How My Dog Saved My Life

Previously published on Egyptian Streets.

I remember how I wrote my suicide letter and had the knife to my wrist. My beautiful gorgeous dog walked in and kissed me. He starting weeping and I understood he didn’t want me to go through with that. And just for that act, I didn’t kill myself.

As an animal’s rights activist and a person who suffers from depression in a country that has no respect for animal life, and sometimes even human lives, I gave up. The more I saw what was happening, the more depressed I got. I stopped caring about what people did or said. I stopped caring about my life and how it would affect my loved ones and I ended up with a massive meltdown. Something I am recovering from, to this day.

Since 28 October 2010, Chiko, my dog, helped me throughout my depression, barking me out of jumping off a window ledge, slitting my wrists and hanging myself. He saved me and for the life of me, I don’t see why or how a normal person would actively seek to hurt an animal. Why would you demolish innocence?

As you can tell from this, I haven’t had the easiest of lives and I have battled depression for a long time. But I am here now because of a soul that is often harmed by human beings. I am still here today because if it weren’t for his compassion, his love, and his care, I would’ve been long gone by now. But for some reason, most people in this country do not understand how wonderful all animals are. Instead, they poison and shoot them. They breed and they kill them. They rape and burn them. All because we think we’re above them.

We are not, and we definitely are not worth more. If anything, the human species have proven otherwise on constant a basis.

Human beings, who consider themselves as humane, are the farthest thing from that. We do the most inhumane things ever recorded and we live to use and abuse. I saw cats being poisoned because it unsuited the rich. I saw dogs being shot and poisoned because they were inconvenient for the people living in the neighborhood. I saw horses with legs tied up unable to gallop along the highway. I saw how we, humans, manage to abuse the life of another and it’s utterly wrong and damaging.

If we, as a “civilized” society, do not change our ways and work effectively to address this issue of animal cruelty in Egypt, we will be doomed. We will be teaching our children that it’s okay to put puppies in a bag and kick away at them. We will be teaching children that it’s okay to kick cats on the streets. We will be teaching our children that not only is it right to abuse an animal but it’s their right, their duty, to abuse them.

We will be raising a generation that lives off violence and breeds hate. We will be raising a generation that is vein and egotistical, and we will raise a generation that will be unqualified to handle a life of a human being, let alone an animal.

Writing this, I found myself thinking about all those gracious souls that died in vein by mankind, on the hands of ‘humanity’. I couldn’t help but wish Chiko knew how thankful I am he is in my life.

Addressing Animal Cruelty in Egypt

A few months ago, a man decided to bludgeon to death a few newborn puppies for no reason whatsoever. Normally, this would surprise anyone – anyone with a heart and a soul. However, in a world that lacks the basic understanding of humanity and is unable to feel compassion towards other species, this has become a regular occurrence.

Studies in criminology and psychology indicate that cruelty towards animals goes hand in hand with cruelty and aggression towards human beings. According to Robert K. Ressler, who developed profiles of serial killers for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, people who repeatedly torture and kill animals have high levels of aggression towards people as well.

Another study done by MSPCA, Professors Arnold Arluke and Jack Levin of Northeastern University and Carter Luke examined the relationship between violence against animals and crime in the general public. The study results indicated that 70% of those who committed crimes against animals are involved in other violent crimes.

The law addressing animal cruelty in Egypt is article 357 in the penal code. It states that a person is fined a whopping 200 LE ($US 25) or imprisoned for up to six months. To put it bluntly, this law is a joke because if we don’t have a more severe punishment towards cruelty, then any moron with a knife or a blunt object will continue to kill animals needlessly.

Also, the Egyptian government is known for its horrific murders of stray dogs due to “over population” by poisoning them using strychnine – a deadly pesticide, and shooting them. In fact, this disgusting and miscalculated campaign is currently running. If the country’s own government does not respect life, and we have a pathetic law against animal cruelty, how will the public ever change?

A country and its government, to put it quite simply, has the responsibility to protect all living beings living on its land. Not just human beings.

Another issue people need to address is our educational system. We do not teach children about animals and their rights. We do not teach them that animals are intelligent and are able to feel pain physically and emotionally. We fail miserably at teaching them their due responsibility towards animals because we lack empathy.

Everyone is born with compassion. Reclaim it and use it to educate your children and the generations that are yet to come.