I’m excited to have been interviewed by the wonderful folks at Our Hen House.
If you want to listen to the podcast and get a good overview of how many ways our health is impacted by the treatment of animals, here is the link.
Listen to Dr. Akhtar on Our Hen House
Do we need to make a choice to either protect animals or humans? This is certainly what those who profit from hurting animals would like everyone to believe. Advocates of animal experimentation especially employ the fallacy of a false dilemma: that we must choose to care about human suffering or about animal suffering, and that we cannot do both. This erroneous thinking leads us to believe that we must either experiment on a mouse (or a dog or monkey …) or we must experiment on a human child, implying that we are forced to make a choice—it’s the animals or us.
However, not only is this notion that we must either protect animals or humans not true, in fact, the opposite is true. The human plight is inextricably tied with that of other animals.
In my last article, I introduced the notion that there is a strong connection between human and animal welfare. This connection is particularly evident in domestic violence.
Last month, in Lake Charles, LA, a man was arrested for beating his girlfriend, Tiffany Nocosia, and killing her dog. The girlfriend described the horrific scene:
“He grabs my dog and slings her across the room against a wall. I go to pick her up … she still is breathing and twitching so I started to try and revive her. He comes and says I’m going to make sure that dog is dead and continues to throw her against the wall,” said Nocosia. “A four-pound little innocent dog. She then defecates and he rubs it in my face.”
Sadly, incidents like this one are far from isolated, instead occurring in homes across the U.S., and worse yet, these crimes appear to increase during holidays like Valentines’ Day. So as Valentine’s Day approaches, we should be vigilant for any signs of domestic violence.
This past decade was, arguably, the decade of animals. More news stories covered animal welfare issues than ever before and some of the major events of the past decade involved animals. Animal protection has become a considerable social issue. But there is more to animal protection than the well-being of animals; human welfare is integrally tied with it and during this past decade, this connection was highlighted in unprecedented ways. The following top ten animal stories of the past ten years, listed in no particular order, reveal just how connected human and animal welfare and health are.