Fortnightly Commentary No 91: September 11th, 2015, 6000 people

Dear Friends and Members,
The “cull” concept has got to go, but it’s a mainstay of those who defend the right of homo-sapiens to dominate all other species. This is why the court battles fighting for personhood among dolphins, orca and primates are so vital to the future of animal protection. If animal advocates are able to begin chipping away at the concept of entitlement of the mighty to dominate the weaker by establishing in law the sanctity of a non-human species, then perhaps one day we will see a marvelous earth. Every effort should be made to debunk the notion that the dominant species has natural rights over the weaker species. We hate the Chinese dog-meat eating and we love our Nani-ji who pours ghee over her idol of Krishna. We think dog killers in Kerala are awful--but what do we think of our own milk-drinking relatives to whom we have many times explained the fate of the bull calves and who continue to drink milky chai? We’d better gird up for a long, long battle and try to weave into each of our lives direct and regular contact with animals to heal our broken hearts.
Fruits of Collaboration
The local federation of Greater Mumbai had its first meeting this week. We have already identified over 25 organisations in Mumbai - half are already members of what promises to be a strong local Federation. This FAPO has already chosen its first activity, which is to complete the geographic mapping of the city and identify gaps in services and to then start addressing them - all within 6 weeks.
Meanwhile, in Jaipur several significant cruelty cases were collectively resolved and education and outreach activities conducted in local colleges. And there's more - members of the local federation also successfully documented the use of animals and birds by a circus, despite a suspension of its performance license by the AWBI. This evidence will now be presented to the Animal Welfare Board of India urging for action against the circus.
End Circus Suffering
In Haryana, animal activists sought help from the Judiciary to ensure the transfer of sick and injured animals from a circus to a veterinary hospital for care and treatment in Hisar. The court order followed the seizure of birds and dogs by the local police after a veterinarians report pointed out the abysmal health condition of animals in possession of the circus.

Living Free
With the Bootcamp only a week away, we’re all down with working on last minute details – Confirmations, Bookings and what not! And while we’re all busy planning, it’s heartening to see the world still fighting for animals! The Living Free team in Delhi recently got together to express their gratitude to the Head Constable, Mr. Vijay Pal Singh, who went beyond his call of duty to convict a person responsible for the death of three puppies in Vasant Kunj, New Delhi. Kudos to the Delhi Living Free team for exploring activism through empowering others and to Mr. Vijay Pal Singh for his deftness in service to all! Click here to see pictures from the day!

Farm to Freedom
The latest target of the campaign for chickens in Jaipur were the illegal shops of yet another area (Durgapur). After the initial action was taken with local enforcement agencies, a copy of the complaint and supporting evidence was also submitted to Mayor Nirmal Nahata. Activists also ensured that followup for previous inspections conducted in other areas (Katarpura and Sodala) was also kept up with the police. There seems to be no stopping them!

Dog Tales
When upon witnessing a road accident, wherein a street dog had suffered injuries from a running vehicle, the onlookers and passersby call you not just to seek help but also to seek advice on how to help the dog, is when you realize that your efforts of outreach are bearing fruits! Varanasi saw many such suo motu activities last fortnight where people driven by self-motivation, helped animals in distress and talked about it to spread the word. A city that takes no time in dumping the dead animals and carcasses in the holy Ganges and pays no heed to sort the garbage which these animals eat to then die and show no mercy in dislocating the bulls from their living area to pave way for some religious or political procession; can surprisingly be so effectively sensitized for helping stray dogs!
Wet nurses” were women who used to provide milk for babies in Europe when busy bourgeois women wanted their children breast-fed by someone other than themselves. A woman can continue lactating for 20 or 30 years as long as she’s pumping out milk every day.  Women are much better than cows, who only lactate on average 10 months post partum and need to be re-bred within 2 or 3 months of delivery for “maximum output” of milk. With human women’s incredible capacity to lactate after birth, it makes a whole lot more sense to tap into her milk supply if we want bang for the buck.
Instead of this “mother cow” business we can say “mother mother!”
And what if a mother doesn’t WANT to give milk, or what if she goes dry? Maybe we can catch her off guard and artificially inseminate her? Or we could send her to a ma-shala? Or shall we do what most of the dairies do with the cows who have gone dry?
Behind the “mother cow”, whose milk Mommy-Ji bought this morning is so much suffering—how can a cow’s milk taste sweet?
Erika Abrams