Treated ‘like an­i­mals’?

Jamaica Gleaner - - SATURDAY TALK -

THE EDI­TOR, Sir:

THE GLEANER head­line on Novem­ber 14, ‘Treated like an­i­mals’, struck me neg­a­tively. The story was re­gard­ing peo­ple be­ing treated like an­i­mals by other peo­ple whose job it was to serve and as­sist them.

I am given to un­der­stand that be­ing treated like an­i­mals means be­ing treated badly, ne­glected, abused, etc. It is a great pity that we in Ja­maica have learnt that an­i­mals, by de­fault, are badly treated, and this is nor­mal and ac­cept­able – for an­i­mals, but not hu­mans.

Iron­i­cally, I passed, again, one of these ex­am­ples of ill treat­ment and ne­glect of an­i­mals that very same morn­ing (Novem­ber 14) on my way down the hill, com­ing down to­wards Red Hills on the moun­tain road near the sec­ond turn-off to Coop­ers Hill.

Still ly­ing there on the road was the beau­ti­ful large red dog, bloated, bro­ken and dead by the road­side. He/she had cer­tainly been al­lowed by the owner (?) for a long time to roam the roads at will, as I used to see this dog very of­ten while driv­ing on that road and, in fact, al­most hit him once my­self. I had come to look out for him af­ter that, and slow down in that area in par­tic­u­lar.

On Fri­day morn­ing, Novem­ber 18, af­ter at least eight days, the pu­trid and rot­ten re­mains of that poor dog are still ly­ing there and stink­ing up the whole area through no fault of the dog’s. Is this a fine sce­nario, or what? There are also many other dogs in the same sit­u­a­tion of risk, in that area and oth­ers, beau­ti­ful or not, ‘owned’ or ‘stray’, who are al­ways at great risk of be­ing killed by ve­hic­u­lar traf­fic as they scav­enge for food (usu­ally dumped by us hu­mans from car win­dows – boxes of chicken bones, etc.).

EVEN­TUAL DEATH

Cer­tainly, it is in­evitable that these help­less and un­for­tu­nate an­i­mals will even­tu­ally, sooner or later, be smashed to death while try­ing to stay alive by eat­ing what­ever, how­ever and wher­ever food is avail­able to them at the time.

Maybe if we had learnt from we were small, to care for and have re­spect, love and com­pas­sion for our lit­tle sis­ters and broth­ers, and also for dogs, cats and other an­i­mals, we would have de­vel­oped a per­ma­nent sense of car­ing and sym­pa­thy for our fel­low adult hu­man be­ings as well.

It might cer­tainly help to start now by not say­ing ‘treated like an­i­mals’ any­more, and in­stead say ‘treated like garbage’. At this point in our se­verely da­m­aged so­ci­ety, which is hurtling at great speed to­wards com­plete shame and degra­da­tion, it cer­tainly means the same thing. SADAN TAYAD Coop­ers Hill, St An­drew

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