Stop Cruelty to Animals, Stop the Apathy as Well

July 3, 2006

It is true. It is bad enough that animals are treated badly & killed to feed us. It is simply inhumane to kill for sport & pleasure.

But to remain ‘bo chap’ or belittle it, makes us look like an ungracious, unkind, third world country with little regards for the sanctity of a life of an animal.

Chin Chiu Ngo (Ms)
The Straits Times
July 3, 2006

WITH another case of animal abuse coming to light (‘Cat abuser nabbed again for hitting kitten’; ST, June 28), we need to remind ourselves of the importance of being human. On this, two fundamental values come to mind.

First, we have to stop the brutality and unnecessary killing. Yes, we will kill for food and to defend our country and we have the death penalty. But the challenge is to distinguish when killing is necessary and justified and when we should exercise self-restraint.

Deliberate and indiscriminate killing of animals is definitely not justified, and brutality and torture of defenceless animals can only be condemned in the strongest terms.

Indiscriminate culling of cats and birds in housing estates is no less abhorrent to our fundamental values. The issue is sanctity of life and our respect for this sanctity. The authorities need to recognise this and evaluate alternatives rather than embark on another culling exercise.
That some among us can seek out animals with no means of defending themselves for the sole purpose of perpetrating acts of unspeakable cruelty and viciousness is all the more reprehensible and repulsive.

The words humane and humanity are derived from the word human, but given the brutality and unnecessary killing that now seems to be second nature to us, these words may evolve to bear meanings that are the opposite of what we now understand them to be – unless we uphold our fundamental values.

Second, we have to stop the apathy. If we look at these instances of brutality and unnecessary killing taking place in front of us and do nothing, we are no better than the perpetrators. The collective conscience of the public who stood by and watched as others were sent to the gas chambers during the Holocaust is no more clear than that of the Nazis of the Third Reich. We must therefore make a conscious effort to distinguish right from wrong and stop those who indulge in meaningless acts of brutality and indiscriminate killing.

On a personal level, we have a responsibility to teach our children and impress on our friends and neighbours the need to respect the sanctity of life. At the society level, we have to reinforce our fundamental values through legislation and the judicial system.

Only when we can defend our fundamental values and understand the importance of being human can we hope to become the gracious society espoused by the Singapore Kindness Movement.

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One Response to “Stop Cruelty to Animals, Stop the Apathy as Well”

  1. vegancat said

    The root of our messing up this planet earth with our wanton killing and pollution is an increasing sense of “I am the most important being in the universe” – “I don’t care a hoot about the environment and about others.” This delusion that when we die, we go to some heavenly place somewhere and leave this increasing “shitty” earth to newcomers is perhaps a cause for the lack of concern for our environment and the other creatures that we share with. If we can impress our fellow human being that his or her her every action is accountable to him or her, then perhaps he or she will think…ah…if i throw this plastic bottle into the sea, it might be swallowed by a whale who will choke to death. Its death will be on my “account book of what I have done in my life” and that it will be in red as a debt I have to pay forward. Similarly, people who call up the TC and complaint, resulting in the killing of cats will also accumulate a debt they have to pay.

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