Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

The Jain Bird Hospital/Anti-Euthanasia Center in Delhi

Yesterday I went to the Jain temple and bird hospital in Delhi, India. Jains are extreme pacifists. They eat no animals, believe every living creature has a soul, and the monks and nuns sweep the ground in front of them as they walk to prevent stepping on and killing insects.

Many living creatures in Delhi are mangled to some degree or other -- even the people. The streets have no shortage of limping dogs with open sores, skinny cows and horses, and a few grubby beggar children.

So the Jains have an entire hospital devoted to caring for the injured and infected birds -- mostly pigeons. We walked into the clinic to many odd paintings depicting the various dangers that befall the birds of India:

The walls were lined with stacked cages of injured pigeons, some with bird-sized casts on their wings. Many of these animals were in TERRIBLE shape -- shivering in small cages, or with pus-filled infections. See, this is the problem with religion: they are so driven by their dogma that no animal should be killed, that they do not see the obvious ethical problem of allowing suffering animals to go on living without the benefit of euthanasia. Even PETA euthanizes suffering animals.

I won't post pictures of the worst-looking birds, but here are a few we saw at this weird place. All in all, there were thousands of (mostly) pigeons at this place. They told us that they receive about 150 hurt birds a day:

Pigeon with a bandage on its wing:

The only peahen at the Center. They said some kids had thrown stones and broke its wing:

There were lots of pigeons with wing bandages:

A view from the roof of the Jain bird hospital. They release hundreds of recovered birds per day:

Damon! Very interesting stuff about the bird hospital. I wonder if those who work there contract avian-vector diseases at a higher rate than others? I totally agree with you about euthanasia as a best alternative for a suffering animal.

Unfortunately, though, PETA stands for more than euthanizing suffering animals. There is a lot of controversy surrounding their practices in Virginia and North Carolina, among other states. I lifted the following quote from (an admittedly biased source, but if you google "PETA" and euthanasia, you'll actually be surprised by the number of hits that you get):

'PETA kills 85 percent of the animals it takes in, and finds adoptive homes for just 14 percent. By contrast, the Norfolk SPCA, whose shelter is located less than 4 miles from PETA's headquarters, found adoptive homes for 73 percent of its animals in 2003. It’s rather hard to believe that the animals entrusted to PETA are any more likely to be “broken beings.” Dana Cheek, the former (and most recent) director of the Norfolk SPCA, wrote to us recently:

I often receive phone calls from frantic people who have surrendered their pets to PETA with the understanding that PETA will "find them a good home." Many of them are led to believe that the animals will be taken to a nearby shelter. Little do they know that the pets are killed in the PETA van before they even pull away from the pet owner's home … PETA refuses to surrender animals they obtain to area shelters for rehoming. If only the celebrity "deep-pocket" donors on the west coast knew that their donations were going to kill adoptable cats and dogs here in Norfolk.' seems PETA's justification is that they have no room or funds to support the animals that they take, and that the best alternative is to offer a 'peaceful death.' Funny though, that they don't at least try a little harder to place some of these animals in adoptive homes...recently some PETA employees were charged with felony animal abuse for killing 'adoptable' kittens and tossing their remains into a dumpster:

I just find it all ironic that PETA shuns the killing of animals for medical research or for food, but kills animals themselves, simply for not having a home. And considering that the organization has an annual budget of $30 million, I find it all a little absurd

Sorry that I hijacked your blog! Any time 'PETA' pops up, I somehow always end up ranting...It might be the future vet in me.
Euthanasia - I think it should be legal for HUMANS.

It's not just for the birds. If I were as motivated as Caitlinrose, I would rant about the hemlock society. google it.

The Jains are well intentioned people who just putting thier energy into something productive. Strange how people just miss the boat ain't it?

Thanks for the info. I remember reading about that but couldn't remember all the details. Sounds crazy, indeed.


The problem is that the Jains believe in souls and that all animals have them. However, if you don't think there's any supernatural phenomenon as a "soul", it's easier to see the plain and simple suffering.

I don't see how a soul is the key variable. Why can't euthanasia be sympathetic to s suffering "soul"?
Belief in souls is also what distorts the abortion debate. Despite the fact that a zygote is about like cell tissue you kill whenever you scratch your nose, belief in metaphyiscal bullshit (souls) blinds people.

Same with the Jains. Since all creatures have some magical "soul", you can never kill them. Let them suffer, fine -- but no killing.

I do see your point though.
It all comes down to money. The only reason PETA kill the pets rather than find them a home is for the fact that it is cheaper to kill them then it is to find them a home. To me it says that PETA is a Business not an activist Group. It also sounds like they hired the Same Accountant that Ford Used to determine if it would be cheaper to fix the pinto or to just pay off the settlements.
u people just know how to kill animals in any manner u want which r created by mother nature...I think u r talkin rubbish... Jainism teaches non-violence and what is the problem in being such a kind...
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