Posts About: Nature

Esteem for our wildlife

wildlife refuge

Our visit of the Wildlife Refuge in Vermont made me think of the important mission of the National Wildlife Refuge Association which is: To conserve America’s wildlife heritage for future generations through strategic programs that protect, enhance, and expand the National Wildlife Refuge System and the landscapes beyond its boundaries that secure its ecological integrity.

Continue reading Esteem for our wildlife

Esteem for the biodiversity on our planet Earth

Arizona State University’s International Institute for Species Exploration announces a top 10 new species list each year as part of its public awareness campaign to bring attention to biodiversity.

Check out the Top 10 new species list 2013. My personal favorite is the Lesula Monkey with the human-like eyes. It was discovered in the Lomami Basin of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The day of the announcement is not an accident. Every year it is made on or near May 23 to honor Linnaeus, the initiator of the modern system for naming plants and animals. Almost 2 million species have been named and classified. Scientists estimate though that there are 10-12 million living species on our planet Earth, not included the unknown millions of microbes.

The goal of the mission of the scientists is huge. “We are calling for a NASA-like mission to discover 10 million species in the next 50 years. This would lead to discovering countless options for a more sustainable future while securing evidence of the origins of the biosphere,” Quentin Wheeler, founding director of the International Institute for Species Exploration at ASU, said.


The Fresh Air Fund gives esteem to children

There are many ways to give esteem to children. One of them Fresh Air Fund is living.

The Fresh Air Fund, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer vacations to more than 1.7 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877. Nearly 10,000 New York City children enjoy free Fresh Air Fund programs annually. In 2010, close to 5,000 children visited volunteer host families in suburbs and small town communities across 13 states from Virginia to Maine and Canada. 3,000 children also attended five Fresh Air camps on a 2,300-acre site in Fishkill, New York. The Fund’s year-round camping program serves an additional 2,000 young people each year.

Fresh Air children are boys and girls, six to 18 years old, who live in New York City. Children on first-time visits are six to 12 years old and stay for either one or two weeks. Youngsters who are re-invited by the same family may continue with The Fund through age 18, and many enjoy longer summertime visits, year after year. A visit to the home of a warm and loving volunteer host family can make all the difference in the world to an inner-city child. All it takes to create lifelong memories is laughing in the sunshine and making new friends.

This program is a real gift for children, but also for host families. If you’re interested in becoming a hosting family for this summer, the Fresh Air Fund is happy to give you all necessary information. What a great gesture of esteem toward children!

Esteem for animal welfare – or how to ask pigs if they’re optimistic about their lives

Our daily mood affects our judgment of ambiguous events.  We experience this for example at our job. If we’re having a bad day and we’re presented with an ambiguous cue such as our boss calling us into his office, the first thing that goes through our head is what have I done wrong? We call this a negative cognitive bias. But on a good day we greet the same ambiguous event far more positively, we might look forward to a pay rise.

Experts from the Newcastle University’s School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development have shown for the first time that a pig’s mood can lead to similar reactions showing that pigs are capable of complex emotions which are directly influenced by their living conditions. Pigs living in an enriched environment (more space, freedom to roam and play) were optimistic toward an unknown noise. While pigs placed in a smaller, boring environment showed pessimistic reactions toward the same unknown noise.

Dr Catherine Douglas, leader of the research team explains: “We can use this findings to finally answer important questions about animal welfare in relation to a range of farm environments, for pigs and potentially other farm animals.”

Quality of life of our farm animals is becoming increasingly important. The study is part of ongoing research at Newcastle to further our understanding of animal welfare and improve the lives of farmed stock.  For consumers as well as for scientists and government it is important to acknowledge the welfare of farmed stock.

Esteem for beautiful destinations

National Geographic published a list of the world’s 50 greatest destinations.  Among these 50 special places, 7 are located in the U.S..  Being added to this list represents a great sign of esteem.   These are the selected U.S. destinations:

  1. Library of Congress in Washington D.C.
  2. Piedmont of Virginia
  3. Atlanta in Georgia
  4. Coast Redwoods, California and Oregon
  5. Sawthooth Mountains in Idaho
  6. Aleutian Islands in Alaska
  7. Molokau in Hawaii

If you find your favorite destination on this list it may encourage you to give esteem toward this place.  You can give your dream destination esteem by speaking about its beauty or special meaning.  Which destination would you choose to be your favorite place?

Esteem for dolphin assisted therapies

Animal therapy is an established treatment in modern medicine.  The positive impact of animals on humans is widely accepted.

Dolphin assisted therapies have the same effects.  Contact with dolphins may not cure ailments but it can help alleviate some symptoms.  Dolphin assisted therapy works similar to that of sound therapy.  EEG tests confirmed that dolphins’ signal frequencies can have a profound effect on the human brain.

Dolphin assisted therapy is worthy of our esteem.  Humans assisted by dolphins provide therapy for thousands of individuals around the world.  These dolphins, as well as their human handlers deserve our esteem.

Esteem for animals: World Animal Day

Today is World Animal Day, a day which we can join by giving esteem to animals.

World Animal Day was started in 1931 at a convention of ecologists in Florence, Italy as a way of highlighting the plight of endangered species. Since then it has grown to encompass all kinds of animal life and is widely celebrated in countries throughout the world.

World Animal Day has four goals according to its mission statement:

  • to celebrate animal life in all its forms
  • to celebrate humankind’s relationship with the animal kingdom
  • to acknowledge the diverse roles that animals play in our lives
  • to acknowledge and be thankful for the way in which animals enrich our lives

All of these goals express esteem toward animals with respect and gratitude.  Caring about animals includes having a pet as well as enjoying the wildlife around us.


Elephant Appreciation Day

On Saturday, September 19, 2009 the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens in Florida will celebrate their first annual Elephant Appreciaton Day.

Visitors are invited to experience a rare behind-the-scenes self-guided tour of the elephant barn to see where the elephants sleep and play.

Scheduled events include the opportunity to witness paintings done by the elephants themselves.

Elephant Appreciation Day is a great opportunity to get to know more about elephants and at the same time about their life in the zoo.  We can give esteem toward elephants and their zookeepers when we visit events like this.


Ocean Appreciation Celebration

It’s easy to become dulled to one’s surroundings.  When life becomes daily we often forget to stop and take a look around.  Sometimes it takes a special day to raise our consciousness to the nature surrounding us.

Such an event is the Ocean Appreciation Celebration in Santa Monica, CA which will take place August 29-30, 2009.

The event is designed to raise awareness of coastal residents to the integral role the ocean plays in their lives.

This is a great opportunity to appreciate the natural environment and to give esteem toward it.

Visitors to the Ocean Appreciation Celebration will take this consciousness with them into their daily life.


Esteem for dogs

A dog can be our companion through life, like a best friend.  For this they deserve esteem.  Another time to give esteem to dogs is when they make heroic acts to save lives.

This is the story of Deja, a German shepherd, who saved the life of a nearby neighbor.  Deja saved the man’s life by pulling him out of his burning house.  The man, who was wheelchair bound, had fallen out of his chair while trying to extinguish the flames.

Explaining his rescue, the man stated: “I just struggled and got up on a chair, listening to her barking. I’ve never heard her bark like that before. She was like get your butt up and let’s go! I was just going to lie down and say ‘take me’ but she’s the one that got me out of the house.”

With this heroic action Deja proved that dogs are capable of recognizing danger and help people instinctively.  Deja deserves esteem for her heroic action.