celebration, Commentary

A Call to Reflection in the Week of the International Day of Animals

Fernando junto a Tintin , recordando a su mejor amigo "apu" (Foto Walter Coraza)

The true search for love of neighbor could lie in the love for animals. to whom we owe a sincere apology.

It’s around two o’clock in the morning. I cannot sleep. My mind fades between memories and my thoughts cannot be focused on conceiving of sleep. My heart trembles with each lament of his voice. In the empty silence. his howls are a break that fill me with sadness. like not feeling guilty if it was my responsibility.

A day earlier in the afternoon. Apu, Tintin and I went for a walk, our customary walk to a small forest that crosses the ring road that leads to the archaeological park of Saqsayhuaman. It was about five in the afternoon. long before the sunset sun this winter.

The avenue that we normally crossed on our way to the forest had changed suddenly. We would have known about it earlier if perhaps the authorities had come up with the idea of informing the neighbors of changes in public roads. They implemented a berm in an urban area. apparently to make the road safer, although perhaps the technocrats did not have to be very ingenious with the pedestrian crossing as they had simply ignored it. They secured the path with a kind of perimeter metallic fence that only produced the effect of a faster track for traffic.

Despite being in an urban area where the maximum speed In the avenue was sixty kilometers per hour, the cars that passed simply doubled that speed without the slightest remorse. Without the least police control, the drivers became all powerful owners of the road. Pedestrians were abandoned to their fate in absurdly fast traffic where anyone is vulnerable. Still, pedestrians throw test their luck on the road every time they walk down it. Children or other living beings could not be more vulnerable.

Humans can observe and learn to prevent, but there are vulnerable, living beings like pets that are also ignored and much more excluded due to lack of capacity of the authorities, the failure of engineers, and a lack of education among drivers.

That fateful afternoon took a part of me. It took a wonderful being who had contributed so much to me. He humanized me yet he died at the foot of the road before the astonished look of curious people who did not get to see the license plate of the vehicle that a badly educated person was driving. The driver was fleeing so as not to carry any kind of responsibility;

Tintin and I were astonished. We could not believe what happened. We did not want to assume it. I could not believe how something could happen in a matter of seconds. as the puppy Apu had gotten loose from his chain and tried to cross the track. He was hit.

I really did not want to believe it. Tintin’s grief was so deep that it moved me from the first moment that he approached the body of his lifeless friend. Of course, he became aware that his partner had died. We shared the grief after giving the last goodbye to our faithful friend Apu.
“He will now take care of us from this forest,” I whisper to Tintin, trying to console him while we buried the body of our friend. As if he understood, he comes and licks my face to give me comfort although the grief deep it takes away our sleep.

I still hear Tintin howl. He stands in front of the door waiting for his friend Apu to return to his side. I explain to my dog that his other friend will not return. Tintin still howls every time he remembers while I am still lost. The only thing I can do is publish this story to seek to raise the consciousness of human beings, or of what remains of them.

I do not know how explain to Tintin that Apu will not come back, although every time I tell him. I actually say it more to me. I reflect and think that an indolent, dehumanized society is the simple reflection of a poorly educated society.

I remember Gandhi’s quote “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

Today on our planet human beings are involved in a kind of collective isolation due to the individualism that is conditioned by a capitalist system that makes us compete with each other. it would seem an irony since in our globalized world the internet. social networks and, in general, information and communication technologies have reduced distances to practically nothing. Communication with another person located in any other part of the world and in real time is a guaranteed fact if you have the necessary means. You have minimized the distances. However, all this contribution of technology has not necessarily given us a more cohesive society.

That is why men. human beings par excellence. seek remedies to alleviate their loneliness. one of the strongest links that man can establish with another being – a non-human animal, is the bond he establishes with his pets. That link clearly is justified by different causes and reasons. and has to do with feelings, social, cultural, or even economic influence.

For many, the preference for pets arises from feeling a true respect and love for animals. For others, the isolation and mistrust of other human beings is reason enough to trust more in a pet. That is why the following saying is popular: “The more I know people. the more I love my dog.” It is from the philosopher Diogenes of Sinope.

There are even social reasons why we have pets. In some circles, it is a symbol of economic distinction to have a purebred dog, for example. The growing feeling of love and consideration for animals is clearly noticeable, but it should also be noted that there are also groups of human beings who have little compassion for animals. These are people who trade, experiment, and dissect animals to obtain some benefit.

The large pharmacological corporations, under the pretext of finding medicines that are appropriate for man, perform all kinds of experiments on animals and only small groups of environmentalists face up to this situation. Men are actually dehumanizing each other. Fortunately the balance seems in favor of a majority that thinks about the protection of animals. “Compassion for animals is intimately connected with goodness of character. and it can be safely stated that one who is cruel to animals cannot be a good person” (Arthur Schopenhauer.)

At present, in many places of the world even animals are taken into consideration as if they were objects, objects that can move and, in some cases, belong to an owner. However, for some time and in more and different parts of the world, this concept has been changing. People are taking measures in favor of animal protection.

The fight for animal protection has to arise based on the laws and not only in view of the ideological perception of the people.

In Peru, things are taking a new horizon. On January 8 of the year 2016 the Law of Protection and Animal Welfare was promulgated. Only three days after entering into force, complaints of animal abuse increased by some a sixty percent. This clearly means that people are ready to denounce those who abuse animals.

But will this be enough to change a society like Peru. In a society so diverse we need needed not just restrictive laws. but more than anything a change in our mental schemes. Educating people to change the collective ideology is fundamental.

For example, and focusing our problem on Cusco’s society, many fellow citizens have the need to have a pet not only for emotional reasons but also to look for the security and protection that a pet can provide as a security for their home. In some cases, there are pets that are raised for therapeutic purposes, or for a matter of fashion, which is related to the social status that certain types of breeds are presumed to give, although in reality this is harmful. Still, it makes the economic value of certain dog breeds high due to the demand. In fact, when a breed goes out of fashion its price also goes down. This can even end in pet abandonment by people who are engaged to raising them in order to seek financial gain. it is well known that there are also people who are dedicated to raising dogs to market them clearly; and, of course, we are also guilty who are part of this market of select breed.

For this reason, it is important to combat all types of abuse against animals.

If education is really forming whole and more human beings, then we must do something really significant for the problems that afflict Cusco’s society. One concern is overpopulation of dogs. This does not about taking corrective measures as some outlandish leader had previously done. He tried to massively poison the dogs. This was described in the newspaper El Comercio “Cusco: mass poisoning of dogs of unworthy population.” This report appeared in September 2016 in the neighborhood of San Blas. One morning, many people were faced with the atrocious panorama of dead dogs tossed hither and yon on the streets of the picturesque neighborhood.

Education for the care of pets should instill first respect for the life of these animals, regardless of their breed. Pet owners should be aware of the good breeding of their pets, avoid abandoning them, ensure control of the reproductive health of animals, sterilizing them if necessary. That by itself will avoid overpopulation.

This awareness must also promote the adoption of abandoned pets, or simply avoid the purchase of pets to stop the commercialization of breeds that become fashionable and that people acquire by a bad perception of status.

Finally, a better education in these aspects will make us have a more humanized society that cares about its environment. It not only talks about the protection of pets, but also of all those animals that are often marketed for being exotic that are also exported or those animals that are mistreated in our environment due to tradition, such as fighting cocks or bulls.

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