A bit of history
In 1931, in Florence, at the International Congress, supporters of the movement for the protection of nature established the World Day for the Protection of Animals. Various countries around the world have declared their readiness to annually celebrate this date and organize various events and actions aimed at instilling in people a sense of responsibility for all life on the planet. Then in Europe, the idea of protecting animal rights received legal formalization. Thus, in 1986 the Council of Europe adopted the Convention for the Protection of Experimental Animals, and in 1987 – for the Protection of Domestic Animals.
The date of the holiday was set for October 4th. It was on this day in 1226 that Saint Francis of Assisi, the founder of the monastic order, the intercessor and patron of “our smaller brothers”, died. Saint Francis was one of the first not only in the Christian, but also in the Western cultural tradition, who defended his own value of the life of nature, preached participation, love and compassion for every creature, thereby actually modifying the idea of man’s unlimited dominance over all things in the direction of care and concern for environment. Francis treated all life on Earth with love, even to the point that he read sermons not only to people, but also to animals and birds. Nowadays, he is revered as the patron saint of the environmental movement and is prayed to if any animal is sick or needs help.
A reverent attitude to any manifestation of life, to all living beings, the ability to sympathize and feel their pain more acutely than his own made him a saint, revered all over the world.
Where and how do they celebrate
Events dedicated to the World Animal Day have been held in more than 60 countries of the world in recent years. At the initiative of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, this date has been celebrated in Russia since 2000. The very first “Russian Society for the Protection of Animals” was created back in 1865, and it was supervised by the spouses of Russian emperors. In our country, the most important mechanism for the protection of rare and endangered species of animals is. To date, more than 75 subjects of the Russian Federation have published their regional red books.
Where to start?
Many people, out of love and compassion for animals, want to help them, but do not know how to do it and where to start. Volunteers of the well-known St. Petersburg organization for the protection of animal rights gave some advice to those who are ready and want to help animals:
1. At the very beginning, you should find animal rights organizations or representations in your city that are recruiting volunteers to participate in live events.
2. It is important to understand that fighting in a country where there is no state support can seem difficult and sometimes lonely. Remember that you are not alone and never give up!
3. You need to know all the current groups of animal rights activists VKontakte, Telegram, etc. for a quick response. For example, “Voices for animals”, “Shelter for homeless animals Rzhevka”.
4. You always have the opportunity to visit pet shelters to help with dog walks, bring food or necessary medicines.
5. There are several ways, for example, to take animals for overexposure until a permanent owner is found; study labels on products that guarantee the absence of testing on animals: “VeganSociety”, “VeganAction”, “BUAV”, etc.
6. What else can I do? Completely abandon animal products by choosing ethical clothing, cosmetics, medicines. Be interested in information about the exploitation of animals in order to avoid certain products. For example, few people know, but most of the toilet soap is made on the basis of animal fats. Be careful and read the ingredients!
In 2017, the Ray Animal Charitable Foundation released the Ray Helper mobile application, which is an interactive map of Moscow and the Moscow Region, which shows 25 shelters for homeless animals. These are both municipal organizations and private ones. According to the official website of the application, more than 15 dogs and cats live in shelters in this territory. They cannot take care of themselves, every day they need the help of people. However, with the help of the application in real time, you can see the current needs of the shelters and choose the task that you can and like.
Sometimes it seems that some tasks are beyond our power. But often just getting started is enough. By simply making a choice and embarking on the path of protecting animals, you will already contribute to this difficult but brave cause.
I would like to end the article with a famous quote from the American naturalist writer Henry Beston, who advocated a careful attitude towards animals and wildlife:
“We need a different, wiser and perhaps more mystical view of animals. Being far from the primordial nature, living a complex unnatural life, a civilized person sees everything in a distorted light, he sees a log in a mote, and approaches other living beings from the standpoint of his limited knowledge.
We condescendingly look at them, demonstrating our pity for these “underdeveloped” creatures, who are destined to stand far below the level on which man stands. But such an attitude is the fruit of the deepest delusion. Animals should not be approached with human standards. Living in a more ancient and perfect world than ours, these creatures have such developed feelings that we have long lost, or have never had them, the voices that they hear are inaccessible to our ears.