Tourists Club International Magazine
The Environment

Giving up my birthday for dogs

By Osa Mbonu-Amadi, environmentalist

July 13 is the day I selected as my birthday. I selected it because something we call my Big Book in my family got lost around 1975 when I was 12 years old.

Big Books were birth certificates issued by the parish priest amongst Catholics in those days. My parents kept all the Big Books of my siblings and I in a well-secured wooden cupboard. When I felt I was old enough at 12, I took possession of my own Big Book.

Unfortunately, I lost my own Big Book, and no one, including my father and mother, could remember the exact day I was born. My father remembered I was born in July, but he was not sure of the day. It is possibly that July was not the month. But there was no doubt about the year – 1963 – because there are evidences. My parents remembered I was born 3 years after Nigeria’s independent, and my father remembered I was born in the year he gained admission to study law at the University of Ife. Do not blame my parents for not remembering my birth date; they had six of us, and life was not easy for them as children of a subsistent famers. After all, they had taken steps to ensure that all our birth dates and details were document in the Big Books.

In our own time, birthdays were not as popular as they are today. Birthdays were celebrated for some children from affluent homes for only the first or second or third year, and after that, nobody talked about anybody’s birthday any longer, until the era of birthday celebration caught up with us and those who cared and could still remember their birth dates, started celebrating their birthdays yearly.

For the purpose of identity and other kinds of registrations, especially in schools, I had to choose a day. I can no longer recall what informed my selection of the 13th day; it was likely chosen arbitrarily, without any specific reason. So, given that my father believed I was born in the month of July, in the year 1963, my official birthday became 13 July, 1963.

It could be the actual date; you can never tell. But as I have always asked, does it matter? What is special about me that my date of birth must be remembered and celebrated? Is December 25, the day we assume that Christ, my Lord and my Savior, was born, not in contention?

Today, however, as an environmentalist, I have decided to convert 13 July in my life to a day I plead, and mobilize my friends and well-wishers to join me to plead with humanity to stop killing dogs for whatever reasons. Dogs are too close to us as humans and so much in love with us to deserve to be killed, whether for food, rituals or some other reasons.

If we can extend this campaign to other animals, it will be fine too. But I am specific about dogs.


Cruelty against animals 


Most people know somewhat of what is going on in slaughterhouses and cow, pig, chicken and turkey farms. They know that animals are bred for murder in these places so they can be killed and eaten for the pleasure of humans. But what some people may not know are the disgusting conditions and inhumane treatment of these innocent animals behind their closed doors. Animals are subjected to some pretty terrible living conditions, full of feces and flies, packed into crates so crowded that they can hardly move. Their natural habits are taken from them.

Chickens for example are kept in big warehouses in tiny wire cages as big as file cabinets — packed with about 10 or more chickens. The chickens peck at each other, so their beaks are removed to prevent them from doing this. This is called de-beaking. This is done to each chicken with no painkillers. Their breasts are so heavy from injected growth hormones that they sometimes can’t even stand, and their legs are often already broken. Many cages house chickens that have already died from disease.

The treatment of hogs and cows are just as terrible, often still alive and struggling as they are hung upside down and taken down a belt to have their throats slit or beheaded by an automatic machine. Many times, the animal is not dead immediately, because their throat had only been nicked as they get hacked into pieces or boiled alive.

“If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian.”

– Paul McCartney

So, from this day of July 13, 2021, I, Osa Mbonu-Amadi, have stopped celebrating or receiving birthday wishes. If you love me or wish to send me a birthday wish every July 13, please join me instead in the campaign to plead with human beings to stop killing dogs specifically for whatever reasons.


Osa Mbonu-Amadi


Thousands sign petition to stop consumption of dog meat in Nigeria




08 JULY 2021   |   4:01 PM

A petition calling ria | Image: The News Nigeriafor the ban of the consumption of dog meat in Nigeria have garnered thousands of signatures online.

Titled “Stop Nigeria’s Barbaric Dog Meat Industry,” the petition seeks a ban and shutdown of the dog meat trade industry in Nigeria. As at the time of this report, the petition which was filed on petition website,, has gather over 9000 signatures.

The petition alleges that the dog meat trade in Nigeria has become so prosperous so much so that dogs are “taken” from neighboring countries such as Niger and transported into Nigeria, to maintain the country’s growing demand for dog meat.

The petition also claimed that Nigerian pet owners, “who have dogs and cats as companions and not for consumption”, live in “constant fear of having their companion stolen by local dog or cat thieves, knowing their pet would be sold to a dog trader or butcher, for quick cash.”

It added that “local residents and international tourists are placed in jeopardy because of the constant threat to health through transmittable diseases such as rabies, related to Nigeria’s dog and cat meat trade.”

“It is unfortunate that Nigeria’s positive new image is tainted by the existence of a cruel dog and cat meat trade which casts a negative shadow over Nigeria. Dogs and cats are companion animals and not food items.”

The petition, in conclusion, pleaded with the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari to a list of four action point: (a) Implement existing laws against animal cruelty, maltreatment and neglect. (b) Provide funding for trap, neuter and release programs to prevent street dogs and cats from breeding. (c) All dogs and cats to be vaccinated against rabies. (d) Ban dog and cat meat in Nigeria and shut the trade down.


Isaiah 11:6-9

“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,

The leopard shall lie down with the young goat,

The calf and the young lion and the fatling together;

And a little child shall lead them.

The cow and the bear shall graze;

Their young ones shall lie down together;

And the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole,

And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den.

They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,

For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord

As the waters cover the sea.”

My brothers and sisters, that is the state of affairs in the God of kingdom. And we pray: Thy Kingdom come; Thy Will be done on Earth; as it is done in Heaven.

Whenever you as a human being, begin to have a rethink about the violence we inflict on animals, especially our closest friends among them like dogs, I believe it is a sign that you are becoming kingdom-complaint; that you are unconsciously moving towards the ultimate plan of God for his creations.

The prospect that animals and man can live together in peace is not an ideal; we have already seen examples of it in our relationships with dogs which can be said to be lesser lions.

In my family, our dogs love us and we love them so much. What we eat are what we give to them, including rice, beans, eba, vegetables, and of course meat and fish.

But we all know that man can live without fish and meat. If man can live without meat and fish, dogs and other animals can also live without eating meat and fish.

Man may not be able to accomplish all that. But with God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).




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