In our last interview of 2022, we spoke with Srijanita, an animal rights activist from Uttar Pradesh, India. She discussed @theanimalpatronage, an animal welfare organization she founded, and the most important issues related to animal rights going into 2023.
1. It’s a pleasure to have you on our page, Srijanita! As the founder of an animal welfare organization, The Animal Patronage, what made you want to become a “voice” for animals who are vulnerable to human cruelties and extinction? Have you always had a passion for animal rights activism?
It’s been eight years that I have been working for animals with my mother in my locality. I have always been an animal lover, even since an early age. I’ve always had animals in my life and always thought I wanted to work with animals in some way. The pandemic cut us off from the rest of the world and put us into our homes. It was during this time that I started my organization for animals, to spread awareness through social media. I believe animals feel things, just like you and I, and they suffer every day. People label me an extremist or a fanatic. Either that or I’m sanctimonious, and have a holier-than-thou attitude. But the only difference between me and those people is that I recognise the fact that animals suffer due to our taste for their flesh. That's what I want people to understand.
2. You have had many incredible opportunities such as giving a Ted Talk, being recognized by Channel Kindness and winning the Global Kids Achievers Award in 2022. How did you put yourself out there to receive this recognition and what have you taken away from these opportunities?
I never thought of being an entrepreneur though. Moreover, it is not my preferred career either. But donning the role of a Social Entrepreneur, I want to help these speechless beings who can’t stand up for their rights. My journey as a social entrepreneur has been more than a year. Through this time, I met more than thousands of people and learned about their journeys. The only Mantra for all these was that, I was constant to goal, I was confident of myself and supported my goal myself only. I believe hard Work, patience and time management are very important elements on a way to success. I always say to everyone that "When we really believe in a cause, the fight becomes a little easier."
3. Your podcast, for which guest speakers are interviewed, features many like-minded youth change makers. Why is unity and support important for the activist community?
We've all heard the saying, "United we stand." This phrase dates back to thousands of years ago. It's modernly coined by John Dickenson, one of America's founding fathers. The little word "unity" packs a powerful punch. One word that describes togetherness is "unity". It naturally ties into the community. Which is all about coming together to achieve the greatest possible good. If we as humans want to maximize our potential for making a positive change, it is vital to unite. But that's not enough. You have to be united. When we join forces with each other in the pursuit of common goals, wondrous things can happen.
4. What would you say are the most important and dire issues related to animal rights going into 2023?
There are several problems of interest to animal welfare activists. A number of the foremost vital ones embrace the survival of untamed species, living conditions of animals in zoos, humane practices within the food trade, and animal testing.
The concern for the survival of untamed species is termed life conservation and involves preventing human impacts on life ecosystems, breeding programs to repair injury already done, education, and engagement. life is vulnerable across the planet as a result of humans. We tend to destroy habitats, break them up in ways which injure migration routes, and alter conditions, inflicting the wildlife to degrade through temperature change, hunting, poaching, and pollution.
The living conditions of animals in zoos is another part of animal welfare. Scientists regularly analyze the conditions that animals want so as to be healthy, happy, and to mirror their lives within the wild. fairly often that analysis suggests that the conditions in zoos are merely not acceptable and cause distress to animals.
The food trade could be a supply of heaps of concern additionally. whereas some animal welfare activists are against killing animals for food the least bit, even those that don't have any drawback with this acknowledge that the approach animals are treated within the food trade is usually extraordinarily inhumane . Animals are killed in painful ways which cause panic, and this can be once a brief life cornered in small cages or enclosures. People that have an interest in animals tend to note that the smallest amount we will do is provide animals a contented and comfy life before we take that life away which it's our duty to create positives they're not given undue stress or damage throughout their lives.
5. What are your goals for the future of The Animal Patronage?
While I admittedly have no idea where I will be in 5 or 10 years from now, I do know what I want to be doing for the rest of my life. It feels like a bold statement to be saying that at 17, but I truly feel that I mean it. While I can’t draw out a roadmap or detail the concrete milestones that I want to reach, I know what future I want to work towards: one where every single youth, regardless of gender and socioeconomic status, can use social work to make a difference in society. It sounds like a far-away goal to many – maybe a dream even — but with the work my team and I do every day, I feel like that future gets closer every day to being a reality.
I envision a world in which it doesn’t matter what background you come from or what you look like & everyone is treated equally, I imagine people working together, sitting across from each other and there is a diverse set of skills, a diverse set of backgrounds. People from all different socioeconomic levels, people of different sexualities, people of different ethnic backgrounds all come together to solve the problem that our society faces.
I hope that the work that we’re doing for The Animal Patronage ensures that the next generations face less of a hurdle due to the environmental issues regardless of the places they live to be tied to. With that said, I know we have no rights to kill those speechless, they’re the ones who came before us. Our past generation made many mistakes that damaged the environment but we still have time to stop those mistakes and start preserving our planet for our upcoming generations.
6. I’d love to thank you for sharing! Best of luck with everything. Was there anything else you’d like to say?
My desire for discovery is constant, even if I don't always excel at everything I do. It’s all part of the journey of self-awareness – in My mind, understanding the self is the most important part of all.
With that said, I know that pursuing male-dominated fields could be a hard task, and you might not receive a lot of support from school or from your immediate community. Know that communities like The Animal Patronage exist online and are here to help and support you in case you need resources or people to bond with. Communities are there, all you need to do is look them up and find them. Lastly, In my opinion, every species has an equal birthright on this planet. Just because they can’t fight for their rights doesn’t mean we cannot do that. I believe that we should try to be a constructor and not a destructor.