Fortnightly Commentary No 83: May 22nd, 2015, 6000 people

Dear Friends and Members  ,

A few years ago I visited apple orchard country. Glistening golden, pink, green and red apples busting off knarly limbs – absolutely stunning. The clouds were high, the sky was brilliant blue, a faint breeze gave a shiver to the leaves, and all was quiet…quiet… – hey wait a minute! Too quiet! Where are the birds eating the worms? There were no worms. Not a single bird flapped in that bright sky. It is not enough to say they had “vanished.” They had died! The pesticides sprayed all over the trees had killed the birds’ food, and when the birds ate the poisoned insects they ate the poison too, and died.  I was reminded of those lost souls the other day. One of our rescues was a dog who had apparently gotten poisoned by (we guess) rat poison, maybe strychnine. His body stiffened as if rigor mortis had set in. We had gotten there in time and our vet rendered medical treatment and his life was saved, but those birds I could not find – they were not saved. Their worms were not saved. Organic produce – fruits and vegetables grown without chemical pesticides – are expensive, but I can hardly fathom a better way to spend.


Fruits of Collaboration
Jaipur Federation members regularly deal with cruelty cases, and at a recent meeting now have agreed on a common protocol for dealing with such. The Federation member have also recently rallied together to speak up for the tiger, T-24, who is being moved from the forest to a zoo – ironing out disagreements, yet supporting the campaign is what the local federation does best! They are also meeting every alternate Sunday to undertake direct action for animals, engaging local communities. And what’s more, collaboration pays! Two of the grassroots organisations who contributed to the success of the moonlight animal rescue were rewarded for their team work last week. Read more about it here.


Dog Tales
Praising the locals of Varanasi is now becoming an everyday job! They consistently take interest and come forward to help the ailing animals of Varanasi. This week saw some intensive treatments and follow-ups of fracture cases of a calf and a dog.
Varanasi was also seen buzzing with the excitement of second first-aid workshop that was attended by by many activists. These activists left the workshop with a first-aid kit, to push the momentum and be better equipped to handle situations.


Living Free

As the hot summer winds blow with full force, we are reminded of the countless number of animals on the streets, in slaughter shops, in farms that must be bearing this heat to no end. It gives us more reason to share and make people aware of the plight of the helpless ones!
With colleges ready to open soon with fresh faces and old, its time to decide which college you want to enlighten! Adopt A College is set to begin soon! To start it in your city, contact
It is time now to ripen and widen our horizon and aspire for greater change for which we’re launching the Living Free Leadership Programme! Through this, leaders across the country will be supported to conduct regular outreach in their cities on a weekly or fortnightly basis, along with participating in a diverse portfolio of animal protection initiatives! Joining in is simple! Write to us at, or click here to download our Living Free leadership document and we’ll take care of the rest!


Farm to Freedom
Reporting more progress on the meat shop campaign – a locality in Jaipur with a profusion of meat shops is now being regulated through the pollution control board. We helped local activists gather evidence and file the first such complaint earlier! Based on the success with our previous complaint to the Jaipur Municipal Corporation, the process to shut down illegal meat shops in another area of Jaipur has also begun. All this work, from filing complaints to collecting evidence has been possible thanks to the wonderful activists of JFAPO!


Successfully rescued animals from 3 cruel circuses! Help support our work. Click here to donate!


Infocus: PFA Wardha

Taking ahead baba Amte’s message of kindness to all life, PFA Wardha has been active in rescue and rehab of street animals and wildlife. Their education programmes and thrust to holistic living are already making a mark on young minds in Maharashtra. Read more here.


Another Superb Success! Animals Freed from Grand Circus!

Yet another victorious moment in our Animals in Entertainment campaign! All the abused animals at Grand Circus have been rescued and rehabilitated through clockwork coordination and swift action! The rescue and lifetime rehabilitation of all animals within 48 hours of the initial inspection! Click here to see more!


NGT Bans All Illegal, Slaughter Houses in UP

The National Green Tribunal today imposed a ban on all illegal slaughter houses in Uttar Pradesh and directed state authorities to ensure there is proper regulation of meat shops. The article in has focused mainly on environmental pollution concerns. Read more here.

No elephant be treated with cruelty; SC to Centre, others

In an ad-interim measure, during a pending PIL filed by six organisations alleging that elephants held captive by private persons and religious institutions—numbering 3000–are treated cruelly, The Supreme Court has told the Animal Welfare Board of India and others to ensure that no elephant is “treated or meted with cruelty” during their use in religious festivals across the country. Read more here.

Uttarakhand Plans Monkey Pound

Uttarakhand’s chief wildlife warden has granted power to forest staff to capture monkeys from fields and remove them to an enclosure which, when complete, could house 1500 monkeys, according to a story in Times of India. The cruelty involved in interfering bands and separating families is certain to cause the death—by stress, grief and by fighting between displaced monkeys—of hundreds of monkeys. Monkey sterilization studies have been stalled for lack of funds. Read more here.

Pangolin poachers sending scales to China, nabbed

Scales of the animal fetches huge price in the international market as it is used as an aphrodisiac, according to a story in Business Standard. 13 smugglers were arrested. Read more here.
Massive Bird Deaths in Poultry Industry Cause Unknown

During the past 2 weeks more than 14000 birds have died at a farm in Injapur village, AP, and distressed industrialists are miffed at the government for its delay in notifying them about emerging avian diseases. The story in TOI mentions nothing about the perils of intensive housing of birds in what many believe is the most cruel confinement conditions faced within the animal agriculture industries. Read more here.


Zoology Teacher Still Clamouring To Dissect

In 2011, the UGC imposed a partial ban on animal dissection and directed all universities and colleges to stop experimentation on animals for training purposes for Zoology and life sciences at the undergraduate level. In August 2014, the UGC extended the ban to postgraduate levels.
“Irrespective of whether someone likes animals, if a student has to understand a frog or a rabbit and their internal organs, there is no other option than to dissect the animals,” said Neeta Sehgal, Head of Zoology Department at DU.
Read more here.

Rare primate rescued from Pune slum

A rare primate, Slender Loris, was rescued from a slum in Pune last week and released in a forest near Kolhapur after an observant student informed forest officials that he’d seen a “strange” animal in Parvati slums in Pune.  While the act of release is possibly better than the alternative of captivity, if the primate has been confined since youth he or she will not have the skills to forage or defend himself from others, and survival would be problematic.
Read more here.


“Babies. I don’t like ‘em. Their heads are too big for their bodies!” I heard a comedian shout this out and everyone laughed, because they knew that in fact heads too big for their bodies is exactly what makes babies so adorable, and coupled with their puffy eyes and too-small noses, species after species, from lemurs to lizards to little humanoids—they’re stupifyingly cute. For this reason the young’uns—puppies, kittens– are usually the first to be picked in adoption drives, and that’s certainly a good thing, since these small angels especially need the nurturing care of their adoptive parents. And for this reason the fact that calves are separated from their mamas in both mega-dairies AND in normal household dairying is a heart-wrenching horror. To those struggling to find ways to inspire vegan lifestyles among our friends, families and broader contacts—well, You deserve to be surrounded by baby animals all your lives long. I cannot think of a greater privilege. Unless it was to see the youngsters’ mothers grazing happily nearby, wandering up to their calves every so often to set right with their tongues a rogue forelock on a too-big head.


Erika Abrams
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