Animals Are Our Equals
Dogs walking or running with their owners on the coast,
seagulls letting the waves of the Bosphorus bob them
up and down, or flying along ferry routes, or walking
around pavements in residential areas, and cats
rummaging for food between rock crevices
on the seaside, their heads perked up
at the slightest noises they hear.
I think of the animals out there
who shield themselves from heavy rains,
who feel alone when they notice other animals
in groups and they are left out, who have to fight
off predators every day, or, at least, have the urge
to protect themselves from being attacked
or assaulted, who are stressed from hearing
and seeing so much activity (most of it unfamiliar
and, for the rest of their lives, little mysteries).
I have seen plenty of cats (I feel especially
close to them) figure out how to open doors
and coming to the realization that top
cabinets in kitchens are likely to contain
their food and meowing at their owners
to communicate an interest in going outside
for just a few minutes. (I love how those creatures
check out what humans bring home or watch
humans do the work they need to do.)
Animals have been made to adjust to a landscape
with fewer and fewer trees and highways and suburban
homes that block their paths.
Some animals stave off possible enemies by sending
bad scents their way, some produce ink,
some change color to look like their surroundings,
some can think of three solutions to a problem,
some can reach amazing heights, some swim
or run long distances, some feel and care more
than a lot of humans, a lot of animals are great builders,
plenty of them work harder than many humans,
a range of animals keep humans in good health,
just about every animals serves as an inspiration
for an art or writing piece or a type of architecture
or for fashion design; there’s a lot to learn from animals.
Animals may not be able to speak
but they have organs that work, hearts to feel,
and brains in their heads and they move at their own will
and need places to live, others to associate with,
or have preferences for working independently.
Please respect the abilities and intelligence
of animals. Allow them their own space as they
don’t usually intrude on ours.
They only function to do what they need
to do — nothing more. There’s no reason
to cage them, to dominate them, to torture
them, to store them in too-tight, cramped
spaces, to inflict unnecessary pain, to think
they are ‘inferior’ (again, they go through
so much and they are capable of doing
a lot and so many are physically stronger
than humans) — in fact, animals are superior
to humans in a myriad of ways.
Please recognize that animals
are real, living beings. Please value animal
life. They may not speak but their numbers
don’t deserve to decline as severely as they do.
Please think that animals contribute
a lot in society rather than think that they don’t
do anything in this world.
Rather than see what they can’t do, see
what they can.
Get to know animals. Don’t just give them
a short simple glance and think you know
so much about them. Animals are our equals
because they exist and we exist.
How does anyone really know about animals
when most people probably don’t take their time
to even intimately know a couple?