I don’t want to give the impression that four legs are better than two but all the chaos, distress, death and destruction in Kabul is human created. It is bad enough if innocent people are killed in this mayhem, as hundred are, but at least they are of the same species as the people who created the mess. They can make an effort to try and understand it although it is pure madness. But animals will be confused and distressed.
But imagine what it is like for the street animals. The stray dogs and cats. The community dogs and cats. The pets (there must be some). It is reasonably likely that some were killed in the suicide bomb blast that killed around 180 people. Staggering.
And then there is the huge blast noise and the commotion afterwards. This is distressing for animals as much as it is for people.
And it is more likely that community cats in Kabul will be neglected. These are cats that rely on shopkeepers and the like to feed them and provide a vestige of security. This minimum of sustenance will be breaking down.
And looking to the future it is foreseeable that Afghanistan’s economy will implode. The banks are shut or out of money. Businesses are shut. Employees are not going to work. Women are forbidden to work. That means less disposable income or no income.
The US has frozen 9.5 billion US dollars in Afghan government reserves. That is more money out of circulation which is desperately needed to support the failing economy.
No money to support a cat. As mentioned, there must be some domestic cats in Afghanistan. Cats are more vulnerable than people. In dire situations such as is occurring in this benighted country domestic cats are going to be neglected. And it does not matter than the Prophet Mohammad loved cats or that is what the hadiths say. It’s one thing that the Prophet loved cats and another than Muslims treat cats in as kindly manner as the Prophet. They often don’t. The cruelty perpetrated against cats in Muslim countries is shocking.
Without a half decent economy, the animals of this tribal country will starve and suffer. It is a very backward place. It is as if they are living in the Middle Ages. They enjoy dog fighting for instance; a pastime that was banned years ago in more civilised countries.
I fear for the domestic animals of Afghanistan. There are wild cats in Afghanistan such as the leopard and Pallas’s cat (manul). Thankfully these animals are out of the way. They are distanced from the human mess. The human population density in Afghanistan is 60 per square km compared to 281 per square km for the UK. Plenty of room for wildlife to stay out of the way.
P.S. What is the point of this post? To try and get some people to think of the animals. The whole sorry mess is human-focused. Animals have been mentioned but it is exclusively in relation to the evacuation of the Nowzad animals which has finally been a success. This is due to one man: Paul Pen Farthing. Without his persistent voice on behalf of the rescue animals there would have been no animal evacuation. And what will happen to Nowzad from now? Will the organisation continue to function without the founder? And what of the pets who’ve been left behind? And what of the many community cats who would have had the benefit of a rescue organisation but for the Taliban. A lot more animal suffering will occur in the future.
I want to highlight the animals that remain; those that continue living in Afghanistan. There is no escape for them. They will have to endure and live short lives under very difficult conditions.
SOME MORE ON AFGHANISTAN:
Live updates on Mr Farthing (Nowzad) getting out of Kabul with his approx. 200 animals as at 26 Aug. 8 PM GMT