March 7, 2009

I heart Animals

For as long as I can remember, I have been a friend of the Animal Kingdom. Right from feeding a day old Kuttan, the cat we found in Vrandavan, to the hag kitty in Kuwait to the recent-most Kittadhri in Ames, I have had the biggest soft corner for all animals, though sounds more like just cats. But truly, we've had our share of pets, my brother and I... the first actual ones, Meenu n Cheenu, our pet fish in Kuwait and then Pintoo, our parrot in Ghatkoper. And while we lived in Kuwait, our neighbour-kid Ritchie who lived opposite our house would bring home all these exotic pets, a duckling we had the best time playing with, a rabbit that waddled into our house ever-so-often and even a woodpecker. All of these incidents and the fact that we at home are strict vegetarians instilled a deep love and respect for all animals in me from when I was a kid.

And so some of the very first encyclopedias I got were Animal Encyclopedias. And long before other kids even knew they existed, I'd read all about Ocelots, Meerkats and Gila monsters and what not. And add to that, we soon had Animal Planet and everything and the fascination grew. I have been a big fan of zoos. And the Singapore zoo and Night Safari were amongst the most amazing experiences I've had.

I guess the purpose of this post is not to express my unsolicited love for animals. It's sort of the answer to many people's questions as to why I am not non-vegetarian. Is it purely cultural or is it religious or is it choice? At this stage of life, it's choice of course. But the fact of the matter is that I have never ever been tempted to even try anything non-vegetarian. And what I don't get is that when it doesn't bother me at all, why it would bother anyone else. And to every person who is non-vegetarian, I'd like to talk to you all after you've seen Earthlings. For the same reason, I cannot imagine buying any other animal products - fur, leather, ivory and what not. And no, I don't own a single leather article myself and yes, I am trying to influence others around me. And when faux leather looks just as good (though it may not feel as good), I cannot imagine why you would have to buy "the real thing". Finally, it's everyone's personal choice. And I know I've made mine. I heart animals.


Anonymous said...

Try observing animals in the wild- a safari with binoculars. Then tell us if you love zoos. I heart animals and hearted zoos. I then saw animals in the wild. Now it pains to see animals in zoos.

Jaya said...

Anon -> I am sorry if I projected the impression that I like seeing animals in captivity. I do think they should all be in the wild. But if it's a question of preserving their species and from being hunted down, better in the zoos than dead. And yes, I would LOVE to go for an actual safari and perhaps like you, I wouldn't see them in zoos ever again. But glad that you heart animals too.

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