Animals in Pakistan are not safe
Take a look at this picture:
What is the cause of Rape cases in our society?
*Larki ki dressing aesi hai rape toh hona hi tha*
Recently in Lahore a kitten was repeatedly raped until her organs were crushed from inside…
Now who is responsible for this… Her dressing or your lust?#kittenrape pic.twitter.com/gcZGvrf6Yx
— Aimen Mehboob (@MehboobAimen) July 28, 2020
Those of you who have a heart will understand why this is so wrong. While raping a cat (or a kitten, or any other animal for that matter) boils our blood, do we really feel the same level of shame at our humanity when we see animals being mistreated?
Now look at this one:
For those of you who have pets, imagine your pet in that position – looking up to you with bewilderment and pain. For those of you who do not have pets, try to take in the fact that what you see is a living, breathing creature that is behind bars in a cage of pure misery.
A student from Karachi realized that animals in Pakistan are not safe because of our terrible treatment of them
Shahzeb Nasir, a medical student originally from Singapore, but studying in Karachi, undertook the responsibility to raise this very sense of empathy and sympathy towards animals in Pakistan.
This led him to initiate his photography project: The Plight of Animal Welfare in Pakistan.
He strongly felt that animals here are a target for injustices that go unnoticed altogether. He wishes to be a voice for these animals through his pictures and words, so that they may at least get the attention they need to start paving the path towards justice.
Being an avid photographer and an intense supporter of animal rights and welfare, he set out with his camera for risky excursions to places like Empress Market, Clifton Beach and Karachi Zoo. He hoped that his pictures would serve as a wake up call to Pakistanis, in order for them to realize that this heinous treatment of animals is taking place right under our collective eyes.
His pictures paint a grueling image of torture, a severe lack of heed and care and, above all, a gaping hole in the face of humanity with regards to animals in Pakistan
The above picture shows a severely malnourished horse – one of the many animals living in the exact same, if not worse, conditions. He found that animals were living in their own excrement or with other other diseased animals. He scraped the surface off the illegal exchange of animals as well. The Karachi Zoo was where he discovered that animals did not have the appropriate amount of space to live in, they were not being fed properly and he also uncovered mysterious disappearances of certain animals. The full account of this excursion was picked up by Big Cat Rescue on Facebook and can also be found here.
His trip to Empress Market in Karachi was even more depressing.
Talking about this particular image, Shahzeb writes, ‘The only way to win freedom from the horrors of the animal market. This wild caught Indian Ringneck Parakeet lies dead and alone at the bottom of its filthy cage.’
It is true that for these animals – these creatures who cannot speak or advocate for themselves – death is the only escape. How horrifying is the fact that their relief lies within their final breath?
When asked about whether he feels that his pictures will bring about a change, he said, ‘Change can only take place when we collectively understand what it is that needs to be changed and why. I feel that many are ignorant to the abuse against animals here because they are simply unaware of it. At least, that is what I would rather choose to believe than the fact that people know about this and refuse to speak up and do anything to help.’
These drugged puppies were just two out of the countless animals that were caged and left to lie in filth. He also found birds and animals stuffed within cages with their dead partners or fellow animals.
The entire album exposes this severely disturbing treatment of animals. To those who think that there are more important matters at hand, Shahzeb says, ‘An issue is an issue and exists purely because something is obviously not the way it should be. Period. If we spend more of our time and energy thinking about where to place the issues on a checklist, the checklist will never get made and no problems will ever be solved.’
Shahzeb Nasir is one person out of the millions residing in our country. He, alone, cannot bring about change – he can only be the vessel that carries forward the message.
Sit back, have a look at his album and ask yourself if freedom is only a right that you and I deserve to enjoy. When we don’t get what we want, we take to screaming and ranting. When we feel we have been wronged, we make ourselves heard. These animals do not have that privilege. If we do not discourage snake charmers, if we ourselves are enablers in the highly suspicious buying and selling of animals and if we choose to refrain from reporting the cruelty at zoos – how can we expect any form of change to take place?
Perhaps, it is time that we look past the curtain of selfishness that blinds us and become the voices these animals need. It is time we shouldered the responsibility for the treatment of these animals, instead of letting these poor creatures carry the burden of simply existing in our society all by themselves.
Cover image via:@SQurien / Twitter