TODAY -

Cruelty Towards Animals
- Part 2 -

Angelina Naorem *



FASHION

Every year, more than 50 million animals are violently killed in the name of "fashion." Some fall victim to barbaric traps. Others spend the entirety of their lives in grim conditions in fur farms across the globe before being slaughtered. Another source of fur is Canada's government-sanctioned seal slaughter, in which hundreds of thousands of seals, many just weeks old, are brutally killed. Animal skin is used for clothing, accessories, jewelry since a long time. The use of animal skin is considered to be a status symbol. It is used as fur, leather and wool. There are examples like shawls, leather belts, ornaments.

FUR INDUSTRY

Whether it came from an animal on a fur farm or one who was trapped in the wild, every fur coat, trinket, and bit of trim caused an animal tremendous suffering—and took away a life. Animals on fur farms spend their entire lives confined to cramped, filthy wire cages. Fur farmers use the cheapest and cruelest killing methods available, including suffocation, electrocution, gas, and poison. More than half the fur in the U.S. comes from China, where millions of dogs and cats are bludgeoned, hanged, bled to death, and often skinned alive for their fur.

Animals who are trapped in the wild can suffer for days from blood loss, shock, dehydration, frostbite, gangrene, and attacks by predators. They may be caught in steel-jaw traps that slam down on their legs, often cutting to the bone; Conibear traps, which crush their necks with 90 pounds of pressure per square inch; or water-set traps, which leave beavers, muskrats, and other animals struggling for more than nine agonizing minutes before drowning.

There are appalling examples of how fur is being used worldwide and unabashedly for clothing. During the annual Canadian seal slaughter, tens of thousands of baby harp seals are shot or repeatedly bludgeoned with clubs tipped with metal hooks. Also in Canada, hundreds of black bears are shot at point-blank range or caught in traps and left to suffer for days so that their skins can be used to make the ceremonial hats worn by Queen Elizabeth II's Five Guards' Regiments.

There is no need to be cruel to stay warm and look cool as cruelty-free fabrics are available in stores everywhere

LEATHER INDUSTRY

Leather can be made from cows, pigs, goats, and sheep; exotic animals such as alligators, ostriches, and kangaroos; and even dogs and cats, who are slaughtered for their meat and skin in China, which exports their skins around the world. Because leather is normally not labeled, you never really know where (or whom) it came from. Most leather comes from developing countries such as India and China, where animal welfare laws are either non-existent or not enforced.

In India, a PETA investigation found that workers break cows' tails and rub chili peppers and tobacco into their eyes in order to force them to get up and walk after they collapse from exhaustion on the way to the slaughterhouse. In the U.S., many of the millions of cows and other animals who are killed for their skin endure the horrors of factory farming—extreme crowding and deprivation as well as castration, branding, tail-docking, and dehorning—all without any painkillers.

At slaughterhouses, animals routinely have their throats cut and some are even skinned and dismembered while they are still conscious. Buying leather directly contributes to factory farms and slaughterhouses because skin is the most economically important byproduct of the meat industry. Leather is also no friend of the environment, as it shares responsibility for all the environmental destruction caused by the meat industry as well as the pollution caused by the toxins used in tanning.

With every pair of leather shoes that you buy, you sentence an animal to a lifetime of suffering. Instead, you can choose from hundreds of styles of non-leather shoes, clothing, belts, bags, and wallets. Fashion should be fun, not fatal!

HUNTING

Hunting is considered a sport in many countries around the world. As a result millions of animals die every year. The most common practice is 'small game hunting', in which the victims tend to be partridges, turtle-doves, rabbits, and aquatic and migratory birds. There is also 'big game hunting', in which the victims include wild boar, deer and rams. Hunters use guns to kill certain individuals, and lead pellets to kill, injure and mutilate others.

Fox hunting originated in Britain, but practiced in Australia, Canada, France, Ireland, Italy and the United States. In Australia, the term also refers to the hunting of foxes with firearms similar to spotlighting or deer hunting. In Britain 'hunting' without qualification implies fox hunting, beagling, stag hunting and mink hunting. In Britain, hunting animals for sport is illegal banned in 2004.

In the autumn of each year (August–October), hunts take the young hounds out cub hunting to kill young foxes. However, foxes are not the only animals to suffer. Historically it has been common practice to put hounds down at the end of their working lives around 6 – 8 years, or when a foxhound becomes too slow to keep up with the pack. There have also been numerous occasions when hounds have been injured or killed on roads and railway lines and when terriers have been injured or killed during terrier work.

The situation in India is as bad as it can get. This ha led to extinction of species and many falling under the category of endangered ones. Historically, hunting was considered as a sport and an act of valor. Only the royals and the elite class enjoyed hunting. Tiger skin and deer heads were hung on walls. Other examples are that of elephants, rhinoceros, black bucks, hippos.

Just because something was once a way of life does not mean it is right. We live in a modern, progressive society and allowing dogs to chase and kill wild animals for entertainment is simply not acceptable.

AQUATIC PRISONS

Aquariums' are aquatic prisons in which thousands of marine animals, such as tropical, fresh and saltwater fishes and cetaceans are confined. Many of these individuals would otherwise swim thousands of kilometres a day and possess senses which guide them through their aquatic habitat, but are frustrated in tanks where they are condemned to spend their entire lives. Through the glass of the aquarium we do not see the full picture. Seeing the reality would surely prevent us from participating.

We do not see the boredom, the monotony or the suffering endured by the animals behind the screens.

ENTERTAINMENT

Animals are used for entertainment in circuses, zoos, hunting, fighting, races and sports. Animals are ill-treated and put under dangerous situations. Animals are not fed and are made victims of diseases. Their lives are put in jeopardy to put on a good show, win a bet/ trophy or simply for a good share of laugh. Animals do not want to ride bicycles, stand on their heads, balance on balls or jump through rings of fire, but animals in circuses have no choice. Trainers use abusive tools, including whips and electric prods, to force them to perform.

Not only are elephants, horses, hippopotamuses, birds, dogs, camels and other animals often beaten by trainers, they suffer from loneliness, boredom and frustration from being locked in cramped cages or chained for months on end as they travel from city to city. Instead of being loaded and unloaded like furniture into trucks and warehouses, these animals should be in their natural habitats – exploring, seeking mates and raising families.

To be continued


* Angelina Naorem wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer is BBA-LLB (Hons.) , School of Law, ITM University, Gurgaon and can be contacted at angelinanaorem(aT)gmail(doT)com
This article was posted on May 28, 2015.


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