Thursday, 1 October 2015

Be the voice of those that don’t have one

Article and photo by Francy Lorena Gamba Martínez
(6th semester undergraduate Social Communication & Journalism student, Media Analysis elective)

We´ve seen them on the streets looking for food, or running from danger. Some of them may have known about the idea of a home and a human family, who in the end just threw them out because they grew up, while others are just used to being on the streets and not trusting anyone.

In Latin America the statistics about the number of homeless animals are really worrying. Just in Mexico, there are 1,200,000 homeless animals. Just imagine what the figure could be for the whole Latin American continent.

However, the saddest part of this reality is the government legislation and the lack of strong laws regarding this. There are mass culls, where the suffering of animals is often not important, and scheduled hunts, which in some places have become a kind of sport where the pain of the hunted animals is the most important aspect and these creatures are indiscriminately poisoned.

Those heartless methods show that there is little awareness about animal protection in this part of the world. Nevertheless, the eyes and ears of some people are opening bit by bit. With the access to information that came with the internet and cyberspace, there was a rise in the number of people that stopped saying “poor baby” and began to do something more. In Colombia, there are around 100 official organizations that work for animal rights in every area, every day. That is without taking into account those people who work by themselves recovering animals and giving them away in responsible adoption.

There are two sides to this coin, and everyone is playing their part in this situation. They are not just our pets or the closest animals that human beings have ever been related with. They are our habitat partners and, if we are indifferent to their pain, if we support their abuse, then what can we expect of our future in this world?

Milan Kundera, the author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being, said once that “humanity's true moral test, its fundamental test…consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals.”  If we support and even participate in these kinds of terrible acts, how can we define our humanity? 

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