In my home, we have a table, a chair, a bed, a sofa, a refrigerator, a television and many other household articles. If I hit them, they don't feel pain. If I drop them, they may break but they will not be aware of it. They are simply material objects.
In my home, there are five people. We eat. We live. We cry. We laugh. If someone hits us, we feel pain. If someone betrays us, we hurt. If we are injured in any way, we know. We are aware.
In my home, there are eleven dogs and one rabbit. They feel joy when we return home from a day's work. They feel hunger before a meal. They feel lonely when the people are not home. They feel apprehension when they have done something wrong and see me approaching. They envy those who sit close to us. They speak. They cry. They even shed tears.
There is very little difference between people and animals, yet there are many people who treat animals as objects, as tables that can be bought and sold, born and killed, and all without any feeling or sensibility whatsoever.
In Beijing, the authorities in a bid to control an outbreak of rabies are killing all dogs with a shoulder height taller than 50cm. The fear is that these dogs may catch rabies and become a mortal threat to the humans around them. But it is senseless killing, and devoid of the only thing that makes people special: humanitarianism.
Rather than require that all dog owners arrange rabies shots for their pets, and rather than test for the presence of rabies in the dogs before killing them, the Beijing authorities have chosen the simplest method. Their people are simply catching every dog they see and killing it on the spot. It does not matter if the dog's owner has a license for the dog. It does not matter if the dog is healthy. It does not matter that the dog is an animal, with feelings almost identical to humans. It does not matter. The authorities are even encouraging residents to report relatives, neighbours and friends who may own a dog. It's early communism all over again.
It wouldn't even be proper to use the phrases "put them down" or "put them to sleep" because the government people are striking the animals to death with long rods, in the streets, in plain sight of everyone around.
China is rapidly becoming a modern country. Unfortunately, modern does not equate to civil. While technology can be learnt very easily, humanitarianism; the understanding and caring of life in general; takes a very long time to learn and appreciate.
China is not the only criminal though. Back in January of 2006 in a bid to prove to the people of Hong Kong that they were actually working hard to prevent a bird flu epidemic, the Hong Kong government sought out and killed every domestic chicken owned and cared for by common people all over the territory. There was no testing, no proof of theory, and no mercy. Commercial people; i.e., people with money; were not sought after, only the common people. The unfortunate reality though was that chickens growing up in the back yards of common people were far healthier and far less likely to get bird flu than chickens in the commercial people's overcrowded factories. But the Hong Kong government did not care. Their only concern was that the Hong Kong people felt that they were doing something. Politicians are so superficial.
From what I've heard, the Hong Kong government's theory at the time was that migratory birds carrying the bird flu virus may fly over the common people's homes, depositing contaminated bird droppings into their yards. The chickens in those yards would then walk on the droppings and consequently become infected. Possible but extremely unlikely. This theory was truly a load of crap.
Today though in Beijing, dogs are being senselessly slaughtered and their owners are suffering. To show our support for dogs and their owners in Beijing and to be an example for other Chinese people in China, people here in Hong Kong who care for animals will be holding a vigil on Saturday, December 2 at 6.30pm outside the government building in Chater Gardens in Central. If you share our care for animals, please make an effort to come.
One day, it will be proven that those who have money and power will never be as strong as those who have heart.
More about the vigil:
由於 閣下一直 對推動愛護動物的事宜不遺餘力。現本小組誠意邀請閣下出席是次活動,一起為動物盡點綿力，令是次在中國發生的不人道對待狗隻事件能夠被廣泛關注，並籍此提高公眾對動物生命的尊重及愛惜。
日期︰ 12月2日 (星期六)
時間︰ 晚上 6時半 至 9時正