By Dr P C Kotwal & Jagdish Chandra

Who is really wild? Man or Animal

If our sense of right and wrong
had not become blunt, we
would recognize that animals
had right, no less than men.
This education of the heart is the proper
function of humanitarian leagues. I know
that the lower creation groans under the
arrogant lordship of man. He counts no
cruelty too repulsive when he wants to
satisfy his appetite, whether lawful or
unlawful. If the beasts had intelligent
speech at their command, they would
state a case against man that would stagger
humanity. I can understand the
shooting of wild beasts who come to
annoy us. But have fund no cogent reasons
advanced for wasting money upon organizing parties for satisfying man’s thirst for
blood. I do believe that all God’s creatures
have right to live as much as we have.
Instead of prescribing the killing of the
so-called injurious fellow creatures of
ours as a duty, if men of knowledge had
devoted their gift in discovering ways of
dealing with them otherwise, than kill ing, we would be living in a world befitting our status as men animals endowed
with reason and the power of choosing
between good and evil, right and wrong,  violence and non-violence, truth and
untruth. I prefer to be called a coward or
a fool or worse, to deny, for the sake of
being considered a wise man, what I be lieve to be a fundamental truth of life. I
am not opposed to the progress of science
as such, on the contrary, the scientific
spirit of the west commands my admiration and if that admiration is qualified, it
is because the scientist of the west takes
no note of God’s lower creation. I abhor
vivisection with my whole soul. I detest
the unpardonable slaughter of innocent life in the name of science and humanity and all the scientific discoveries
stained with innocent blood I count as
of no consequence. If the circulation of
blood theory could not have been discovered without vivisection, the humankind
could have done without it and I see the
day clearly drawing near when the honest
scientist of the West will put limitations
upon the present method of pursuing
knowledge. It is an arrogant assumption
to say that human beings are lords and
masters of the lower creation. On the contrary, being endowed with greater things
in life, they are trustees of the lower animal kingdom.


“Wildlife” is the product of land

All forms of plants and animals living in natural forest areas are termed as
wildlife. If we give thoughtful closer look at these living creatures in nature, we will
find that structurally and functionally
these are quite organized and systematic.
Their comparison with present human
society; may perhaps reveal the wildlife
to be more civil. Man, using his power
of expression has termed the living creatures of nature as ‘wildlife’ which are not
so wild as the man himself or his society.
It is really intemperate to pile over the
term ‘wildlife’ to these living innocent
creatures which are not wild in true sense.

The Civil Animals

These animals live in harmony with
nature. They never destroy the habitat
on which they live. Their spatio-temporal
activities are also quite systematic and
punctual and as per the circadian system
of the universe. the animals do not move
haphazardly in the forest

Their movements are well motivated
and regulated. They graze in time, rest
in time, breed in time and co-exist with
individuals of same species and with
those of other species. In this regard, it is
worthwhile to mention the common association of Chital and langur in the Tropical forest. The langur while feeding on the
tree also drops considerable forage which
is eagerly consumed by chital grazing on
the ground. The alarm call of chital and
langur signaling the presence of predator
nearby is well understood by each other
and they waste no time in moving to safer
place. Even a top predator like tiger is very
gentle in behavior. If a man is alone in the forest and a tiger is seen coming from a
distance, it will move away avoiding the
man. But, instead of tiger if two persons
are seen coming towards the lonely Tiger
in the forest, then there might be many
doubts about them. All the animals in
nature including the dreaded carnivores and the venomous snakes, consider man
as alien. The animals may harm to man
in a bit to escape, when they feel that they
are troubled. The aberrant animals harm
to man and his property but if we go deep
into the casual factors, we may find direct
or indirect role of man in making them
aberrant. This may be because of hurting
them, destructing their habitat (shelter,
water, feeding material etc.) or damaging
the prey animals.

A lot of other structural, functional
and behavioral parameters of animals
can be discussed which would find them
more civil and systematic than man and
his society

The Man and Animals

The behavior of man in meeting and
greeting his new fellow colleagues is quite
similar with animals in nature.These
animals also meet and greet their
conspecific in similar way. In animal world, the stronger ones try to be
dominant to over others within the
norms of nature being more powerful
and deserving than others to perform the
natural functions.

In human beings the under serving ones try to pose more than the real
deserving ones which is not
natural and lasting. In man
the functions are ephemeral
and animosity is lasting while
in animals the animosity is
ephemeral and functions are
lasting. Different types of animal
species live and complete their
life cycle to continue the life
processes and at the same time
contributing for the benefit of
other animals.

In this process the habitat
is used but not damaged. Thus
animals are functionally
sustainable while man learned
about sustainability much later
and only boast.

In a good National Park
the population of major prey
and predators is naturally
maintained. Every day several prey
animals are predated by predators; the
left over carcass is consumed by scavengers; the remaining portion is acted upon
by still smaller organisms and microbes.
Ultimately everything gets mixed in
the soil for further recycling. Thus the resource is efficiently utilized at every
stage and nothing is wasted. If these
systems do not function in normal way,
the National Parks may perhaps become
like garbage grounds.

garbage grounds.
They are not only clean and hygienic
but also refreshing. Such efficiency of
functional utilization is rarely found
in human society. Famous ethologists
Gerald and Lee Durrell (1987) have analytically compared man and animals
on several structural, functional and
behavioral parameters in their classic
book “ourselves and other animals”. Many
technologies used by animals are only
recently discovered and used by man.
Some of these are air-conditioning in
termites, radar in bats, heatless luminescence in fireflies.

Structurally many animals are better equipped than man like, some insects
can see ultraviolet light, the dogs have
extra-ordinary power of smelling the
shark is free from cancer. Some animals
excel human beings in running, leaping, pulling and other measures of body
fitness. The animals also have language
of communication, they communicate
with most sophisticated means like, calls,
sounds, language of tails and ears in canids peculiar movements and body
pastures, scent marking in cats, electrical
charges in fishes etc.

The communication among honeybee
is excellent and man is yet to evolve such
perfect system.

Man, animal Association

Animals have been associated with
man since time immemorial. In Indian
mythology several animals are associated
with different Gods. The animals have developed perfect systems in course of evolution which is in tune with the surrounds.
In fact the world would appear strange &
deserted without variety of creatures. In
that case man will not only be deprived
of their benefits in several ways but also
would be suffering with abundance of
only man. The animals provide us many
direct benefits such as food (fish, chicken,
goat etc.), body cover (sheep, rabbit etc.),
labor (bullock, horse, elephant etc).

Ecologically man and animals are
not in the opposite camps of servant and
master but in symbiosis in a common

As in human beings, the young
ones of animals also feel necessity of
mother’s emotional love. Probably this is corroborated with some pheromones or
vibrations which have been undetectable
so far. These, however, play important
role in the development of young ones. In
some species the parental care is shared
by both the sexes. The fishes don’t care
for their young ones, where fertilization
takes place outside the body of the female.
In chimpanzees and langurs the parental
care is offered by another female of the
group too. Thus, there are different ways
and means of rearing the young ones in
animals which are as tender as in human

As human beings aggregate and congregate for mutual comfort, security and
benefits, the animals also act similarly. Each individual in the group is well
communicated to have orderly behavior
and functions. The system of hierarchy
also occurs in animals (e.g. wild dogs)
like rank, class, inequality.

It is not necessary that in animals everything is ideal and democratic. There are
examples of slavery and putting down the
dominant male by combined efforts of
sub-ordinates (e.g. baboon). This is also
prevalent in human society. Acquiring,
maintaining and defending a territory is
of common occurrence in man and animals. The territory confers to many advantages such as food, shelter, sexual display sites and safe nesting.

y sites and safe nesting.
Like human beings the animals also
display elaborate courtship strategies.
These comprise of sounds, calls, colors,
smells, body actions etc. There is a variety
of actions, timings, places etc. in courtship and mating in different animals.
Perhaps most of these may be prevalent
in man alone. The homosexuality, hermaphrodism, and polygamy also occur
in animals. The animals not only choose
the right mate but also avoid mating with
close relatives (e.g. mouse) which is also
practiced in man barring few examples.
Cases of female deception for sexual ends
are very few in animal world. There are
instances of deliberate deception among
animals for various purposes.

Mimicry in body color, sound call
occurs in animals for safety purposes
and to locate the predator or conspecific.
Thus there are several ways, mechanisms
and modifications in animal world for
feeding, breeding, living and completing
the life cycle in association with conspecifics /other species and the habitat.

The Primitive Natural Man

During the course of evolution, several species of bacteria, plants and animals
have evolved, disappeared and new one
evolved as incessant process of evolution
to reach the stage when eventually the
man made his appearance on the earth
in the Cretaceous era of geological time
period. Before emergence of man, several
species of plants and animals had already
evolved and made this earth suitable for
emergence and living of man, making
available the life supporting requirements
of food, shelter, water and others. Think
of the earth’s environment during that
period with preponderance of varied life
forms existed in serene natural forests,
mountains, rivers with tingling water,
minus man. After emergence of man, the
process of so called development started,
initially at slow pace, gradually speeding
to present day galloping pace to spoil the
natural balance of the environment that
was evolved after long natural processes.
This is threatening not only all the forms
of life on the earth but also the human

The man had lived natural life in the
remote past before the onset of the civilization. The civilization is said to have
started about 10,000 years ago when man started covering his body, made stone
tools and gradually started cultivating the
plants and domesticating some animals.

The tribal life in the remote rural areas still reflect the natural ways of living.
In some areas they are still not treated at
par with the so called civil society. The
condition of animals is still worst. In our
country only 5% geographical area has
been allocated for all forms of natural
flora and fauna in the form of Protected
Areas. Remaining 95% area is utilized by
only one species of nature’s creation i.e.,
man. The target of 5% is nearly achieved.
Whatever area put under Protected Area
is also utilized for the benefit, education,
and enjoyment of man.


The present un-civilized man:

The man is quite uncivilized and irregular in many of its actions not only
towards animals but also towards the
human society itself. Most of the bad
characters can be attributed in man like –
selfish, dishonest, corrupt, terrorist. Man
is quite irregular in his daily activities of
eating, resting, breeding. At international
level the organized war-fares and diplomacies are only known in the human
society. Needless to say, that these wars
destroy considerable human, animal
life and prosperity. The forests and
non-human life have been also decimated
by man.

The Almighty has bestowed man
with highly developed body and brain.
He has used considerable part of these
capabilities for developments which are
also associated with nature and natural
systems like forests, wildlife, land, water
and air. The whole gamut of environment
is altered because of which healthy survival of human beings is questionable. This is
something like weapon in the hands of a
fool who while using it also damages him
self. Man has been damaging the nature
to quench his greed rather than to meet
the genuine needs. As Mahatma Gandhi
has said that “there is enough to meet the
needs of all but not enough to meet the
greed of few”

Sometimes man becomes very cruel
to these innocent creatures of nature to
satisfy his psychological needs. The use of
tiger bones in making spurious medicines
has reversed the rising trend of tiger population. This illicit trade has lead to killing
of several tigers from the forests and even
protected areas of the country. U.S. based
Earth Island Institute has reported that a
live tiger is auctioned off piece by piece in Taiwan and then the organs are removed
from the tiger’s body and given to the
auctioneer. One bowel of tiger penis soup
used to be sold for $320 in Taiwan. Similarly use of rhino horn for its alleged aphrodisiac properties has seriously affected
the rhino population. The civetine (base
for best perfume in the world) is obtained
from civet cat by brutally beating the
live animal, as secretion of the hair root
glands is due to severe pain and tremendous fear of the innocent animal.

The man wishfully uses the perfume of animals to suppress the body
smell. The elephants are poached for the
ivory which is used in making beautiful
bangles, ornaments and other decorative.
Use of skins of different animal species
in various ways is still in vogue, although
the trend has been on the low ebb. One
skin of Panda may sell for $ 1,00,000 in
the black market. Several other instances
can be narrated of man’s cruelty against
animals. This has led to form “Society for
prevention of cruelty against animals” by
a group of ethical people.

The standards of civilization:

If the standards of civilization as postulated in most of the religions of the
world are tested on human and non-human life, perhaps, the later will win on
most of the points. The Vedas, the Kuran,
the Bible and others suggest illumined
human life full of truth, non-violence,
self control, good to others in thought,
words and deeds, and so many other good
things for the well-being of not only human society but also for the non-human
creatures, nature and the environment
on which human survival is dependant.
But the present day man in particular is
acting without bothering for the ethics. The ill effects of man’s inhuman actions are visible these days in the form
of pollution in land, water, air, seasonal
distortions, floods, droughts, diseases,
earthquakes etc. The human population is
suffering from several diseases born due
to un-balanced environment.

Spread of Corona Viruses:

When this disease spread from one
species to another it is known as a “spillover event.” Although not yet confirmed,
preliminary evidence suggests that the
virus that causes COVID-19, the 2019
corona virus disease, may have originated
in horseshoe bats in China. It may have
spread to another species which in turn
infected humans at Wuhan live animal
market, or “wet market. One quarter of
mammal species overall are bats. And in
tropical systems, bats make up 50 percent
of the mammalian diversity. Most bats
feed on insects or fruit, but there’s a huge
range of bat behaviors. There are bats that
eat other bats, bats that eat fish and bats
that drink blood. And each of these myriad bat species carries a suite of different
pathogens. Bats are able to host different
viruses without getting sick. So bats, and
the pathogens that bats carry, are numerous. And bats and humans are both
mammals. This relatedness means we’re
more likely to get a pathogen from a bat
than from a cricket, for instance.

Wet Markets a Source of Spill Over:

Wet markets bring together a really
broad range of animal species from different parts of the world. These animals
are not eating what they would normally
eat in the wild. They are stressed, which
lowers their immunity and makes them
more susceptible to pathogens. They are
kept in cages where they are defecating
on one another and, perhaps, through the cages onto other species of animals.
They are also being butchered at the
markets. Cutting up an animal and getting its blood on you is a good way to get a
pathogens. All these factors make wet
markets a perfect storm for cross-species
transmission. Whenever you have novel
interactions with a diverse range of species in one place whether that’s in a natural environment like a tropical forest or in
an artificially created environment like a
wet market we can have a spill over event.
The “wet market” (one that sells fresh
produce and meat) in Wuhan, thought by
the Chinese government to be the starting
point of the current COVID-19 pandemic, was known to sell numerous animals,
including live wolf pups, salamanders,
crocodiles, scorpions, rats, squirrels, foxes,
civets and turtles. Equally, urban markets in west and central Africa see monkeys, bats, rats and dozens of species of
birds, mammals, insects and rodents
slaughtered and sold close to open refuse
dumps and with no drainage. The wet
market in Lagos is notorious. It’s like a
nuclear bomb waiting to happen. These
traditional markets provide much of the
food for Africa and Asia. These markets
are essential sources of food for hundreds
of millions of poor people, and getting
rid of them is impossible but we seldom
come to know that our food habits have
become extremely faulty in certain part
of the world. COVID-19 has been a very
vivid example that how bats on a Chinese
table led the whole of the world to suffer.
Bats have been recognized as the natural
reservoirs of a large variety of viruses.
Special attention has been paid to bat corona viruses as the two emerging corona
viruses which have caused unexpected
human disease outbreaks in the 21st

A survey was carried out in the diversity of CoVs in multiple host taxa from
twenty countries to explore the factors
driving viral diversity at a global scale and
this identified sequences representing 100 discrete phylogenetic clusters, ninety-one
of which were found in bats, and used
ecological and epidemiologic analysis to
show that patterns of CoV diversity correlate with those of bat diversity. This
cements bats as the major evolutionary
reservoirs and ecological drivers of CoV
diversity. Cophylogenetic reconciliation
analysis was also used to show that host
switching has contributed to CoV evolution, and a preliminary analysis suggests
that regional variation exists in the dynamics of this process. Overall this study
represents a model for exploring global
viral diversity and advances our fundamental understanding of CoV biodiversity and the potential risk factors associated with zoonotic emergence (Simon J.
Anthony etal 2017).

Gandhiji and Animals:

Mahatma Gandhi loved humans and
non-humans equally. He said that if our
sense of right and wrong had not become
blunt, we would recognize that animals
had right to live on the earth, no less than
men. If the beasts had intelligent speech
at their command, they would have state
a case against man that would have daggered humanity. He believed that all God’s creatures have the right to live as
much as we have. He was not in favor of killing even injurious fellow creatures
and said that if men of knowledge had
devoted their gift to discovering ways of
dealing with them otherwise than by killing them, we would be living in a world
befitting our status as prince of God. The
animals are endowed with reason and
the power of choosing between good
and evil, right and wrong, violence and
non-violence, truth and un-truth. It is an
arrogant assumption to say that human
beings are lords and masters of lower
creation. On the contrary being endowed
with greater things in life, they are trustees of lower animal kingdom. Because of
Mahatma Gandhi’s such love to animals,
the ‘wildlife’ week is celebrated all over
the country every year on his birthday in
October. The non-human life or natural
life: In many ways the animals are superior in performance of natural functions
and better disciplined than man. Man is
a naked ape with several aberrations in
actions behavior and living. The modern man can be called as spoiled form of
wildlife. Considering all these parameters
it is not worth to call them wild. They
should be aptly called as non-human lives
or natural lives. Man has learned many
things and benefited in several ways from
nature and natural lives but unfortunately
do not act in harmony with nature. The
natural lives act as torch bearers to show
path of life to man. They should be given
their due place by the human society.


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