This is my second page on companion animals and fireworks this firework season – and what a season. It started before Diwali (late October) and extends to beyond Bonfire Night (to mid, even late Nov.).
It is the season of noise more than colour and light, which brings me to my first point: fireworks could be just as enjoyable being quiet! What about quiet fireworks? The modern trend has been towards more noisy – incredibly noisy – fireworks. Were they always this noisy? What is the modern fascination with noise?
There is no need for noisy fireworks. Quiet or relatively quiet fireworks would strike an excellent compromise between humans getting their kicks and cats and dogs not being terrified.
Some people will say, why should we bother with cats and dogs or all the wild animals which are terrified by noisy fireworks. Apparently 60% of cats are terrified by them while 50% of dogs suffer in the same way. I am sure the majority of wild animals are frightened by them and they have no one to comfort them.
“They are only cats” people will say. We have human rights to do as we please. It’s our garden. We can do as well please in it. Yes, it is your garden but the noise you create extends for half a mile beyond the boundaries of your garden upsetting hundreds of pets in London or other built up areas.
As for the cat being a lesser creature with a far lower intelligence; this is irrelevant even if it is true (and it isn’t). This is because there is only one aspect of the cat which matters in this argument: cats can suffer. They can feel pain and fear. They have emotions.
They can be confused and bemused. That is all we need to know when deciding to use quiet fireworks or no fireworks. We have a moral duty to not place animals in this fearful state as a consequence of our pleasure seeking.
There are alternative suggestions to using quiet fireworks (Richard Dawkin’s suggestion and a common sense one). For example: fireworks should be used on the day of the celebration only and the displays organised by professionals.
It is time for change and for selfish humans to take responsibility for the detrimental effect upon animals of their self-indulgent, pleasure seeking behaviour.
Photo: Epic Fireworks