I don’t eat animals, or most subtle , “Anything that can walk on its own.” This is definitely not a reason good to state why I don’t have pets.
When we moved base in late 1980s, my family owned a small wooden box which remained tucked under the bed for years. Ama said that was the coop for the two hens we once had who died due to some sickness, after which she and our father said “no more pets” and in memory, the wooden box under the bed. I grew up feeling sad for animals; feared their deaths just as my own.
“Zhow!” My father had adopted a stray dog in the campus who was carelessly hit by a running car few months ago. Under his care, the dog regained its weight and surely built a good rapport with the old man.
And one sad afternoon…
“Someone’s car had run over my Zhow,” Apa said in a sad voice. In the next room, I heard him say, “I am not going to adopt any pets anymore,” and walked to the kitchen, “From today, throw all the leftovers into the bin.”
Apa’s erratic behaviour was more of sadness than remorse. And it got me thinking:
Cars don’t run on their own – there is a creature called “human” on the seat. Why do we hit animals and run away from the sight? Come on – show some compassion!
Animals understand us. Pet-owners know why they are better friends than fellow humans. Can’t we understand them a little better?
Animals deserve their lives. We deserve too. Maybe we can strike a deal, like “Dear Dog, don’t bite me. I won’t bite you either.” (Unlike the time when my niece was bitten by a dog named Pinky and she kept cursing that the latter be gone to hell! Certainly not a good way to equate.)
No, I don’t owe animals. Not even insects. Not even fish. I have nothing against pets or animals for that matter. I love them like any other, and want to live with them in harmony. Treat animals like your very own parents of this life, for they may have been your parents from other lives. Beautiful and most human way to look at other lives around us.
Pets or no pets, all animals deserve love and respects.