We must all be ambassadors for animals, but children have a special role to play in transmitting a message of empathy for animals. We do not see them or their ideas with the skeptical eye we often cast on other adults. They are unburdened by self-interest, and often see the world in non-hierarchical terms.
© The HSUS/Riley
A few of the "Tiger Kids" show their posters
to World Bank President Robert Zoellick.
This week in Washington, D.C, 17 kids—dubbed the Humane Society International Tiger Kids—pled with some world leaders to act to save tigers from extinction. Standing with policymakers, dignitaries, and celebrities from around the world, the kids’ message was unambiguous: If we don’t stop tiger poaching and destruction of tiger habitat, these animals will cease to exist in the wild. They want the adults in charge to do something about it.
Tigers are a critically endangered species. One-hundred years ago there were 100,000 tigers; now there are fewer than 4,000. Though tigers are protected by national and international laws, they are being poached to supply the international trade in tiger parts and products, and they are threatened by habitat destruction and loss of their prey.
The HSI Tiger Kids were at the launch of the World Bank’s Tiger Conservation Initiative—the first occasion where the Bank has used its considerable political and financial influence to help save an endangered species from extinction. The children made “Save the Tiger” posters, wrote essays about why tigers are important, and met with World Bank President Robert Zoellick, other dignitaries, and actor Harrison Ford (see video from the event).
Humane Society Youth is our division that works with young people and seeks to engage them and organize their efforts to help all animals. If you know young people, introduce them to HSY. If you are a kid or a teen, don’t wait to get involved. Every one of us has a voice, and it’s never too early to get involved and stand up for animals.