Friday, December 28, 2012
President Zuma and the Dogs
So the South African president, President Zuma, decided to declare dogs and the caring for dogs a "white, non-African" practice. You can read more about it here. I'm not sure where he got his facts, but scientists are beginning to accept that the first domestic dogs actually came from Africa.He is actually perpetuating racist stereotypes in a country that can ill afford such behaviour.
Of course Zuma's utterances have made people angry. It has re-ignited the racist fire that is never completely out in South Africa. It's too bad because Zuma has many important issues to attend to and now he's taken the debate to a place that is not constructive.
I have three dogs, the youngest my puppy Delilah shown above having a snooze under my desk in the office. I love my dogs. But perhaps Zuma was trying to make a point albeit in a clumsy way. Some people go overboard when it comes to animals, at the expense of people. For example, I believe a dog that attacks a person needs to be put down. An uncontrollable dog is dangerous. I feel the same about wild animals that kill people. But some will say an elephant that has killed a person should be saved. People must have a sensible view when it comes to animals.
Having said that, I've always felt, in fact, that we have more of an obligation to domestic animals than wild animals. We took these animals from the wild and made them dependent on us. It is unfair now to abandon them. To mistreat them. Thousands of years ago we made a pact with them. It is wrong to go back on it. I just hope President Zuma's words will not allow people to renege on that agreement, thinking that somehow it is African to mistreat a dog. It is not, as so many Africans have been saying on the social networks after Zuma's speech. Being loving and humane is part of African culture. And so is keeping a promise and standing by your word.