World Animal Day
World Animal Day is celebrated in all corners of the world, today. The first World Animal Day was organized in 1925 to promote the protection of all animals, domestic or wild. The mission today is to raise the status of animals in order to improve welfare standards around the globe. It’s celebrated in different ways in every country, irrespective of nationality, religion, faith or political ideology.
Through the centuries, humans have compromised animal welfare and species protection for several reasons. Whether it be destroying natural habitats for new buildings or agriculture or testing chemicals on animals to determine whether the substance is safe for human use, humans have rarely prioritized animals.
With the misuse of existing natural resources, and harmful elements introduced into the ecosystem through industrial waste, the population of animals is indeed endangered. Though animals know ways and means to protect themselves from the acts of nature, they do not know how to protect themselves from man-made calamities. It is time to realise that animals of every kind also have the right to co-exist with us, and work towards their protection.
Our country has traditionally been a culture which has engrained the philosophy of ethical treatment of animals over thousands of centuries. In India, generations over the millenniums have seen all species as their friends and partners with whom they share the earth.
According to Western thinkers, very few cultures are so deeply associated with animals, birds and sea creatures like the Indian culture – which is a confluence of Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Sikh thought. All these traditions recognize the right of all living beings to co-exist peacefully and to be loved and cherished for the welfare of the world. This is perhaps why animals are shown as companions of gods and goddesses. Famous kings and emperors of Indian history chose different animals in their emblems. Several festivals of India are observed to pamper animals. Possibly, to engender love for animals among all, animals have been made heroes in mythology and folk literature. Powerful rulers also encouraged artists at their courts to promote animal motifs in their art and architecture.
Unfortunately, today we have forgotten India’s century long compassionate attitude towards the animals and the alarm bells are being rung by present-day activists about animal welfare & protection. But we continue to ignore the desperate need to conserve their habitats and their depleting populations. No wonder there is a sense of panic not just in India but all over the world!
Through increased awareness and education we can create a world where animals are always recognised as beings and full regard is always paid to their welfare and inclusiveness.