New Delhi: Like humans, animals too enjoy good food, feel pain and
express emotions. To drive home the point that animals have the basic
right to life and freedom from cruelty at the hands of humans in
abattoirs and laboratories, Jonathan Balcombe, an American animal
behaviour research scientist, is here these days delivering lectures
at various medical colleges and universities across the country. Dr.
Balcombe, who works with the Physicians Committee for Responsible
Medicine (PCRM) in Washington D.C., wants to create awareness about
atrocities committed on animals. India with its large population and
widespread tradition of vegetarianism can be a "key player" in
transforming humans and improving their relationship with animals, he
Highlighting the plight of hapless animals in slaughterhouses of the
United States at a press conference in New Delhi on Thursday, Dr.
Balcombe said: "Until recently scientific dogma rejected animal
consciousness and emotions but now we know better. In the U.S.,
abattoirs pigs are kept in dark cells and don't enjoy fresh air. No
doubt quality of life is grim. As far as cows are concerned, calves
are taken away from their mothers so that their milk can be consumed
by humans." ...
"Animals' pain is akin to yours and mine and their will to live is
just as strong as ours. As such, animal experiments, their meat
production and harming them for entertainment are blatantly unethical.
Therefore, I recommend a vegetarian diet, particularly a vegan one,"