‘Teach children’ to Love Animals
Children have a natural affinity for animals. Photo Credit: Pixabay
Malaysians need to reevaluate their views of animals. Animals aren’t unfeeling and unthinking brutes as many people may take them to be. Rather, they’re sentient beings and ought to be treated as such.
“Many humans today have yet to reach what we call ‘civilised thinking’ level when it comes to animals. They think animals have no emotions or feelings and simply abuse them,” says Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, minister of Natural Resources and Environment. And he is right, of course. “Based on general knowledge, animals also have feelings and can become stressed, they can even die due to pressure,” he added. “The Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) has taken many steps to educate the public, yet we still see all types of abuse happening. This shows that awareness is still low.”
To increase such awareness, schools should make sure that they educate youngsters about the need to treat animals humanely. Curriculums should be revised so that there is more time devoted to environmental education, Wan Junaidi explained.
Right he is about that too. Albeit Malaysia boasts some of the planet’s most stunningly beautiful and biodiverse areas, many locals, it seems, remain woefully oblivious of the need to protect the country’s natural treasures. Numerous Malaysians take a cold utilitarian view of animals, treating them only as sources of food or income. Poaching and wildlife trafficking remain rampant across the country, while pets and other captive animals often face neglect or, worse, are treated abysmally.
Malaysians are hardly alone in this in the region, but that is hardly an excuse. The best way to change minds is to start doing so early. That is why we must start teaching children to appreciate the bounty of nature in Malaysia, to protect the environment from further harm and to care for animals. Children have a natural affinity for animals. We must help them cultivate that affinity so that it turns into an abiding love and interest.