"Who can question the force of these three mighty creatures when they combine their strength to defend their sacred territory. All may be wild beasts of prey, but spare a thought that they do not join the ranks of 'extinction' as opposed to that of 'distinction'. Though mane, spots and stripes may mark them out from their lesser neighbours, such beautiful coats are too easily seen by the watchful eye of the marksman out trophy hunting. Such beautiful creatures were meant to live in their natural habitats and not in the cages and circus of mankind, for public entertainment and exhibition.
For almost twenty five years now, I have corresponded with my good friend, Virginia McKenna, British stage and screen actress, author and wildlife campaigner. Indeed, as hers is usually one of the first Christmas cards I receive, I know when it arrives, that the countdown to Christmas has commenced and it's time to put up the tree.
In 1964, Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna travelled to Kenya to star in the classic wildlife film ‘Born Free’, based on the best-selling book by Joy Adamson. Released in 1966, the film told the true story of George and Joy Adamson’s fight to return Elsa the lioness to the wild. The Adamson’s story was enjoyed by tens of millions around the globe, inspiring a generation, and changing the world’s attitude to lions and all manner of wildlife thereafter.
Over the years I have been privileged to help raise funds and promote awareness of Virginia's wildlife charity on so many occasions. I was also privileged many years ago, as my way of raising awareness towards the plight of all animals, to write a story about a herd of elephants and their extinction called, 'Elephants Cry Too,' which I incorporated in a book called, 'Bes.'
This is a book has four animal stories; each one requiring an increase reading ability level than the preceding one, ie 5yrs-7yrs-9yrs and 11yrs. It was initially designed to follow a child through all the years of First School, between the reading ages of 5 years to 11 years. It is also highly suitable for the book shelf of any home which has a number of children within the 5-11 age group. It is available as an e-book from www.smashwords.com or in hard/paper copy from www.lulu.com or amazon. All profits go to charitable causes.
As stated by the 18th/19th century English philosopher, Jeremy Bentham, ' The question is not, 'Can they talk, but rather can they suffer?' The indisputable answer to the question that Bentham posed is 'Yes!' Therefore, knowing that they can suffer, surely the next logical question should be, 'Ought they to?' and obliging all of whom who may believe they should under some circumstances, to justify why?
Of course, I distinguish wild animals from domesticated ones, when it comes to how we best preserve them. I believe that the wild creatures ought to be preserved in their natural habitat of the wild, and the domesticated pet within their 'now natural habitat', the human home.
I have often heard it quoted that fish have no feelings. Well unless someone convinces me that being hooked and pulled from the stream by the mouth causes the fish no pain, I will never believe that even fish are incapable of having feelings.
Even the Buddha felt the topic to be so important in the preservation of our humanity that he said, 'May all that have life be delivered from suffering'. My own view, in my own words, is as clear today in my mind as it has always been. 'We should respect all life. Pets don't hinder life, they humanise it. Anyone who can be cruel to an animal, can just as easily be cruel to a person.' " William Forde: September 14th, 2016.