While he may be rolling in his grave to discover that he was not the first person to be able to talk to animals, Doctor Doolittle would almost certainly be a keen advocate of World Animal Day. This day takes place on the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, October 4th, offering a special opportunity for humans to pay a bit more attention to the other animals on the planet, show appreciation for them and even have a celebration in their honor!
History of World Animal Day
The history of World Animal Day is ever-evolving, but the first expression of the day seems to have been established in 1925 by Heinrich Zimmermann, a German author and publisher of a magazine called Man and Dog. The original celebration took place on March 24 as an event celebrated in Berlin’s sports palace where more than 5,000 people were in attendance.
In 1931, a convention of ecologists in Florence, Italy, were highlighting the plight of animal species that were endangered, and World Animal Day grew in popularity as it spread around the world. By 1948, Australians were organizing celebrations with the support of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), and the reach of the day grew even further, eventually changing its celebration day to autumn.
World Animal Day is an annual celebration of all things furry is now a popular day in which people remember the important role that animals have to play in the world, as well as the people who devote their lives in working to protect and care for them.
How to Celebrate World Animal Day
Show some love to all animals by celebrating World Animal Day with a myriad of events, activities and celebrations, including some of these ideas:
Stand Up for Animals
World Animal Day is an ideal time for humans to speak on behalf of those animals who cannot speak for themselves. This is a great day to get involved with various charitable organizations that fight against treating animals poorly, especially when it comes to big business and industrialized farming. Speak up by arranging to host an event at work in support of animals, attending a group meeting about animal welfare in the community, or sharing about the care for animals on social media to raise awareness.
Make Animal-Friendly Purchases
To get into the festive mood on October 4th people are encouraged to consider how their economic and purchasing habits impact animals. Perhaps this is the right time for some people to ditch the fur fabrics, refuse to buy products that are tested on animals and possibly change eating habits to consume fewer animal based products.
Here are some of the simplest switches many folks are making cruelty free purchases on World Animal Day:
- Look for PETA or Leaping Bunny certifications. Several organizations have certifications that help consumers choose the brands that are safe for animals. Look for these when purchasing makeup, skin care, lotions and other personal products.
- Go for vegan products. Reducing the number of animal products and by-products is a great way to celebrate World Animal Day. From food to personal care to clothing, support companies that refuse to harm animals with their products. The Vegan Society is a good resource for finding these products.
- Eat less meat. Even those who aren’t ready to go strictly vegetarian can make a change by reducing their number of meat-filled meals. Substitute beans for meat in Mexican foods or change up plant-based items for dairy products like milk, yogurt and cheese.
Volunteer to Help Animals
Many people want to get involved in animal welfare for more than just World Animal Day one day a year! Perhaps this day could be used as a launch to make a commitment to volunteer at a local animal shelter or other charity that is effectively helping to protect and care for animals in the community.