Animal cruelty does not make for good entertainment

Published: June 23, 2011

No matter what we choose to believe, we as human beings have a responsibility towards all other species. PHOTO: AFP

It’s quite the norm in Pakistan to come across monkey-trainers putting on a show or hearing about a rooster fight taking place in a certain village, or even going to the beach and witnessing people paying to watch a snake and a mongoose fight it out – all in the name of harmless fun.

It is quite disturbing, however, to see the media take this form of entertainment – if you can call it that – to the next level.

Channel surfing one morning, I chanced upon a TV show where a trainer tried to coax his goat to stand on a small wooden stool. The helpless animal struggled to fit all four of its hooves on the surface, precariously balancing itself, trying desperately not to fall off. The show also happened to have a monkey there with its trainer, and while the goat continued on with its balancing act, the host asked the trainer if the monkey could be made to sit on top of the goat while the latter stood on the stool.

I’d like to ask this host how she would like to swap places with the goat. For a show that boasts of bringing the educated to the forefront, helping people and spreading awareness, it is pretty much reducing these animals to mere entertainment objects, all for the sake of a cheap shot at boosting its ratings.

In another instance, I came across a game show that required contestants to run after ostriches, shoving them into compartments.

Thinking about what those poor birds went through as they were manhandled for the sheer purpose of entertainment makes me shudder.

Considering that we’re barely getting any human rights in this country, some might find the concept of animal rights relatively trivial. However, despite what we might choose to believe, it doesn’t take away from the fact that we as human beings have a responsibility towards all other species. But somehow we seem to be failing miserably at that task.

Sumaiyya Lakhani

Sumaiya Lakhani

A sub editor for the Sunday pages of The Express Tribune.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Rameez

    Come on. In such tough times people need some extra entertainment. I mean in the absence of water, electricity, security people need to get creative to find some fun. I mean who doesnt enjoy a monkey on a goat that is standing on a stickRecommend

  • Haider

    Rameezzzzzz
    I want you to stand on the goat now !!!!!!!
    Just kidding bro but no I am SERIOUS…Recommend

  • Mariam

    I can’t say how much I appreciate someone FINALLY writing this.
    Rameez, how would you like to be kept hungry, beaten with a stick and shoved on to a small stool till you’re so scared that you just have to? Fun? well please come on t.v because I’m pretty bored and would like to watch it. =)
    You know why humans are so bloody much in TROUBLE. ?
    because we have no mercy no pity and no simple basic humanity for another human let alone an animal.
    Bull fighting, dog fighting, snakes, goats, it’s the HEIGHT of illiteracy and weirdness. I just ask, would you want your child to be treated like that guys? No, right. then you shouldn’t want this for animals.
    Perhaps the reason why i hate this country a bit is that once i saw a bear dance, when i was six. and the hopelessness and pain of that big, once dangerous bold animal has seared my mind.
    I hope him, and other people like him see SO much pain and suffering in their lives that they NEVER even think of hurting animals.amen
    which also reminds me of this Saher’s show on some channel where he showed a man “sympathetically” who eats live snakes for a living. It was horrible, monstrous and disgusting, and i actually threw up and spat on the ground pretending it’s the man.
    God, i;m about to cry now.
    thank’s for writing this sumaiya, glad to know real humans still exist =)
    I’m hoping to write something similar but lets see. Recommend