Besides world travel, there has always been something else that has been close to my heart: animals. During my childhood I had an affinity for animals whether I was a pet store or a zoo. Some of the best memories of growing up are of my pet beagle, Snoopy. Although I ate burgers for a few months aspiring to be like the Archie Comics character Jughead, it was replaced by years of being vegetarian and only eating chicken when my mom insisted I do so to make it easier on her cooking itinerary. Even as an adult I still prefer to eat vegetarian and love animals, but there are many other ways to celebrate and advocate for the preservation of animals. By supporting organizations that rehabilitate animals and educate the public about conservation, we can all be a part of National Wildlife Day, founded in memory of Steve Irwin. To show you how incredible wildlife is, I’m sharing a few photos of animals from my travels to show you why it’s important to conserve the lives of animals throughout the world.
While looking at pictures of animals is only a start to what we can do, these photos are reminders for me to take a closer look at how I am connected to the world, no matter my place. Animals can be fascinating, and the issues that surround conservation are vast, but we all play a part in making their livelihood a priority. In recent years many zoos, aquariums and tourism activities have come under scrutiny for their treatment of animals, which is why I am much more careful about researching the places I visit to see how they rehabilitate and care for the animals in their organization. Learning more about animal cruelty in beauty products has also been insightful and seeing more companies who are cruelty-free is inspiring. So, no matter where you’re at on National Wildlife Day, I hope you’ll share your experiences on how we can be better about rehabilitating and conserving animal lives.