Ever wonder why most dogs, cats, cows and other animals don’t warn us of earthquakes or tsunami anymore? Can’t they hear a low rumble or feel the vibrations of an impending danger?
Have we traumatized and confused them by exposing them to harmfully loud noises? Every Diwali humans instinctively cover their ears to protect them from their own celebrations. Animals and birds have sharper hearing, but no way to cover their ears.
Such blasts in nature could mean a volcano, an earthquake or a jungle fire. An animal’s instinct is to flee. What happens when terrified dogs try to escape the ‘atom bombs’ on city roads?
Every Diwali hundreds of dogs are run over. Those not run over are lost in their panic to escape the racket. We found Gabbar Singh starving, injured and lost five Diwalis ago. The sensitive ears that can make out the sound of that one familiar car out of hundreds of similar sounding cars are assaulted every year with noises that they cannot block and cannot understand. Many lost dogs are never found.
Some dogs stop eating and some hide under beds or squeeze under cupboards. My cat hides under a quilt and shivers. Where do street dogs go?
And how do birds react to the sudden noise of endless gunfire every time we decide to ‘celebrate’? Normally these noises are used to frighten away monkeys and pigeons, but what happens when there is no ‘away’ to escape to?
When a real calamity strikes they have no idea this one is for real. All birds are confused like the cuckoo that sings endlessly for the mango season, not aware that we have changed the seasons with our human ways.
[Oct 15 is Blog Action Day – an annual event that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day on their own blogs with the aim of sparking discussion around an issue of global importance. This year’s topic is Climate change.]
Edited to add: And yet there is hope, because Bird Loving People Of Kollukudipatti Village Celebrate Soundless And Smokeless Deepavali.