June 26, 2009

Animal love unleashed

Tribute: May Michael Jackson rest in peace. The King of Pop truly defined western music in our hearts.

Note: This post may sound absurd to most of you.

Seen a dog on leash? What am I talking about, of course you have. Most dogs as pets are on leashes when they're taken out for walks or basically when they're taken out. Normally this hasn't affected me much. I mean the dogs I've normally seen are the frisky playful varieties who pretty much control their leashes and totter along happily with their owners at their heels or vice versa. Yesterday I saw an older dog. He was leashed to a dustbin outside a bank, presumably to wait while the owner finished some business on the inside. And the dog might have had no complaint for he sat there, spine straight and impassive, patiently waiting. But I did. I felt unreasonably disturbed, and got very irked with the insensitive owner. No, the garbage wasn't full and the place wasn't stinking. Yes, it was open air and the leash was reasonably long. I couldn't place what was troubling me. Till I could. It was about the visible and invisible shackles. It was about that leash. I knew I'd have had lesser trouble with a pet dog just waiting by himself on the outside than one that was forcibly chained to a dustbin. But here was the thing. That owner inside probably took good care of his dog... fed him, entertained him, took him to the vet, kept him happy and all of that. But it was the whole concept of the leash. How we as the thinking animal have assumed superiority over every other species and condemned them to a life of captivity (or domestication) to get what we wanted from them, be it company or food. No, I don't know what dogs would do if we didn't "domesticate" them and keep them as pets. I know they don't live in the "wild". As a matter of fact, I don't know what I want to be done with them. I bet you're saying to yourself - I don't know why she wrote this post anyways. But I guess my point is, when humans were put on leashes (Abu Ghraib torture), it created mass upheavals of protests as it should but it's perfectly okay for animals. And isn't around the neck a pretty cruel place to put a leash (I know the leash is cruel indeed, but the belly might hurt lesser albeit be less controllable)? And it's mostly just the poor dogs. The rest of the animals seem to get away with it (cats, rabbits, etc are gingerly carried around in cages - which is not so comfy either but it's just during transportation). While pet owners truly care for the welfare of their animals, I don't know where the cut-off is between providing food and shelter for an animal and then subjecting it to a leash. For all I know, the animal isn't bothered so much about the leash as I am. Like I said in the beginning, this post may sound absurd to most of you.


krish said...

Hmmm.. I think it's sweet that you are such an animal lover. But I can't see PETA or anyone saying - don't put yr dog on a leash. One important thing is that the least is as much for their safety not to veer onto oncoming traffic or anything as it is for controlling them. So, well, yeah, if they cud maybe carry on sanely without needing a leash it'd be fine. But I think u'll see my point.

Jaya said...

Krish -> You are absolutely right. I never considered the safety aspect. I guess the whole "unfairness" sorta eclipsed the common sense factor in this one in that if all animals possessed near-human intelligence, they'd never be in a position to be 'domesticated' or empowered. But yes of course dogs n all avoid oncoming traffic realizing it's danger. But like you've pointed out, they are more likely to maybe cause/be hit by accidents than if they were on a leash held by someone who cares for them. That's why this post is so vague. i wasn't sure where the whole 'i love animals' line had to be. Thanks for the insight.

Vidhya said...

ugh...I got a little sidetracked and got thinking about the human torture thing.. I have often heard people say "I/you am/are person and not an animal.." in the context of humans being more cultured than animals..
And yet every time I read or hear about things like abu gharib I question that. Just the amount of cruelty humans are capable of inflicting upon another human shocks me..At least animals attack for food or in defense..I wonder what our excuse is..

Jaya said...

Vidhya-> Good point.. We have absolutely no excuse unleashing such horror on fellow human beings under the umbrella of "religious" fanaticism or anything else. Poor animals.

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