It starts with the basics

31 January 2018 | Opinion

According to Maslow's hierarchy of human needs, which runs in a pyramid from the bottom up, the first basic human need is physiological – things like food and shelter. The second need is safety which is self-explanatory. The third is love and belonging which moves into self-esteem and the final need, self-actualisation – becoming a highly evolved, altruistic person living out his or her particular set of skills and caring for the community and the environment.

The matter of the Ondangwa Town Council refers here.

Let us say from the outset, that we support rights for animals, all animals and that we are vehemently opposed to any form of animal abuse – of any animal.

However, there is something we need to understand.

No human being, who does not know for a fact that there is a meal tonight, that there is shelter and a blanket, safety and personal security, will care anything for the rights of animals. If a person does not have his or her needs met, there can be no altruism. That person, who is forced to survive, who is unsure of what tomorrow will bring, whether that includes food or a violent crime towards him or her, cannot possibly give a damn about a pig or a cow or any other animal who too, is not being fed.

Our women and children suffer abandonment, physical abuse often as a cultural right and suffer the threat of rape. In the most recent crime report from the Namibian police, the victim was first stabbed and then raped. And in our high courts, fathers are facing charges of killing their own minor children.

This is the Namibia we live in. Poor children have to take their chairs to school. They sleep in hostels which are unsafe and not fit for human habitation. They are surrounded by shebeens and alcohol abuse, they are faced with fetching water, walking long distances and what not.

There is no way they, anyone else will care for the animals.

The sordid state of the holding pens at Ondangwa, and the shameful way those innocent animals were treated, is a direct symptom of the failure of this government to uplift its people.

It starts with the basics. Let no Namibian go to bed hungry.

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