Animal rights: violations everywhere, but only India is targeted by PETA busybodies

Even though we Indians consume less meat then rest of the world, still Hindus, in particular, are targeted by do-gooding busybodies of PETA

Even though we Indians consume less meat then rest of the world, still Hindus, in particular, are targeted by do-gooding busybodies of PETA
Even though we Indians consume less meat then rest of the world, still Hindus, in particular, are targeted by do-gooding busybodies of PETA

Why animal lovers are silent on Eid or Thanksgiving?

Today, I watched with some surprise two rhesus monkeys (a mother and child, probably) amble casually along the sunshade of my neighbor’s house as I was walking in my yard. One fine day in July, at the height of the Wuhanvirus (Coronavirus) lockdown, I had seen a full-grown peacock perched on the same neighbor’s terrace.

When I was a kid, we used to live close to the vast palace grounds, and then we used to have monkeys come swinging regularly along the treetops, and they would raid our house. We wanted to discourage them, and once we set out a coconut shell with some rice with fish curry hidden underneath, knowing that monkeys avoid anything non-vegetarian.

There are many Gaushalas, though not to make a difference to stray animals. There are people trying to prevent illegal cow-smuggling and slaughter, although these still happen.

Sure enough, a monkey grabbed the rice, but when it smelled the fish on his fingers, he was aghast and started trying to get it off. He started rubbing his paw on the ground, and on cement in his panic, and he did it so hard that his skin was bruised and started to bleed. We were left shaken, thinking about how cruel and inhumane we had been to that poor animal.

And then there was the poor pregnant elephant in May which had her jaw blown off by a cracker hidden inside a pineapple; without going on a rampage in rage, she had gone quietly to the river where she tried to ease her pain by immersing her jaw in the water; and she starved to death with her foetus. There was an outpouring of sympathy from ordinary people; of course, as is usual, the culprits got away[1].

Image 1: A pregnant elephant in Kerala starved to death, her jaw shattered by a cracker
Image 1: A pregnant elephant in Kerala starved to death, her jaw shattered by a cracker

I was thinking of all this when faux animal-rights supporters of PETA, as well as the usual suspects, started talking about how Diwali crackers were such an annoyance to their dogs.

Anyway, quite obviously, Indians are not perfect stewards of animals. If the large and growing human population encroaches on what should rightly be preserved as the territory of wild animals, and at least half our population consumes meat and fish, and we have the largest number of cattle in the world, as we are heavy consumers of dairy and leather, we couldn’t possibly be perfect.

The Danish government decided to slaughter 17 million minks, that is, its entire population of these small animals that are bred for their fur.

But we are far better in terms of animal husbandry than other countries are. There are many Gaushalas, though not to make a difference to stray animals. There are people trying to prevent illegal cow-smuggling and slaughter, although these still happen.

There are the Bishnois, who have been willing to sacrifice their own lives rather than see an animal suffer. And Hindus, in general, have scriptural prescriptions to be Lacto-vegetarian, though many otherwise devout Hindus may not follow them.

If plant-based meat/fish/milk take off then we’ll all cause less animal suffering[2]. Yet Hindus, in particular, are targeted by do-gooding busybodies such as PETA.

These alleged animal lovers are very silent when millions of animals are regularly butchered on, say, ‘Eid‘, or ‘Thanksgiving‘. It is pure hypocrisy, but they know that Hindus can be shamed into all sorts of things; for instance, the prevailing conventional wisdom is drumming into the heads of all Indians that Diwali must be banned, regardless of the actual facts in air pollution.

This much we have known for a long time. At present a gruesome situation that unfolded itself in Denmark in the last week or so. It startled me. Most of us have a positive impression of Scandinavians. The reality is, alas, far more morbid and gruesome, as it usually is. (WARNING: DISTURBING IMAGES)[3].

The Danish government decided to slaughter (news reports used the rather antiseptic euphemism “cull”) 17 million minks, that is, its entire population of these small animals that are bred for their fur. The reason was that a mutant variant of the Wuhanvirus was discovered in some small number of them.

What followed was a true tragedy. Minks, small creatures roughly like otters, have been preyed upon for their fur; they have been farmed to be slaughtered so that women (in particular) can wear coats made of the sleek, smooth coats of the animal. This, when faux fur made of fiber looks just as good.

To give credit where it is due, PETA-type agitations have made natural fur a bit of a no-no in certain circles, there were dramatic protests where people made the fur useless by dumping red paint on it if I remember right. So maybe it will become less fashionable over time, but still, there’s a lot of farmed minks around (thankfully, they are not trapped in the wild in excruciating fashion so much anymore).

All of those who screamed bloody murder about relatively harmless Jallikettu and Kambala in South India, and about Diwali, were thunderously silent.

Not surprisingly (remember the tiger trade) the biggest number of farmed minks are in China (about 20 million), but Denmark has 17 million.

Image 2: Mink farming in Denmark
Image 2: Mink farming in Denmark

Mink being farmed in Denmark. How can you say “slaughter them” to these faces?

The surprising news a few days ago was that there had been a Wuhan Coronavirus mutation in Danish minks, and there had been as many as 11 infections transmitted to humans in mink farms. The Danish government ordered total extermination of all 17 million minks in the country as a precautionary measure, because, otherwise, said a British academic:

“No, the cull was not unjustified,” he said. “Mainly because of the number of mink infected with COVID-19. The mutation was not really the justification for me. It was the large mink reservoir of COVID-19. I would also mention that minks escape regularly, so you don’t want that risk of infecting the wild animal population, either.”

I may have missed it, but so far as I can tell, there was not a peep out of PETA, or any other animal rights organization. All of those who screamed bloody murder about relatively harmless Jallikettu and Kambala in South India, and about Diwali, were thunderously silent.

That is exactly what they were—thunderously silent—when China burnt its pigs alive after an African Swine Flu epidemic[4]. (WARNING: DISTURBING IMAGES AND AUDIO). The Guardian claims as many as 200 million pigs were[5]:

“culled, slaughtered early, or lost to the disease in China.”

These are staggering numbers, 25% of the world’s pigs, according to the NY Times, but there was not much heartburn, nor were there big protests[6].

In Denmark, the operation was thoroughly botched, as there was no legal provision for it, and the Agriculture Minister had to resign, according to the US’ NPR[7]:

“Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen also apologized earlier this week and said the government had not been aware there was no legal basis for its decision. “I do not mean to disregard the law,” she said, according to The Associated Press.

Still, the cull of Denmark’s 17 million farmed minks — which are raised for their fur — continues, and must be completed by midnight Thursday. [Ed: 26th November]”

There are heart-breaking scenes of many of the poor dead critters piled up like many rags.

Image 3: Culled mink in Denmark
Image 3: Culled mink in Denmark

This just illustrates the traditional Hindu wisdom that we are all in this together; if we put ourselves on a pedestal, as Abrahamics do, then things can go haywire quickly. The Wuhan Coronavirus is itself said to have been transmitted to humans from animals.

Just imagine, what if there are ‘reservoirs’ of Coronavirus in isolated areas even after the proposed mass vaccination of people? Will we just ‘cull’ the infected people, like we did the minks?

Note:
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.

References:

[1] When A Pregnant Elephant Dies After Days In AgonyJun 05, 2020, NDTV

[2] Generating Meat In Labs: The Technology, Opportunities And The ConsequencesNov 6, 2017, Swarajyamag

[3] Denmark dumps 17 million minks into mass graves over fears mutated strain of Covid 19 could torpedo vaccine breakthroughNov 10, 2020, Mirror

[4] Pigs Burned Alive in China: How Meat Farms are Killing Pigs in China – Kinder World

[5] Animals farmed: China swine flu fears, Nigeria pig cull and permits for mega-dairyJul 14, 2020, The Guardian

[6] Why Did One-Quarter of the World’s Pigs Die in a Year?Jan 1, 2020, NY Times

[7] Danish Agriculture Minister Resigns Amid Criticism For Ordering Mink CullNov 19, 2020, NPR

5 COMMENTS

  1. And all of this is in English.

    Indians have NO idea what’s happening and what’s being said about them in the Russian language.

    There are backpackers from Russia who specializes in showing only filth and sewers and poverty of Indians to their Russian audience. One such couple, who is on YouTube as Alexander Pilot makes a tremendous sum doing this. No one seems to care in India because no one knows and all is too lazy to fact check the work of these foreign backpackers.

    • Indians want to read and write about such things than be active in local development initiatives. Some rare exceptions are Yuva Brigade in Karnataka.

      Very few Indians volunteer for initiatives like Habitat for Humanity. We have an oversupply of highly intellectualized Hindu “kshatriyas” and few with the courage to go to rural areas and tribal areas.

  2. 100 crore Hindu have no voice ! even their own DD News does not tell so ! what about MEA India & hosts of agencies ! Is PETA a NGO for tughlaq collegium led establishment for all the nefarious activities including to wipe out Hindus from the world etched in Indian guran ! No problem. Ask mullah Modi to make it official ! atleast this much he can do with his 56″ !

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