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Happy World Animal Day!

In the Bible, God created the animals before Adam. You see, even before Christ was born, animals always came before humans because they are always the first and the best. I know this is absurd to read because I am a fellow human too but if you think about the “first come, first serve” basis, you would realise that the Earth actually belongs to the animals first, because we came after.

“Then God said, ‘Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.’ So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moved, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.’ So the evening and the morning were the fifth day” (Genesis 1:20-23).

Though God created the animals on a date only God knows when, World Animal Day is actually October 4th. To demonstrate to you how pitiful and horrible humanity can be, animals were only dedicated a day in 1931, 4599999909 years after they were created. Buildings were already being donated by rich fathers to Harvard before 1931; that is a level of pettiness only humanity can reach. As a matter of fact, we should be devoting the future 4599999908 years to animals because of the lack of recognition for their glorious existence during 4599999908 years. The future year following that could be for other days and for other things that weren’t created 4.6 billion years ago.

World Animal Day unofficially started in 1925. It originated with cynologist Heinrich Zimmermann who on March 24th of 1925 organised the first ever World Animal Day at the Sport Palace, located in Berlin of Germany. Thank goodness 5000 out of the 7 billion human population recognized the value animals hold and attended this event. At this point, it might be confusing to some - if the first World Animal Day was celebrated on March 24, why is World Animal Day October 4? Good question, maybe because some random intern wrote down the date wrongly (unlikely, there is a huge disparity between both dates) or maybe March 24 in the German language is translated into October 4 in English (even more unlikely as Google Translate never lies)? The real answer is because on October 4th 1924, the venue was unavailable so thus, with man’s greatest patience, the event was postponed 5 to 6 months later.

Admirably, Zimmermann never gave up on his prospect of World Animal Day. He worked diligently and tirelessly every year to promote the day until eventually in May 1931, his wish was granted by the International Animal Protection Congress. The acceptance and approval of Zimmermann’s vision took place in Florence, Italy and a congress. Everyone’s choice was in complete accord with his and by the end, World Animal Day was adopted as a resolution.

There are also other variations regarding the start of World Animal Day. Sometimes, it’s incorrectly stated that it started at a convention of ecologists, who collectively wished to bring to light the plight of endangered species. Either way, World Animal Day was brought to life for the better.

There are others that think like Zimmermann too. Long ago, in 1908, Animal Day had already been established in Argentina. Ignacio Lucas Albarricin, director of the Zoological Garden and the Animal Protection Association of Buenos Aires’s president, originally assigned the event on April 2nd, but after he died on April 29th, it was moved to its current date. Other countries that had celebrated World Animal Day nationally beforehand include: Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Czechoslovakia. After, dates were changed as Animal Day became a universal celebration.

As of today, World Animal Day has reached some height of popularity that is beneficial to the aim of spreading awareness. In fact, it’s as popular as Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day in the Netherlands and many countries have commemorated this day in various ways. For instance, Australia. In 1948, the RSPCA aimed to construct a boarding home for dogs and the L.G.R.C had given a donation. In 2002, the Finish Association of Animal Protection Associations (SEY) started planning a variety of activities during Animal Week and distributed material to schools. Since then, it has continued doing so. And on October 27th of 2006, the Polish Parliament adopted a resolution on establishing the 4th of October as Animal Day in their country. It still continues to be so.

The impact World Animal Day has brought is astonishing. To illustrate this fact, #WorldAnimalDay trends annually every October 4th and over a 1000 events are held every year in its name. Worldwide, there are 90 ambassadors in more than 70 countries, from Andorra to Zimbabwe. As of now, many activists have used this day to draw attention to the pressing struggles animals face, those include (from

  • 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year.

  • The journal, Marine Policy, says that around 100 million sharks are killed every year by humans, compared to sharks only killing 6 humans annually.

  • Each year, Japan kills more than 330 minke whales, including pregnant females. Among the ocean’s creatures, minkes are among the most beautiful.

  • Animal testing has long been part of both the medical and cosmetics fields, and unfortunately, some labs keep animals in horrific conditions and subject them to abusive experiences.

It’s important to note the importance of animals. Very important indeed. This is because animals are:

  • Crucial in supporting the food chains and the web of activity in an ecosystem.

  • Capable of producing litter or manure that provides nutrients for our land.

  • Providers of food, fibre, and fabric (leather, wool, etcetera).

  • Occasionally used for medicinal purposes, for example, frog skin contains antibiotics (antimicrobial peptides).

  • Marvellous companions, if domesticated. They often provide great emotional support and entertainment.

  • Used for manual labour or in production.

  • Critical component of biodiversity and helps keep our environment thriving. Pollination services are offered by birds, bees, and bats while rabbits, moles and mice aerate our soil. Flies, beetles and moths help decomposition, which produces nutrients for new growth.

In short, by eliminating any animal, it creates a rippling effect on everything else. Whether there be a lack of producers or prey (food), or lack of fertilisation (due to loss of manure) or negative change in composition of plants, every animal brings a unique value to the world and their absence increasingly downgrades our home, which is as much as theirs.

Thus, to honour these creatures, you can donate to non-profit organisations, such as World Wildlife Fund, or adopt a pet to take care of. Alternatively, you can also spend time with animals by volunteering at a care shelter or sanctuary and educate yourself on animal rights and welfare. These don’t have to be necessarily done solely on World Animal Day and keep in mind, the protection of animals can’t only happen on one day!

As a conclusion, the value of what each animal can bring to biodiversity and humanity is profound, but as much as their impact is one of great scale, ours can be too.


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