We asked Binny Shah, award winning blogger, animal welfare advocate and all round amazing woman, what makes her so passionate about animal welfare.
Binny says: “I am really passionate about advocating for ethical animal tourism and animal welfare and the root of it this passion stems from my upbringing in Kenya where I have seen first-hand that wildlife that was once in abundance is now becoming endangered. I grew up with monkeys swinging from trees in my backyard, and this was completely normal!
As a child two things really struck me and have stayed with me in my mind. First, was the film Born Free, and second were the multiple visits I made to the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, who look after orphaned baby elephants and a blind rhino. I was so amazed by the love and care that was given to these animals and I was even inspired to use my volunteering corporate days to donate my skills in their UK office a few times. Seeing how much went on behind the scenes made me even more determined to help spread the message about animal welfare.
"All of this made me realise that I wanted to be a voice for the voiceless and I truly believe that anyone can do this and with the ease of so many social media platforms at our fingertips, it is so much easier to spread awareness.”
What are your wishes for animals in 2021?
“My three main wishes for animals in 2021 are firstly, that they are not used for tourist attractions and kept in horrific conditions anymore. Hand in hand with this I hope that there is greater education out there amongst travellers about the dark side of these "animal encounters" and that they stop fuelling the demand for it by not booking these experiences.
Secondly, I really hope that we can prevent more species from becoming endangered. It saddened me so much when Sudan, the last northern white rhino closed his eyes for the last time and made me angry that we, as a human race, had allowed this to happen which leads me on to my third wish.
I hope for a world where poaching doesn't exist and that there is greater protection for animals so that our future generations can enjoy seeing them in the wild just as we are able to.”
What three things do you wish everyone understood about how we treat animals?
- That they have a heart and soul too and our actions impact them and so we must always treat them with respect and kindness.
- Animals are not a play thing. If you are thinking of getting a pet it is a long term commitment and you have to make sure you are ready for it. It breaks my heart when animals get abandoned and that is what happened to the two hamsters I rescued. One was thrown away in a bin and the other given up because she was "too old."
- That animals are not meant to perform. Bears are not meant to dance for you. Dolphins aren't meant to have you swim with them in a tiny pool which is not the correct habitat for them. Lions aren't meant to be walked. Tigers should not have to be drugged so you can selfishly take a selfie with them. This is something I am most vocal about on my social media platforms and I have no issue with calling people out for allowing things like this to happen.
If like Binny you want to do more to help animals, you can! Check out our current petitions where your signature could help change animals lives and also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram social media and use your digital voice to speak out for a world where animals are treated with respect, empathy and understanding.