Letters To The Editor

“I believe empathy is the most essential quality of civilisation.”
– Roger Ebert

The correlation of animal cruelty and violence towards people

Cruelty to animals and violence towards people has something in common: both types of victims are living beings, feel pain, experience distress and may die from their injuries. Recently, a correlation has been established between animal abuse, family violence, and other forms of community violence. Many researches indicate that people who commit acts of cruelty towards animals rarely stop there. As per such researches, murderers and people who abuse their spouse or children had frequently harmed animals in the past. One reason for this is that individuals who participate in repeated cruelty towards animals become desensitised towards violence in general. Research shows that the more often someone is exposed to a certain situation, the more comfortable that person becomes with it. Even parents should stop their children from committing acts of cruelty to animals because that can be a warning sign of future violent behaviour. A child’s aggressive, abusive behaviour towards animals may predict later violence towards people. Parents must keep in mind that acts of animal cruelty are not merely signs of a minor personality flaw, but are rather symptomatic of a deep mental disturbance. Also, courts should aggressively penalise animal abusers. Courts and prosecutors, who handle cases of murder and rape, often do not take animal abuse seriously must begin to realise the connection between how abusers treat people and animals. Schools, parents, communities, and courts that dismiss cruelty to animals as a “minor” crime are ignoring a time bomb. Animal abuse must be redefined as a crime of violence and hurting an animal must be considered just as bad as hurting a person. Communities must acknowledge that the abuse of any living being is unacceptable and endangers everyone. Recognising that cruelty to animals is a significant form of aggressive and antisocial behaviour may help further the understanding and prevention of violence.

Annum Raza,

Impact of Covid-19 lockdown on environment

There’s clear water in the rivers, blues – r skies in and wild animals are roaming boldly in locked-down cities. The coronavirus is upending everything from aviation to the economy – and it's also having a big impact on the environment. Before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the air around us had been deemed very toxic to breathe due to the amount of greenhouse gases that have been emitting over the centuries. The Earth faced rising temperatures, which in turn led to the melting of glaciers and rising of sea levels. Environmental degradation was happening fast due to the depletion of resources such as air, water and soil. But after the coronavirus lockdown commenced, there has been slight changes in the environment. After the lockdown was put in place in many countries, there was lesser traveling done by people, whether it was by their own cars, or by trains or flights. Even industries were closed down and not allowed to function. This in turn led to a significant drop in air pollution, as there was a decline in the emission of nitrous oxide. The water in many regions also appeared to be clearer. Because of the lesser human footfall even the oceans are recovering and marine life is thriving. But we can’t ignore the negative impacts the virus has had on the environment. Where the air quality is improving on one hand, on the other hand, growing piles of possibly infected waste like gloves and old face masks can be seen everywhere. People are not disposing off their protective gear including face masks, gloves and cleaning wipes properly and these are landing up everywhere, giving rise to a new environmental issue of ‘mask pollution’. The entire ecosystem is affected by our actions, and that’s why we need to be careful and not throw used masks and gloves, carelessly.

Hamna Badar,