So today, 4th October 2017 is World Animal Day.
Perhaps it is a good day to consider the animals in our care, those that we directly care for, as well as those around us upon whom we impact with our daily lives.
We humans impact all animals, whether that is through our effect on the planet with climate change, introduction of feral species, human overpopulation causing habitat loss, or whether it is our interactions animals at home or what we eat.
World Animal Day is a good day to reflect on what we believe and how we could improve our understanding of animals to make their lives better. Are our beliefs based on science or driven by emotional images on the media? Should we know more before acting even if our goal is better welfare? Sometimes, making change is good but sometimes the push for sudden change can have broader impacts that result in poorer welfare for animals despite good human intentions.
Just because we love our animals does not mean that the love we provide gives them better welfare. When we work to help animals we should always do that with a thought to the animal’s perspective, the long term outcome for the animal and whether what we do will actually have knock-on effects that are detrimental to animal welfare as a whole.
Let’s consider the animals in our lives and think of how we can improve their lives in a way that they will appreciate in the long term.