Impressions of India – Animal Bond
It is not common to see human being can be so tolerate living with animals. I am not talking about pets, but co-exist and living in tight spaces with wild animals. In some places, such animals already ended up on dining table, or slaughter for usable parts. I am not saying that all Indian are vegetarians but the general tolerance of animals in human living space was remarkable.
The most famous example will be the rat temple (Karni Mata Temple at Deshnok). I travelled a fair bit of distance of witness thousands of rat live and breed in a small temple, and worshiped by local people as the reincarnated holy man or ancestors. For 600 years, there was no reported outbreak of any plague from this temple. The amazing thing was that the priests and devotees shared the same food with the rat. They drank the milk full of rat disposal and deem to give good health. It was interesting to see the power of belief and values that shapes human behaviour.
The rats are acustom to people, just like how the worshippers are use to their present, climb onto their body. You can see there is one rat (hundreds other crawling next to these people) runs among the worshippers sitting on the floor.
The other common animals will be cows and monkeys. The monkey god Hanuman is a symbol for courage and fortitude.
Cow, or holy cow, have sacred status. They can rest on the middle of the highway, stroll along side with big truck. The cows (or bulls) always have the very calm expression on their face, careless if the sky fells down. Cool.
You can see dogs, pigs, donkeys, horses, camels, elephants, sheeps, goats, and even deers on the road. For 10 days road trip, I did not see a single cat.
Some domesticated farm animals are for food, transport and some are truly for pet.
Monkeys and dogs are often running wild and can be seen every where.
Most of the animals and birds are well fed. One can see many beautiful birds, parrots and fat pigeons.