I was reading this article from Tony and was immediately reminded of my one of own experiences with animal rights activists.
Every summer we head out to Ooty for our Annual Family Vacation. Before we all started working, we would go to exotic places. But now, time constraints do not allow that luxury and we are content with our favorite place on Earth i.e Ooty. We have been coming to Ooty every year from the time my eldest brother was born. So we are like natives here and know quite a few of the locals here. Mingling with the Who’s Who of Ooty has its benefits. You get to sit in a Box at the Racing Club for instance. We go for the races every year in May. As kids we were allowed to bet with the Government run Betting Booth in the private stall. The two punters who sat here were very middle aged ladies operating what looks like a contraption made in the 1800’s. We were very professional gamblers too. After studying the racing guide carefully, we chose the horses with a name we thought was the snazziest. We were allowed to bet Rs. 5 per game and by the end of the races we would recover some and lose some. The place has not changed over the years. The two ladies who sit in the stall taking bets are still there.
Over the years things have changed though at the races. A lady can be seen seated near the racing track with a binocular and every now and then she gesticulates and makes a noise. Since we were ‘insiders’ we got to know that she was from Mrs. Kenaka Handhi’s stables. A highly excitable creature that watches every race like a hawk and reports any “harsh treatment” of the horse to her Madam. Madam would then make life hell for you in the Press. I have seen several such ladies at the races. Each one more holier than thou who think nothing of the malnourished and over burdened Ponies in Ooty because it gives them no mileage in the Press.
Last year we saw a signboard on the roads that indicated a kennel with litter. I was eager to go and see the pups. A kennel is the place for people like me who want to pick up some puppies and play with them for a while. When we reached the “Kennel” what we saw horrified us. Small plywood boxes housed new born puppies separated from their mother who was trapped in a similar box under the harsh sun. The entire kennel consisted of a terrace with plywood cartons housing innumerable Alsatian puppies and dogs.
When I reported the matter to the lady from Mrs. Kenaka Handhi’s stables she pretended not to hear me and walked over to the generous bar laid out by the club on racing night. While she sipped the cocktails courtesy the prize bloodlines at the racing club stables, small malnourished puppies slept uncomfortably in small plywood boxes under the cold Ooty moon. Animals with no birthright because their owners could not provide the Champagne and Caviar needed to grab attention to their plight.