animal rights activist, Mumbai
In her childhood, Priyanka Mehar always had a special connection with animals. As she grew up, she witnessed heart-breaking scenes of discrimination and cruelty against them every day. That is when she realised that society is plagued by a deep-rooted prejudice against animals, or what is known as ‘speciesism’―the assumption of human superiority that leads to the exploitation of animals. Mehar started rescuing stray animals and nursing them back to health when she was 10 years old. Soon, her work expanded to fostering and adoption. Mehar has been leading by example for almost 15 years now. She runs a rescue page on Instagram called ALIVE (All Life Is Valuable Everywhere), which provides updates and information about animal welfare.
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The change I would like to see
The biggest change required in animal welfare and animal rights is the realisation that humans might have colonised the earth, but they cannot use animals as resources to satisfy their hunger for food or entertainment. We don’t just need stricter laws, but also a change in attitude. The very idea of animal rights is based on the concept that animals have emotions, feelings, and the ability to suffer. We cannot call ourselves animal lovers if we ignore the suffering that we cause them through our dietary choices and other practices. Through my work with ALIVE and PETA India, I strive to spread awareness. I believe that education and outreach are crucial in bringing about the change.
As told to Akanki Sharma