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The Angels’ Return to Home
Life and death in nature are part of a never ending cycle. In the life and death of animals, though, people often play a key role.
To people, animals can be classified into wild animals, pets, economic animals and laboratory animals. The aim for wildlife preservation is to not disturb their lives and habitats. By so doing, these animals can live their lives naturally. The process is more complex for pets, economic animals and laboratory animals, which have close ties to humans.
Animals that are commonly chosen as pets, such as dogs, cats and rabbits, have a shorter life span than humans. Even if the animals accompany humans their whole life without pain or suffering, people have to face their animals’ inevitable passing eventually. When handling the death of a pet, people have used traditional ways such as hanging the carcass from a tree branch or releasing it into the river so the body can be decompose naturally. These methods are inappropriate and illegal. In Taipei, the Taipei Municipal Institute for Animal Health can cremate the corpse for you, or you can request an animal hospital to cremate the animal. In other cities or counties, local livestock disease control centers can help with cremation. And, for those pets that are suffering illnesses but cannot be cured, euthanasia may be an undesirable but possible choice. Through an injection to bring about euthanasia, the animal will experience a quick but painless death.
Economic animals are those that are either eaten by people as food or exchanged for money. The pigs, goats, cows and chickens commonly seen in markets all belong in this category. Economic animals cannot escape slaughter. They also show emotions and legislation has been enacted to process them humanely, so their final journey will not be painful. The Humane Methods to Slaughter Economic Animals developed in September 2007 stated that, before administering anesthesia, actions that kill or inflict pain to the economic animals cannot be performed. This is similar to performing surgery on humans after anesthesia, so men cannot feel the pain.
Laboratory animals are used for medical research, drug development, veterinary drug development, vaccination production, veterinary medical research and training, as well as animal husbandry research. These animals sacrifice their own lives in order achieve benefits for all life forms. Men are not cold in nature. With the guidance of ethics, three foundational concepts towards treating laboratory animals are developed: replacement, reduction, and refinement – using methods other than laboratory animals as much as possible, reducing the umber of trials, and refining experimental methods to minimize pain and suffering to the animals. With careful observation, you can discover that in certain cosmetic products, efficacy of the products is not tested by using laboratory animals, and the manufacturers clearly label their products with “Not animal tested”.
Other than the above mentioned animals, there is actually another group, called “stray animals”. Stray animals can be seen anywhere in people’s primary area of activity and living. Cats and dogs consist of the majority of these animals. For humans, the large population of stray animals caused by various reasons such as abandonment and release does bring consequence in different layers. These animals that attempt to survive outdoors without proper care often contract contagious diseases that can pass on to humans, and are often put to death for this reason. The procedures employed for the euthanasia of stray dogs are referred from methods used by European and American nations, and are putting the practical, long-term financial burden of the nation into consideration. These are administrative procedures that, unfortunately, have to be done. However, both the government and its citizens know that these procedures are only symptom-resolving, not fixing the underlying cause. The bottom line is, concepts such as “adoption instead of purchase”, and “if you love it, you should not abandon it” are necessary ways to handle the problem, and require everybody’s effort together. What people need to know especially is that, life is priceless, unique and precious, no matter what the animals look like and what lineage they are from. They all have the right to survive and be respected. People’s blind seeking of outward glory can finally result in heartless abandonment. Subsequently, it requires more cost to reverse the adverse situation.
Empathy from men to animals can bring the animals a more peaceful life. At the same time, this peace will most certainly be reflected back to human being.