Rest in rage, KhaireyA street dog needed our love and protection. We killed it instead.
It takes great hollowing of the human soul to beat a helpless street dog to death. Some of our fellow humans exhibit that emptiness time and again, often for the sake of evil pleasure, leaving the rest of us wondering whether we really deserve the company of animals that do not attack us unless they are in danger. A crude instance of human barbarity against an animal was on display recently when a video of two men beating a street dog named Khairey to death, in Kavre district, surfaced on social media. As per reports, the dog had allegedly bitten a child, and a combination of rage against the mongrel as well as enmity between two villages led to its killing. A small group of people, rightly outraged by the cruel killing of Khairey, congregated at Maitighar Mandala in Kathmandu on Wednesday with their pet dogs and demonstrated that it is not cool to kill a dog, or any other animal for that matter, on the basis of crazy whims of humans.
Street dogs tend to be a menace, especially when they are in packs and are hungry. Even after living with humans for millennia, they sometimes go back to their natural instincts in some cases. But most of the time, they are friendly, kind and loyal to their human friends. It is not for nothing that dogs are called the last remaining friends of human beings. It is not that everyone needs to love dogs; there are many who hate dogs, just as there are many who hate cats or some other animal. That is absolutely fine, as long as their hatred does not translate into harming the canines, or any other animal for that matter. The caretaking of stray animals is, in fact, our collective social responsibility, because we have the wherewithal to fulfil that responsibility if we have the willpower to do so.
Until a couple of decades ago, various local bodies in Nepal used poisoning as the most viable way to control the menace of street dogs. They hired people to feed the dogs poison-laced food and then dispose of the carcasses once they were dead. There has been a decline in such a level of cruelty in the past several years, as that would obviously lead to public outrage, but some of our administrators and representatives are yet to let go of such barbaric tendencies. The most visible example of such barbarity was the pushing of more than 300 cows over a cliff in Surkhet in August 2019. Over two dozen cows were killed in the incident while dozens of others suffered injuries. This was as barbaric as it gets.
Modern science has come up with quick and efficient remedies for dog bites, but it takes years, even decades, of teaching humans that the best way to deal with natural instincts of animals is the language of love and not anger or hatred. The killing of Khairey should remind us that animals, too, have the rights to live in dignity and without pain and suffering and that we need to deal with cruelty against them seriously. Our society has for so long normalised cruelty against animals. It is now time to change that, and we must all come together to think about how we can find a mutually beneficial way of co-existing with animals. After all, this planet isn't a private fiefdom of humans only, is it?