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“Lots of people talk to animals…. Not very many listen, though…. That’s the problem.” – Benjamin Hoff

How many hours do we spend recreating what we have lost? We go to zoos, museums, and movies to see some of the most wonderful creatures to have roamed our planet. We strain our mind imagining what dinosaurs would have looked like and dig for bones and fossils to create a better more life-like model. Why then do we not focus our efforts on preserving what we already have? and what we might lose very soon! What our children or their children might have to dig up and try to create because they were not fortunate enough to see what an Amur leopard looks like or how Polar bears hunted for seals close to santa’s town.

I will not write a post on how endangered some of the animals are in today’s world because we have been exploiting their habitat or simply hunting them for mere pleasure or fur, you can read about it all here: http://www.allaboutwildlife.com/endangered-species/endangered-species-population-numbers/3596

What I want to talk to you about is what you can do about it. We, as a generation can choose to boycott companies or people who are known to follow these practices. I’m an animal lover and hence do not even consider it a compromise if I have to buy an oil that was not extracted from a whale or choose a coat that’s made of synthetic fur, matter of fact, we have so many choices today that choosing a belt or a scarf that was made from the carcass of a now-dead animal is plain stupid. You not only have to go look for a hideous store that holds heartless designer wear but also have to expend a fortune to buy a product that will only get you frowns and dirty looks. Why do we not spend that money in adopting a homeless animal instead that will not only provide you with soft cuddly fur but also have a heart beating inside it to keep you warm on those cold nights. Or donate a few dollars to WWF or some charity if your lifestyle is very hectic?

I am growing very fond of the “BeVeg.ca” campaign in Toronto’s subways simply because of the utter brilliance of the project in order to spread awareness amongst people. I know a lot of us cannot stop eating meat, we make ourselves believe that without a nice steak of red meat we will not be as strong or as healthy or simply as full. A lot of people hate vegetables and cannot comprehend the idea of surviving simply on greens. Although there is a lot of ignorance attached to that train-of-thought, you can at least choose farmers or companies that provide a relatively more humane method of “meat-delivery”. If you see the way animals are treated in these slaughter-houses, it is nothing short of the most gruesome horror movie you have ever wet yourself watching. Some of my friends argue that it’s nature, and these things happen all the time in the wild. Let me explain nature to you, in their normal habitat – every being has an equal chance of survival and an equal opportunity to fight/run/hide for their life. They are not caged, fed shit their whole life, split from family and cut up on conveyor belts. They fight for life every day in the wild and enjoy the moments they can. The same people who argue about nature to me, are afraid of cockroaches in their washroom and spiders in their bed at night. If you really want to witness nature, why don’t you try chasing a pig or a cow in their natural habitat and try eating it? You will have the full and uncontested right to your meal.

A lot of people always question the reason why I never eat beef. “Is it because you’re Hindu?” Maybe. But that wouldn’t be a reason strong enough to stop me from digging into a whopper or a steak. The reason I choose to not eat beef is because the cow provides us with so many advantages that it does not make sense to kill it for meat. It provides us with milk that can sustain the healthiest of diets, it’s dung is used as manure in fields because it helps in water retention, acts as a fertilizer and neutralizes the chemicals in the soil; when used as a hygienic material in its’ dried, matured form in older times for building huts that kept away insects and other diseases. As an animal that survives simply on grass and provides us with so much, it seems quite simple-minded to use it just as meat.

After encountering the “why love one but eat the other” campaign, I have opted to be a vegetarian. I won’t lie, I’ve tried to go this route before because it seems like the healthiest and happiest choice for me and I have failed. However, I come closer to success with every failure and as long as I can save one or two animals, I will be able to sleep at night with a little more comfort and peace of mind 🙂

“Mankind’s true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it.” – Milan KunderaA rare female Amur leopard cub, born 18 November 2007, taking her first steps outside her den at Marwell Zoological park in Hampshire, Britain, 28 February 2008. She was bred as part of a European conservation breeding program, to mother leopard Ascha.  The cub is yet to be named.  EPA/JONATHAN BRADY