elephants.
The issue of elephants damaging crops was discussed first at a meeting of the steering committee of the environment ministry’s Project Elephant, which was attended by wildlife experts and chief wildlife wardens of all states on 17 December. During the meeting, experts like Vivek Menon of the Wildlife Trust of India apprised Javadekar of solutions such as beehive fences and chilli fences. Project Elephant has a budget of around Rs.200 crore for 2012-17. A sizable amount goes towards mitigating the impact of human-elephant conflict.
Read more here.

Sankranti Horrors: Rs 1,000 cr riding on cock-fights
Visakhapatnam: This is the first Sankranti of residuary Andhra Pradesh post bifurcation, and the stakes in the traditional coastal AP sport of cock-fighting are higher than ever before. If around Rs 800 crore was estimated to have been bet on roosters during Sankranti last year, this year the bets are already spiraling northwards and are expected to touch a whopping Rs 1,000 crore. A high ranking police officer told a TOI reporter that the police do little because they’re afraid of physical violence.
Read more here.


I don’t need to attend a “kitty party” because I LIVE Kitty Party.  I am handmaiden to the worst cats in the world. You probably already know what “worst” means, where cats are concerned. And I do NOT want to hear from any behaviorists out there about “cat not stimulated enough; cat feels X, cat feels Y.” We built an outdoor all-enclosed wonderland for our four cats so as to stimulate them with about a trillion trees, zillions of levels on which to climb, perch, snooze and play-hunt. Forget “kitty condos”—these kids have a kitty empire with (in cat’s eye view) a shamelessly bourgeois hacienda including wood pile, various pettis in which Animal Aid tee-shirts are stored; junk piles, old suitcases, broken chairs, burlap bags for use lining the basket if Mongey (dog) has one of her seizures. These brutes have a private hunting ground filled with bugs, lizards, toads, snakes and birds. But they don’t have time for any of this. Either they are “busy” sleeping, wrestling, getting angry with each other or spraying. If Petunia gets into the kitchen before you can grab her (she used to be welcomed) she hops onto the burners and squats. Mary, the “lady” of the house, likes to aim at the drains in the bathroom and she often misses. Vexed by frustration she rushes to any closed door to complete the mission. Little JoJo still “too young to know better” still observes some cat box decorum. If it looks like a box, (any box, jewelry box, any box) he’s ready to do his duty.
I’m having a kitty party today! Would you like to come for tea at my home?

Best wishes,
Erika Abrams

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