Last summer vaction, Raju’s parents planned a holiday with his uncle who was an officer in the forest. It was really a splendid opportunity for Raju who was delighted no end doing rounds of the forest area. He would go wild with joy whenever he spotted a tiger or a lion or herds odf deer and big elephants. When his uncle waved to those animals they came near the jeep and rubbed their necks against them.
‘Uncle they are like friends. They recognise you, ‘ exclaimed Raju. ‘ Indeed they are my friends. If you love them, they will start loving you too,’ said Raju’s uncle taking Raju’s hand in his hand and helping to caress a deer.
Thus, Raju lived in the world of animals and his uncle satisfied his curiosity regarding the various animals. Raju’s love for animals doubled and he became more and more interested in them.
One day when they were on the outskirts of the jungle, they heard a shot. Raju’s uncle stiffened. At once he turned the jeep in to the forest and drove with great spped. ‘what’s that, Uncle? Raju asked.
‘Poachers and thieves,’ his uncle replied in short and added, ‘ Raju, be careful. We have to chase them out as they must be after the leopard we left behind.’Raju’s uncle had to put up a fight as he shot at the tyre of the jeep, which the poachers had parked in hiding. The culprits got out of the jeep and started running but by then Raju’s uncle blew his whistle and the forest staff came running and overpowered the thieves. The culprits were then arrested. Raju was terribly excited. ‘uncle, do theives come here to steal the animals?
‘ Yes, Raju. These thieves steal the animals and kill them mercilessly. They trade in them by selling their flesh and skins without even the least regard for their lives.
‘Some times to decorate a rich man’s house they kill the beautiful animals for their skins. They hang the skins on the walls’.
‘Just like the human beings the animals too have families and little babies. When the mother is killed by these theives the young animals suffer miserabley. Just now as we saw if they had succeeded in killing the mother leopard, her babies would have been left without love and care. The poachers are heartless and cruel to the animals.’
His uncle told him further that the famous ‘Karakulam caps’ are made of the soft wool which is obtained by killing the baby sheep- kid inside the mother’s womb. It is perhaps the most cruel act of these greedy traders of animals wool and skin.
Wild elephants are subjected to untold misery while they are tamed.
Animals are slaughtered for their meat. Human beings feed on delicacies prepared out of animal meat, but if one were ever to see the agony of the animals being slaughtered in the slaughter house, one would never touch meat or a thing of non-vegetarian food. These animals can’t speak for themselves. Only human beings can protect them from misery and cruelty. Animals feel as much pain as we do but still most of us do not realise this truth.
R.K. Narayan, a famous writer, In his book titled ‘ A Tiger for Malgudi’ has expressed concern for a animals. In his words:
‘Man in his smugness never imagines for a moment that other creatures may also possess ego, values, outlook and ability to communication though they may be incapable of audible speech. Man assumes he is all important, that all else in creation exits only for his sport, amusement, comfort and nourishment.’
Thus, man encages not only the animals, but hurts at large even his own fellowmen for selfish and material gains.
We should have compassion for the mute creatures on earth. Many greatmen have set example of kindness and compassion to the animals and birds. A beautiful story is told about the kindness of Lord Buddha. One day his cousin Deva Dutta shot at some swans flying overhead. One of them swans was hurt in the wing. The bird fell to the ground. Buddha took the swan in his arms. He saw blood on the bird’s wing. Buddha washed away the blood with water and teid up the hurt wing with a piece of cloth. Soon the wing was better and the bird could fly again. Then his cousin Deva Dutta said to Buddha, ‘The bird is min. I shot it.’
Lord buddha said, ‘No,the bird is mine. I saved it. It cannot be his who wanted to kill it.’ Buddha taught people that I was their duty to be good and kind to all animals and that it was sin to to be cruel or to hurt anyone.
Florence Nightingale ‘the lady with the Lamp’ looked upon all animals as her friends, more especially those that were ugly and unfortunate. She was very compassionate towards all the animals right from her childhood. She was always ready to help any creature that needed her care. She would never let anyone hurt them. If she found any animal wounded or sick, she would nurse it back to health as she knew minor nursing aids. No wonder she grew to be the first nurse of the world.
Thus,on one hand you have poachers and theives of animals and on the other the saviours and friends of animals. Who should we follow? No doubt, the latter.
Whenever you see any cruelty being inflicted on an animals, step forward and be a saviour and earn the gratitude of the creature in distress. You’ll feel greatly satisfied with this unselfish act of yours. Animals Kingdom is a part of or world. They need as much space as we do to exist in terms of food and shelter. Allow them their growth and protect them from man’s selfish greed. Remember, true worship means comapassion to God’s creatures.