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A mother and infant harbor seal at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve in California, April 2012. (Barbara J. King)

An Earth Day Celebration For Animals

by Barbara J King
Apr 22, 2012

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Last week I was thrilled to visit, for the first time, Point Lobos State Natural Reserve in California. This reserve is located on the Pacific. While walking its trails, I saw pelicans and other marine birds, wild sea lions, sea otters and harbor seals. The air was chilly; the cobalt and turquoise blues of the sea were swirling in the wind.

It was a wonderful day of connection with nature.

Today, Earth Day, I want to carry forward the feelings of joy that I felt at Point Lobos — feelings many of us may experience when out in our national parks, state parks, beaches, forests and, yes, our farms, city parks and backyards, too. Here are some projects (chosen from a list of many more) that offer tremendous hope on Earth Day because, through them, hundreds of people work hard to makes lives safer and all-around better for other animals:

*Advancing the goals of wildlife conservation, and caring for orphaned and traumatized African monkeys and apes.

*Working against the cruel practices of rattlesnake round-ups, in which snakes are mistreated and sometimes slaughtered in competitive events.

*Offering to farm animals space, grass, sunshine and love, while recognizing these creatures' thinking and feeling capacities.

*Ensuring safe haven for animals abused in the entertainment industry (Hollywood, circuses, some zoos), including great apes and elephants.

*And, as a cat rescuer myself, I can't help but admire the protecting of cats, including strays and feral cats, and educating of the public about the need to spay-neuter our pets.

These effective efforts — labors of love — may inspire the rest of us. Small steps we take do add up in much-needed positive ways for other animals.

Happy Earth Day!

You can keep up with more of what Barbara is thinking on Twitter.

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