I AM A PASSIONATE ANIMAL LOVER and in recent years, perhaps partly due to the onslaught of social media in our lives, I have become even more of an advocate for animal rights. I am supportive of a number of worldwide charities that promote a greener planet, less plastic, the opportunity to clean up our oceans and of course, care for animals ranging from orangutans in Borneo, dogs and cats in Asia, black and brown bears used by bile farms or in circuses and of course for endangered species in every country across the globe.
At times I almost despair that we can improve the state of our planet and then some wonderful news comes across my screen and I see yet another win for a particular arena. Perhaps a chained elephant, used for rides in circuses or zoos, has been rescued. Hundreds of dogs destined for a terrible fate in Korea or China, have been freed and tons of waste is cleaned up from our oceans. It may be that we have convinced certain countries to stop cruel practices or that green forests and tundra, home to many species, have been spared from environmental damage.
It does seem never-ending and I know many of you, if you have read this far, may also prefer not to read about or see such barbarism that goes on around us. If I tell you that orangutans may become extinct in Borneo in less than 20 years because big
companies seek palm oil and are plundering the land in which they live, does it matter to you? We know the lungs of the earth, the Amazon rainforest (and that in Bolivia and other countries too) is burning mostly due to the greed of man.
But what is it we each can do? How are we to show that we do care and how can we become more informed about meaningful travel and the experiences we might share along the way? And, of course, ultimately how do we also travel with a more purposeful footprint and to become better educated about the plight of many less fortunate?
And so it is that this particular issue has come to pass with conservation and preservation a focus of our articles. I have spent many months ensuring we have carefully crafted and thoughtfully written pieces from some of our best storytellers with an overarching theme of enjoying meaningful and special travel. Whether your desire is to simply explore, to commune with nature, or see some ancient traditions in some of the oldest countries in the world first hand – I believe we have covered the gamut. And of course, yet again we ran out of room.
We have also dedicated a few pages in this issue to various points on the topic. With this theme, we offer our thoughts and ideas on how you can help in whatever way you may choose. Whether it’s about bees and butterflies here at home, rescuing domesticated animals, or ensuring that no animal is a part of any interaction that causes it undue harm or stress, then perhaps there is something here that will resonate for you. I hope so. With climate change a constant reminder and the short time we have left to save our planet – 11 years – from a terrible future, I appreciate that you may feel the same as we do and want to make just a tiny bit of difference. And if we all feel that way, we can help conquer the ails that plague us. We applaud the efforts from so many companies, individuals and organizations around the globe and hope you will further engage in our crusade in whatever way resonates with you and understand what we are trying to do here.
May we all travel with a more purposeful eye, with due care and diligence and may we appreciate every living being inhabiting our world and do our best to make it a better planet for all.
Originally published in Cruise & Travel Lifestyles Fall/Winter 2019 issue.