The Path Ahead
The Path Ahead
All the efforts and measures to restore harmony between man and animal will go in vain if the feeling of respect and love for animals can not be instilled in the human mind; unless we become aware of the fact that animals too have dignity. And this is easier said than done. It is not easy to change the long-held notion that we are superior to other animals and hence we are entitled to abuse them or kill them. Efforts should be made at all levels – social, Government and most importantly, at individual level to ensure that animals find proper place in the psyche of mankind.
There are however healthy signs of increasing awareness about animals and their welfare. More and more people are converting to vegans or a vegetarian realizing that avoiding meat, fish and poultry is not only good for their body and spirit but it saves many a life as well. Eco-tourism is catching up fast. Increasing number of eco-parks are coming up patronized by a large number of tourists where one can watch the wildlife at its natural surroundings and also gather knowledge about the flora and fauna of the locality and their importance in our life. A few years ago, if a snake strayed into human locality, it would certainly have been beaten to death. Today, there is a possibility that the local Animal Rights activists will be informed who will catch the snake and rehabilitate it in the wild. The same thing happens with the odd leopard and jungle cats. The State of West Bengal ranks highest among all Indian States in terms of incident s of cruelty to animals. The underlying fact is that people have become more conscious and report animal abuse immediately to the Authority or an NGO working in the vicinity. In most of the other States, the incidents go unreported.
The Path Ahead (continued)
There have been success stories elsewhere too. A recovery program undertaken by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's has restored a population of more than 100 of Red Wolves, officially declared extinct in the wild, in North Carolina, USA (Source: National Geographic News). All three species of crocodiles (Gharial, Mugger crocodile and saltwater crocodile) found in the river systems of Orissa (India) were on the verge of extinction by the seventies. Thanks to conservation project undertaken with funds and technical support from UNDP/ FAO, through captive breeding and rehabilitation, these Species have been saved.