California in the recent US Elections approved Proposition 2, otherwise known as the Standards for Confining Farm Animals Initiative, by a 63% majority. This initiative requires that by 2015, egg-laying chickens, veal calves and pregnant pigs will have to be given enough room to stand up, turn around, lie down, and extend their limbs. Opponents of the measure had argued that the requirements will force egg producers in particular to increase prices and risk losing more business to out-of-state farmers who are not subject to the new law. But a study by the University of California-Riverside put the likely cost increase at one cent per egg, a price 63% of Californiavoters appeared willing to pay.

Traffic suspended to let a cat carrying a kitten cross the street. New York, July 1925.Compare this with the fate of the lone female leopard kept in a cage with a cemented floor at the Korangi-Landhi Zoo whose plight nobody appears to be interested in except Dawn’s Faiza Ilyas. The animal seems to have lost vigor and is mostly found lying in a corner of the cage the whole day. The animal’s misery is compounded by the callousness of those visitors, who try to get her moved by throwing stones or poking a stick at her.

On January 11, 2009, a story appeared in a paper about stray dogs in Rawalpindi, which were posing a serious threat to lives of general public. It said that the increasing number of stray dogs has made it almost impossible for citizens to move freely. It was nothing short of shocking that the reporter, and the persons he talked to, had no solution to the problem, except to kill stray dogs. Nobody bothered to ask the question as to what is the fault of the stray dogs? The problem can be resolved by resorting to a humane and civilized way by simply shifting all these stray dogs to a Dog Shelter.

Innumerable incidents like these take place in Pakistan almost on a daily basis.

The tragedy is that the animals at the other end do not simply witness them, but experience them. Is there anything we can do to alleviate the plight of these animals?

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