I have a kitten barely two months old now. She has no siblings and stays in my backyard. She had not been born alone though. She had had a brother and a sister who accompanied her into the world. One of them died because it was fatally injured by another cat and the other one fractured itseelf to the extent of no recovery. On both occasions, I was made to see the horrible reality of the state of affairs of animal care in our city/country.
Good veterinarians are not easily available, especially in case of an emergency. Most of them are closed on weekends and even on weekdays have a short working time. There is no animal care directory, which can be accessed to with ease. Information regarding whatever measly services are available is extremely difficult to locate and immensely time consuming. And most of the times, the accessibility might be a problem. No animal help lines actually work. Ambulance services are non-existent. Government veterinary services are minimal. In short, there is no medical infrastructure whatsoever for animals in our country. It is a real shame that while most of us might rally for animal rights and the likes, associate ourselves with associations like PETA etc and take part in campaigns against cruelty to animals, we still overlook this very basic lack and denial of rights to medical care. They are a form of life and have every right to live. Since we have staked our claim over the world and minoritised the animals, it is our responsibility to see that they are also provided for. We may not understand their language but as clichéd as it may sound, we can communicate with them and love is the language. Nobody can deny that the love we receive by our pets in most cases is immensely special and same as from a kin. Therefore, it is very much needed that animal rights include the right to medical care and that work is done towards the improvement of these services.
Some might argue that humans themselves lack medical care and therefore diversification of services etc is not needed. But I have a very basic question – What makes us so special that we need to be prioritized over the needs of others? It is a very hypocritical, baseless, and highly self centered, selfish view which undermines the value and respect for life in all forms and I think definitely, such people have forgotten their beginnings, they themselves have apes as their forefathers. Also, those who say that animals are a menace to the society are actually the ones who should not be a part of society. For society is inclusive of differences and must respect these differences even if they manifest themselves in different species.
[Image Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevewall/539157491/ ]