WORLD ANIMAL DAY
By: FAIZAN NABI
We can’t ignore that animals play an important role in our lives. They not only provide support and enrich our lives but also their companionship makes us better human beings. October 4 is celebrated as World Animal Day. This day provides us an opportunity to take care of animals and be a part of something special. It is not only the responsibility of the relevant organisations and welfare groups to care for this wonderful creation but duty of every individual to look after them.
Background of World Animal Day
We must be thankful to Heinrich Zimmerman (a cynologist) who has strived for this day to be celebrated globally. He organised the first World Animal Day on 24 March 1925 in Germany. Following that many countries like Austria and Switzerland initiated to celebrate the day. But every year Zimmerman worked tirelessly on the promotion of World Animal Day. Conclusively in May 1931 the day of 4th October was decided to be celebrated as World Animal Day and was unanimously accepted.
WHAT IS WORLD ANIMAL DAY?
This day is a social movement for improving the lives of animals. For this several animal welfare organisations, community groups, youth, children’s clubs etc. are encouraged. Several business organisations and individuals organise events to draw attention towards animal issues and motivate people to come forward and save animals. In India there are many organisations which work for the security and safety of animals. Some of them are ‘Animal Welfare Board Of India’ and ‘National Institute Of Animal Welfare’. There are also some of the brave volunteers or NGO’s who are working for welfare of animals, some of these are ‘Animal Aid Unlimited’ , ‘Wildlife SOS India’ and ‘Red Paws Rescue’.
World Animal Day celebrates the relationship between humankind and the animal kingdom. This day unites the animal welfare movements globally to make the world a better place for all animals. The mission of this day is to raise the status of animals in order to improve welfare standards around the globe. This day has its own significance that it is celebrated in different ways in every country irrespective of nationality, religion, faith or political ideology.
SIGNIFICANCE OF ANIMALS
Animals are our companions, our workers and our food. They appear in ancient cave paintings, and on modern commercial farms. We have domesticated some of them, while others remain wild and sometimes are endangered by our activities. They keep us company and while they can provide comic relief, they also serve us as valuable assistants.
ANIMALS AS WORKERS
The huge diversity of work performed by animals ranges from transportation to hunting to assisting the blind. Even in the automotive era “horsepower” survives as a unit of measurement. The domestic animals have been used for human benefits like milk, ploughing, and many agricultural uses since ages. Horses and donkeys are used for transportation. Service dogs offer their sense of sight, hearing and smell to aid people with disabilities and perform law enforcement duties. Our pets provide us protection.
ANIMALS AS COMPANIONS
Unlike the performance of specific tasks, an animal’s value as a companion might be more difficult to measure. With human association and their domestication, animals also became objects of affection. They are sometimes helpful in providing relief to some patients like Florence Nightingale observed small pets helping to reduce anxiety in psychiatric patients. They help in improvement of social functioning. Horses can serve in counselling. The Certified Therapy Horse Association advocates stringent certification criteria for horses and their handlers.
ANIMALS AS RESOURCE
For humans animals are productive resource. First of all, they supply a wide variety of foods that man needs to survive like milk, cheese, eggs, butter and meat etc. Some animal species such as corals and oysters are used by man to produce jewels and handicrafts. The hide of some animals is used to produce clothes. In many places of world animals are still main means of transport. For the innate sensory superiority and their great adaptability to external climatic conditions, they can carry out tasks that man cannot. Animals even support us and ultimately our country economically. For example the contribution of livestock is 16% of the GDP.
This day was celebrated across the world by organising school programmes, attending seminars, visiting local zoos and wildlife sanctuaries etc. Since the conditions are not conducive for all these activities because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there ae still many ways to celebrate it and show some empathy to the magnificent creation.
WAYS TO CELEBRATE IT DURING PENDAMIC
- DONATION:- As the responsible citizens of our society we must donate to the organisations which are meant for the welfare of the animals.
- AWARENESS VIA SOCIAL MEDIA:- Almost everyone is active on one or the other social portal. The awareness can be disseminated via our social media accounts to contribute towards well being of animals.
- NEWS AND ARTICLES:- Publishing news and articles can be gesture for the safety and security of animals. So that people will get to know the importance of animals in our life.
We people are so ignorant that we beat them by sticks because they are voiceless, because they can’t say it is hurting. Let us take an oath today to treat animals the way they deserve to be treated. The attitude must be adopted that whenever we look into eyes of some animal, we should not see an animal rather we must see a living being and a friend. Also we must remember that it takes nothing away from a human to be kind to an animal.