Cruelty To Animals

Gandhi's Views On Environment

In a speech on 4-1-1916 at Mota Varachha, Gandhiji revealed his pain on cruelty inflicted on animals :

"I felt that it was cruel to strike bullocks with a goad. In England, this is a punishable offence, but here no action is taken in the matter. The scriptures of both the religions lay down that we should not inflict cruelty on even the meanest of creatures. I also will have to answer for this in the court of the Almighty. When I come here again, It will make me happy to see that the sticks are no longer spiked. If I do not find that you have done so, I shall prefer going on foot rather than in the bullock cart. We should not strike animals which happen to be weak."

He wrote in Young India on 6-10-1921 :

"A Mussalman friend sent me some time ago a book detailing the inhumanities practised by us on the cow and her progeny. How we bleed her to take the last drop of milk from her, how we starve her to emaciation, how we ill-treat the calves, how we deprive them of their portion of milk, how cruelly we treat the oxen, how we castrate them, how we beat them, how we overload them. If they had speech, they would bear witness to our crimes against them which would stagger the world. By every act of cruelty to our cattle, we disown God and Hinduism. I do not know that the condition of the cattle in any other part of the world is so bad as in unhappy India."

Pointing out the failure in protecting cows from slaughter in his message to 'Hindustani' on 12-3-1926, Gandhiji said :

"The work of cow protection has now become humdrum; the reason is that though we collect lacs of rupees under this pretext we have not been able in actual fact to save a single cow. On the contrary, cow-slaughter is on the increase since their prices have gone down owing to the lack of scientific knowledge of cow-protection."