Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Livestock: Alive or Dead

One lasting impression is of the rugged, serene creatures that inhabit the desert and upon whom pastoralists rely for their livelihood. Goats, camels, donkeys and cattle roam the vast landscape that is Sudan. They are sometimes accompanied by sun-baked herdsmen and their spouses or children. These beasts somehow eke out enough nutrition from an unforgiving ecosystem to survived. The asses and camels carry burdens. They all have value. I salute their constitutions. 

Another image that will never leave me is the carcasses of the animals by the roadside. They look as though someone has punctured a balloon and simply deflated the beast. Sometimes, the vultures have had their way and there is a rack of bones on the shoulder of the road. In a society where livestock are a major source of wealth, the animals that fall to disease or injury or accident are left to natural decomposition. And in countries where animals share roads with humans, the end of life is in your face at the roadside, reminding you of how fragile life is.

1 comment:

  1. I must say the experience of roadkill along my Pacific Coast journey is one I never got used to, both for the sight, when I could see it, and the smell, even if I could not see it.