There are two recent events that are ostensibly unrelated.
Yet, the confluence of these events served to illuminate, each in its own way, aspects of our society’s relationship with animals.
One aspect has been illuminated by a bill regarding household pets that has been tabled in parliament, which appears to create more problems than it solves, raising obstacles instead of solving problems.
Another aspect is illuminated by the ruthless and inhuman torture of a dog by two soldiers, even as a third soldier videotaped the heinous acts.
What determines a society’s level of civilisation is a totality of behaviours, perceptions, mores, and habits.
Included in all this is our behaviour towards animals, which is a par excellence measure of a society’s civilisation.
It is inconceivable for animals that live in an urban environment to be treated as strays, about which the government can remain indifferent.
Nature itself establishes the terms of co-existence. Those terms must be respected. Even a modicum of humanism mandates that animals be treated as living beings that need our care.
It is this very humanism that the soldiers, unfortunately, did not exhibit.
The state has a duty to institute a framework of rules to protect these vulnerable animals, rules that must be decided in a most serious manner and must be enforced, because obeying the law is yet another indication of the civilisation of a society.