Posted: November 27th, 2013
Connection between Humans and Animals
Humans and animals exhibit a very distinct relationship in that none can exist without the other and at the same time, coexistence between the two has proven to be impossible. Animals are quintessential for man’s existence since they form a very important part of his diet. They also help in providing security, for instance dogs. There are other instances where people with disabilities have used animals such as dogs to move around. On the other hand, there are numerous instances where the survival of animals has been dependent on man. In wildlife conservancies, there are numerous occasions evidencing man’s intervention in saving animals or whole populations from being wiped out by epidemics. There indeed lies a myriad of similarities on the relationship between humans and animals as shown in the story, An Elephant Crackup by Charles Siebert and Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell.
In the two stories, we find similar incidences where man’s existence has been greatly hampered by elephants. In the story of An Elephant Crackup, Siebert tells of instances where elephants have gone rogue and attacked humans. The writer narrates how such incidents have grown to alarming numbers within some vulnerable societies, especially in his narration of a woman that was gored to death by a rogue elephant in Kazinga village. In the same paragraph, he also shares on how months earlier, in the same fishing village, a young man had also been killed by a wild elephant. These instances reveal how man’s life has been threatened and taken away by the same animal that he is supposed to coexist with.
Siebert goes ahead to indicate that this prevalence is not an isolated case. He tells of how in scattered African and Indian regions, elephants have been ambushing and slaying people. This is worsened by the fact that they go to the extent of destroying villages and crops thereby leaving the affected populace without shelter and food. Statistics offered are so alarming such that some instances have recorded deaths of up to three hundred persons mauled by elephants in a span of four years. This particular incident was documented in the Jharkhand near the western margin of Bangladesh. In Assam, a State in northeastern India, at least six hundred lives were taken by rogue elephants in a given year (Charles, 2006).
George Orwell also seems to concur with this fact in his story Shooting an Elephant. Orwell narrates how he was one day alerted of an incident where an elephant was ravaging in a given bazaar. Although he terms the incident as a simple one, the destruction of an individual’s source of livelihood cannot be deemed simple. The principle difference in Orwell’s story as opposed to Siebert’s is that the culprit was a domesticated elephant as opposed to latter case where people were attacked by wild elephants. Orwell outlines the extent of the damages caused by the elephant; namely, the destruction of a person’s bamboo hut, the killing of another person’ cow, the raiding of fruit stalls, and the killing of stock. The author asserts that the reason why the extent of the harm was so large in consideration to a single elephant was the fact that the Burmese lacked efficient weapons to tackle such a beast (George, 2011).
The stories, An Elephant Crackup by Charles Siebert and Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell all bear a distinct similarity as they outline the relationship between man and animals, specifically elephants; and how the association has grown sour over the years. However, research indicates that increases in the alarming rates of animal to man conflict are mostly brought about man. In Siebert’s story, we find that most incidents occur around national parks and game reserves. This shows that man’s encroachment into the elephant’s territory has caused the given problems. In Orwell’s story, it is realized that the owner of the elephant fails to lock up the domesticated animal properly and thereby leading to the given commotion.
Charles, Siebert. An Elephant Crackup. The New York Times, 8 Oct.2006. Web. 28 Oct. 2011.
George, Orwell. Shooting an Elephant. The Literature Network, 26 Oct. 2007. Web. 28 Oct. 2011.
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