Has anyone ever seen the Discovery Channel documentary Racing Extinction? I have had it on my DVR for forever and am finally watching it.
(Image by: David Doublet)
Oh boy. 5 minutes in and I am sobbing.
I have always been a huge animal lover. I have been a vegetarian for over a decade because of my love of animals, I volunteered at our local humane society for years, and I have been known to rescue injured wildlife (I even once kept an injured bird in a small apartment with my adopted cat… talk about a challenge).
If you haven’t seen Racing Extinction, I highly recommend it. It opened my eyes to so many issues related to wildlife that I was previously unaware. For instance, I learned that a sushi restaurant was illegally selling whale. IN AMERICA.
The film is available on:
Unfortunately, at this time it seems that there are no more television airings.
The film left me feeling like I needed to do something to help. I am already researching how to become vegan, which will be difficult due to my passion for cheese (seriously, it is a passion). Read here about how going vegetarian (or even eating locally sourced meat!) is the greatest thing you can do to help our planet.
If going vegetarian is not your thing (I totally get it.) or you want to do even more to help save our beautiful world, I’ve compiled the top 15 charities that help animals.
Have you all heard of Charity Navigator? I love using them to evaluate the effectiveness and transparency of various charities. Read about their methodology here.
Charity Navigator classifies animal charities into three types of causes:
- Animal rights, welfare, and services: “…humane societies and veterinary services; no-kill shelters, organizations protecting animals from cruelty, exploitation and other abuses; and groups providing animal training and specialty services, such as groups training guide dogs. “
- Wildlife conservation: “…fish, wildlife and bird refuges and sanctuaries, as well as groups researching wildlife protection and conservation around the globe.”
- Zoos and aquariums: “…charities which operate zoos, aquariums and zoological societies in communities throughout the country.”
To view the charities within each category and see their ratings, click here.
Lastly, I wanted to share a few photos from when I visited the incredible Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center in Scottsdale, Arizona. If you are ever in the Phoenix or Scottsdale area, I highly recommend a visit. I have been to Arizona over 20 times (we have family there) and it is one of the most memorable experiences I have ever had. The Grand Canyon is up there too 😉
My family and I at the Conservation Center. Love for animals runs in my blood 🙂
My cousin bonding with one of the deer 🙂 It was amazing to get so close to the animals!
This beautiful creature is a leopard-jaguar mix. Her story absolutely devastated me. She was kept in a small hole in the ground of a circus. Kids would throw rocks, sticks, and trash at her. She was underfed and received little to no medical care. Thankfully, she was eventually rescued and can now live peacefully at the Center, but she still harbors a great fear of children. No children on our tour were allowed near her cage because she would snarl and attack the fence. Her poor, beautiful soul ❤
I hope this post has been helpful. I really encourage you to consider how you can make a difference in the lives of our fellow animals (how often we sometimes forget we are animals too!). Whether it’s adopting a dog from a shelter, donating money once a year to a charity of your choosing, or going vegetarian- I would love to hear about what you do.
I will leave you with this quote:
“The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated” – Mahatma Gandhi