World Animal Awareness – it’s not just about animals. It’s about people too. These are some of the stories highlighted on Facebook this week by World Animal Awareness Society – WA2S.Org, a dedicated non profit focused on filming human animal intersections worldwide.

ETHIOPIA

The Brook Etheopia

The human/animal connection is readily apparent on a most basic level in a video called Women Want Change. This video comes from The Brook, an international charity relieving the suffering of horses & donkeys working for some of the world’s poorest communities. (Visit The Brook on Facebook.)

Women can play a powerful role in bringing about change and, through its training, The Brooke is equipping women in many rural communities with the skills, confidence, and knowledge to make improvements for the future wellbeing of their animals and their families. – The Brooke President, HRH the Duchess of Cornwall

Watch the shift toward better animal husbandry as illiterate women are educated about proper working animal nutrition, wound care and problems with overloading. They speak of a time when they didn’t know more than to use traditional –  yet lacking – healing methods as compared with now healthy animals who benefit the survival of their families.

AMERICA

Snapping Turtle - ALDFAnd in the good old, literate US of A, horrors exist for entertainment’s sake.

Indiana’s Snapperfest is an event in which contestants demonstrate their prowess by pulling the heads of live turtles far outside of their shells. Undercover footage from August 2011 Snapperfest provided by the World Animal Awareness Society – WA2S.Org  reveals numerous acts of cruelty. As I watched seemingly fun-loving Americans enjoying what was clearly a violation no less offensive than rape by any law of nature I subscribe to, I was nearly sick.

According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund:

The DNR has condoned these actions by stating that Snapperfest participants are exempt from anti-cruelty law under an exception for activities including hunting and trapping, because, so they say, the turtles were trapped prior to their mistreatment at Snapperfest.

On January 19th, the national non-profits Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and Best Friends Animal Society submitted a petition for rulemaking to the Indiana Natural Resources Commission, arguing that the Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) misinterpretation of state law has allowed for illegal cruelty at Ohio County’s annual “Snapperfest.”

Learn more at ALDF.org.

GET INVOLVED

WA2S.org

There is much work to be done everywhere we turn, even in our own back yards. To learn about programs around the US and the world, please visit World Animal Awareness Society – WA2S.Org or the WA2S Facebook page.