Regardless of the fact that government efforts have restricted some animal rights violations by creating shelters in the desert for lizards and birds, there is a growing problem of stray dogs and street cats that are harmed and poisoned and abused.
Lack of awareness led real-life heroes to create, manage and fund organizations like PAWS, Al-Rifq, KARE and many others in Kuwait. Fortunately, such acts of kindness are increasing in popularity, and these voluntary groups are documenting their accomplishments on social media, gathering support and encouragement for a seemingly lost battle.
The advent of social media and the race for fame has increased animal rights violations by ill-doers who seek shock value by any means necessary. Viewers have been tremendously baffled by the cruel treatment of animals in GCC states, such as shooting chickens with fireworks, kicking cats into goals, or making dogs living piñatas only to get more Internet views.
American expat Claudia Al-Rashoud has passionately raised points that are definitely worth mentioning – firstly, that the sadistic pleasure of creating any organized fights between animals or making any kind of dark comedy displays by hurting animals is psychologically proven to create generations disposed to being violent against fellow human beings. I would add that you can’t find a terrorist cuddling Mr Cookie the brown hamster!
Secondly, she stressed countries such as India and Bangladesh combat the problem of uncontrollable breeding by spaying females and neutering males. Thirdly, she suggested cracking down on owners who irresponsibly breed for quick dinars, and raise awareness that pets can improve the psychology and morale of kids. She also spoke about the cruelty of throwing pets out due to fears of developing allergies without providing a humane place for them.
All in all, the fight against animal cruelty is not about turning GCC states into a fantastical utopia for animals, but for us Muslims, it is simply to abide by what Islam has already taught us. Such as the story of the prostitute that went to eternal paradise only by the merciful and kind act of giving a dog a drink of water, and how a pious and honorable Muslim lady went to hell only due to the merciless act of confining a cat without feeding it. It is time to see our fellow habitants of earth not as biological piñatas, but our furry tickets to heaven.
By Jeri Al-Jeri