There is notable variation in human attitudes towards animals depending upon below facts, certain species and groups seem to be valued more highly in terms of conservation, research and public interest
- An individual’s prior attitude towards, and values of, wildlife and nature (e.g. humanistic, utilitarian).
- An individual’s previous experience and knowledge of a species or group.
- The relationship between species and humans, for example cultural significance, utility value or conservation status.
- Human perceptions of individual species (in terms of aesthetic value, assumed intelligence, threat, etc.)—the most important factor for the present study
The present humankind doesn’t follow right behavior in treating the animals with reverence, benevolence, dignity and mercy. As it can be seen in the present scenario that every man including adults, start throwing and pelting stones to the animals, mostly stray animals like dogs, cattle, cats & slay the tiny creatures like insects. Catches birds and imprison them in cages without any special purpose is also consider inhuman. No advantages and no urgency of human needs would justify the kind of calculated violence that is being done these days against animals, especially through international trade of livestock and meat.
As a society, we need to ask ourselves some tough questions. First, are we doing enough to ensure that our children respect living beings? Are we teaching them empathy? It’s parents and teachers who can instill such fundamental values in a child.
Unfortunately, school curricula in the INDIA contain little about these values and ethics. This is something that could be addressed through education as well as through a more interactive education that encourages children to act responsibly and respectfully to all forms of life.
Similarly, social organizations and the media could play a much bigger role in guiding young people on the right path.
Second, do we try to set an example to our children though our actions and deeds? We as a society often contribute towards the world view in which animals become disposable goods – to be used for our entertainment. We take our children to the zoo and dolphinarium for entertainment, to show them how wild animals are kept in confinement.
We are often no better when it comes to pets. It’s obvious from the booming pet market filled with exotic species. Lakhs of pets are discarded every year on our streets as families move abroad or just because they are no longer wanted or they become old to die or struggling with any life threaten disease. Many of these become subject to abuse and poisoning. Sometimes they are picked up by pest control companies, to be disposed of like rubbish. Most of us do not know that many of these animals meet the high level of cruel fate.
Stray animals might not be loved by everyone, but there can be many humane ways of resolving the problem that we are not prioritizing, such as responsible pet ownership, obligatory sterilization programs and, for stray animals, systematic tag-neuter-release programs that have demonstrated positive results elsewhere in the world.
The conclusion is that we, as a society, can enforce a basic set of norms for behavior towards animals. The fact that animal abuse is barely monitored and perpetrators are rarely prosecuted seems to reflect our inability to enforce the law rather than lack of ethics and empathy among individuals. With regard to animal rights, there is a set of basic standards most of us would intuitively agree to. For example, animals must not be subjected to unnecessary suffering, and if they are kept as pets, they must be treated appropriately.
We could send a message to individuals that cruelty to animals is something that is unacceptable for us as society. Some might argue that the way we deal with our natural environment and our animals actually tells a lot about ourselves and our value system. For what is a society that cannot care about the most vulnerable parts of its environment, nature and all living things?