PETA: Compassion for all
Passion for compassion always brings out the best in a person and sets up an example for all to see…that’s how PETA came into being. Here’s more on this noble organisation.
When I was seven years old, my parents moved to New Delhi where my father worked as a navigational engineer and my mother volunteered for Mother Teresa and various charities. My early volunteer experiences–packing pills and rolling bandages for people who were suffering from leprosy, stuffing toys for orphans, stopping a man from beating an exhausted bullock, and feeding stray animals–led me to understand my mother’s words, “It doesn’t matter who suffers, it matters that they suffer.” In other words, every individual is worthy of concern.
However, until I was 21, I had given no thought to animal rights per se or even vegetarianism. In 1970, however, when a neighbour abandoned some kittens and I decided to take them to an animal shelter, my life changed. I resigned from my job and went to the shelter to clean kennels and investigate cruelty cases.
PETA US comes into being
While working at an animal shelter in Washington, a young man came in to volunteer and gave me a copy of the well known philosophy professor Peter Singer’s book Animal Liberation. This book motivated me to form PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) US. PETA US first uncovered the abuse of animals in experiments in 1981 and launched the precedent-setting ‘Silver Spring monkeys’ case.
PETA India…a girl’s promise kept
When I was a little girl, I had promised myself that I would come back to India to help animals, and I did. I founded PETA India in 2000.
I am involved in all areas of work by PETA US, PETA India and other international affiliates, but we employ many caring and creative people who work tirelessly to spread a message of compassion.
It’s through these staff that for example, in India, we enlist the help of celebrities like Malaika Arora Khan who recently appeared in an ad encouraging people to boycott animal circuses, John Abraham who helps animals in so many ways including by speaking out against the cruel killing of pigs for meat, and R Madhavan who sat in a cage to help people consider the plight of chickens killed for meat and to encourage them to go vegetarian.
We operate under the simple principle that animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment. PETA India and its affiliates focus attention on the four areas in which the largest numbers of animals suffer the most intensely for the longest periods of time, such as slaughter industry, laboratories, fur and leather trade and entertainment industry.
We also actively promote sterilization of companion animals to prevent homeless animals being hurt on the street, and encourage people to adopt needy dogs and cats from shelters rather than buying them from breeders or pet stores, which only promote more breeding and which result in dogs and cats with genetic inbreeding disorders.
We also rescue neglected and abused animals who are forced to pull heavy carts and carriages.
Dogs plight in India…
All over India, around 25 millions of Indian dogs struggle to survive on the streets. Many of them starve, are injured, hit by vehicles, or abused by cruel people. Countless others are housed in animal shelters because there aren’t enough good homes for them. Breeders, pet stores, and people who don’t spay and neuter their animals are to blame for much of the animal overpopulation. Every time someone buys a dog or cat from a breeder or pet store, a homeless animal roaming the streets or waiting in a shelter loses a chance at a home–and a good life.
The solution is simple: Animal Birth Control (ABC). Spaying one female dog can prevent 67,000 births in six years, and spaying one female cat can prevent 420,000 births in seven years—animals who will never suffer and never end up abandoned on the streets or dumped at animal shelters. Sterilized animals also live healthier & longer lives.
Message to the readers…
Please be actively kind. Look for ways to help. Never pass a stray in need. Be a friend in deed and in word by educating others to the animals’ plight. Always spay and neuter, and if you have the time and resources, please adopt an Indian dog from the shelter or streets, encouraging others to do the same.