Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Cherish life: care for our animals

The mass murder of Mr Peterson Sanchez's dogs in St Ann's on Thursday is an act of brutality and cruelty. I sympathise with this gentleman and his community in their time of sorrow.

As for justice in this matter, it would be great to see the "Ten Dog Killer" face the court on full murder charges and pay for this crime, but perhaps that is for a better future with better laws. For now, all we can hope for is that the murderous barbarian gets comeuppance via laws that are higher and mightier than man's.

Still, there is an even greater tragedy than this, for each year, hundreds of dogs are killed by thoughtless, incompetent drivers on our roads. In more developed countries where animal rights are enshrined in the legal systems, careless drivers are held accountable for wounding or killing dogs. Hopefully, one day soon, we will see such laws on our own books.

Apart from the ever-faithful dog, the iguana, that beautiful, regal reptile which is protected in other countries, is slaughtered in Trinidad and Tobago for fun and without second thought. So is our native caiman, our turtle and other wild creatures.

Why are we so obsessed with killing? The revered "Mahatma" Gandhi once said a nation can be assessed by the way it treats its animals. Is there any relationship between the forces that cause us to murder each other and the forces that cause us to slaughter defenceless animals?

Decades after he left us, Gandhi's wisdom is still a guiding light. If we create a culture of respecting and caring for our fellow creatures, maybe that culture would trickle down to the way we treat one another as humans. Could it be that in learning to care for and protect animals, we will learn to care for, and protect each other? Could this be the elusive key to controlling crime? Well, we have tried everything else, so who knows ?

The State needs to increase its efforts on animal protection. This should extend from enforcing hunting regulations to the proper and humane treatment of farm animals, pets and strays. Our roads are killing fields, and our laws permit screwballs and twits to torture and murder defenceless creatures who deserve the right to live as much as we do. These problems affect the state of our humanity, and they need urgent attention.

According to our new President, Anthony Carmona, in his excellent inauguration speech, a life lost diminishes my own life.

Anton Harridial

via e-mail