There in India, animals are free to wander anywhere, something amazing for westerners accustomed to keep their dog on the leash and pick up after them. It’s because hindus believe any living being as to be respected. Since long, religious scholars have taught that freeing and feeding an animal was a way to gain karma.
Cows of course are seen everywhere slowly chewing forgotten papers, plastic bags or muzzling at fruit and vegetable stalls,…and sometimes obstructing traffic. (Many of them are abandoned by their owners, by farmers when they are too old, less productive). But there are also squirrels, monkeys like “langur” ( the brothers of Hanuman, the monkey-god), peacocks ( they are considered as lucky charms), geckos ( light-skinned lizards), dromedaries, donkeys, goats and pigs…Devot hindus and jaïns even feed ants by giving them sugar and floor. After all, the founder of the veterinary sciences is considered to be Shalihotra, an indian who lived 2400-2300 BC. and who wrote a treatise on how to care and manage horses.
Sharing the streets with animals seems fun but it’s sometimes risky ! Cases of people attacked by cows and bulls are countless. Here is an incident that happened in Delhi in 2006. A 3 year old boy was playing alone outside his home when he was attacked by a herd of pigs. When her mother came, she noticed pigs where chewing something. Coming closer, she spotted a piece of cloth and understood the animals were feeding on her child’s remains. The hysterical mother threw stones at the herd, but the pigs tried to attack her. Only the boy’s limbs could be recovered.