ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

The Cruelty of Speciesism

From the point of view of inclusive democracy and ecology, the issue of animal protection cannot be simplified into a human versus animal dichotomy.

The Indian Constitution is probably the only one in the world that, under Article 51A(g), clearly exhorts every citizen of the country to have compassion for all living creatures. We also have the (now outdated) Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1960) and a plethora of other laws which indicate that our founding leaders had more respect for animals than we do now. Unlike many other countries that have no animal protection legislation, India has drafted some of the best laws for them, which have been lauded internationally by animal rights organisations.

Yet, in recent years, India has witnessed a horrific rise in systemic cruelty to animals and violation of animal rights. Not only do we seem to have become barbaric and brutalised but we also do not care to implement our humane laws. Instead, we are now active participants in the global trade in animals, animal parts and animal products; we poach away our wildlife; we invest crores in mindless animal captivity entertainment through dolphinariums, circuses, zoos and aquariums; we export vast quantities of milk despite the cruelties in the dairy industry; we pride ourselves in exporting leather and meat; we transport animals in hideous conditions, without food and water, for illegal slaughter; we cram them into labs for often unnecessary scientific research; and we transfer animals from their natural habitats to zoos and circuses for humans to gawk at. Add to this, the global Indian gourmet’s new-found appetite for “exotic” meats like foie gras, emu, veal and shark fins. (India is the largest exporter of shark fins to South-East Asian countries.)

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here


To gain instant access to this article (download).

Pay INR 50.00

(Readers in India)

Pay $ 6.00

(Readers outside India)

Back to Top