World Animal Day, October 4

On this day each year World Animal Day is celebrated.

In March 1925 Heinrich Zimmermann organised the first World Animal Day in Berlin. In 1929 the event was moved to 4 October, the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi who is celebrated for his love of animals and nature. The day was only celebrated in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Czechoslovakia but Zimmermann’s proposal to make the day recognised internationally was accepted in 1931 at the International Animal Protection Congress in Florence Italy and adopted as a resolution.

Mission today:

“To raise the status of animals in order to improve welfare standards around the globe. Building the celebration of World Animal Day unites the animal welfare movement, mobilising it into a global force to make the world a better place for all animals.”

from Homepage

Unfortunately for the animals of the world it’s not celebrated in all countries nor for all animals. There is still cruelty. There is still exploitation. There is still ignorance.

To celebrate the day I’d like to share my poem Horse, and a selection of my images.

I read such spirit in your long-lashed eyes
a thousand years of freedom in your cries;
yet man has tamed
taught to obey –
commanded ‘walk’
commanded ‘stay’.
I feel such strength in your sturdy broad frame
I see noble beauty in coat and mane;
you learned to hear
to understand
learned to listen
for each command.
I read such spirit in your long-lashed eyes
a thousand years of freedom in your cries.

Do you have a favourite animal, animal photograph, or poem? Please share in order to help celebrate this day.