In this World Environment Day special article, Ms.Ananthitha A* reminds us not to neglect the animal kingdom.

Usually my daughter wakes me up in the mornings, but today I got up hearing many loud animal and bird noises. I could identify the loud buzz of many insects, the moo of many cattle, the barks of many dogs and then many other strange deafening animal sounds. I wondered what had happened and rushed out of my house to see a sea of animals and birds rushing through the side road, towards the main road. I doubted whether there is some Pied Piper of Hamelin attracting all these creatures.

I saw my pet dog Rosy too rushing out of my compound to the road to join the other creatures. I asked Rosy what had happened. She replied with anger: the World War III is going to break out. Oh! I said, “I have heard that World War III will be for water”. Rosy didn’t stop to listen to me, but my neighbour’s cow said, “World War III is going to be between the Animal kingdom and Plant kingdom”. She continued, “even the National Dairy Development Board is celebrating World Environment day by planting one crore saplings across the nation. What do you think? Only trees make up the environment? Every human being in this nation, be it your Prime Minister Modiji or cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar or the state governments or the NGOs or the Residents Associations or even the school children, all are planting saplings”. She continued with the same furious voice and look, “as a cow, I expected some justice from the National Dairy Development Board. But even they are ignoring us and planting saplings on the World Environment day. So the entire animal kingdom has decided to fight for justice”.

I was amused to see my hen joining this flood of animals going to fight for justice. Seeing me, my rooster stopped and joined my neighbour’s cow on giving me a lecture on how frustrated the Animal Kingdom is, by the way in which World Environment Day is celebrated every year in India. He said, “we have tolerated all these years seeing you humans planting saplings hoping for a change in human mindset and accepting the Animal Kingdom too as part of the Environment. It is true that you humans don’t bother about the survival rate of the planted saplings, but you are not moving on. So we have decided to fight with the plant kingdom and prove to the humans that plants can’t sustain without our existence and we are as much part of the environment, as the plants are”. The little honey bee buzzed, “Many members of the plant kingdom will perish, if I am not doing the pollination for them”.

Foreseeing the disaster, I asked these creatures loudly with an equal amount of helplessness, “Is there a way, we humans can stop this war?”. The crow who cleans our compound said, “ we are ready to avert the war, but we have certain demands:

First, humans plant trees all along the roads and never call them stray trees and ill-treat them, but if any of the members of our animal kingdom are found on road, you humans call them stray animals. Humans should stop this discrimination and should stop ill treating them.

Second, humans should respect the food chain. If one crore saplings are planted every year, they should ensure that all of these planted saplings grow and survive and complete their life cycle. Also proportionate number of different animals as per the food chain should be grown and maintained.

Third, planting trees here and there won’t work anymore. Humans should start reclaiming the barren waste lands and the dump yards. They should develop these to beautiful pockets of mini forests”.

Then the furious crow paused. Then she said, “tell your Prime Minister to meet us and negotiate, we will tell our other demands to him directly”. It then flew away and joined the flood of animals proceeding for the War….

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