India is a funny country with no sense of humour. In fact, being offended and trolling are at an all-time high with the advent of social media platforms. When we say India is a culturally diverse country in its truest form, we are not wrong. We bully everyone equally.
Recently, Anushka Sharma came up with a message for everyone where she asked us to be a little considerate towards pets while enjoying our Diwali festivities. Like every other thing on the internet, it quickly turned social media into two groups - those who tried pointing out her hypocrisy for not speaking up about animal cruelty during Eid (the typical whatabout-ers) and those who saw the bigger picture behind her message.
Here's the original tweet:
Now there's a new 'meme' doing the rounds where people are actually trying to shame her for her double standards. With a myopic view of society, you might find this a reasonable retort but for those who are seeing the bigger picture here, it's petty to say the least.
Here's the meme:
Here's the picture:
Maria Amir perfectly summarises the different social media platforms in this article for Dawn:
Social media feeds are a curious thing. They most effectively exhibit the best and the worst of humanity – our confused composite collage of mood and mind: from cataloguing everything from analysis pieces in The Economist to gifs of our pets doing adorable things like existing to our status updates on daily coffee binges.
For the record, sharing this meme isn't trolling per se but the term has been so bastardised that most Indians don't even understand what constitutes as trolling. But that's a debate for some other occasion. It's extremely sad that people have equated any sort of concern (however seasonal) with an attack on their liberty. It is not.
Even if the concern or awareness is short-lived, they are at least trying to make a difference. And turning a blind eye to these valid arguments on account of any sort of whatabout-ery will lead us nowhere.
It isn't that the non-vegetarians cannot campaign for animal rights; it isn't hypocrisy. That's because the system of nature is such that every living creature is dependent upon another for sustenance of life. It was a part of basic education, religious philosophies aside. Recent studies have proven that plants also respond to emotions and pain - not through a central nervous system like ours but through a cellular nervous system on a local level. You can read the actual study here.
Simply causing trauma and pain to animals without any contribution to the natural food web of planet earth, for continued sustenance, is just ego pleasing or shear ignorance, therefore unacceptable. All people should campaign against this - vegetarians and non-vegetarians.
It's our prerogative to turn this seasonal awareness into something that lasts all through the year. Air pollution and noise pollution aren't mere pawns for debates and discussions. These are serious issues that need to be taken up even without festivals being round the corner. And for that, we will have to take the NGOs and activists working towards this seriously.
We like shrugging off our responsibilities and this meme is a testament to this fact. Just because we don't want to change our 'style' of Diwali celebrations, we've tried shaming Anushka Sharma.
Non-vegetarians don't try and harm someone's pet to please themselves. When you burst crackers, your neighbour's pet lands in trouble. If you actually love the animals that are killed for food, adopt them and raise them; like your own pets. I believe no one will kill those animals then. But when you are just trying to justify harming animals by pointing out that she eats other animals (which are raised exclusively for the purpose of consumption), you are trying to feed your ego.