It is the 21st century. Animal cruelty can no longer hide under the garb of cultural excuses. Cruel blood sports such as bullfighting is a horrible spectacle of extreme animal abuse. The sufferings and in most cases, leading to subsequent deaths of animals, just for mere amusement should not be tolerated nor allowed. Harboring any kind of animal cruelty speaks volumes about the fabric of the society that we live in. Among its many serious ill effects, the most notable is the desensitization of its entire population, especially it’s children who constitute the future generations. Governments in every country around the world should banish promoting such pastimes as such hideous acts of cruelty should never be used as tools to upheld cultural heritage.

Jallikattu, the traditional bull-taming sport of Tamil Nadu, played on the occasion of Pongal, may have thrived for centuries, but animal lovers unanimously feel that there should be an end to such atrocities and inhumanity. Its just not this one sport which is under scrutiny but cockfights, bull cart fights, dog fights, bulbul fights, and many such other cultural sports, where animals are being used and abused as pawns all have one thing in common. They fall under a racket of big money sports and the stakes are usually pretty high.

Monkeys, bulls, bears, tigers, lions, and elephants are protected under the Wildlife Law and are prohibited from being trained and used for entertainment purposes. Animal sacrifice is illegal in every part of the country. But sadly, animal activists say that these laws are seldom practiced and they have actually never seen or heard anybody getting prosecuted for the offense of hampering these animal rights.

Another major cause of distress is the unethical practice of cosmetic testing on animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, monkeys, hamsters, rats, and mice.

Typically, animal testing for cosmetics include skin and eye irritation tests where chemicals are rubbed onto the shaved skin or dripped into the eyes of the rabbits; repeated oral force-feeding that lasts for weeks or even months to look for signs of general illness or specific health hazards such as cancer or birth defects; and lastly, the most horrific “lethal dose” tests, in which animals are forced to swallow massive amounts of a test chemical to determine the dose that causes death. These tests can cause considerable suffering and cause blindness, swollen eyes, sore bleeding skin, internal bleeding, organ damage, birth defects, convulsions and eventually, death. Pain relief is not provided even at the end of a test and the animals are killed, normally by asphyxiation, neck-breaking or decapitation. Sadly, animal tests are still widely being practiced merely owing to the convention as that’s how it’s always been done. There are multiple new ways of non-animal test methods but it’s just not been made a priority with global multi-nationals so far. Is this just because the subjects are timid, defenseless and voiceless? That they can’t voice out an opinion and make a public outcry? Or their families aren’t capable of conducting candlelight marches and protests, asking for justice?

Just a handful of animal lovers or activists fighting for these victims aren’t enough to stir things up to an extent that it leads to a change, overnight. A collective sense of responsibility has to be awakened among the entire humankind. Back in the day, at the prehistoric times, men killed and ate each other for survival. But then, they used to live in caves and roam around naked. Hence, the barbarism that was justified then, isn’t prevalent today and can’t be continued in the name of upholding our culture. It’s time we realize where we are going as reaching for the moon, the stars or even Mars are no real achievements if we are living our lives with a scarred conscience and have in the process have lost our souls!


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