Tuesday, November 13

India's Vanishing Vultures

Dear Kannu. Remember the vulture you flew? Two actually, Ronnie and Reggie if I recall correctly. Ugly looking birds eh? But they are very important in the biosphere. 

So it's a bit sad to see how these birds are heading for extinction in India. Well, they don't care about humans itself, on cannot say much about animals. 

One of the reasons I joined Mayhew was because it has an animal focus and also does work in India. It's a sad state of affairs. Bigger stronger people have a responsibility towards weaker smaller people. Humans don't do that, they really treat animals badly. 

It's a difficult area. After all, we eat meat so for me to say that I care about animals is a bit foolish. So the ethical grey areas are very many. 

One to think son. 



India's Vanishing Vultures

India’s Vanishing Vultures

Meera Subramanian

Can the world’s fastest growing nation restore its prime scavenger before there are untold human consequences?

At first, no one noticed they were missing.

Vultures—massive and clumsy, their naked faces buried in rotting flesh along the roadside, on the banks of the Ganges, lining the high walls and spires of every temple and tower—were once so ubiquitous in India as to be taken for granted, invisible. And something in us didn’t want to see them. Vultures are cross-culturally uncharismatic—with their featherless gray heads, their pronounced brows that make for permanent scowls, their oversized blunt beaks capable of splintering bones. They vomit when threatened and reek of death. In South Asia, their broad wings can reach up to eight feet tip to tip, casting a great shadow from above as they circle, drawn by the distant smell of carrion. The world over, these voracious scavengers are viewed with disgust and associated with death—and we, instinctually, look away.

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