Fortnightly Commentary No 90: August 28th, 2015, 6000 people

Dear Friends and Members,
I object to the title “animal lover” that the media so loves to use to identify people who protest animal abuse. Isn’t it wrong that the media does not call those who want to remove animals from their habitats as “life haters” or “nature destroyers” or “champions of cruelty?” As long as we tolerate this “animal lovers” title, we might open the door for the public to view us as non-scientific, non-rational people misguided by whimsical fancies. We are quite otherwise. We are those who understand that all animals have the right to a life without suffering, that the destruction of animal habitat, the unnatural breeding and captivity of millions and millions of cattle and chickens to provide export of more meat than any other country in the world has contributed to the global warming which ought to have us shaking in our boots and detesting this wanton pillaging of the earth and all who live here. We are those rising up to point out that those who are destroying the world with over-population, gross general over-consumption, consumption of animals and their fluids, have a choice to just STOP.

Fruits of Collaboration
After completing a city-wide anti-rabies drive, members of the Pune Federation are on to their next  collective task already. They have come together and mapped out the entire city to make sure that distress calls go to the right organisation of the respective area. This seemingly simple and essential activity is on the wish-list of every city, yet only possible if organisations are willing to open dialogue with each other - one of the basic principles of a local federation. For Pune, this is bound to create a supremely efficient way to cater to its animals in a quick and systematic manner.
Meanwhile, the Jaipur Federation yet again proved the importance of collaborative work! Individuals have organised themselves to start an adoption campaign for dogs to support a member organisation. With strength in numbers and thinking big, they have partnered with a radio channel in Jaipur to promote their campaign and had success already!

Living Free

Planned, effective and regular – the Living Free Chennai team are overachieving week by week! Last weekend, they conducted outreach at the IIT Chennai open theater – a perfect location with a young crowd of about 3000 people at 8.00 in the morning! Continuing through the day, they spoke to groups of enthusiastic and receptive students about the importance of veganism over lunch and received an excellent response. Advanced planning, clockwork synchronization and dedication are markers of their team, fondly named, the Avengers! Way to go Chennai!
Another reason to celebrate - the enthusiastic Pune team too reached out to 5000 people, and they hope to reach out to 10,000 by the end of the year! The movement in North India is growing steadily too - after Indore, Dehradun is the next city to join our growing campaign, holding their first stall event outside Ashley Hall over the weekend.
If you want to start Living Free in your city, then write to us at!

Farm to Freedom
The Jaipur Federation has added another feather to its cap and expanded its work by inspecting another 12 meat shops with the support of the Rajasthan Police Department. Through this inspection; the condition of chickens, hygiene levels and licenses of shops were all checked. Activists made sure these shops provide proper food and water, and keep chickens free and not in cages. Evidence from the entire inspection has been compiled and a copy has been submitted to Municipal Corporation health officer to take immediate action against unlicensed shops and illegal slaughter of animals and close them down. The activities of the Jaipur Federation for animals being slaughtered for food, are worth celebrating as they continue to be the only in the country ensuring a long-term and permanent impact.

End Circus Suffering
The Honorary Animal Welfare Officers’ (HAWO) group in Bangalore has also joined the circus campaign. They took up the issue of 5 circus elephants awaiting rescue with the Karnataka Chief Wildlife Warden last week, and have been in touch with forest officials over the matter. The move follows a Central Zoo Authority (CZA) directive to the state forest department to confiscate and rehabilitate the animals. Meanwhile, the continued success with rehabilitation of animals from circuses continued last week with organisations working together to rescue 10 animals from yet another circus in Maharashtra.

Dog Tales
With troops of Kaanvads (Shiva devotees) moving across and into the city from all directions to collect the holy Gangetic waters, Varanasi was at the pinnacle of its festive and religious activities last fortnight, marking the end of the sacred month of Shravan of the Hindu calendar. Amidst all this chaos, our activists helped over a hundred street dogs with treatment and adoption. Monsoons have brought with them - maggots, ticks and flea infestations. An abandoned dog (Tommy) suffering severely from maggots & tick fever, was rescued from a shelter by our activists, who was then taken into care and treated and was later adopted by a loving family! A paralyzed pup (Lali) with bleeding- lacerated wound was helped with a successful surgery by a vet. Two pups (Shiro & Tuffy) were helped to fight their fatal battle with serious gastroenteritis. And many more such cases which followed effective street outreach, kept us busy past two weeks. Even foreign tourists came out for help and assisted in our work!

Temple torments elephants with flames, voiles SC directive

The Thrikkakara temple authorities have violated the Supreme Court directive to ensure that the flambeaus (theevetry) are held away from elephants.  Our compliments to The Heritage Animal Task Force, the NGO that lodged a complaint with the chief wildlife warden and AWBI. Animals  need such diligent and continuous pressure on the exploiters of animals for commercial pay-off. Whether the “excuse” is revelry, gambling, begging, circusing, research, sports, parades, “Nani Ji did it,” or fashion, confining and hurting animals can be stopped by actions such as HATF’s.
Read more here.

Kudos for activists who rescued monkeys from private captor

In Nashik, animal activists rescued two monkeys from a sadhu and got the forest department to register the offence under the Wildlife Protection Act.  The department, in turn, registered an offence against sadhu Mohandas Devi Kachi under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972.
Read more here.

Mass killing of stray dogs triggers protest in Kerala

At least 40 stray dogs have been killed after applying potassium cyanide injection in a village in Kannur (north Kerala) on Saturday ignoring the loud protest of animal justice seekers, according to the Hindustan Times.
Read more here.

Gujarat HC seeks input on cow protection PIL

Gujarat high court directed the Animal Welfare Board and the Gau Seva and Gauchar Vikas Board to take a decision within three months on an application seeking proper treatment for cows, which stray on city roads without proper food. This short article by the Times of India suggests that wandering cows are the problem, not the massive forced breeding and population explosion of cattle. The continuous failure to recognize the unsustainable production and consumption of cows, their milk, their calves and their bodies is impressively blind.
Read  more here.

Mumbai: Thane SPCA to hold workshops for Maharashtra police

The Thane Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has started conducting workshops across the state to sensitise police officers regarding the issue and help them understand the related laws better. The initiative is also expected to help animal rights activists get better response at police stations. An excellent round-up of the issues from DNA;
Read more here.

Well-written feature story about CUPA’s (Bangalore) street dog ABC program

For people unfamiliar with the sense behind ABC programs, this article which appeared in “the wire” does a good job explaining how ABC works and why it is so vitally important for animal and human health.
Read more here.


Erika Abrams