I walked in the footprints of elephants. Really.
I was privileged to have this amazing opportunity this past summer, in Botswana. This was my first and so far my only visit to Africa, and it was a life changing event. Seeing amazing beings – elephants, lions, zebras, wild dogs, hippos – in their natural habitat was truly magical; the stuff of my childhood dreams. I also realized just how threatened these amazing creatures are from climate change – including from habitat loss and extreme weather. We need to help people connect these dots, and make sure we do all we can to protect these animals and their homes.
Recently in the United States it was reported that the US Fish and Wildlife Service would allow “elephant trophies” to be imported from Zambia and Zimbabwe. On so many fronts, this is and would be a travesty. This decision is on hold however, because of an out pouring of pressure. Do add your name to this Avaaz petition, that has almost 2 MILLION signatures. Let’s make sure this “hold” stays permanent.
To me, this type of outpouring of outrage, this public pressure, is THE silver lining in what has been a difficult year to many of us – both as parents and as US citizens. As our democracy goes through many challenges and upheavals, and as a harsh light is shining on the realities of how broken the US federal government really is, I am THANKFUL this Thanksgiving for this resurgence in public action, outcry, advocacy and resolve.
Whether it is through the #metoo campaign, protecting transgender rights in the military, immigrant rights and standing up to hate groups or through a significant increase in the number of voters at the ballot boxes, it is clear that people from across the United States are making their voices heard and their actions count.
Don’t shy away from those difficult discussions this year at the Thanksgiving table. Do listen to your “uncle Jim” who may have a very different perspective on events and issues then you do. Try starting conversations from a place of common ground and shared values. Perhaps your conversation will begin from a place of love for your children, your home, or with a shared and treasured family story. Make it personal, and do make your voice, your concerns and your hopes heard. Our children (of all ages) are watching us. They are looking to us for examples and to lead. We cannot and must not “normalize” situations and actions that clearly are NOT normal.
With thanks and love to all our Climate Mamas and Papas. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.
P.S Regarding wild animals in nature and elephants in particular. Please join us and share the National Wildlife Federation’s EVERY ELEPHANT COUNTS contest; share it with your children, their teachers, your family and friends. Learn why EVERY elephant counts. Enter the contest today, YOU could win a trip to Botswana and have your own magical journey too…