KATHMANDU, March 28: "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated," the quote by Mahatma Gandhi whose life and philosophy of non-violence has become the legacy is sufficient to say his compassion and love for animals.
There are many people in the world who feel like Gandhi for animals. Sneha Shrestha is among such people and not a new name among animal rights activities in Nepal.
Sneha who, as she tells, feels colors in life in taking care of stray dogs was sharing her personal accounts as animal rights activists among journalists and columnists of leading media houses gathered to go through a short documentary made by her last Wednesday amidst a program in Thamel.
The 6-minute documentary titled "Kathmandu Meat: Cruelty Exposed" was about cruelty to animals during their transportation to Kathmandu from the Tarai districts under inhumane conditions. Buffaloes brought from the Tarai here are slaughtered for making momos. Its expanded edition is coming soon.
As she says her heart aches as she sees buffaloes being transported to the Kathmandu Valley in a very brutal manner.
Feminist activist and writer Sheetal Dahal who seemed emotional after watching the documentary manifesting transport torture and abuse suffering buffaloes said, "Issues of animal rights are not and should be the concerns of a certain section of people like Sneha, instead it must be the concern of all kindhearted Nepalis. Transport torture and abuse meted out to animals are unbearable."
Animals like buffalos, some of them feeble, and with rheum running from nose and eyes, are loaded in a truck and transported to Kathmandu from various places in the Tarai. They are not spared time even for rest, and not given food and fodder in course of transportation, in the violation of the Animal Transportation Standards.
Approximately 550 buffalos are ferried to Kathmandu from various Tarai parts on a daily basis. In this case, the way of transporting animals to Kathmandu from various Tarai parts contradicts the Standards.
The Standards state that safety should be adopted and care provided while transporting animals like they should be saved from cold and excessive heat, sustaining injuries, losing body parts, and suffering from respiratory problems due to various causes.
In case of reports of an animal suffering any of the aforementioned ill-treatment in the course of transportation, one is subject to charge with ill-treating animals, the Standards say.
Beating with batons, rubbing a mixture of salt and chilies on any body part, and force-loading in the course of transportation are deemed to be mistreatment against animals, according to the Standards.
Columnist Deepak Joshi was of the view of stopping consume meat and practicing minimalism as well control encroachment upon natural resources.
Writer Kamal Rijal cited the oriental myth that discourages over and unnecessary consumption of goods.
The video made by Sneha covers these stories of animals being subject to human atrocities for no apparent reasons. Tortured to animals and killing them is cruel act itself. However, the age-old trend of killing animals for various purposes continues.
Why torturing and killing animals who cannot even express their emotion and feel orally, for no apparent reasons? When will such atrocities done against animals for no apparent reasons end?
We cannot follow all the steps of Gandhi, but at least we can have and develop love and compassion for the animals as he had, said journalist Prakash Astha. RSS