Fortnightly Commentary No 76:February 13th, 2015, circ. 2000 people

Dear Members and Friends,

I watched a documentary about how stars are “born” and how they “die.” I missed the science of how they start and what is a baby-star but when they die, I caught that—gasses get sucked into a gravitational center which gets dense with various elements. If those elements contain iron, it’s curtains for the star and a nuclear reaction blows the whole star to bits. But among the omissions in this short and primer-like documentary a gap made its mighty presence known—something untold in the trillions of cosmic events that take place every nano-moment. Love.
When you change your schedule even a little and a dog who loves you believes she will see you at 3 does not see you at 3, she experiences heartache. She waits, like any heart-aching person. And when she sees you, finally, she’s overwhelmed with joy and relief. Love is a dimension not yet told in the physical story of the birth and death of stars, but if we have loved, or been loved – we know it exists.
The blasphemy of the wilful violation of the love between a mother and her child—such as is suffered every moment by “owned” calves and cows, by “owned” chicks and hens, sends ripples through that dimension. Hearts record it and the traces of its mattering are imprinted in the imagination-a realm where ideas and motives are born, like stars. Someday the idea that one species can own another species will be deemed to be impossible. That day there will be more love in the universe than there is right now.


Fruits of Collaboration

Last week, in an effort to mainstream, J-FAPO engaged with a veterinary institute and local media to organise an event felicitating a journalist and to discuss animal protection. While Jaipur is building links with external stakeholders, P-FAPO organisations are making progress towards increasing their coordination and information sharing amongst each other to achieve common aims – better ABC across the city, animal incinerator, etc.
Meanwhile in Delhi, FIAPO convened a meeting of nine organisations for developing coordination and a common strategy to assist the government in regulation of performing animals. Finally, member organisations of K-FAPO have come together to run The Bigger Picture campaign in Trivandrum – connecting them with 15 other cities in the country!


Dog Tales

Varanasi witnessed an unusual winter spell this season, causing several deaths of some very old and sick animals. As a way of offering tribute to the departing souls, the people of Varanasi religiously offer the deceased animals into the Ganges with a hope that their souls would get merged with the Goddess Ganges. Winters saw the locals joining hands with our animal activists for doing what they do best – treat street dogs and puppies. ‘Jaggu’ – who suffered from a severe lacerated wound on his leg from a serious bike accident is a striking example of loving on-site care given by the locals of Varanasi – through regular treatment by our team and the local people, his wound has now healed! Happy Tails!


Living Free

Breaking new barriers with our inspiring Living Free Leaders, we are launching a new national campaign The Bigger Picture: Animals and Us – which will to reach out to people in an exciting and unique way using videos and films as outreach tools. We intend to instil in the youth compassion, love and respect for animals by giving them a closer look at the impact of their food habits. This campaign will be held on February 20th, 21st or 22nd in more than 15 cities across India! If you wish to hold this event in your city, just write to us at:
Over the last two weeks, Living Free was seen taken forward in six cities across India, organising more than eight events reaching out to a fantastic audience of 1400 people!
“Humanity’s true moral test, its fundamental test…consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals.”
― Milan Kundera


Farm to Freedom: FIAPO Goes to Court for a Million Hens

The Allahabad High Court has issued notice to one of the world’s largest poultry equipment manufacturer, Big Dutchman, which is planning to build a giant battery cage poultry farm for more than a million birds.
The court notice comes in the wake of a massive campaign instituted to phase out battery cages for egg-laying hens in India. Read more here.

Make a donation today for animals, and support our work. Click here to Donate!


Vegan Master Chef Challenge!

Pune living free team held a marvelous Vegan Master Chef Challenge on 7th February! Click here to see more photos of all the events held across India.


The Bigger Picture: Animals and Us

More than 15 cities across India are all set to host this campaign where awareness and compassion will be spread to people through videos and talks! Contact to organise this event in your city!


Maharashtra CM assures protection to beef traders

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnvais has assured protection to beef traders in Maharashtra who have been on strike for the past few days. The CM has said the rule of law will be followed and no one will be allowed to harass traders in the state. Beef traders had been complaining against harassment being meted out to them alleged by right-wing groups. Beef has not been available in nearly 75 major towns and villages of Maharashtra, with traders going on a strike. Please see related article below and in addition. Read more here


Infocus: Leaf India

This group of vets sure goes way beyond the call of duty to ensure ethical treatment of animals. How do they do it? Read here


Self-pity of buthers and meat traders lead to stike in Nashik

The Beef Merchants’ Association has called a state-level indefinite strike from Monday on the grounds of being harassed while conducting their business.“We have all necessary permissions and receipts to carry out our trade. But people stop vehicles that we use to transport cattle. They often beat up the drivers and take away the cattle. This has been going on since the past 15-20 years,” former president of the association Bilal Qureshi said in a TOI report.
Read more here


Factory farming helps animal-related diseases kill 50,000 people daily: Doctors

Over 50,000 people in India daily die of diseases that emerge from pathogens and animals, said doctors at the Zoonosis conference held at KEM Hospital in Lower Parel on Saturday. The term Zoonosis refers to infectious diseases of animals that can naturally get transferred to humans. Over 132 of 175 emerging diseases almost 75 per cent are zoonotic in nature, and the load of such diseases in the near future is going to be immense. Read more here


Breed Dog Show Impresses Ignorant Journalists

A story in TOI written by a journalist who has no idea the negative impact on dogs resulting from commercial dog breeding and dog businesses has written a smarmy article extolling the wonders of foreign breeds and their exotic handlers.
Read more here


Huge Dairy Set Up in Haryana

Gujarat based Sabarkantha District Co-operative Milk ProducersUnion Limited (SDCMPUL), popularly known as Sabar Dairy has opened a new plant in Rohtak, Haryana. The plant has which has a capacity of 1 million liters per day is thefirst plant of the company outside Gujarat state and has been set upwith an investment of $33 million, according to The Dairy Site news. FIAPO urges reducing and eliminating consumption of dairy products to reduce climate change. Read more here


Goat and sheep farming still popular

Goat rearing needs working on so that farmers make profits, according to Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries (DADF), Anup Kumar Thankur. Making money from animals has had businesses and governments around the world salivating for years, and Indian governors have jumped on the band wagon. Read more here


Rampur hounds at Lucknow Dog Show

TOI reports that the “Rampur Hound”—a controlled Indian breed commercially bred in UP for several hundred years as hunting dogs with Indian royals and wannabes, is, low-maintenance, ultra sturdy and quick to adapt. However, much like the aristocracy that patronized it for hunting and guarding, the indigenous dog breed has also seen a steady decline over the years, reducing its population to a few hundreds within UP. Read more here


The imagination is thought by Sufi mystics to be a dimension as important as space and time. I knew this to be true even as a child, because I could conjure up horses—“my” horse—whenever I thought hard enough about it. To “have” a horse seemed the ultimate expression of a life worth living. Through the flared nostrils and infinitely gentle eyes of horses I saw the swirling power of stars, the magical ocean depths, the very face of God. I have often wondered what it was about horses that meant so much to me. Why not wish for a goat or a cow? Now that I am lucky enough to share my life with animals who weren’t a part of my childhood, I realize that the qualities horses alone seemed to “offer”—the silent knowings, the affability, the sensitivity, the preferences, their comical relationships with others and, best of all, their infinite individual beauty—are brilliantly manifest in all species – manatees, polar bears, varieties of frogs and fishes and birds. Now, billions of animals are on the brink of disaster because of global warming. If we had the chance to know them, we would, I think, do more to save them.

I am learning with my heart that all of these “species” are comprised of individual lives, individual personalities, each of whom, in every sense equal to mine, possess the will to live.

Best wishes,
Erika Abrams

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