‘Compassion for animals associated with goodness’ says reader


MONKEY Helpline’s calls to the air gun shootings of four vervet monkeys in La Lucia and uMhlanga last week is commendable.  A furore and a frustration amongst local residents prone to the occasional invasions and visits by these furry furious African wildlife in what was once a natural habitat that has been taken away. KwaZulu-Natal’s humid East Coast with its natural luscious land is the home of Vervet
Monkeys and Green Mambas.It’s disturbing when selfish people take the onus on themselves to physically harm animals in a solution to protect themselves or their spaces. Residing in an area that also has protected bush and greenery, many residents make the effort of closing doors, windows and avoiding incidents of occasional fruit and food thefts. Unpleasant sights of garbage cans being raided – the solution is to lock them. Complaints of destructive troops in areas has reached levels of intolerance and impatience however the solution is not to be aggressive and destroy or shoot them. Residents who feel this way need to realise the harm when these wild animals lie injured and end up with such painful deaths in the sight of Steve Smit, Carol Booth and team who work tirelessly and selflessly rescuing these monkeys.

Many residents feed these Vervet Monkeys out of compassion and willingly. Which is why they have become accustomed to human beings and know the homes and houses they visit. The fault does not lie in them, their habitat has been invaded by humans.  In the words of Arthur Schopenhauer in his book, The Basis of Morality, “Compassion for animals is intimately associated with goodness of character, and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man.”

Shameema Omar
uMgeni Park

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