World Animal Day
World Animal Day is an international day of action for animal rights and welfare. It is celebrated on October 4th, which is the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi the patron saint of ecology and animals.
A Bit of History About World Animal Day…
World Animal Day was originated by Heinrich Zimmermann, the German writer and publisher of the magazine Mensch und Hund/Man and Dog. The event was originally scheduled to take place on October 4th to align with the feast day of Saint Francis of Assis. However the venue was not available on that day, so the first World Animal Day was instead held on March 24th 1925 at the Sport Palace in Berlin, Germany. Over 5,000 people attended this inaugural event. The event was later moved to October 4th for the first time in 1929.
Initially Zimmermann’s initiative was only followed in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Czechoslovakia. However, he worked tirelessly on the promotion of World Animal Day and finally in May 1931 at a congress of the International Animal Protection Congress in Florence Italy, his proposal to make October 4th World Animal Day universal was unanimously accepted and adopted as a resolution.
According to the Naturewatch Foundaton website, the mission of World Animal Day is: “To raise the status of animals in order to improve welfare standards around the globe. Building the celebration of World Animal Day unites the animal welfare movement, mobilizing it into a global force to make the world a better place for all animals. It’s celebrated in different ways in every country, irrespective of nationality, religion, faith or political ideology. Through increased awareness and education we can create a world where animals are always recognized as sentient beings and full regard is always paid to their welfare.”
You can follow the latest happenings relating to World Animal Day all around the globe.
Why Do We Celebrate World Animal Day Today?
Today, World Animal Day is a global event uniting the animal protection movement, led and sponsored by the UK-based animal welfare charity, Naturewatch Foundation. The main goals are to raise awareness around general issues affecting animals and to mobilize people around the world to support change at the business, social, and political levels. This celebration starts from the premise that we are stronger as a group to face animal issues around the globe.
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Other Important Days to Honor Animals Worldwide
While World Animal Day may have been the first such celebration of animals, it is not the only one. In 2011 the non-profit “Our Planet. Theirs Too” established The National Animal Rights Day (NARD). National Animal Rights Day is also celebrated in multiple countries. However it is celebrated on the first Sunday in June instead.
In addition to these two days of celebration, National Wildlife Day was founded in 2005 in memory of the conservationist Steve Irwin.
It’s mission according to its website is: “To bring awareness to the number of endangered animals nationally, as well as globally, that need to be preserved and rescued from their demise each year, and also to acknowledge zoos and outstanding animal sanctuaries and organizations globally for everything they do to help preserve this planet’s animals and educate the public about conservation – especially to children….our animal’s future caretakers and conservationists. National Wildlife Day will also encourage citizens to stand up and fight for animals that need a voice, visit their local zoo and donate to worthy wildlife rehabilitation sanctuaries and organizations that make a difference in the lives of our beloved wild animal friends.”
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So let’s celebrate World Animal Day on October 4th and keep in mind the special connection that unites us with animals and nature. How does World Animal Day inspire you? Share your comments below!