After Pam A assumed responsibilities for furthering ethical treatment of animals and upholding their fundamental right to survival, broader interest in the matter soared tremendously. The movement’s success, however, doesn’t seem to have taken the load off her chest (uhh…).
So much so that it got certain prime beneficiaries of the animals-have-rights movement – the mongrels – greatly interested in the matter. Those that were fortunate enough to be elevated to domesticated status saw their self-esteems advancing rapidly. Competitions such as the ‘Cutest Mutt of 20XX‘ came to assume centre-stage in the lives of mongrel-Masters, intent on bagging the award, generally unspoken, for Social Networking brownie points. Gradually, it dawned on the mongrel community that the A in P.E.T.A was really a D. With this realization, the domesticated fortunates unfortunately grew heavier. In the belly and in the head. The latter, as future events were to show, proved to be a grave(r) concern.
Concomitantly, those mongrels left to enjoy geographic freedom seethed in silence. Oddly, it seemed to bother them that their schedules and geographic limits were not being directed by humans. The prospect of unknown meals – in terms of availability, quantity and quality – put many on the road to scrawniness. The wise gurus spent evenings reminiscing about the good old days, although few seemed to remember anything about the good bit. Some of the more intense whining bewailed the emergence of class-based divisions within mongrel society. Needless to add, the free mongrel community looked askance at the bonded mongrel community, who they felt had sold out, often cheaply.
Nobody cared to enlighten the animals on the Law of Unintended Consequences. As the rights movement accelerated, some members of the animal community noticed that the ethical treatment was inflicting unethical consequences on their fellow brethren.
The domesticated hen remonstrated with her mongrel housemate of the daily obliteration that her community was subjected to. When the mongrel grunted smugly, the hen reminded him of their mismatch in benefits to the human race. She enlisted her utility as a recurring provider of edible ellipse and the ultimate expression of edible self-sacrifice.
Stung by this guerilla assault, the mongrel fulminated by enlisting his usefulness in pandering to the senses. After-work cuddles, licks, sniffs and enthusiastic barking were enlisted. Love and Companionship were the ultimate Aces that he had up his sleeve. Playing the cards made him feel he had succeeded in wresting back some initiative.
The hen spewed numbers. 24 billion fowl to 700 million mongrels in the world, she said. Numbers were on her side. Her service to mankind’s tummies – a more fundamental need – was on her side. Why then was she subject to step-animal-ly treatment?
The mongrel retorted that as his community was scarcer it was only fair that they were singled out for special care and treatment. He also noted that man-led regeneration of her community was a blessing for her. As the moment seemed opportune, he also chided the hen for her stupidity in being unable to comprehend obviousness.
Unfazed, the hen drew her friend’s attention to the tiger. Even the most optimistic estimates did not tick over 6000 globally, she scowled. Going by the mongrel’s line of reasoning, shouldn’t animal rights and ethical treatment apply even more urgently in the case of the big cat? She pressed the mongrel to explain the difference in human interest levels.
The mongrel, owing to his proximity to humans, had picked up many of their commonplace traits. When flummoxed, he had seen Masters resorting to either, 1) hollering, in an attempt to drown sensible discussion, 2) feign ignorance, 3) abrupt flight. He adopted all three, retiring to the safety of his state-of-the-art kennel.
The hen was lost, deep in thought. She realised that bemoaning the Page 3-ing of ethical treatment and animal rights movements was futile and that these movements would continue unabated. Probably, even intensify over time. No amount of bile rile could remedy the situation. A consumption chart comparing her community’s fate to those of her competitors in servicing man’s hunger indicated that humans loved her community immensely. The slope on the chicken consumption trend line made her squirm. The other lines seemed to be sauntering.
She also noticed that evolution had been most severe on those that held utility to man; either in satisfying hunger or as a means of accumulating papers of value. The blue-fin tuna, tiger, lion and a host of others were on the verge of joining the after-life, forever.
This left her feeling distraught, as she noticed her community’s rather large population numbers.
But she managed a wry smile, on remembering that human population had recently crossed the 7 billion mark. Humans were catching up.
She wasn’t alone in Useless Land.