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Every October 4th is dedicated to our animal co-inhabitants on this planet. It’s World Animal Day, a day that reminds us of the importance of protecting animals and respecting their rights. But why do we need such a day, and what can we do to contribute to animal welfare? 

History of World Animal Day

World Animal Day was established in 1931 at the International Animal Welfare Congress in Florence. The date, October 4th, wasn’t chosen at random. It’s the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment. Since then, this day serves to draw attention to various injustices faced by animals worldwide and to raise awareness for animal welfare. 

Turtle gliding under water
image: Lachlan Ross –

Why Animal Welfare is So Important 

Animals are sentient beings. They experience pain, joy, sadness, and many other emotions, just like humans. Yet countless animals around the world suffer under poor conditions, be it livestock in factory farming, wildlife losing their habitats, or pets being neglected or abused. 

Protecting animals also plays a crucial role in maintaining our ecosystem. By safeguarding them, we ensure that our environment remains balanced. Each species, no matter how small, has its unique role in the cycle of nature. If this balance is disrupted, it can have severe consequences for our planet. 

two lemurs cleaning each other
image: Magda Ehlers –

What You Can Do 

  • Education: Educate yourself and others on animal welfare issues. Knowledge is power! 
  • Support Animal Welfare Organizations: Numerous organizations advocate for animal protection. By donating or volunteering, you can help. 
  • Sustainable Consumption: Consider the products you buy. Support companies committed to animal-friendly practices and consider plant-based alternatives. 
  • Adopt, Don’t Shop: Think about adopting an animal from a shelter rather than buying one. 
  • Be Part of the Solution: Every little contribution matters. Whether it’s sharing information on social media, organizing fundraising events, or raising awareness in your community – everyone can make a difference. 
cheetah sun bathing on a rock
image: Magda Ehlers –

Closing Words

World Animal Day is more than just a date on the calendar. It’s a wake-up call for all of us to take responsibility for our actions and treat our planet and its inhabitants with respect and love. Each one of us can make a contribution to make the world a bit better for animals. Use this day as an opportunity to get involved and become part of the change we want to see in the world. 



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