Animals in our life
Animals are living things that feed by eating other living things; they must also breathe taking oxygen from the air or from water. There are at least one million different species of animals, and more are discovered everyday.
Animals live almost everywhere. Some live in forests, on plains or on high mountains. Some live in rivers, in the sea or in dark caves. They eat many things. Some feed on plants, these are called herbivores. Some feed on the flesh of other animals, they are called carnivores. Only a few feed on both plants and flesh, these are called omnivores. Some creatures feed on plants and animals which may have been dead for some time, they are called scavengers. Some which are called parasites, live in the bodies of other animals that are still alive.
Most animals have short lives. Some animals without backbones live for only a few months. Few kinds of animals survive for many years, although a very big old tortoise or crocodile may be as much as 200 years old.
All animals are divided in two classes:
Any animal which has a backbone is called a vertebrate. The 41,000 species of vertebrates include mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fishes. They include most of the larger animals, but in terms of number of species are only a tiny proportion of the world's animals.
Unlike vertebrates, any animal without a backbone is known as invertibrate. They comprise over 95 per cent of the million or so existing animal species and include sponges, worms, nematodes, arthopods etc.
People think that animals are being treated 'perfectly'. They think that animals are having a wonderful time. Well, they are wrong. People treat animals like prisoners. They don't care about their surroundings. They just care about how perfect they are. But more disturbing is the fact that the people who know that animals are being treated badly are not taking any action in this regard. Mostly the domesticated animals are beingtortured and put in a zoo for entertaining people to make money.
Endangered species :
A large number of animals are on the verge of extinction due to overhunting and the destruction of their habitat. These include animals like elephants, white tigers, snakes, etc.Elephants are mostly hunted for their tusks which provide ivory. The question is, 'If they want ivory so badly, why can't they wait until the elephant dies? Why do they have to just kill it?' The answer is simple - they are impatient. As for white tigers and snakes people kill them to get clothes, shoes and other accessories made out of their skin.They also hunt down walrus forivory. There are a lot of different kinds of jewelry made out of it. Now, why do they have to make ivory into jewelry. Besides these lions, tigers, cheetahs, etc. are hunted just for fun and sport.
Climatic changes and deforestation are also resulting in the extinction of animals. For instance, the population of pandas is declining because the bamboo forests are decreasing and you know that the panda's favourite food is bamboo.
Wild animals :
People hunt for fun. They don't know how it feels to be in place of the animals. Usually wild animals are hunted. Some people hunt to earn fame and some hunt to earn money. People hunt wild animals because they think that wild animals are of no use. A large number of wild animals belong to the cat family. The cats we keep in our houses are quite domesticated and not wild.
Domesticated animals :
Wild animals were tamed and domesticated to meet specific requirements or whims. Mostly those animals that were the object of agricultural activity were domesticated and they have undergone great changes when compared with their wild ancestors.
Sheep cows and goats were only eaten initially but later they became valuable for producingmilk and wool. The horse, donkey and camel were used to pull heavy loads.
Keeping animals as pets :
Many people keep pets in their homes. Man and animal covers a vast gap here to shake hands and become great buddies.
Keeping pets is great fun but it calls for a lot of responsibility on your part. You would have to take care of your pets as if they are your children. They have to feed their pet properly and keep them clean too.
Dogs, cats and birds are the most common pets. But some people go to extreme lengths to keep even tigers and lions as pets. Okay, theydo belong to the cat family, but just look at their size!
Taking care of a lion is very difficult specially after it grows into an adult. So often it is not treated properly. On the other hand, keeping a rabbit is not that bad, not if you don't mind holes in your garden!
If you have a pet you should take proper care of it. Feed it on time, bathe it, brush its fur and take it to the vet, not only when it is unwell, but for regualar checkups and vacination. If it is a bird and is kept in a cage it is your responsibility to keep the cage clean.
Eatable animals :
God created all living things for some special reason. For example, sheep give us wool, cows or goats give us meat and milk.
Chicken is eaten with delight in all parts of the world in various forms. We all love fried chicken and chicken tikka. Even a hen's egg is eaten so we can say that chicken is eaten even before it is born. That reminds me of the interesting question 'Which was created first - chicken or egg?'
In some countries all sorts of animals are eaten, like snake, frog etc.
Whatever we eat we should be careful that we do not eat up the whole species.
We Muslims believe that only those animals which eat plants, that is herbivores, should be consumed by mankind. Meat eating animals are avoided.
Animals locked up :
People think that animals are great providers of entertainment. They lock them up in cages at the zoo. Some animals may have fun but animals who have been taken away from their parents or family feel sad and home sick because the cage it is a kind of prison to them. Having to stay behind bars and watch people look and point at you is nothing to be happy about.
I have often noticed that zoo cages are left unclean and the animals are often not fed properly. This can really effect their health. Some people, specially chidren, love to tease these poor animals which is not right.
Animal rights :
Animals should be allowed to live freely in their natural habitat. The animals that we eat should also be be treated well. They too are to be kept clean and healthy so that their meat doesn't make us ill.
Unwell animals should not be slaughtered. They should be given proper medical help till they get well.
The wild animals should be left alone and not captured or hunted down. Born free, they have a right to be left free. All living beings have their rights and the rights of animals should also be observed and respected.
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