I think Mr Clifton has a strong point here although I am in no way trying to
discredit Azam's genuine feelings of compassion for the dogs. Like Azam, I
have lived in zones infested with terrorism(incidentally in North East
India) and do not deny the conflict of interest that arises when humans have
to deal with animals and their own colleagues in times of war. In my
opinion, animal welfare in war zones is not a black and white issue as noted
zoologist Colin Tudge has commented. Jilly Cooper also has an interesting
book on Animals in War that deals with these issues and is highly
On 12/1/06, Merritt Clifton <anmlpepl@...> wrote:
> The following passage, by Azam Siddiqui, actually describes
> one of the sets of circumstances under which dogs have survived and
> thrived in proximity to humans for several millennia, through their
> unparalleled ability to scavenge almost anything, including rats,
> dung, corpses, & other starving animals--
> >I reached a spot 24 hrs hours later for news reporting after one bus
> >full of 24 people was set on fire killing all the passengers and
> >also a Village where many houses were set ablaze, I saw there were
> >no villagers, some had died, some fled to neighbouring safe areas,
> >rest were either killed or nursing wounds in hospitals and rehab
> >camps far away.
> >Then I saw something which was sad, very tragic.
> >I saw the injured animals, livestock, cattle, pigs, poultry without
> >their guardians, searching for food around the burnt huts.
> >Not a single grain was to be found. No food !
> >Although for the poultry and the cattle and livestock they managed
> >to graze in the surrounding greenery.
> >But there was simply nothing for the DOGS, and they were many.
> >They were starving, they came running to me and my crew, for they
> >saw HUMANS. The same HUMANS who they were dependent on. They knew
> >they will get food. What they didnt know was that they I would soon
> >leave them to die a painful death due to starvation.
> Dogs (and cats) have historically often been the most
> prominent animal survivors on battlefields & at the scenes of
> massacres, deadly plagues, and natural disasters.
> Undoubtedly they suffer hardship, but of all the species
> whom Siddiqui names, dogs tend to have the greatest likelihood of
> surviving for a prolonged time without human care.
> This was remarked upon even in ancient times.
> Merritt Clifton
> Editor, ANIMAL PEOPLE
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