Raise your Glasses to these Amazing Animal Heroes of 2020!
After a turbulent year full of uncertainties, shock, fear and loss, I’d like to share stories of hope and compassion by honoring the Animal Heroes of 2020!
If you want to see who made the cut last year, read my article on the Animal Heroes of 2019.
Who are animal heroes?
Humans who go out of their way to help the lives of non-human animals. Beloved souls who are neglected, used and abused to somehow make our lives better.
In my opinion, Covid-19 is WWIII. A war declared by the human animal species on Mother Nature who had no choice but to fight back.
As soon as we fully understand how human greed and our egos drive entire species into extinction, including our own, via climate change, deforestation, overfishing, fracking, overpopulation, etc., we will be able to survive and thrive as a species.
In order to secure our future on this planet, we have restore balance in nature, meaning, we have to change the way we live. The way we think. The way we produce and consume products.
We have the power, knowledge and resources to make these changes, but we have to act now.
As overwhelming as that may seem, it really only starts with a mindset shift and personal drive. And we don’t have to change everything at once. We can take one step at a time and still be successful.
With mindset, I mean leading the way with compassion, not our ego.
And it starts with showing compassion toward all living beings.
To see how it’s done, let’s take a look at everyday heroes who inspire others to respect all animals.
Animal Heroes of 2020:
Power to the people who care!
World Peace is a Choice
When we show compassion toward all animals, humans included, we’ll not only save our own species, we’ll create a kinder and healthier world because when we respect Mother Nature and all she takes care of, we are at peace with ourselves.
When we’re at peace with ourselves, we’re at peace with others.
And when we’re at peace with others, we will have world peace.
Power to the people who are compassionate.
Compassionate Voters and Leaders Paving the Path
The US election was absolutely insane and during that week of uncertainty, I was a hot mess! The outcome made it worthwhile though.
What also made my heart sing this election was that in the state of Colorado, west of the Rockies, residents voted for the reintroduction of grey wolves. There’s a lot of controversy with wolves, but when we understand them, we know that they are vital to a healthy forest ecosystem.
Thank you leading gov’t officials and all residents who voted for nature!
When the UK government toughened their law against animal abuse, including gross neglect toward farm animals, making this “one of the toughest sanctions for animal abuse in Europe, strengthening the UK’s position as a global leader on animal welfare,” all I could say again was, ‘Thank you!’
I’m still praying for all farm animals to live a long, healthy and happy life without ever having to visit a slaughterhouse. A vegan girl can dream.
Power to the compassionate people who create much-needed change.
“I think that we’ve become very disconnected from the natural world and many of us, what we’re guilty of is an ego-centric world view, the belief that we’re the center of the universe.
We fear the idea of personal change because we think that we have to sacrifice something, to give something up, but human beings at our best are so inventive and creative and ingenious, and I think that when we use love and compassion as our guiding principles, we can create, develop and implement systems of change that are beneficial to all sentient beings and to the environment.”
~ Joaquin Phoenix, Best Actor Oscar Speech and Animal Hero of 2020
Dog and Cat Heroes
Victoria Bryceson, founder of Miracle Mission works tirelessly to save thousands of sick, injured and disabled animals lead a happy life. Miracle Mission is a UK-based non-profit organization that rehabilitates and re-homes dogs in need, often with disabilities and also educates about neutering and spaying pets and street dogs and cats. Here she is with Ella, a champion heart melter, who’ve just won the title of ‘Best Rescue Dog’ in a local competition.
“In January 2018 I travelled to Egypt to visit various animal shelters to assess who and how Miracle’s Mission could help and where we could set up our neutering programmes. It was while visiting one of the shelters that I saw a dog called Ella in a terrible condition that would have severely worsened had she been left there. Ella was very cruelly thrown from a building 3 and a half years ago where she suffered from a broken leg, loss of another leg and a broken spinal cord and she was just left with no treatment to drag herself around for the next 3 years. There was no other option but to bring her back to the UK for rehabilitation. Ella pushed into my legs and wouldn’t let go of me when I went to cuddle her so it’s like she was asking me to take her with me.”
Nikhil Shirdhankar from Malad, Mumbai, is all about kindness and even though he has his hands full taking care of his 10 rescued dogs and 25 cats, he also makes sure 500 strays roaming the streets of Malad are also fed. Bless his heart! HIs main message: “Be a friend to them and the world will become a beautiful place.” How very true that is.
Anita recently wrote about how she and her fiancé adopted a cat and rescued and rehomed a kitten in the same week on her blog.
Who says pigeons aren’t important? Not me which is why I’m happy to have read that @delhicious_body saved a pigeon from a few cats in the garden and even drove it to the emergency vet to get checked out. Now that’s compassion!
Thank you, Cher, who founded of Free the Wild, and Four Paws International who aided in moving Kaavan, the world’s loneliest elephant, to a much better home in Cambodia to be well taken care of and be with his own kind.
Meanwhile, Paula rescued three animals now living in her home and also saved a wild bird and abandoned dog this year.
And then there’s Joe Nutkins who rehomed six rescue chickens during lockdown and rescued Boots below, a four month old cockerel in October from the slaughterhouse. They are all now living their best lives with his main flock.
Meet Hettie Spaghetti below, a gorgeous hen who had a mutated respiratory infection in August which left her blind so she moved into Joe’s office indoors to be hand fed, given water. etc. She’s doing quite well and is enjoying her time indoors now.
Where the Wild Ones Are
If you’re looking for a sanctuary to visit while traveling or would like to support one, I highly recommend reading this article from The Global Grasshopper: 100 Of The Best Animal Sanctuaries To Visit, Volunteer Or Follow.
Wildlife on the Path
COVID-19 also affected non-human animals, however in a more positive way. Let’s take a look at some observances during ‘Anthropause‘, a term coined by Matthias Loretto, a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior in Germany, and his colleagues:
- The China government has temporarily (NOT permanently = sad face) closed their wildlife markets and banned eating wildlife due to the pandemic since The World Health Organization determined that COVID-19 is a zoonotic disease, meaning it originated from a non-human animal. Source: World Wildlife Fund
- Coyotes roamed the streets of San Francisco, wild goats headed out on the town in North Wales and dolphins frolicked along Istanbul’s shores. Not always a welcome sight if you just want to walk outside to grab the mail. Source: The Harvard Gazette
- Shelter adoptions (mostly dogs) in the US have increased by 30 to 40%, but don’t be fooled, there are still many animals in need of good homes. And, because events were canceled all over the world, major local fundraising opportunities went down the drain, considerably decreasing their funding for medical treatment and care. Sources: USA Today announced, The Washington Post and Q13 Fox
- Maine recorded 44% fewer roadkill victims hit and kill accidents on mountain lions in California dropped 58% and 21% for other wildlife. Source: Washington Post
Creatives speaking, singing and painting for the animals
Art, whether it’s photography, painting, writing, filmmaking, etc. is a powerful way to speak for those without a voice.
Joaquin Phoenix just won’t stop! Not only did he bring us to tears during his heartbreaking and inspiring Oscar winning speech, he’s mesmerizing us with his new film, Gunda, which he produced alongside director and like-minded friend, Victor Kossakovsky.
“Thorns and Lilies” by Art Noir, written and sung by the lovely Nadine Stelzer and composed by Jan Weber, takes us on a journey into the depths of nature and our soul. Just one of many adventures from the album “Poems of an Extinct Species” which will be released on January 29, 2021! Really looking forward to this one!
How did I meet Nadine? My dear business colleague/friend recommended her to me because I needed someone to copy edit my book in German: Lily Bowers und der ungebetene Gast. She did a brilliant job too, so if you ever need someone to copywrite or edit your creations in German, she’s your gal.
Much applause goes out to dear Allison Luci, an incredibly talented artist, with whom I connected on Instagram about two years ago or so. Her paintings are so very colorful, inspirational and inviting, I want them all on my walls! She not only paints on commission, but also from her heart for animal-rights causes to raise money for sanctuaries such as Arthur’s Acres Animal Sanctuary in New York and Odd Man Inn in Washington.
Because of her passion, talent and incredibly engaged and generous community, she helped raise over $10,000 for animal sanctuaries this year alone! Wow! Thank you, Alli!
Abbie, adopted mom of Minnow and Blossom, commissioned Allie to create a 12″ x 12″ oil painting of Olive, a rescued turkey with personality after winning the “Best Finish Line” in the Odd Man Inn’s No-K OddVenture this past Spring.
Abbie decided to generously auction off this beautiful painting and donate all the money to Odd Man Inn instead of keeping it!
Honestly, I don’t know if I would have been able to give this gem to someone else, but I sure do appreciate those kind souls who do!
Do you want to be featured as an animal hero 2021?
Do you know any animals heroes? Please comment below and let’s talk!
Wishing you and your family a wonderful new year!