Now’s the time for all animal-lovers to show us their compassion because October 4 is World Animal Day and we’re planning to make a big roar. Animals can’t talk in the conventional way that humans communicate with each other. But there’s one day where we can all give a voice to the animals who can’t speak for themselves. On October 4, people spanning the globe will come together to celebrate World Animal Day. In any corner of the planet, no matter which country you explore, animals will consistently have a strong impact on the region’s culture.
While he may be rolling in his grave to discover that he was not the first person to be able to talk to animals, Doctor Doolittle would almost certainly be a keen advocate of World Animal Day which takes place on the Feast of St Francis of Assisi, October 4th. Started in 1931 in Italy, this annual celebration of all things furry is now a popular day in which we remember the important role that animals have to play in our world, as well as the people who devote their lives working to protect and care for them. To get into the festive mood on October 4th you are encouraged to ditch the fur fabrics, refuse to buy products tested on animals and – probably of greater concern to the majority of folk – convert to vegetarianism. Was St Francis a meat eater? Answers on a postcard…
History of World Animal Day
World Animal Day dates as far back as 1925 when Heinrich Zimmermann organized the first celebration in Berlin. Zimmermann, the publisher of a German animal lovers’ magazine, “Man and Dog,” launched the event to raise awareness and improve the welfare of animals. The date of October 4 is also known as the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron Saint of animals. Beloved among all Catholics, Saint Francis was famously recognized for his remarkable way with animals and all living things. Saint Francis is also the chosen papal name for His Holiness himself, Pope Francis. Some Catholic churches have even been known to offer blessings to pets on this day in honor of all Saint Francis has done for animals.
World Animal Day has also become an arena for ecologists to discuss the problems associated with endangered species. Beginning in 2003, the UK-based charity, Naturewatch Foundation, has sponsored the event and organized ways for animal lovers all over the world to take part and make their voices heard in support of our animal friends. This day is not just for domesticated animals, it’s for wild animals, endangered species, and those threatened by environmental devastation or lack of protection. This day is a reminder not just to love the animals in our homes but to appreciate and respect all living things that are a part of our ecosystem.