Is intelligence a licence?

Human beings occupy the highest position in the animal kingdom. We are called to be the caretaker of nature and of the lower members of the animal kingdom. God appointed us as stewards, not as lords. But often time human beings play the role of a lord to the other animals. We act as if we are the master of their very life and death.

It is but a sad reality when some take delight in witnessing all this cruelty against animals. It was indeed bothering when I saw it in the news, how some young ladies mercilessly and painfully kill puppies, kittens and other animals in front of a webcam where overseas patrons watch them do such horrible acts for a price. I do not understand what is there to enjoy in such cruelty. I do not see the logical connection of those sexy young ladies acting as executioners. What is sexually exciting in that case?

Certainly, animals may not be as intelligent as human beings, but in some instances, it seems that some human beings are no higher than any other regular animals. Ferociousness is but a natural instinct of animals, snakes are made to bite, tigers are made as predators, bees by nature sting etc., what about man? Are we by nature cruel? I believe and as we are taught, humans are by nature good.

We may never understand truly the world of the other animals, we don’t know if they have emotions, if they cry at the loss of a loved one, but I personally believe that they have their own way of life where in they are fully aware of their acts and their relations with other animals.

I don’t see much difference with the hardship and trials the animals are to experience in this life as we are. They are just like us trying to live a normal life. It is but a painful sight, when one time a friend of mine shot a bat. It turned out that it is a mother bat, as it fell on the ground, the baby fell from a distance, quickly but struggling, the baby bat crawled to its dead mother as if trying to wake her up. In that moment, I thought I saw a human baby weeping because of such a tragedy. I don’t know if it was the right decision, but with a heavy heart, I asked my friend to kill the young bat as well.

In another experience I just went out of my University’s gate about to cross the street, when I saw a cat who went to scavenge from some leftover food in a restaurant trash can, when it was trying to cross, a pickup truck intentionally manoeuvred to hit the cat. The front wheel slightly caught the cat on the hind leg, struggling, the cat was trying to make it to the other side, when another motorcycle rider without hesitation ran over the cat. Unable to watch any longer I decided to help the cat and bring her to the other side, at least I got yelled by the drivers, and maybe they were thinking I’m crazy. Maybe I am, but I was thinking, that cat is just another life trying to make some living. He wasn’t asking for alms, that cat was working yet, some people do not appreciate it, instead view it as a menace.

I am not an animal activist and do not pretend to know much about animals. I admit I don’t like all of them, I fear rats, snakes and some other animals. But one thing for sure, I know they deserve at least respect.

Our superior intelligence as humans does not justify or give us licence to treat them in any manner we want, but rather our superiority imposes upon us the bounded duty to protect and be responsible stewards of these animals.

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