The Humane Society of the United States called the other day to drum up some extra cash in light of the tsunami in southeast Asia as part of the Relief Efforts for Animals Difficult after Catastrophic Tsunami campaign.
Compounding the human tragedy unfolding in South Asia after a massive tsunami swept across the Indian Ocean, animal victims are now beginning to emerge as well. While the impact of this natural disaster on animal populations is currently very difficult to assess, Humane Society International (HSI) and its partners in the region are working to support disaster relief efforts in the affected countries.
Undoubtedly, countless animals died and were washed out to sea by the initial tidal waves, while the bodies of thousands of others litter the beaches and fields of devastated areas, complicating the disaster relief process. The necessity of disposing of both human and animal remains to contain the spread of diseases like cholera and typhoid is still critical.
And while the relief efforts of animal welfare workers in Asia understandably remain focused on human victims of the disaster, many are preparing to spend the coming days and weeks fighting disease and helping as many victims as possible—both human and animal.
It’s not a joke. To some people whose livelihoods depend upon raising funds for animal welfare, I guess this represents a reasonable opportunity to show animal compassion.
In light of the unimaginable human suffering, though, I find it crass.