Born Free USA Blog
by Will Travers,
Chief Executive Officer
What can you say about a big-hearted bloke who has rescued dolphins, tigers, elephants and more and whose parents once helped a lion cub from a department store by caring for him in their backyard and engineering his rightful return to Africa? You can safely say that he's got great animal instincts! In 1984, Will Travers joined his parents — "Born Free" film stars Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers — to form what became The Born Free Foundation. With knowledge, passion and compassion dripping from his every word, Will's blogs are sure to make you embrace our crusade to Keep Wildlife in the Wild ®.
Experts reckon that at no time in the past has the earth been blessed with such a variety and abundance of wildlife. More than 30 million species fill every available niche, habitat and ecosystem ... but far from looking forward with optimism, we stand on the edge of the abyss. For at no other time in recorded history are species disappearing as fast as they are today — sometimes before they have even been discovered or properly recorded. It is estimated that human activities are driving species into oblivion at 30 times their natural rate — and we are to blame.
We are also to blame for the massive institutional and recreational suffering of animals who share our world. Millions of animals in zoos languish in captivity for our so-called entertainment. Thousands more perform mindless routines in circuses and endure the deprivations of life on the road. Tens of thousands of citizens still think it’s acceptable to keep exotic animals and “pets” and only the lucky few end up in the safety of places such as Born Free USA’s Primate Sanctuary in Texas. Trapping — indiscriminate and brutal — continues to destroy animals’ lives and risk the welfare of our companion animals and even our children. It’s hard not to be depressed at what we are doing to our planet.
But EARTH DAY is the day when we are encouraged to step back, think about our impact, consider our obligations, shoulder our responsibilities, and step up to the plate. It’s the day when people of goodwill and compassion fight back for the sake of the planet.
If we all do one thing to make this Earth a place fit for life, the impact would be incredible. If every American planted just one tree there would be a forest of 300 million trees, reclaiming our atmosphere, greening our land. If every American did one positive thing to protect our native wildlife, our insects (on whom the planet relies), our birds, our mammals, our natural heritage would be secure. If each one of us took one step toward ending cruelty either through the food we buy, the animals we care for or the wildlife we conserve, we could restore our sense of stewardship and humanity.
For if we care for the earth, its seas and oceans, its forests and plains, its valleys and mountains and all the life they sustain, we care for ourselves and our future too.