The World Animal Day is observed on October 4 every year. We spoke to a few celebrities about animal cruelty and what more can be done to stop it. Here's what they had to say:
SHARAD MALHOTRA I always feel that the people who show cruelty towards animals are the ones who don't have a voice of their own. They are very easily intimidated and feel powerless that's why they show their power on these innocent beings. What can be done to bring more attention to this is to contribute to animal shelters, donate to shelter groups, reach out to people using social media and inform them about adoptions. This will bring a huge change.
I have a dog at home, and he is my family. After a long day, seeing him jump in excitement takes away all my stress. And I don't feel anyone should be afraid of anyone's pets. If you can't love them back, just respect them; don't tease them, that's all they ask for.
AALISHA PANWAR: You are blessed if you have a pet at home because it becomes your family and it's so wonderful to have them around. You can keep dogs, cats, fishes, and birds as pets. There are many who keep reptiles or cows and buffaloes, and they make a huge difference in your life. Most importantly, they bring a smile to your face. If I ever had a superpower, I would just use it to talk to my animals, it would be so much fun to ask them how you guys feel. It would be a totally different experience. Personally, I love animals and I am a huge dog lover. Currently, I don't own one because I stay all alone in Mumbai and I feel there should be someone 24/7 to look after them. They shouldn't feel alone and abandoned because I am continuously shooting and I'm on my set every day. So that's the reason I have not kept any pets here right now. When I was three years old I had a rabbit as a pet. I have so many videos and photos of me playing with that rabbit. They lived his life and died because of age.
I think the minimum one can do for animals is feed them. And another thing I would say is to be human with animals. We shouldn't just be good to humans but also to all the animals because they can't speak. And I think if they could speak, I feel we humans would choose animals as our best friends because they are so loyal. They know how to love, they know how to care. During the lockdown, there were many cases of people beating animals. So, I just want to say that please, just be human. Show your Humanity towards them as well. If you cannot feed them, if you cannot take care of them, at least don't hurt them.
HARSSH A SINGH: I do think that we all are a bit hypocritical that we talk about animal cruelty and then we're equally happy to consume, chicken, lamb, sushi, etc. We consider animal cruelty to be a lot more hurtful when it comes to pets, or to be honest when it comes to animals that look cute, like cats and dogs and we don't think too much about goats, hens, etc. So to all the animal lovers who get so agitated, let's at least be honest with ourselves that cruelty for animals simply exists in a world made by and run by humans. Having said that, if you're talking about cruelty to domesticated animals like cats and dogs, then we must work towards creating awareness and empathy towards home animals. Don't just go and buy an animal. Choose to foster first and see how the pet fits in your lifestyle and then adopt one when you and your family are ready and willing. Make sure you report and prevent cruelty in and around your locality, research and find the phone number for pet-saving services around your area. Prevent cruelty and then if the perpetrator doesn't stop hurting the animal, call these services and get such cruel people to stop. For people who don't have a pet, its ok, you don't have to sympathize or empathize, you just have to understand that no matter what your thought process is - a pet is a member of the other person's family and you must respect that boundary even if you don't understand the feelings. They are responding to your fear and so they react which seems like an attack to you.
SNEHA NAMANANDI: Animals are the best creatures on this earth. Many people don't understand the value of pets and dogs in their lives because they don't own one. Well, sometimes it is also true for those who own pets. I feel we don't choose dogs/ pets, the pets choose us. That's what is the most fortunate thing in your life. If a dog actually comes into your life, it's a good thing. They grow up to be like us. If we are anxious they get anxious. If we are sad they get sad. So I always try to be happy and smile around them. I think everyone who can afford it should have a pet. They help you understand the value of love, responsibility, and humanity. For the betterment and welfare of animals, we could actually make donations. This money given to different NGOs and groups working for the betterment of animals should also be made mandatory. Our government should make sure to make a rule for every house to donate a minimal share of their earnings for animals. A small act of kindness can bring happiness to these creatures. Apart from running a cafe, I will continue with my initiative towards feeding the strays. Also, whenever anyone calls me for any kind of medical help for animals I always step forward.
I know a lot of people are scared of dogs. I have nothing against them but if they could actually make an effort or get their fears out and start trusting dogs I am sure they would find out how harmless these animals are. There is nothing better than a dog/pet's love because it's unconditional.
Image source: Instagram/sharadmalhotra009/aalishapanwar157/snehanamanandi/itsharssh