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HANDLE WITH CARE

Animals not only have every right to co-exist with us – they should also be treated with love, compassion and care

Why do some people hate animals so much?

People might hate animals for many reasons.

Cultural training: People are taught when they are small that animals are unclean, dangerous and should be avoided. Some religions and cultures believe that animals should be killed – ranging from ants to elephants – not just for eating but because they should not occupy the same space as humans. They believe that animals are simply created for human use and they pass these beliefs on.

Trauma: If someone has been attacked by a dog, or believed a dog was going to attack them, they might develop a dislike for dogs. For some people, even the notion that a dog could attack or hurt them is enough to make them wary.

Antipathy towards the owner or befriender: Most of the time, in my experience, the problem is not that people hate animals. They hate or want to hate the person who owns the animal or who feeds the animals. And, if this person is a lone woman then she is targeted and animals are made an excuse. Whether she feeds birds or dogs she will be complained about and warned. If she has animals in her house, the society will be provoked to ask her to get rid of them. This is simply power play and it is done by psychos. Alas, as colonies grow more and more crowded and people live cheek by jowl, such psychos – and they include men and women– have increased. They are bored and frustrated by their own lives and they need outlets for their anger. And who better to take it out on than animals and their friends.

Just like colleges and universities have so many committees and clubs, can they have an animal welfare committee?

Many have started at the initiative of the students themselves. It is an important club to have, as we should learn about animal conservation and animal welfare. It helps humans survive. Children who work with animals are found to be 15 per cent smarter than other children. There is something in the interaction and in the learning to be compassionate and responsible for weaker beings that makes these children smarter, more disciplined and considerate.

Can head lice transfer from humans to pets?

Lice are species-specific, which means there are different species of lice for each animal species that they depend on. Human lice need human blood to survive; dog lice need dog blood and so on. Therefore, if your child comes home from school with a diagnosis of head lice, your dog, cat or other pets in the household are not at risk of catching the lice or hatching eggs. Conversely, while lice are not common in dogs and cats, the species of lice that live on dogs and cats are not able to live on humans. They are most often found in animals that live in conditions without proper sanitation. Additional risk factors include poor nutrition and poor overall health. Senior dogs and very young dogs are most at risk of lice infestation. The two types of lice that affect dogs are Trichodectes canis and Linognathus setosus. Cats get only one type of lice: Felicola subrostrata.

(Views expressed and information provided are personal. Send your questions to manekaanimallove@gmail.com)

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