By Devesh “Ratnagiri” Pant
Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, Chairperson of PFA, has repeatedly endeavoured to awaken empathy and compassion. In her latest article she makes us aware of animals’ pain and aborted screams in slaughterhouses. This is a sickening picture of innocent animals made to suffer agonising pain through being slaughtered in ever painful ways.
Now the Chairperson tells us an eminent scientist wants us to believe that each of these dying animals emits a “pain wave” and these waves reinforce one another to build up to a devastating crescendo to render earth-shattering quakes. One can only hope the scientist is not reducing the gruesome, inhuman acts of those serving the meat-industry to a whimsical outpouring of pseudo-science.
Lack of empathy in a human is said to be a pathological trait. It seems clear that perpetrators of these gruesome acts are oblivious of the pain that they inflict on these animals. More to the point, here, is that inflicting pain wantonly is more a subject of studying pathological behaviour than that of the physical sciences; it calls for psychologists, psychiatrists and physiologists besides humanitarians, the last including true ecologists to suggest ways to end such suffering. Compassion cannot be awakened to prevent such mass killings by a scientist delving into pseudo-science. If we imbibe the true spirit of the hymn of Narsinh Mehta, we can perhaps do better in awakening many of us into a mind full of compassion. The killer mind-set of human beings of spreading pain and death in mass slaughter of animals is taking us ever closer to an Ecological Apocalypse. The Chairperson of PFA is constantly dinning this into the minds of the relatively compassionate to make them stand up, united to fight this; it is hoped more and more of us join the Animal Rights Movement to contribute actively to spread Empathy and Compassion.
The worst and saddest part is that all this killing is for ultimately eating the animals!To be killing so day in and day out without let-up also means the killers are inured to such killing if not also revelling in it. That should give some indication of the mind-set which such killers display in carrying out a cold blooded process of pre-planned slaughter. That the mass killers of animals are beyond feeling of any remorse at snuffing out the lives of animals that want to live like they also do makes them inhumane. To make it worse, those eating the butchered animals certainly drool with delight when they begin feasting on the animals or their parts. How horrible!
It should shock compassionate people that the organised, clock-work like entire process of the killing spree of “farm-animals” resembles the same clock-work precision of scheduling of trains in Hitler’s Germany that ran packed with frightened Jews to have the compartments getting hermetically sealed and a killer gas asphyxiating their hapless passengers. These human beings were forcibly herded into trains like animals. The death-trains ran destined to “factories” where the dead human beings were duly “processed” to have valuables taken out of their dead bodies just like the butchered animals are today.
Compassionate people have to contend with such a killer mind set. It is considered macho to be a “killer” and its direct opposite is a wimp. However a caring, compassionateperson is one who venerates Life and Jijivisha, the Élan Vital, and Joie de vivre that is immanent in every living creature. People like the killer of Avni miss out the Joy of Life which radiates from a beautiful, living creature – unmindful even of a mother bringing up a family of two. Cold-blooded killers exult in snuffing out their Life Force. That takes us to how a killer mindset treats fellow humans. Surely the screams of mortally wounded humans must still be echoing in this planet and even making their way across the universe when millions fell to bullets and bombs in WWI and WWII? And all because the killer mind-set denies the thought to himself that fellow human beings can feel pain when mortally wounded. Our learned scientist has not taken the effect of their waves of pain into consideration. And surely the loved ones bemoaning their irreplaceable loss must also be adding to their wailing of “pain waves”.
And what happens when a fellow human is dealt a mortal blow by another human; what’s to become of us when a person takes to killing a fellow human? One doesn’t have to be exceptionally imaginative to perceive how an innocent, fellow human being reacts to pain when dealt a mortal wound. An empathetic person must shudder imagining the mortal fear and pain which must cloud the last moments of consciousness of the person who suffers such a blow. Civilised society enjoins upon each one of us to obey “Thou shalt not kill”. It is a Universal Law in all civilised and evolved societies. And we all know we need an efficient Police Force to enforce this as a Law without any let up otherwise where will it take us?
A last word: compassion is part of the mind-set of civilised society. Humane persons have called the mass slaughter of “farm animals” to be an Ecological Disaster; they are warning us that this wanton lust for material wealth and gluttony is destroying the Living World. Whether it is earthquakes started by “pain waves” or Global Warming choking us with dust and haze, when our forests are gone and there is no clear water or air to breathe the end result is horrible death. Does that mean saner people just read the weekly discourse of the PFA Chairperson and do nothing? No, it should mean doing acts of goodness, say, of doing even a single act of goodness, of forgoing eating animals’ flesh. The Commandment “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is echoed by Narsinh Mehta. That enjoins us to react to the pain of innocents done to cruel deaths. It must now include our acts of beneficence towards all Life Forms – if Life on Earth is to survive. Generalising aside, empathetic and compassionate people must also raise their voice against those who vent their cruel mindset in wanton killing. If this involves a fellow human it is an unpardonable act as condoning such an act poses a threat to others as well. That is a homily that Uttarakhand Police must follow. Perpetrators of dealing a cruel death to a fellow human must not be left to God to deal with. Killers at large are human beings that must be brought to justice under Human Laws. Pain waves of a single, dying human dealt a cruel blow must affect compassionate human beings, more so those serving the Police.