I have become an instant fan of Shraddha Kapoor. She is a wealthy, beautiful and educated Indian actress living in Mumbai probably in a big house but not too far from her home is a rubbish dump and in that dump there was a feral cat. The welfare of this cat concerned her so she contacted some friends who work for an animal welfare charitable organisation called World for All Animal Care.
A staff worker at the organisation promptly went around on her request to rescue this frightened feral cat which you can see in the video. The cat had taken up residence in a rubbish dump but needed medical attention apparently. The episode tells us two things. Firstly that Shraddha Kapoor is an animal lover and concerned about animal welfare. This is very useful to animal welfare generally because she has over 50 million followers on her Instagram account and therefore she has influence. She is also an admired celebrity in her country and among the Bollywood fraternity. Her voice probably counts and therefore she can influence positively animal welfare.
There’s no doubt that there is a need for improved cat ownership in India and a massive programme of reduction in the numbers of community and feral cats in the country through TNR which should be promoted and funded by local authorities. That is a dream probably but I think it is a fair observation.
The important point though is that animals have a voice and a champion in Shraddha Kapoor. She also provided a voice-over for a video about captive animals and how they feel and suffer. She mirrored that lifestyle of captive animals with the current lifestyle of humans who are temporarily undergoing a lockdown because of the corona virus pandemic.
She stresses the point that animal lovers and those concerned about animal welfare all over the world make every day which is that animals are sentient beings with feelings. They feel pain and they should not be captive in small cages to be looked at by humans for their entertainment. In my view, zoos are inherently wrong. The conservation aspect of zoos is highly exaggerated and I would argue catastrophically undermined by the inherent failure of the zoo in general. There are many areas of failure for zoos.
Just take some examples: many wild cat species in zoos do not breed because they’re too stressed. This means they have to be sourced from elsewhere to keep topping up their stocks. Sometimes animals are taken from the wild in order to achieve this. And cubs are often taken from mothers and exploited in roadside zoos. White tigers are heavily inbreed causing congenital anatomical defects. These animals are put down very early on in their lives. The white tiger that you see in zoos is a pastiche of reality. I won’t go on. The animals need Shraddha Kapoor and people like her to chip away at this animal abuse.