August 23, 2011

Who is a Humanitarian? Animal Advocates Are!

According to the official website, "World Humanitarian Day is a celebration of people helping people. Every day humanitarian aid workers help millions of people around the world no matter who they are or where they are. The day recognizes the sacrifices and contributions of those who risk their lives to give others help and hope."

Last year we blogged about Humanitarians to #FollowFriday.  This year I want to focus on animal advocates and why we are humanitarians.  To most readers of THIS blog this seems obvious.  But I am sure you have met naysayers, people that complain of your efforts towards animals when humans are in need.  In the case of Amazon CARES we get a double whammy, as we aren't even helping animals in the USA, where we are headquartered.

Helping animals helps people.  Everyday new studies demonstrate the vital link between animal health and human health.  As the animal health of a population increases, so does the health of the human population.  In addition to improving the lives of stray animals in Iquitos and the surrounding Amazon villages, Amazon CARES is reducing animal overpopulation through aggressive capture-neuter-release programs.  With a reduced number of sick animals roaming the streets, spreading disease and fighting for food, public health has improved.  We have Spanish language materials to teach dog-bite prevention and safety around animals.  And we have distributed human anti-parasite medications to over 20,000 humans since our start in 2004.

There is also the proven link between animal abuse and domestic abuse.  We educate teachers, police officers and the clergy about the warning signs of domestic abuse, which often manifests as a child abuses an animal.

And there is much to be said about the simple act of loving and caring for a pet, and the kindness it teaches.  Through Humane Education programs we educate children about compassion towards all living beings.  Education themes include not only domestic animals, but also humans, respect for wildlife and the environment.

Read the article about our animal-assisted therapy programs in Fido Friendly magazine and you will have no doubt that we are humanitarians.

So next time somebody suggests you help humans instead of wasting time on animals, stand up proudly and assure them that you are helping humans.  Animal advocates are some of the best humanitarians I know!!

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