Solutions for People, Animals and Environment
Tales of WellBeing – Issue 8, September 2019
In September, WellBeing International was engaged in an extended trip through Africa including three separate speaking engagements. Concerns about climate change and threats to wildlife and to domestic animals were repeatedly encountered on the trip. On a positive note, September also saw a global action on climate change led by young people and this newsletter includes a story about a Washington university’s actions to support the call for action. In the midst of all the gloom and doom stories, it is heartening to see the energy being brought to support the planet by young people all over the world! During our trip, we took the opportunity to meet with our partner group, the Greyton Farm Animal Sanctuary, in South Africa. While there, we met with local climate and humane educators who work with the youth of Genadendal. We also came across a delightful book about the rescue of a young male calf, Moo, from a dairy (see review in this issue). We hope the activism being shown by the youth today has been helped along by childhood exposure to climate and humane issues through books and life experiences.

Climate Change, Youth Activism, Academe and the Teach-In Movement
By Ingrid Lesemann
Coordinator, American University, Washington College of Law, Program on Environmental Energy and Law

Teach-In student participants attend “Youth Climate Strike” on Capital Hill in Washington DC, Sept. 20, 2019.

During the week of September 23, 2019, six million people, young and old, across the globe took to the streets demanding urgent action on Climate Change. Meanwhile, institutional world leaders continue to “fiddle” while catastrophic change looms over the globe. On the topic of Climate Change, we are at (or maybe even past?) a defining moment in time. Worldwide, disastrous flooding is increasing in frequency, seas are rising, and weather patterns are growing more erratic, threatening health, safety, and food security. A global citizenry, especially youth, fluent in the broad details of environmental forces and trends, is essential to help the globe respond to the environmental threats it is now facing. The Program on Environmental Energy and Law (PEEL) of the Washington College of Law at American University (AU) is taking the Teach-In model developed during the 1960s to ensure that future leaders will be informed of important issues and trends.

Moo and Me (2019)

By Marina Evans, illustrated by Judy Mare

Chameleon Books, South Africa Reviewed by Andrew Rowan

Marina Evans and MooMoo
(Photo by Marina Evans)

In an earlier issue of Tales of WellBeing, we discussed the role of animal characters in children’s literature. Most of the characters are fictional but Moo and Me tells the true story of the friendship that developed and strengthened between a young girl (Marina Evans) and a young male calf (Moo - a “side-effect” of the dairy industry). Successful children’s books also need great illustrations and Judy Mare has met the challenge. Her illustrations are delightful and just sufficiently anthropomorphic without being “over the top” to demonstrate the very strong bond that developed between Moo and Marina. As the world becomes increasingly urbanized (55% of the world’s population today) human interactions with animals diminish and most of us are not likely to realize let alone experience that a bovine might have a unique personality. The story is told from Marina’s perspective and emphasizes real-life experiences illustrating the sentience of the animal characters and their ability to think, feel and form strong friendships.

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