An interesting recent occurrence has been mostly ignored by the mainline media. During the chaotic exodus from Afghanistan, as foreigners and Afghans were fighting to escape prior to the Taliban moving in, apparently a drama was unfolding at 10 Downing Street. As outlined in this Guardian article, Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, gave direct orders to the foreign office to save animals in Kabul that were in mortal danger.
According to the article Mr. Johnson called the foreign secretary and ordered him to 'save the animals' of a British cat and dog rescue based in Afghanistan. “Equivalent charity Nowzad, run by an ex-Royal Marine, has received a lot of publicity and the PM has just authorized their staff and animals to be evacuated,” an official working for Lord Goldsmith writes to another foreign office official. “In light of the PM’s decision earlier today to evacuate the staff of the Nowzad animal charity, the [animal charity – name redacted] is asking for agreement to the entry of [details redacted] staff, all Afghan nationals.” Said another email. However when confronted with the episode, Mr. Johnson called it “complete nonsense”.
That same day Downing Street followed: “At no point did the prime minister intervene. We have always prioritized people over animals.” So why is this story of import to this publication? Well, the aforementioned last sentence says it all, "we have always prioritized people over animals". Now, we are not suggesting the opposite, all things being equal people should come before animals. However what we find fascinating is the level of the controversy emanating from a simple and caring gesture by the British PM. One that he actually had to back off as the political winds were getting too severe.
While a whole range of animal activists are pushing legal systems to recognize animal sentience, here in plain sight we see just what they are up against. Even a whim of decency, humanity and caring for the animals caught in a quagmire not of their own making brigs down the political house, to a point where the PM actually has to deny the actions. No matter how incriminating the above emails be.
The press in England is having a jolly old time trying to pin blame on Johnson, blame for what? For being decent, for caring for animals? His great sin apparently was that he talked about animals when humans were in danger. Even considering the animals ALONG WITH THE HUMANS is apparently a sin to be punished. Being a political animal Johnson of course denied the entire episode occurred.
However as a barometer of how far we have moved the pendulum in the "Animal Wars", the Afghan affair seems to indicate we have a long way to go. When will humans consider it kind, compassionate and a sign of great leadership that a man thought about the welfare of the animals along with the humans in his decision making? Will anyone alive today ever see that glorious day? I doubt it, for if that day ever arrived we would be witnessing a civilization in harmony and peace with itself. A far cry from the world of today indeed.