Animals in Mozambique have a hard life. Animals in most of Africa have a hard life. I think its because the struggle for life is such that to have to struggle for an animal’s life is just not worth all the effort. In a first world country, animals are treated as much loved pets and friends or as much valued money earners. Animals in the wild are prized for the fact that they are that – in the wild, not tamed and domesticated. They still have the danger factor of being a wild animal. Be it a bird or mouse or cow, in a first world country you really see an animal in pain or suffering.
In Africa its a different story. I lived in Zimbabwe when times were good and the bush was teeming with wildlife which was protected and guarded by conservancies and national parks. Cattle roamed huge ranches, feeding a nation very good quality beef and milk products. Domestic pets in suburban homes were treated like one of the children, not many pets were seen in the rural areas and settlements, what was there had to serve a purpose or it was not there. Then times changed and most of the wildlife was slaughtered in often cruel and needless ways. Where once fields of cattle grazed and roamed, land was taken over and turned into subsistence farms, which barely subsisted as the areas were not suitable for subsistence farming. So after a while the areas were deserted, treeless and desecrated. Beef became a costly commodity. Domestic pets were kept in suburban homes but now at a cost as the cost of survival had changed.
Now in Mozambique the value of an animal’s life is zero, whether it is a valuable food source, a source of income or a loving pet. Mozambique used to be like Zimbabwe and is quite far ahead in its progression to having no animals left. In Mozambique you will see puppies being used as target practice for stone throwing children. You will see kittens hanging upside down from tree branches, their tails plaited with wire, tied in the branches. Puppy sellers, as we call them although they sell anything and everything from goats to stolen dogs and cats, stand on the sides of the road holding their wares in the blazing heat. By the end of the day or when they get bored the small animals are thrown into the traffic or taken to the beach and drowned. I have seen starving, emaciated dogs living under loose pavement slabs in spaces I wouldnt have thought they could fit into. I have walked past dumpsters and seen plastic bags of writhing bodies lying in them, there are only so many animals I can rescue and take home. I walk on the beach and watch the fisherman dragging in nets loaded with treasure from the sea. Nothing is thrown back, everything is sifted through, what can be sold is set aside and what is of no use is thrown up the beach to flop and die in the heat and the sun. Nothing is protected or conserved for future generations, everything is taken and killed and ruined.
Cattle are rarely seen but goats are around, riding balanced precariously on the tops of buses, tied to motor bike and bicycle pillions, staked on the side of the road in the blazing sun. Chickens in Mozambique don’t really know what life is the right way up. Once they are fully grown they spend their lives upside down with their legs tied together hooked on posts for sale on the side of the road, hanging from sides of pickups and buses and bicycles.
There are only so many animals I can rescue. How long will it take for WWF or Greenpeace to notice because I hate trying to turn a blind eye.