Tag Archives: animals

Listen to that ‘song’, what do you think it is about?

25 Sep

Who doesn’t love the sight of birds? What is an early morning or late evening without their happy chirps and twitters to start & end the day with? Our heart leaps in joy each time we catch a glimpse of migratory birds soaring above our heads or a flock of parakeets fly by with their unmistakable, shriek calls. It makes us happy, because we know these birds are happy too, happy to be flying, happy to with many others of their own kind.  They’ve got neither bounds nor limitations. They are free to go & fly to anywhere, they need no VISAs. The vast planet is their home, unlike we ‘humans’ who have divided the land mass into bits, given them some names and then claimed them as mine & yours. Their freedom is so much more than what we are entitled to. You can’t even stay on a foreign land, a day more than for what you have been granted permission for.  Yet, with such limited freedom, compared to what the other inhabitants on this planet enjoy, ‘freedom’ matters & means a lot to us. Confinement is considered as a ‘punishment’ in our hypocritical world of ‘humans’, a punishment for a wrong doing or for an act of crime. And even this, receives a lot of flak from the ‘human rights activists’ who term it as cruel and what not.

The other day i happened to pass by a pet store, which I’d rather term as a ‘torture chamber for animals & birds’, for the other name is way too misleading.  In that dingy, stinky place, there were several glamorous looking cages that housed many an exotic birds that were chirping in panic & distress. Chirping for help, to be released, to be able to take to blue skies once again, to snuggle & sleep with its family at dusk on the cosy branches at the tree top…

In the human world, evil deeds & crimes like murder for instance, are awarded with a lifetime’s imprisonment. What crime or wrong have our little feathered friends’ committed then, to deserve a lifetime’s confinement like this? That they are beautiful, peaceful, have done no harm to anyone, they have sweet voices and peppy chirps? Is that what they are being punished for? I see a tragic humor in instances when i see people decorate their bird cages with colorful ribbons, bands and stars, etc . Does it mean anything to the bird inside, would it feel proud & happy, that it has such cool looking ribbons tied to its cage? What is it to the bird? A highly decorated prison? That’s exactly what it is. It doesn’t matter if the prison has been made of gold with diamonds studded into its bars. A prison is still a prison, and it’s still a punishment for anyone behind it. When people say that their caged birds sing, i ask them, do they really ‘sing’? or are they crying? What songs can your caged birds, with their wings clipped, probably be singing? Ever paused to think about it? They are all singing sad songs in there, song of loneliness, of being imprisoned for life, calling out to their other friends who are free and flying, wanting to join them. Do you think waking up to these songs everyday fills your atmosphere with positive vibes? Get a reality check as early as it can get. If your birds like you so much that they actually are singing out songs to keep you entertained, then please carry out this test, which will help you know what they truly like or love, for that matter. Open the doors of the cage, and wait. This, i assure you, would be the shortest wait of your lifetime. Do you think they’d stay in there even for a few minutes on realizing they’ve been given a chance at freedom? That’s what they want & that’s what they truly love, ‘freedom’, just as much as you love & want yours. For God’s sake, birds were never created to entertain us, to sing out songs for ‘us’! How would you like if an alien from another planet found you beautiful & your voice very melodious, smuggled you out of your home one night, took you back with him and kept you in a well decorated cage made of all platinum? And each time you cried to be let out, cried for freedom; the alien would enjoy it as a beautiful song from you, worth hearing to again and again and again. That is what you’d be doing these winged jewels, if you keep them captive. What sort a mind would then seek pleasure in keeping caged birds?  Only the selfish & unevolved minds.

How different are these birds from us? Aren’t they social, just like us? In fact they enjoy greater freedom than us, ‘cos they can fly off to countries, stay there for as long as they wish and they need no authorities to grant them ‘passports’ for their journeys. ‘Freedom’ means a lot more to them and is a lot ‘stronger’ term for them, than what it is for us who can only enjoy limited freedom. It means everything to them. Don’t they have families and don’t they painstakingly build nests to which they fly back to, each dusk? Don’t they want to make babies & take care of them? How different are they from us and how can we hypocrites set dual standards then, one for our own kind and one for anything that is defenseless, voiceless or cannot speak up or fight for its rights? Why do we have the tendency to take for granted, anything that isn’t human? They may not be humans, but they still have lives that they wish to live the way they want to & are capable of feeling the same emotions that we do. Compassion towards all creatures, is preached in every religion & here, legend has it that even Sita (Lord Rama’s wife from the epic ‘Ramayan’) was not spared for keeping a parrot caged for many years. She too was made to face a painful separation of many years, from her loving husband Ram, as a consequence of keeping this bird in solitary confinement. Legends apart, it’s time we humans practiced ‘Compassion’ as our one universal religion, by which our planet would highly benefit from.

No animal wishes imprisonment, no animal or bird looks forward to die in imprisonment or die. They all fear the same things that we do. Prisons are a human invention & should be best used for humans only- the actual evil doers of the planet, not for any other life, incapable of anything even remotely evil.  Even the so called ‘cruel’ lion, hunts only when he’s hungry, never for game.

A word of caution for those of you considering freeing your caged birds due to a change in heart or whatever may be the reason, please do your home work carefully before doing so. Releasing birds that are not native to your place will only end up making your bird quick snack to other predatory birds. For example, releasing a budgie (which is native to Australia) in India, would kill it in the first few hours of setting it free, because they have lost the art of surviving in wild, since most are bred in captivity. Even those smuggled from their original places can’t make it here, as this is a complete alien place for them. However, rehabilitating & releasing a rose ringed parakeet in India is fine, as it belongs here. Exotic bird trade is a vicious cycle out there and only when the demand ends, so would the supply. Hope it won’t be too late by the time this realization dawns upon all men & hope our future generations, don’t get to see our animals and birds only in books or recorded documentaries. In order to change this sorry state of affairs, we need to bring about a positive change and that change should start from our homes. Let’s pledge never to keep any life caged and educate our near and dear ones about the same, for it is but a sin to take away from anyone, something that is not yours to take- be it ‘freedom’ or be it ‘life’.

To freedom! May all birds fly free and sing songs of bliss & happiness, as they fly!

Wings are for flying…

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Angel departed…

22 Sep
It was a time when life meant simple joys and fun. Introduced newly to the big bad world, it was a time when I had just joined college. Ever wary to make new freinds, i was always on my guard to give anybody an access to my private life. It had always been a strict: ‘Trespassers will be shot’ for anyone who dared coming anywhere close to my private den.
She must have been something, if I had decided to take her for my friend. It was Salma, a gawky looking, average IQed girl, with hairy arms, which was hard to miss. She  was not a girl who welcomed strangers with a warm hug either. What was unmissable was the fact that, even she was just as or more wary about unknown people as I was. This- I liked.
We bonded quickly, unusually quickly. I am still kind of surprised about how soon we became best friends. We enjoyed our times together at college. We had our share of misunderstandings, weird times together and other stuffs that normal college goers are supposed to experience. She used to come over to my place and we used to experiment with our culinary skills. Somehow, she used to like the noodles I prepared. It still surprises me now, cos I can never get my husband to say the same. Be it about my noodles or any other dish for that matter. Anyways, let’s cut to flash back again, when things are supposed to be visualised in either black & white or sepia.  I have always belonged to the technicolor era, so i suppose that makes me eligible for flash backs to be in the same color too. This choice, i leave it to you.
It was during one of those careless & carefree walks back from college (which was always half or quarter attended), when we stumbled upon an ill and a feeble looking pup. Being an animal lover from the time I can recollect, i knew i could not afford to ignore it. I looked around, making sure that we weren’t in for any surprise attack from its mother.I petted the little one on its head, as Salma looked on, unaffected by the whole scene. The tiny one was so taken in to me, that it decided it was best to follow me. I tried to lure it away, so it would remain in the place where it belonged. But it was as determined as ever. Since we weren’t far from my home either, i decided not to send the pup away too. This pup, Dinky, as christened by another ‘dog lover’ aunty in our gully (I wasn’t very happy over the choice of name, ‘cos i felt it could have been something better, more funkier), decided to make our street, it’s abode. Not that anyone complained about it. She, in fact, was everybody’s darling, a sweetheart with the kids especially. She was like this foster mother to all the kids in our street. Her warmth actually made the temperature in our street go up a few degrees. Jokes aside, but that was how she was. A real treat to be around with.

Love- in its purest form

Both Salma & myself became very close to Dinky. Salma who always very intimidated and wary around dogs, soon found herself shedding all her inhibitions. She learnt how to pet her, call her and treat her. Salma, I knew, had now taken her first step towards understanding bliss.
Dinky used follow us around, no matter where we went. She was like the little lamb that Mary had. Only, here, there were two Marys. Time flew past, like lightening on a typical rainy day. Dinky grew from a tiny, helpless pup to a good looking teenager, i mean, whatever that age is, according to ‘Dog age’. Many dogs from our neighboring streets found themselves hopelessly in love with our little miss sunshine. She paid no attention to all her longing suitors as she followed us around, much to their disappointment of course!
Dinky was there by us no matter what time in the day it was. She patiently waited by us as we waited for our bus to drop us off at our college. We never paused to acknowledge her for keeping us company, as we were too engrossed in chatting with each other on all the silly stuffs about college and the rumors that do round in it. There were times when we were at an all time low in our personal lives, and we found solace in Dinky. She was there to listen, to understand, to comfort.
Salma was heart broken when her boyfriend cheated on her. She narrated how she felt bout it to me, and Dinky who sitting with us then, seemed to understand all that Salma was telling. Dinky, who used to constantly & sometimes forcibly, make us play around with her, by letting out short ‘fun yelps’ and performing some kind of ceremonial ‘let’s play’ dance in front us; that day preferred to keep calm, as if in pain ‘cos her loved ones were in too. Fun was surely the last thing on her mind, or rather did not even feature in her mind that day. Salma subconsciously decided to sit on the floor in order to make herself more comfortable, while going on bout her painful experience in love. Dinky who was on the floor feigning slumber as she heard us, walked up from her place to Salma, and licked her hand. She looked at her for one long moment as if to say ‘ I understand how you’re feeling honey’ and then put her head into Salma’s lap and let it remain there. Salma did indeed feel comforted by Dinky’s loving gesture. She quoted again, what was already quoted by I don’t know who- ‘ the more i understand men, the more i love my dogs’  One look from her chocolate brown eyes, and it was enough to make things appear better. Her eyes used to communicate stuffs that were beyond our comprehension then. She was our pillar of strength. She was our best friend. She understood, loved and cared for us like nobody ever could. Under her love & care, Salma’s broken heart was nursed back to the best of its health. There were no scars of any breakage or damage anywhere to her heart.
All the three of us shared a very warm bond. Dinky saw us grow from happy -go- lucky teenagers to marriable women. It was Salma to get married first. No sooner did she get married, she flew away to UAE. Her visits to India were very minimal. She now has a family of her own and a kid about who’s welfare she’s always engrossed & pre occupied about. We exchange occasional pleasantries online. Our phone calls over which our dads once used to fret & worry over, thinking they might have to sell off their assets to pay the telephone bills, are now limited to a call per few months or half yearly. It was my turn next to get married. And my marriage meant moving out of my street, to make my husband’s home my new abode. And moving out from my parent’s home meant, moving away from my beloveds and in this list featured Dinky too. Moving away from my parents & sis dint hurt me much, as they knew & understood that this was the way of the world. They knew I’d be far, in terms of distance, but not really ‘far’ from them…
But Dinky wouldn’t know where I’d gone, why she got to see so little of me suddenly or sometimes even very occasionally. Her troubled mind began troubling her body too. She was not a young adult that she was anymore, she was nearing the call of the dust. It pained me that I was not there for her, by her, when she needed me the most. When her health was not as good as it used be, when she was down on her energy levels, when she found it difficult to stand up on her age-worn legs. I could see the depression & sadness in her eyes, the pain in her eyes caused by this sudden separation, distance between us.
But, life had to go on and it went on for all three of us.
Whenever, I visited my mom’s place, I could easily see her health in deterioration. I could see her ears and eyes were failing her. There was a time when she’d know I was close to home, even though I was many streets away from home. But now, it took her several minutes to realise I had come visiting, that i was only a few footsteps away from her. It pained me when i would call out to her & she would not hear me. I could see her continue to gaze into nothing even as i called out to her, I could see that her hearing was now failing her, her senses were now gradually deserting her… Still, after she’d realise it was me, her reception would be as warm as it always used to be. It only used to be a little more passionate than before, for she would vent out all the unshown love for me, that was suppressed inside her for a long time.
That day, ranks in the list of my top most saddening days. I had visited my mom’s place. We chatted for a long time and it was a happy ‘chat together’ time that we had. I was about to leave from there when I received a call from that dog loving aunty who had christened Dinky. As I was about to leave, I decided to take that call later. My mom, curious as ever, wanted to know who’s call I had just avoided. When she learnt who the caller was, it reminded her to inform me about something. Something that would tremble the ground beneath my feet, something that would send my head reeling at an unknown/unheard of  speed. She told me that Dinky had passed away a fortninght ago… Now I knew, why my street had felt colder than usual. It was because, the warmth in it was gone. Gone forever.
After hearing to that news, I didn’t know how I reached my hubby’s car that was waiting by the corner of my street. I had difficulty in seeing clearly. I realised my eyes were filled with tears. I could not think of anything but for Dinky, her adorable face, her eyes that spoke ten thousand words & all of them decipherable! her unending happy tail wags on seeing me; her warm, wet licks that made you feel so wanted, so loved, so cared for; her angry, protective growls & snarls when she noticed any stranger approach me (i.e stranger to her)… These now, were only memories. Memories, that charred your heart, memories that stabbed your charred heart… She was gone. She was alone, when she left for her heavenly journey. Her friends who were the center of her universe, were not with her when she died. She died a lonely death. An irony. The one who never made us feel lonely even for a second, died all alone, with no one to comfort her troubled thoughts. I’d bet my heart & soul, that I would have been the last thought in her mind before her heart froze… I turned around to look at the street I was walking away from, the memories I was walking away from. I could see Dinky in my mind, in her hey days, galloping her way to reach me as fast as she could, as if she was participating in an Olympic sprint that would fetch her multiple golds if she won… She did win. She won the race, the race to my heart, she won my heart. She’d be in there forever, her memories locked up and its keys thrown off into outer space. She had made me feel special, made my life worth living, she was my confidential diary. Now she had left us all, to find peace. I can never repay in this life, for all that she was to me. My heart ached as I boarded my husband’s waiting car. He looked at me, concerned, for my face had clearly given away what my heart felt… I told him the reason for my sadness. After much failed attempts at comforting me, he said I was being too emotional & sentimental, that I was tooo attached to one dog. I did not feel bad for what he said, because I knew nobody could understand a dog’s love, unless they experienced it first hand. If not, then, to them, a dog is just an animal that bares its canine teeth at the drop of a hat or an animal that has no control over its wagging tail!
That night, I dreamt of Dinky. In my dream, it was a starry night & she sat besides me. She was that young, bubbly Dinky, nudging me with her nose to play with her, she pushed me down to the ground with her weight & licked my face warm…When I quickly woke up from my dream, I actually felt my cheeks wet and warm!! I don’t know if was the hot & humid Asian weather or Dinky. You know what I’d prefer to believe. If you don’t, then go get yourself a dog, or preferably adopt one of those tiny, button eyed pups that you easily find on the streets. You’d not only be saving their lives from prospective road accidents but, you’d also be saving your own soul too…
‘If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die, I want to go where they went…’
Keep a secret: Salma doesn’t know that Dinky passed away. I’ve saved her a heart ache, I’ve kept this to myself. She’d find it hard to digest this fact, as she already owes her one big one for repairing her broken heart once before…
(Dinky, Jimmy, Drumpy, Kolanji & other darlings: This one was for you all…)

Photo courtesy: Achala Paani

How to ensure cottage safety for your pet

7 Sep

Warm weather makes us want to set out. Set out to cooler places and enjoy outdoors. It is that time of the year, when families head out for the cottage. Since this set up does not even remotely resemble your urban environment, it calls for a utmost pet safety precautions from your end if your planning on taking your pet along. Your pets are not very different from kids. Both are extremely curious, inquisitive and famously known to get into trouble of all kinds. By being aware of all the things that can cause to get your pet into trouble, only helps in avoiding them and ensures an uneventful stay at the cottage, both for you and for your furred companion.

Pet safety & you
Pets, like children, can device innovative ways of getting into trouble.

Here are some important safety measures that you would want to take before embarking on your journey to the cottage:

1. The travel

First things first, make sure that your pet is securely strapped onto a seat belt or is being kept in those special carriers made exclusively for pet transportation, when driving to your destination. Ensure the temperature inside the car maintained at all times & is pet friendly by turning on the air conditioner when needed. Never ever leave your pet locked up inside your car with windows closed or even partially open because it can only be a matter of some minutes before your beloved pet collapses out of suffocation or heatstroke.

By feeding your pet with a light meal at least 3-4 hours in advance before the journey will help in preventing car sickness. Also, give your pet some respite from traveling continuously for long hours by pausing for a break every 2 to 4 hours. This break can be used to give it some time to flex its muscles, stretch itself, exercise and to attend the call of the nature. You can carry a litter box, in case of cats.

All the while make sure that the leash is securely fastened to your pet’s collar. Since pets are basically curious & still retain a part in them that is wild, it won’t be long before you find your pet chase a wild hare or a turkey and then loose its way to your car or worse, get hit by another vehicle. Leashing them therefore helps in preventing such uncalled for tragedies & accidental escapes to a large extent, especially if you are a parent to a very naughty pet.

Another important precaution that you need take regarding your pet’s safety is by ensuring that it does not stick its head out of the window. A sudden brake or debris is all it takes to cause it some serious injuries. Last but not the least, try and be sensitive to your travel companion by not blaring the speakers of car and by keeping the volumes moderate, since dogs’ and cats’ hearing are several times higher than our own.

2. Limit your pet’s freedom

You might think as to what better place than the cottage to let your pets loose and allow them some fun and frolic. Wrong! This in fact, is a place where you need to be more guarded about your pet’s freedom than ever before. Never forget the fact that this place is alien and unfamiliar to your pet.

Letting them loose in an environment like this, is like inviting trouble with a red carpet. Chances of your pet getting lost or hit by a passing vehicle are mighty. Your pet might even become an unfortunate victim of territorial dog fights. Having your pet microchipped therefore is a very good idea. Keep the contact details of local animal shelters in & around your cottage area handy.

3. A healthy pet is a happy pet

Before leaving for the cottage, ensure that your pet does not have any of its vaccinations due, especially against deadly diseases like Rabies or CD (Canine Distemper), both of which can prove fatal to your beloved pet. It should also be safeguarded against tick or flea infestation. Your veterinarian should be able to help you regarding the medications available in preventing lice and flea attacks on your pet when outdoors.

Never bring an ailing pet along with you to the cottage. Have someone take care of your pet while your away, for a travel to a new place can be traumatizing to the poor animal. In any case, keep the phone number of a veterinarian close to your cottage area, handy at all times in case of any unforeseen emergencies.

4. Water and pets

A nice water body is synonymous with fun. Boating, swimming etc., are some of the water sports that we all enjoy immensely and therefore want our pets to enjoy them too. But then, water safety is not limited to us alone, it should be extended to our furred friends too. Get them a pet life jacket, for you don’t want to lose them to an otherwise easily avoidable water accident. Life jackets are called that way for a reason, and that is because- it protects, protects life. It also helps your pet against the fatal ‘hypothermia’ in cold & frigid waters. Here are some things to watch out for:

a. Never let your dog into the water with its leash or chain still on, for these can get entangled to hidden obstacles under water like water weeds, rocks, debris etc.

b. Running or moving water can be dangerous to your pet. The large quantities of flowing water will make it difficult for your pet to swim against its current.

c. Check the temperature of the water. Very cold water can cause hypothermia to your pet, which if untreated swiftly can result in the tragic loss of your pet.

d. Keep a tab on your pet’s energy levels when it is in the water. Get him out of the water the moment you notice a drop in its energy levels, because the chances of a tired dog drowning to its death are higher than you thought.

5. Safeguard your pets against other wild animals and vice versa

You are responsible for your pets and their actions. Care should be taken at all times to ensure that your pet does not harass or attack vulnerable wild animals like ground nesting birds, hares etc. since they are very vulnerable around this time of the year, busy raising their young ones. Your pet can prove to be quite a menace to such animals. You should therefore take care that your pet does not cause any injury to wild animals and birds. Practice a ‘live and let live’ lifestyle when in places like these, esp. with other wildlife around you.

You also need to protect your own pet from more dangerous wildlife like bears, porcupines, skunks. A chance meeting with with these animals can prove to be a fatal or a painful experience to your pet. There are also chances of your pet contacting contagious diseases like rabies etc. from other animals in the area. Keeping your pet indoors and/or on a leash at all times would therefore save you all this trouble.

Puppy Mills: The hellish tale

7 Sep

The joy of bringing home a puppy is something that can never be described in words. Since time immemorial, man’s best friend has proved us time and again as to why it is called that way. By bringing home a puppy, we are bringing home a baby animal which will soon be a part of our family. Undying love, loyalty, affection, companionship and security are some other things that you’d be getting along with your puppy.

puppy hell?

Now that you have decided to get home a furred friend, it’s important from where you get them. Never buy your pet from a commercial breeder or a puppy farm. These ‘puppy farms’ are also called and often referred to as ‘puppy mills’ by animal lovers because of the inhuman treatment meted out to these loving animals. Here are some facts & reasons why you should never encourage nor buy from puppy mills:

1. Inhuman breeding conditions

Puppies are bred or rather harvested only for commercial purpose and for profits with little or no thoughts about the animals’ welfare and well being. Dogs are housed in filthy cages with no sanitary facilities. They are often forced to sleep on their own excrement. Some breeders, for easy clean up of wastes, keep them in cages that have a wired floor. This type of a flooring cause serious wounds to the dog’s paws and legs. To make matters worse, several dogs are kept in a single cage making them overcrowded. There is no proper food, clean drinking water or even veterinary care given to these poor animals. In several cases, the breeders do not even bother to remove a dead puppy from the same cage where other puppies are housed. This increases the chances of infection and other diseases for the other living animals. When once the breeder dog has attained the age of four, they are killed because the breeders feel that the dog is of no use to them any more.

2. Rough treatment

This goes without saying. Now that we know how and why dogs are bred at these hellish puppy farms, one can never imagine a breeder loving, fondling and caring for his dogs. The lives of the dogs here are god forsaken. Puppies are pulled away from their mothers at a very tender age, resulting in trauma for both the mother and her puppies. They are then packed and parceled in crates as if they were vegetables and sometimes made to travel several hundred miles without proper ventilation, food, water and care. Many puppies die out of sheer exhaustion and suffocation even before they reach their destination. The transporters rarely handle these babies with care, and therefore these poor pups are deprived of all the love and care that is needed for them to become good companions for humans. Since dogs that have been bred this way, have never had a glimpse of love and care, they often develop behavioral issues like barking and snarling, become suspicious towards human beings, not trust humans (thanks to what they have seen of them) etc.

3. Health issues

Dogs at these mills are bred under extreme unsanitary conditions, where their fecal matters and excrement are never cleaned or not cleaned regularly. This being the case, these animals are harassed by flies, maggots and even rodents. Since rodents can also be carriers of several deadly diseases, chances are mighty that they may infect the dogs too. Adding to the woes are the facts that these dogs are neither given proper vaccinations nor are they protected against other dangers like lice and flea infestation. The cages that house these dogs are rarely made of solid surfaces and have wired floors. The tiny legs of puppies often get trapped in between these wires and result in some serious injuries to their legs. In some cases the wounds have been so grave, that it called for amputation. Since not many want a handicapped pup for a pet, such unfortunate puppies are done away with by means of killing (which is again extremely inhuman). Dogs bought from these places are also prone to developing respiratory problems, pneumonia and other hereditary defects such as hip dysplasia, later in their lives.

4. Purebreds

Most dogs bought from a puppy mill are bound to have behavioral and temperamental issues. Breeders falsely claim that their dogs are purebreds. With indiscriminate breeding practices prevailing at these puppy mills that do not facilitate a pure breeding, chances are high that your dog may not be a purebred. Puppies are bred by the quantity and not quality, often overlooking the genetic & personality disorders. The breeders never take into consideration the temperament of the breeding dogs, which is very important in having good puppies with no behavioral issues. Breeders often fool and trick the buyers by talking about ‘papers’ and ‘registration’ of a dog, whereas in reality, all these papers are of no use at all, except in housebreaking your dog.

5. Call for action

Do your bit in eradicating the puppy mill menace by never ever buying pets from these barbaric breeders. There are thousands of abandoned dogs, puppies and cats that are euthanized in animal shelters every year, because they found nobody to care for them and give them a home. Adopt them instead of buying from puppy mills. The more the demand for pups from puppy mills, the more these industries thrive. Break this vicious cycle of pain, misery & death by adopting a homeless animal and you would have done a very noble deed indeed. Adopting is also a feel good factor, because you know that you have given an abandoned animal, a family and home to call its own; and that you have not contributed towards cruelty of any sort. Remember, by buying a pet from a pet store, you are actually contributing to the hell like industry with no conscience or ethics.

Rune: Lament

7 Sep
What have you done O, Man?
explain yourself, what have you done?
plundered you have the rain forests and flushed out all the birds!
poisoned the oceans and suffocated my rivers divine!
What have you done O, Man?
What have you done to the only living planet?
butchered you have all the wilder beasts,
skinned you have the serpents and the young deer;
made your slave -the mighty leviathan & mammoths alike,
ribs and bones you pulled off the sabretooth, feathers off the gentle dove,
What have you done O, Man?
What have you done to my blue planet?
the gentle giants you killed, the rains you drove away,
stole the treasures from the ore, spilled oil on the shore,
hundred thousands lives you killed- accidents some,
hunting and poaching the others,
What have you done O, Man?
What have you done of my creation?
you turned ice into fire and caused burning fire to freeze,
magnificent mountains were swallowed, and made sweet waters spit venom,
the dense smog made all but you flee; flee to the brink of my planet,
you made my creations fall, what have you done O, Man?
what have you done to your fellow siblings?
slaughtered you have many in my name, i want not that ill fame,
feels not your kind, even an ounce of shame, as you set my blue gem on flame,
eaten you have the flesh, drank you have the blood of my children,
cursed you were by them as they withered and perished,
hell hath no fury like a helpless scorned, hell hath no fury like a mother & father scorned,
what have you done O, Man?
what have you done to the helpless?
the angels fled and so has the Satan-screaming that you are than him,
many times better at evil,
the flowers are gone, taking with them the honey bees, the dews have dried,
the mothers have cried, the children have died,
no melodies in the woods, no colored jewels in the seas, no paint splashes on the trees,
for there are no trees, no seas, no perfumed air…
you set my lands on fire, exploded flesh spiraling into the air, spilled blood all around,
vermilion’s favorite child you have become; cherished you have the color, so long,
there now is only blackness, blackness that has cursed you,
blackness that has blinded you,
blackness that has pained me,
what have you done O, Man?
what have you done to Me?
price expensive you will be made to pay, the hell will fall short of place,
torture will fear what you would undergo; pain shall shudder at what you will
endure…
punished you shall be for your callousness, your race will pay for the devastation by most,.
your kind i shall abstain from creation, your kind shall only face destruction,
awake O Man, awake from your insane slumber, awake before you wake in hell…

…as you set my blue gem on flame

My journey

6 Sep
I woke up when I heard my other friends crowing. Ah, it was morning, another new day. I got up from my place and unruffled my feathers. I spent a long time preening & polishing my feathers clean. You can call me Narcissistic but, I could not help it. I simply could not bear to see my white feathers with even a small speck of dirt over them. I would spend several hours admiring my snow white, fluffy feathers.
After I was done with my cleaning, I looked around for food. I was hungry & starved. The others around me were equally hungry too. The sun rose higher up into the sky and we are directly in the way of his scorching heat.  Since our enclosure was made of iron, the metal got heated up due to the sun’s direct unfailing rays. All of us huddled together hoping to avoid some direct angry rays. But sadly, the ones in the front of the row, had little or no escape from it.
Though I despised the idea of being so close to another one of my kind, the reason being my squeaky clean feathers would get soiled with too much proximity with other, i had no choice. If I didn’t, the sun would scorched me alive. The very thought of it scared me. I quickly found a place next to my brother and settled with him. I always felt so secure with him. Our hunger only added  more weight to our discomfort. Tired, hungry and with throats parched we all prayed for some wet clouds to wrap the angry sun. Our prayers were unanswered. Maybe, we dint pray hard enough, I’d prefer to believe.
It was not until late afternoon, did our caretaker finally showed us some food. Hungry as we all were, it was a stampede to the food tray. I did not want to fight the crowd, cos my feathers were too precious for me. I did not mind missing a day’s food if that was what it took to keep my feathers snowy white. I patiently watched as everyone of them ate & for the feeding frenzy to calm down. When I felt it had, I decided to make my way to the tray. How I wish each one of us had separate feeding bowls! I agreed that it was too much to ask for as there were more than five hundreds of us. Providing each one with a tray would be an expensive affair for my caretaker. I was very fond of my caretaker, whom I heard others call him as Maanja. He was the one who provided food to us everyday. I was only three months old into this planet and i was quite happy with the way my life was going. Eating, feeding & preening topped my list of activities in a given day.
One morning, I was rudely jerked out of my sleep. It was too early, I could say, because the sun was only barely rising up the horizon and my brother & friends had not crowed. We fowls have an instinctive way of knowing when it’s morning. The lights in our enclosure was suddenly turned on. It hurt our eyes as we tried to see & figure out what was going on. There was a truck that was standing next to our enclosure. My caretaker Maanja was there talking to its driver. I was always so happy on seeing him. Maanja meant food. Maanja meant, our starvation was gone.  We’d always wait eagerly for him to arrive and replenish our empty food tray. We always wished him good for the food that he gave us.
And then suddenly, Maanja opened the door of our enclosure and began picking each one of us and started flinging them into the waiting truck. The truck driver caught the ones he flung and stuffed them into number of smaller cages. I was taken aback. How can my Maanja, yes, the same Maanja who fed us everyday, handle us so callously? He picked each one by their wings and threw them into the truck as if we were vegetables, maybe cabbages. He threw us as if we had no life, as if no bones cracked inside us, when landed with a thud into the truck; as if we had no feathers that would painfully come off , when he caught us by our wings and hurled us into the dirty truck, as if the skin that would peel off our fragile legs when went reeling on the truck floor dint hurt us & take our breaths away with its pain. I could not believe that it was my Maanja who caused pain to friends. I snuggled to my brother in the far corner of my enclosure so that Maanja’s hands would not be able to reach to us. I was wrong. I was wishfully thinking. As I put up a fight to avoid getting caught by Maanja, it was my brother who got caught first, since, he was the more gentle one of the two of us. I was horrified as Maanja caught my brother by his wings and threw into the truck. My brother landed on one of those rusty cages that were in the truck and broke his wing & a leg. It began bleeding. I could not bring myself to believe what I just saw. I saw my brother, withering in pain. He could not stand up on his feet due to the pain that was caused by a fractured wing bone & a broken leg. As I continued watching dumbfounded, the truck driver, picked my brother by his wings and put him in a cage where there was barely any space for five of us. In this cage, there were already nine of them and he pushed my brother into that cage. I could see my brother in pain, he was choking in pain. His broken wing was badly folded and the tight cage door over him, gave him no chance to make himself comfortable and to rearrange his wing. His eyes clearly showed the pain he felt. He was having difficulty in breathing too. My heart ached. It was as if a poisoned dagger was being repeatedly pierced through it, each time I saw my brother that way.
Maanja now reached for me. This time I did not fight. I did not feel like fighting, like escaping. I had no reason to be fighting for. I surrendered to his painful clasp around me. His tight hold around me made me feel as if my heart would burst out of my chest and fall down on the sandy ground below. I wonder, why dint hold me by my wings too. He then flung me to the truck driver who thankfully caught me, but caught me by my wings. That hurt so bad, I wanted to scream, i wanted to claw out that man’s eyes from the sockets that held them.
He then crushed me into those over crowded cages. I could not even turn my head around. My neck hurt badly as it was positioned in a very uncomfortable way. I wanted to move but I could not. I felt sorry for my friends over whom I was, because I knew, too surely that, they were suffocated. I wondered how long I had to endure this discomfort. I moved my eyeballs around to find my brother’s cage. I saw him, his eyes were half closed, his head hung out from one of the railings of the cage. I dint know what happened to him. I tried cooing to him, but my coos were lost in all those strange sounds around me. Everybody were giving out distressed calls. My call was not special in any way, so that it could stand out from the rest of the voices and sounds. My brother could not hear me…
The truck began moving and I dint know where we began our journey to. I looked at my Maanja for one last time in my life, confused and with a hundred questions in my eyes, none of which he seemed to understand.
I hoped our destination would release us from all this pain and discomfort, that me and my brother would be together again. I kept looking at my brother’s face. I wanted to go to him, snuggle up to him, make him feel comfortable and do what I could to ease his pain. But, I could not, all I could do was watch over him… I watched him as if my gaze had a power to heal. I could never look away from him. I yearned, I longed to be by him…
And then, there a sudden jerk to the truck. And that jerk was so powerful that it shoved several cages aside. When I gathered myself to lock eyes on my brother again, his cage was gone. I could not see where it went. I tried moving my eyeballs to all corners (as i could not move my head) to see if he was there. When my rolled my eyes downwards, I saw something that made me want to die that very instant! I saw that my brother’s cage that was kept on top of another cage had crashed down to the floor of the truck due to the sudden jerk and it had turned turtle. I instantly knew what that meant. My brother’s head that had hung out of the cage was crushed. The weight of other birds around him would have snapped many bones in his neck! That was the last night my brother lived before his life was cut short in the most painful way.
I was wrong about this and how?,  I was about to realize it soon. Realize, that there were more painful stuffs that could happen . I did not want to live another day after what I saw. Memories of our times together haunted me. The warmth that I felt under his wings, that was now broken, were some of the best times of my life. When the truck finally stopped, the driver began moving all the cages to the ground. He was no gentle this time either. He began throwing the rusty cages that held us captive, on to the ground, which acted little as a shock absorber. One by one he began flinging the cages on top of another. I did not want to see my brother’s cage. When I knew the driver was now holding my brother’s cage, I cooed, hoping against my hope to hear my brother’s response. If he did not respond to me, it could only mean one thing. That he was dead.And he didn’t.
My grief felt like it would suffocate me. Nothing around me made me feel better. In fact it was like a scene straight of hell. All our cages were now rearranged by a stranger who had a small, strange, filthy shop with a wooden stump in it. I wondered what he sold there. My cage was now on the third floor, meaning, there were 2 more cages stuffed with my friends below me. My neck was was now paining so badly that I lost all sense of its existence. My eyes watered as the sun rays were directly on me. I could not run for cover nor shift my head to avoid the sun’s rays.
That was when I saw a lady with a basket in her hands and a young daughter by her side arrive at this small shop where we were all housed. The daughter looked so innocent. She was so happy to see us. She reached out with her tiny fingers to pet my friend but her mother quickly frisked her aside as if it were a taboo to pet us. I wished the little one all happiness in her life. She reminded me of my brother whom i adored so much. I was lost in thoughts when I felt the cage door open.
Freedom atlast! I tried to unruffle my feathers and shake all the dust off me, but a firm grip around me kept me from doing it. This man carried me inside the dim and dingy shop and laid me on that wooden stump. What was he doing? Why was he putting me on this stump? I was starved and I hadn’t eaten a grain of food since two days nor had a thirst quenching drink of cool water.
I was too exhausted, too heart broken to put up a fight with this stranger. I suddenly felt something sharp slice my throat open! I bled and bled profusely. My snow white feathers which I was so proud of, now had thick red blood all over it. An irony, the color of peace-white, was now getting covered by the color of violence-vermilion. The pain was excruciating, I wanted to scream but I could not. I felt I could take a hundred more of such truck journeys if I could avoid this pain. It was so unbearable that I did not even know whether I was alive or dead. My heart beats became more reduced, I gasped for breath. He then lifted me up by my legs and immersed me boiling water that scalded me alive. The pain that I now felt was like nothing that I had never experienced before. I would not wish even to my enemies, a pain like this. As I hung on to my dear life, half dead, I could feel the stranger pull my feathers off me. It hurt like a small match stick burn in an inferno. I pleaded with my creator for death to come quickly. A slit throat, a drown- that too a drowning in vermilion colored boiling water (colored from my own blood) which burnt my eyes and other parts out, was too much to kill any living being with. I felt God was being too unfair to me. So many pains at one go? ‘One suffering at a time please’, I wanted to tell my creator. Which excruciating pain am I supposed to suffer at one time? My entire life passed in front of me, before I my heart took its one last painful beat & before getting boiled to a pulp.
Though it took a long time, my much deserved peace was here, finally…
My soul saw the lady with the basket purchase pieces of my flesh from the man who slit my throat. He wrapped chunks of my flesh and put it in a dark black colored plastic bag ( which was also the color of his soul). Maybe he subconsciously chose that color because he knew he had done something he had to be ashamed of, some deed that he had to conceal. I heard the lady coo to her young daughter- ‘Today, I’m gonna prepare chicken gravy for dinner, honey’.

at Maanja’s farm…

Today, the 25th day of Nov’ 2012, is ‘International Meatless Day‘. This re-post is dedicated to all the birds and animals who are exploited & killed by the billions each day for human consumption, experimentation, clothing and entertainment. May God bless all his creations with peace, love, life & compassion & may the spirit of this day live forever!

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