I remember this one incident, I was in the van with a few of my class mates… we were out for a workshop for a week in Khairpur. It was around 10 am or something – and I am just not a nice person at that time – and we were on the road, off to our work site.
And now since our site was a rural, village site, it wasn’t surprising that on the road we were met with a gang of cows….. So I am looking at this herd of cows, stuck in this limbo with modern roads and immense fields on the side, and with our car honking at them.
The excitment in the car, no doubt, escalted at this, which is shocking considering that we are not in kindergarten. Anyways, out of no where I think out aloud, “What must these cows be thinking?”
I got an immediate response from a friend/class fellow, “Well, they can’t think anything. They are not ‘Ashraf-ul-Maklukat’*”
*Ashraf-il-Maklukat is the highest degree that was bestowed by the Muslim God on humans.. this basically means the “highest form of being”, which are humans, and they are considered the highest, because it is only them who have been given the power to think.
The shock to this response was equal to being punched right in the chest.. for a minute or two, I just kept looking at her and for the life of me, I couldn’t understand what she meant by this. I mean I know the concept that she is talking about, I know what she is referring to, but I simply could not understand what she meant!
The thing is that I can never think like that.. now I am not on the best of terms with almost 99.9% of animals out there, but I do have a wonderful turtle living with us, and he is the life of our house. We all adore him and love him, and the fact of the matter is that he has taught me that animals do think, and feel and to me thinking and feelings are connected.
I have seen him trying t o snuggle in us to get our love and affection, he knows exactly when we are scolding him or at mad at him or something that he did, when is it that we are playing with him. And the only way – I believe – that he can feel any of this is because he can think and feel.
In the initial years that he was with us, I used to be really scared of him, needless to say, I am not a pet person! But over the years, the turtle has simply taken up love from all of us. He has made us love him and plus, he is just so cute that how can someone not fall in love with him!