Cool Buddies

(Moo)ving account of an animal lover’s life [by Ratheesh]

Posted in Animals, Environment, Humour, Life, Sarcasm, Social Work by Ratheesh & Sharada on March 20, 2008

(When you see a disclaimer on an article rest assured there is something fishy about it.)
Although with its polite manner and professional etiquette this article might impress you, please beware. This is a cheap marketing gimmick by an animal lover to bring you into his circle. (Sort of like Amway, but we don’t promise to make you rich).

“You both are mad, MAD”, aunty said, stressing on the second “MAD” to make sure we heard it clear. The aunty in question is my wife’s mom, an old lady with chubby cheeks, dimpled chin and a lot of good old features you would love to see in your mom. She loves us a lot, a LOT (this time I am stressing), as any mom would.

So why would she get so articulate about our perceived mental problem today? Truth is, she was not alone. There are many people around us who think we are mad, out of our mind. Reasons? You ask. We are ardent animal lovers. (Ooooooh, I see some of you throwing this article away).

Animal lover, Animal activist; call us anything. We are a special breed. All ten of us in Bangalore (just kidding); there are about 100 of us the last time I counted (Ha Ha). We were born-guilty; guilty for whatever our pathetic forefathers have done to this planet. We constantly try to make corrections. We demand justice (we receive none, but who cares; it is easy to get permission to sit in front of Gandhi’s statue on M.G Road). We spend our money on Animal NGOs who in turn spend it spaying and neutering dogs on the streets so that they don’t bite “your” sorry arses. (“Your” as in someone who is not an animal lover. An animal lover feeds the dogs on his street, so it does not feed on “your” sorry arses).

It is not an awfully big list, but we do try to do our bit to save endangered species from extinction.(Yes! the dodo is extinct, but that is not the only one that has become extinct, you non animal lover! From this point onwards, I choose to call you Non-Animal-Lover. Now, don’t try to get all ‘politically correct’ with man-is-an-animal theory. You should’ve thought of that when you were killing so many animals just for pleasure and for food, you non-animal-lover-cum-non-vegetarian!)

Recently someone asked us what we do on weekends. “We teach English at a school and we work for animals the rest of the time”. The “teach English at school” part evoked lot of interest and appreciation. “Working for animals” evoked reactions similar to the expressions you’d have when you heard Narendra Modi won the Gujarat election a second term (something like “How??”). Animals are after all some sort of side-effect in God’s creation plan.

This is true, but people actually think we animal lovers are wasting our time; some of them think we are not really enthusiastic about it, but do it because somebody asked us to. Some others sympathize with us. (You should see the looks we get when we sit on M.G Road footpath, beside paan stains and dog poop). To summarize, they (you non-animal-lovers) think we are fighting a lost cause. (With so many animals on the brink of extinction, I am tempted to agree). But we will not give up.

“So you guys work for PETA?” our colleague at office asked us. (The kind of guy who does not know nothing about animals). “No”. We do not work for PETA, or any other organization for that matter. But thanks to their great work, PETA seems to have become synonymous with animal activism. No complaints. “Do you love children?” it was our chance to ask. “Yes”, he said. “Do you work for CRY?” We have not spoken to this guy since.

Being an animal lover is a tough job (I should be careful what I call it, some of you cunning fellows might be waiting to prove that we are being paid by Maneka Gandhi). As I said, it is not easy; first we need to convince our family that we are not mentally retarded, then we need to convince the auto driver that we are not criminals (because we are mostly loading his auto with animals, birds or snakes depending on what we do). Then there are various men and women who work at NGOs (for some folks animal loving is a job) who look at us and wonder why we turn up on weekends, all smiling and happy and ready to help them with menial jobs.

Most of us love all animals alike. We all picture ourselves hugging a grizzly bear in a perfect world (a perfect world is one where all non-animal-lover-cum-non-vegetarians have learnt their lessons). But some of us like my wife shriek at the sight of cockroaches (I am guessing many of the fairer sex animal lovers do). Then again, I do not picture myself hugging a cockroach too.

“So you say you are an animal lover?” this guy asked me once. He had the look on his face that reminded me of some lawyer in an movie. “How can you be sure that you do not hurt small insects, like you might crush ants and cockroaches while driving?” he continued. I do not remember my response (I must have smiled or something), but I do remember visualizing crushing him under my tyres some day. If all you losers out there did not (and do not) work towards a perfect world, where all loopholes are closed and all clauses are satisfied, then how can you ask us to strive for that (let me make this clear; we would like to, if you co-operate). Think about it, atleast we try. Not sit in front of the TV and watch some sixteen year olds play cricket or sixty year olds build six packs.

“So when will you be back? Will you come home for lunch?” aunty was at it again. She realized that her taunts were not going to make us give up a juicy protest march (This time some Swamiji was also supporting it for his own publicity). “We heard they are giving us biscuits (Parle-G to be precise, which both dogs and animal lovers love alike)” I replied, as we rode away on our bike, leaving aunty fuming at the gate.

Brother (or Sister) (or Others), we animal lovers are not your enemies, nor are we in need of your sympathy. We represent that part of your soul that is still humane. Accept us and be with us. Let us make this world a wonderful place to live in … for animals.


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