World Animal Day is an international day dedicated to draw humanity’s attention to the problems of the rest of the inhabitants of planet Earth. This date is celebrated annually on October 4.
It’s celebrated around the world since 1931; its goal is to draw attention to the problems of other inhabitants of the planet. And there are many of them: zoos, dolphinariums, breeding, contact zoos, wild animals trade, fur industry, poaching, hunting, any other cruelty, circuses, animal husbandry, culinary perversions and more.
Animals are the most important part of Nature, without them, as well as without plants, water or air, the Earth simply will not exist. But sometimes it seems that humanity has begun to take everything around for granted, as something that serves it, something that can be used as it wants and as comfortable! But this is not so, not at all so. Animals are not things, they are living beings that should have the right to exist peacefully.
And it is the attitude towards our close little neighbors that is a reflection of how human we are in principle.
History of World Animal Day
The idea of holding such a day has taken root all over the world and in 2008 various events dedicated to this date were already held in 68 countries of the world.
The date of October 4 was not chosen by chance. This is the day of the Catholic Saint Francis of Assisi, who is considered the patron saint of animals. According to legend, the saint could communicate with animals and preached to birds.
In 1925, German cynologist Heinrich Zimmermann proposed adding Animal Protection Day – October 4 to the world calendar of important dates. Since 1931, the holiday has reached the international level. Today, this is a global event in which most states participate. Since 2013, it has been chaired by the Naturewatch Foundation, a British conservation charity.
World Animal Day is an international day of action to raise the status of animals and improve their welfare. The day is a means of drawing attention to animal welfare issues across the globe by encouraging businesses, schools, clubs and others to organise and participate in various World Animal Day events, with the goal of improving the lives of all animals through recognition and awareness.
Historically, the day was initiated by its originator, cynologist and animal protection activist Heinrich Zimmermann, but today, the yearly global celebration of animals is spearheaded by UK-based animal welfare charity, Naturewatch Foundation. In 2003, Naturewatch Foundation launched the first World Animal Day website, which the charity still maintains. The website lists global World Animal Day events that take place on and around World Animal Day and encourages supporters to add their own events to the directory. The World Animal Day website also offers hundreds of ideas of how to get involved with the special event and provides a ‘resources’ section to guide supporters to actions that their group can take.
In 2007, it also established a worldwide voluntary Ambassador programmer. World Animal Day now has a network of 97 ambassadors from animal organisations in over 70 countries around the world, including Jill Robinson, founder and CEO of the Animals Asia Foundation. World Animal Day Ambassadors can apply for annual grants, sponsored by Naturewatch Foundation, to fund animal welfare projects in their country. These grants are awarded to projects that they believe will have a significant and lasting impact on animal welfare. Grant submissions are usually accepted between February and May, and announced in August. The World Animal Day movement is also supported and endorsed by a number of celebrities, such as Anneka Svenska, Brian Blessed and Melanie C.
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, mobilising it into a global force to make the world a better place for all animals. It is 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 recognised as sentient beings and full regard is always paid to their welfare.”
World Animal Day, was originated by cynologist Heinrich Zimmermann. He organised the first World Animal Day on March 24, 1925 at the Sport Palace in Berlin, Germany. Over 5,000 people attended this first event. The activity was originally scheduled for October 4, to align with the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi, patron saint of ecology. Unfortunately the venue was not available on that day. The event was then moved to October 4 for the first time in 1929. Every year, Zimmermann worked tirelessly on the promotion of World Animal Day. Finally, in May 1931 at a congress of the International Animal Protection Congress in Florence Italy, his proposal to make October 4 World Animal Day universal was unanimously accepted and adopted as a resolution.
It is sometimes cited, incorrectly, that World Animal Day started in 1931 at the convention of ecologists in Florence, Italy, who wished to highlight the plight of endangered species.
Some sources write that World Animal Day was established by the International Congress of the Supporters of the Nature Movement, held in Florence in 1931. This decision was supported by organizations created to protect animals in different countries of the world. They carry out various activities with the aim of raising public awareness and activism of citizens regarding the protection of animals.
In 1948, Australian celebrations were organised by the RSPCA. According to The Examiner, the construction of a boarding home for dogs was scheduled and a donation had been received from the L.G.R.C. Since 2002, The Finnish Association of Animal Protection Associations (SEY) has organized various events during the Animal Week and distributed material to schools. Today, World Animal Day is growing into a global event that unites the animal protection movement, led and sponsored by UK-based animal welfare charity, Naturewatch Foundation since 2003. On October 27, 2006, the Polish parliament adopted a resolution on the establishment of 4 October as Animal Day.
In Argentina, Animal Day has been observed since 1908, when it was spear headed by Ignacio Lucas Albarracín, director of the Zoological Garden and president of the Animal Protection Association of Buenos Aires. Initially the day was observed on April 2nd, it was moved after Albarricín died on April 29th 1926 to coincide with this day.
Why celebrate World Animal Day?
Building the celebration of World Animal Day mobilizes people for action now for a better future for animals.
Throughout history, social movements (mass actions) like World Animal Day, have always been a major vehicle for ordinary people’s participation in politics, and key in fighting for social justice and reform. The lives of animals are profoundly affected by the actions of individuals, businesses, and nations. It’s therefore essential that, as sentient beings, their rightful status as recipients of social justice is established and translated into effective animal protection. World Animal Day embraces all animals and the unique concerns of each, in every country, and makes animals front-page news. Through increased awareness and education, we can help develop a compassionate culture which feeds into legal reform and social progress to make this world a fairer place for all living creatures. A world where animals are recognised as sentient beings and full regard is always paid to their welfare. World Animal Day has already brought about a significant and lasting contribution towards advancing animal welfare standards, and its influence will only continue to grow. We regularly receive heart-warming messages from people keen to tell us about what being involved with World Animal Day has helped them achieve and we’d like to share a few of these phenomenal victories with you now.
Mission of World animal day
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.