When the celebration of love becomes an occasion to show our cruel side

When the celebration of love becomes an occasion to show our cruel side

Christmas 2022. Volos. The city is counting down to the holidays and is dressed in its finest, welcoming residents and visitors, adorning streets and squares, and generously offering a Christmas spirit. 

This celebration of love creates feelings and warms our souls. People exchange wishes with smiles on their faces, buy gifts for their loved ones, and walk hand in hand. The combination of reverence and joy from Christmas carols complements this picture, making us all forget, even for a while, the problems of daily life, and undoubtedly helps cities attract crowds and increase their commercial activity.

The pursuit of this fairytale atmosphere is the goal, and honestly, there is nothing wrong with that. But how far could one go to achieve it? The answer was given to us by the Municipality of Volos, which created two nativity scenes as part of the city's decorations and placed live animals in them as public spectacles. How is this decision of the Municipal Council justified? We would very much like to know the reasoning of the Municipal Authority.

Specifically, in one manger, they placed a pony and three lambs, and in the other, a pony and two lambs. It should be noted that the animals are confined within the space of the wooden manger, exposed to the elements, without space to move. Especially the lambs - very young ones - are particularly distressed and do not receive the necessary care. As for the ponies, they are tied up and restricted without space to move either. Moreover, as if the above were not enough to highlight the indifference of those responsible for their welfare, one of the ponies fell ill.

Instead of being transported to receive necessary care, it was preferred to create a "special performance" for the public, calling a veterinarian to attend on-site, conducting an examination and administering an injection in front of passersby and visitors. Is the responsibility for the animals' health during their stay there assigned to a veterinarian to ensure on a continuous basis that everything goes well? And if so, to whom?

With this move, apart from exposure, the animals are restricted and mistreated, resulting in the creation of a circus-like manger, with them as protagonists. On the eve of Christmas 2022, we find ourselves facing a situation like this... namely, using animals as decoration for a city and as public spectacle.

What is truly disappointing is that this "imaginative" initiative is not something new. That is, the Municipality using live animals as "decoration" for the city is a practice that it has applied in the past. In fact, a few years ago there were strong reactions, criticism was voiced, and a lawsuit was filed, which was handled in a cynical and inappropriate manner. It seems that the Municipal Authorities are rather undeterred.
This harsh and illegal treatment must stop immediately, putting an end once and for all to these practices. It's no coincidence that impunity has led others to similar practices. Recently, in the area of Eretria, for example, a group of organizers took two small deer, locked them in a cage, and paraded them around the town square to be photographed with visitors. How unfortunate...

On our part, we will continue to fight for the enforcement of the law, and in the end, we are optimistic that the obvious will prevail. It is our responsibility to denounce illegality, and it is the responsibility of the state to ensure that laws are enforced.

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