Now’s the time for all animal-lovers to show us their compassion because October 4 is World Animal Day and we’re planning to make a big roar. Animals can’t talk in the conventional way that humans communicate with each other. But there’s one day where we can all give a voice to the animals who can’t speak for themselves. On October 4, people spanning the globe will come together to celebrate World Animal Day. In any corner of the planet, no matter which country you explore, animals will consistently have a strong impact on the region’s culture.
History of World Animal Day
World Animal Day dates as far back as 1925 when Heinrich Zimmermann organized the first celebration in Berlin. Zimmermann, the publisher of a German animal lovers’ magazine, “Man and Dog,” launched the event to raise awareness and improve the welfare of animals. The date of October 4 is also known as the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron Saint of animals. Beloved among all Catholics, Saint Francis was famously recognized for his remarkable way with animals and all living things. Saint Francis is also the chosen papal name for His Holiness himself, Pope Francis. Some Catholic churches have even been known to offer blessings to pets on this day in honor of all Saint Francis has done for animals.
World Animal Day has also become an arena for ecologists to discuss the problems associated with endangered species. Beginning in 2003, the UK-based charity, Naturewatch Foundation, has sponsored the event and organized ways for animal lovers all over the world to take part and make their voices heard in support of our animal friends. This day is not just for domesticated animals, it’s for wild animals, endangered species, and those threatened by environmental devastation or lack of protection. This day is a reminder not just to love the animals in our homes but to appreciate and respect all living things that are a part of our ecosystem.
World Animal Day timeline
SAPL Makes Waves
The Society for Animal Protective Legislation (SAPL) is the first organization to lobby for humane slaughter legislation in the US.
The International Animal Protection Congress in Florence Italy, unanimously accepted and adopted World Animal Day globally.
The Power of Literature
Anna Seawell’s novel Black Beauty is the first English novel written from the perspective of a non-human, and spurs debate over the treatment of horses.
Early vegan Lewis Gompertz publishes “Moral Inquiries on the Situation of Man and of Brutes,” one of the first books advocating for animal rights.
- 530 BCE
Greek philosopher Pythagoras is the first in a line of several Greek and Roman philosophers to teach that animals have souls and advocate for vegetarianism.
World Animal Day FAQs
Where can I get my pet blessed on World Animal Day?
Find your local Catholic church and ask if they are offering animal blessings.
Are there any events on World Animal Day?
Likely! It’s a global holiday, check out local animal shelters and conservation centers to find out if there are any opportunities for you to give back!
How do I participate in World Animal Day?
There’s lots you can do! You can volunteer at a local shelter or conservation center, join in a peaceful protest, or donate to your favorite animal rights organization.
How to Observe World Animal Day
One of the best ways to do your part is to get involved with any of the official events happening on October 4. A good place to start is the official World Animal Day website, where you can get help coming up with an idea, organizing a plan, and putting it into action.
Adopt a pet
Pet adopt-a-thons are a common event held in many cities on World Animal Day and it’s a small action that can make a big difference. At these events, attendees can learn about pet ownership and care, share stories with fellow pet owners, buy pet-related toys, products and more.
Join a peaceful protest
Peaceful protests are also commonplace around the world on October 4. These can range from the better treatment of agriculture livestock to complete termination of cultural pastimes, such as bullfighting, whale-slaughtering, and poaching elephants and other wildlife.
5 Fun Animal Facts
Seahorses mate for life and when they travel, they hold each other’s tails.
The heart of a shrimp is located in its head.
At 188 decibels, The blue whale can produce the loudest sound of any animal.
A Tiger can’t change its stripes
A tiger’s skin also has stripes and each pattern is as unique as a fingerprint.
Flamingos are naturally white
Their diet of brine, shrimp, and algae turns them pink.
Why World Animal Day is Important
Protecting the ecosystem
Ecosystems are extremely fragile. When one species exits for any reason, it often has serious repercussions for the rest of the system. By celebrating World Animal Day, we raise awareness about the importance of conserving the balance in our ecosystems. This ensures tens of thousands of people will maintain their farming and fishing livelihoods.
It unites us all
The mission of World Animal Day is to bring together all humans in the name of improving the lives of animals. This means all people, regardless of nationality, faith, religion or political ideology are welcome to join in to make a difference. The ultimate goal is to ensure animals are recognized as sentient beings and we do all we can to improve their welfare.
It’s been a success
Over the years, World Animal Day has seen great success in improving the lives of animals. In Egypt, the day’s events have led to additional clauses in the Egyptian constitution that offer rights to animals. Similarly, in the Sudan, parliament has introduced new legislation meant to protect animals.