Fortnightly Commentary No 80: April 10th, 2015, 7669 people

My husband is able to derive as much pleasure from watching old athletics tournaments–I mean, which took place in 1960s– as today’s. He was recently watching some old billiards championships and he referred to one of the players as having athletic “genius.” We often reserve this word for reference to intellectual ability, not physical ability, but when he went on to describe the myriad of considerations athlete’s need to make the shot (or the basket or the wicket or the finish line) I had to agree that those feats are acts of a kind of genius. And yet we are unlikely to think of a dog’s smelling ability, which is hundreds of times more powerful than our human capacity, as being Olfactory Genius. We don’t label as “genius” a bat’s able to pick out her infant’s sonar squeak among thousands of other bats nesting in a massive huddle. But these exceptional abilities are equal in wonderfulness to those of a math whiz or a giant in any other field. I have never found a species of animal that doesn’t possess certain abilities which are extraordinarily stronger than our human abilities. We cannot slither like a snake, nor fly like a bird, nor fight like a bull, nor swim like a fish. Each of those abilities require immense neural sensitivity, spacial aptitude, practice performing. Nature is alive with geniuses we slay for fur collars and leather fashion wallets. Who is the stupidest species?


Fruits of Collaboration

Through perfectly coordinated teamwork, national and regional organisations facilitated the seizure and relocation of all animals of a circus which was operating in violation of the law. Activists worked tirelessly for 17 days to win the custody of animals in court and relocate 35 animals and birds to a shelter where they can lead a cruelty free life!


Dog Tales

Amidst all the chaos, the traffic and the deafening honking around you – you see a cow ruminating calmly in the middle of a road in Varanasi, you see hope! However, if one closely observes many such cows, wounds and hoof injuries will be seen. To prevent conversion of these injuries into serious conditions – timely first aid is the key! This need is now being understood by many a people after attending our recent First Aid Workshop. A couple of more such workshops are planned ahead. Practical first aid and outreach was also done this whereby some dogs and monkeys were treated. The locals at the ghats are now using the contact number given for help.


Living Free

With delight in our voices and dedication in our hearts, Living Free completes yet another year showering love and care to all animals. Over 20 Living Free leaders across India are preparing to celebrate the Day of Living Free: Free You Imagination campaign, that is to be held on April 12, 2015. Some cities are geared up to paint walls and canvases while others are eager to record the reaction of the public to the significance of this “day of freedom” for animals! If you wish to hold this campaign in your city and want to contribute your efforts to make the lives of animals better, then write to us at


Farm to Freedom

On matters of animal protection, there is lack of awareness within the police department which causes a huge hurdle in filing cases of animal cruelty. In Jaipur this is due to change after JFAPO members met DGP Rajasthan and had directions issued for support being provided to animal cruelty complaints! An awareness activity on wild animal and humane consumption was also organised by a JFAPO member “RAKSHA” in Jaipur.


Freeing animals from circuses! Help support our work. Click here to donate!


Huge Success for Abused Circus Animals

A FIAPO media release celebrates animals rescued from the Moonlight Circus in collaborative action between many parties including the administration of Nanded District, Maharshtra, the AWBI, the CZA and Union Environment and Forests Minister ShriPrakash Javadekar and Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi and a host of organisations including FIAPO, PFA Hyderabad, PFA Pune, PFA Uttarakhand, PFA Wardha, PETA, RAWW, Thane SPCA & Wildlife SOS. The birds, camel, horses and dogs have been shifted to PFA Wardha and the four rescued circus elephants will be shifted to the Wildlife SOS Elephant Care Center where the animals will be rehabilitated over time. Read more here


Jaipur is standing up to protect the rights of animals by filing complaints of the illegal chicken and meat shops!


Infocus: Welfare for Animals in Goa (WAG) Trust

From adoption, feeding street animals, providing proper medical care, to giving a homely shelter – these guys do it all! Read how they do it here.


tandardizing cow exploitation in Asia

Business Standard reports that experts and policymakers from Asia Pacific are debating about adopting a strategic framework for sustainable dairy development in which can help the region to improve practices in dairy farming by knowledge sharing. But it sounds as if the “improved practices” have to do with improving cow exploitation –not improving cow welfare. Experts felt that while switching to a grain-based diet could significantly increase the productivity of the Indian cattle, countries like India, which primarily use agricultural waste as fodder, can hardly afford to do that.Read more here.

Snake Survey in Raipur
TOI has reported that a Chhatisgarh NGO called Nova Nature Welfare Society rescued 756 snakes during a 10 month period. A survey conducted by the NGO, says the report, revealed 14 new snake species. Read more here.

Activist roughed up for ‘stealing’ dogs

NEW DELHI: An animal rights activist was allegedly roughed up on Saturday evening by residents of an apartment building in Mukherjee Nagar when she tried to pick up four dogs from the north Delhi colony to sterilize them. Read more here


WWF Campaigning to protect Dolphins of Ganges

Direct killing, habitat fragmentation due to construction of dams and barrages, indiscriminate fishing and pollution of rivers are some of the major threats hurting Gangetic dolphins, and WWF has launched a campaign to educate people about the role they can play in protecting this delicate species from becoming entangled in nets, spared from pollution and direct killing. Read more here.

TV show, AWBI in legal battle over treatment of elephant on show’s set

The makers of TV show Bandhan and the Animal Welfare Board Of India (AWBI) are involved in a legal battle over the issue of alleged cruelty to the elephant calf that was the main character in the show. According to PETA, the baby elephant, Suman, used in the show was not treated well on the sets and after conducting a set inspection, it was found that the animal had developed skin infection and exhibited abnormal behaviour. Read more here.
After cow victory in Maharasthra, HJS party calls for ban on cow meat in Goa

TOI reports that in Mapusa, the Hindu Janajgruti Samiti (HJS) has raised the demand that since Maharashtra has banned cow slaughter, Goa too should be able to achieve it. Read more here.


I tried to use a credit card for the first time in months the other day, and the clerk rejected it because I hadn’t signed on the back. Then I told her OK, I’d sign the back of it. But she said now that she’d seen it, she couldn’t accept me signing it in front of her. I said, “can’t you pretend you hadn’t seen me sign it?” and she said “No, it would be morally wrong.” Later I went to another store and found the same product and bought it without offending anyone’s morality. There was indeed moral wrong-doing in my effort to buy that product. The wrong-doing had nothing to do with my credit card, though. It had to do with the animal testing that went into the face cleanser I’d just so enthusiastically, so persistently, and so morally-wrongly bought. It’s so easy for us to be carried away with self-congratulations about the “rightness” of one thing while being blind to the broader impact one act has on another. Air travel is a good example: we can cancel out so much of our effort to reduce our carbon foot-print by flying to a holiday far away. We can rescue a cat and sacrifice dozens of animals over the next few years feeding that cat. Conclusion–I was wrong to buy that skin cream. (But that clerk was still a big nerd.)


Erika Abrams

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