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« on: October 21, 2016, 10:21:35 AM »
By Atty Chic Baluma

A month ago, it was a sad sight to hear the news of the death of Australian Steve Erwin, the famed host of “ Crocodile Hunter” who died on September 4, 2006 from a deadly stingray’s barb which pierced his chest while filming a TV show on the Great Barrier Reef. Steve Erwin was a popular international figure who prior to that tragic day had numerous near death experiences exploring what he loved most, the world of wildlife and animals in general.

While animals play a great role in the maintenance of balance in our ecology, many heartless individuals are not giving animals their fair slice of rights in this world. A week ago, Checkpoints chanced upon watching a news where a hundred kilos of dog meat were confiscated in Baguio. In that episode, the lifeless remains of the dogs were stockpiled one over the other. It was a disheartening scene to watch, with me wondering what has happened to the old saying that goes “A dog is a man’s best friend”. A live animal was also seen being fed to the crocodile which appeared very eager to quench its hunger. Interestingly, that episode caught the eyes of the animal rights activists who are now fighting for the cessation of such practice.

The Book of Genesis tells us that on the sixth day the great sea monsters and all kinds of winged birds were made. All kinds of livings creatures, cattle, creeping things, and wild animals of all kinds were likewise created. The bible likewise tells us that God has given man every seed bearing plant all over the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be his food. The bible tells further that God has given to all animals of the land, all the birds of the air, and all the living creatures that crawl on the ground, the green plants for food. Nowhere in the bible is there a line which gives man the unlimited license to exploit unnecessarily and abuse God’s creation.

According to George Eliot, “Animals are such agreeable friends, they ask no questions and pass no criticisms”. Animals just like human beings have also their rights. Every animal in this planet deserves to be treated with respect and be free from any form of exploitation. While some animal activists bats for total animal liberation, many animal welfare groups take a different kind of approach, working for the improvement of the relationship between animals and man.

While our country is never behind in the passage of laws advocating the protection of certain wildlife species or animals, to name a few, we have the laws concerning the protection of marine turtles, protection of dolphins, protection of whale sharks and manta rays, sea cow (dugong), the battle for their preservation remains an uphill climb.

The use of animals to mankind cannot be quantified. Scientific researchers use animals in biomedical research aimed in improving human health. Potent Antibiotics and vaccines and other medical treatments were developed with the aid of animal experimentation. Even in the treatment of the most dreaded diseases of the modern world, cancer and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), animals remain a crucial tool for its investigation and treatment. The use of animals in experimentation face protests, since some animal rights activists are objecting to toxicity testing performed on animals to help determine whether cosmetics or medicines are safe for human use. Laws must be provided which will regulate the use and treatment of laboratory animals in scientific industries and in education.

Animals to a large amount provides mankind food. But for animal right advocates, the use of intensive farming is opposed because of the unrestricted space that such farm animals are forced to occupy before they are slaughtered.

Animal injury and even its death befall to animals when mankind exposes them in entertainment / sports. Take the case of such sports where animals are made the key players, like dog fighting and bullfighting. Although bullfighting has been banned in certain countries, such remains to be a traditional event in Spain.

Animals, just like human beings who deserve to be protected from the day of their birth until their death, should get the protection that they deserve. With all the above-things taken into consideration, it is not too late to show genuine concern for animals, especially animals that are on the verge of near extinction. God never destined animals to be placed at the mercy of men.

Published on Oct 15, 2006 by The Bohol Standard Newspaper

Romans 10:9-10
"If you declare with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved."

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