Parker Pillsbury, New Media Director
Here’s how we stop it.
Heroes can be found everywhere. They’re the people who feed starving animals, provide them with shelter, and rescue them from dangerous situations. We respect and admire these individuals because they’re lifesavers.
So why are some being punished?
In June 2015, Ontario animal activist Anita Krajnc was placed under arrest and charged with “criminal mischief.” What was her crime? She provided dehydrated pigs with water.
When a truck carrying the suffering pigs came to a stop at an intersection, Anita ran to provide them water. The pigs had foam around their mouths and panted heavily.
The truck driver spotted Anita and immediately became aggressive. He called her names and even threatened to physically assault her. At one point, he calls the pigs “property.” Witnesses recorded the event.
After nearly two years of legal battles, a judge in Ontario dismissed Anita’s “criminal mischief” charge this week. It was a precedent-setting win for animals that sent a clear message: compassion is not a crime.
But that was the Canadian legal system. Elsewhere in the world, animal lovers are being tried and convicted not in courtrooms, but on the streets by their own neighbors.
In India, the topic of stray dog overpopulation is extremely heated. The situation has become so bad that people who are caught feeding stray dogs have been brutally beaten by their own neighbors. And providing shelter for animals can be dangerous as well. In 2016, a man assaulted a mother and her daughter because they had been giving stray dogs shelter. The man beat them with his shoe and left one of them without a tooth.
It’s a grave injustice to arrest or assault anyone for doing a good deed for an animal. These are acts of courage. Is there a way to stop it?
Yes. We need to change how society views animals.
The people who want to punish animal advocates are doing so because they see animals as either menaces or property. They fail to see these sentient beings as individuals who love their lives and want to live free from suffering.
We must let our compassion lead the way and be a voice for billions of animals, from stray dogs to factory farmed pigs. We can achieve this outcome by kindly educating our friends, family, and strangers about the plight of these animals and their desire to live without fear or pain.
A day where animals are not seen as a pest, property or a meal is on the horizon. But it’s up to us to make it happen.