By Dr. Robin Ganzert
I love all of the traditions we as Americans share with one another. And one of my favorite annual traditions celebrates a milestone birthday this year. When I was a kid, once the calendar turned to May, I knew my teachers would start talking about the importance of treating our animal friends with kindness, care, and respect. And I am positive that many of my readers shared this same annual rite of passage and have likely experienced it with their own children and grandchildren.
I’m talking about American Humane Associations’ Be Kind to Animals Week® which will celebrate its 100 anniversary this year, from May 3-9, making it the oldest commemorative week in our country’s history.
Generations of schoolchildren have learned the value of treating all creatures of the earth with care, making it the most popular and successful humane education effort ever. For this year’s special anniversary American Humane Association is commemorating the occasion with a year-long Kindness 100™ campaign, during which we will take our humane messages to millions of Americans and enlist them in a new Compassion Movement to address the remaining challenges facing the world’s creatures.
One of the key components of the Kindness 100 campaign is our Humane Pledge, featuring four simple things every American can do to help our animal friends, and best of all, they are all fun things you can do with your grandchildren:
- · Seek out eggs, meat, and dairy products bearing humanely raised labels, such as American Humane Certified™, making a better world for 10 billion U.S. farm animals.
- · Look for films featuring American Humane Association’s “No Animals Were Harmed®” end credit, ensuring the safety of 100,000 animal actors each year.
- · Learn about conservation efforts and introduce your grandchildren to the wonders of disappearing species by visiting accredited zoos, parks, and aquariums.
- · If you or they choose to adopt a pet, do so from an animal shelter, saving the life of one of the 6-8 million animals who end up in shelters each year.
This pledge is now available on our special website, Kindness100.org. We encourage you to visit, take the pledge, and share the pledge on social media so all your family and friends can join in. We are also proud to offer educators special downloadable curricula for “Be Kind to Animals Week” on the website, so if you are a teacher or think it would be a great resource for your grandkids’ teachers, please share with them, so we can instill this message of kindness in all young people.
We still have a long way to go to ensure the humane treatment of every living thing, but together, we can usher in a new century of compassion for our grandkids and their grandkids.
Dr. Robin Ganzert is the President and CEO of American Humane Association, the first national humane organization, and the only charity dedicated to the protection of both children and animals. She is the host of the weekly radio show “Be Humane with Dr. Robin Ganzert,” on Pet Life Radio, the number one pet network on the planet. In fall 2014 she published her first book, Animal Stars: Behind the Scenes with Your Favorite Animal Actors.You can follow her on Twitter at @robinganzert.
MWD Matty featured in our March/April, 2015 issue was recently honored!