Innocent Camel Mutilation Reflects the Dark Side of Animal Treatment in Pakistan

Two weeks ago, a heartbreaking incident of camel mutilation surfaced in Pakistan. Allegedly, a landowner, furious that an eight-month-old female camel was foraging in his field, cut off the animal’s leg. The camel’s owner accused the landlord, but police appeared to protect the influential figure, despite arresting six suspects. The case only gained attention when a video of the maimed camel went viral on social media. The Sindh government is now collaborating with an NGO to provide the camel with an artificial limb.

This incident is just one example of rampant animal abuse in Pakistan. Recently, a disturbing video showed a dog being thrown from a high-rise balcony, and news emerged of a man cutting off a donkey’s ears. These events, combined with the poor treatment of animals in zoos, such as the case of elephant Noor Jehan in Karachi, highlight the deep inhumanity prevalent in society.

Research indicates that those who abuse animals are often psychopaths and may act similarly towards humans. This lack of empathy is a warning sign of potential criminals in Pakistan. Many in the country witness animal cruelty but remain passive. Dogs, despite being intelligent companions, suffer greatly in Pakistan. Misconceptions about their impurities do not justify physical harm. Harming living beings signifies a sick society. All creatures deserve respect and peaceful existence, and mistreating animals reflects broader human cruelty.

It is distressing to see animals like camels, dogs, cats, and donkeys mistreated, with society largely ignoring their suffering. While humans are the most sentient beings, animals also experience emotions and pain. It’s not about intelligence but different kinds of intelligence between humans and animals. Studies show animals’ self-awareness and emotions through vocalizations and gestures. Fish, for example, express pain through rocking and hyperventilating.

Marc Bekoff, in "The Emotional Lives of Animals," recounts observing a prairie dog mother trying to retrieve her dead young from a road, despite the risk to her own life. This shows even small animals grieve and act beyond mere survival instincts. Elephants, known for mourning their dead, further illustrate this emotional depth. Sea horses, engaging in ritual dances to sync reproductive cycles, and elephants with remarkable memories, demonstrate complex emotional and social behaviors.

These examples emphasize that animals feel the cruelties inflicted on them and can experience joy, as any pet owner knows. Many countries have stringent laws against animal cruelty and robust welfare projects. Turkey, for instance, ensures no stray animals are neglected, with the government caring for street cats and dogs, ensuring they are well-fed, vaccinated, and protected from harm.

In Pakistan, awareness of animal rights is increasing, with NGOs making significant strides in animal rescue and rehabilitation. However, cruelty towards animals remains widespread, reflecting a society where abuse is commonplace. Being a good human means speaking up for helpless, voiceless animals. Recording and sharing incidents of animal cruelty on social media can expose and pressure authorities to act against abusers.

Animal cruelty is a pressing issue in Pakistan, one that reveals deep-seated societal problems. The mutilation of the young camel is just one instance among many that highlight the need for greater awareness, stricter laws, and more compassionate attitudes towards animals. By speaking up and taking action, Pakistan can begin to address this issue and ensure that all living beings are treated with the respect and care they deserve.

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