Indian elephants suffer
This sounds entertaining, and no doubt it is, but elephants are mistreated and abused in India. It is not only people that suffer but these beautiful animals as well. Apparently, elephants are in large Indian cities for religious reasons as they are sacred animals and are used for blessings at festivals.
This fascinating article draws a parrallel line between the life path of elephants and many poor Indian people in cities. They are migrants who will do much for a few rupees. The city too does not provide sufficient nutrition and water for its inhabitants, including elephants. What is sadly highlighted in this tale is how a society where its people have a low standard of living will consequently have animals that suffer as well.
There is some comfort to having a pet in a poor person’s life. I remember in Ecuador there were many poor families that kept dogs or cats even though they didn’t have enough food to nourish themselves. This I found odd and sad in many ways but empathized with the warmth a pet can bring to a home.
In Nicaragua, I witnessed the same but learned that dogs are kept in order to warn of and frighten away burglars. Crime has become a reality for most Nicaraguans and they feel the cost of keeping a dog, which is relatively low as they are often underfed, is a safe investment. The common occurence of dog poisoning only hightlights this fact. Dogs have to be better protected, I thought.
Closing thoughts: as entertaining as an elephant with coconuts might be, as cozy as we might feel with a pet at home, or as necessary as a pet might be for the safety of a family, the importance of respecting an animal’s life goes hand in hand with respecting that of a human being.