Heroes Redefined

The Tale of Heroes Redefined
Reading Time: 5 minutes

The Tale of Heroes Redefined. Image: Nathália Figueiredo

Reading Time: 5 minutes

The tale of heroes redefined

If you’re reading this article, then you have chosen compassion. And that is the first step towards reviving our planet back to its pristine form. 

Who is a hero? 

During my childhood, I used to believe that heroes fly, heroes have superhuman strength, and ultimately, heroes are invincible. 

As days passed and I grew up, I realized that true heroes are the ones who help others in need despite knowing that they are just normal people, despite having their own stuff to take care of, and despite knowing that they are not invincible.

Actually, real-life heroes do have one superpower: invisibility. Yes, only a very few know who they are and what they do. Especially if the one being helped is a voiceless animal and they can’t even talk about their hero.

In this article, let’s talk about some of these valiant heroes and make them visible. 

Pet Protector Extraordinaire

Here’s the story of a loving pet protector I met, Stacey Shaller.

I met Stacey in the Creatives for Climate community, where concerned creative humans connect and strategize about effective campaigns that inspire consumers to shop consciously, industries to act responsibly and governments to act!

Through Second City Canine Rescue in Chicago, she provided a safe haven for Nia, a malnourished 2-year-old pitbull rescued from neglect. They had been keeping poor Nia locked up outdoors without food or water.

image 1 Heroes Redefined
Photo courtesy of Stacey Shaller

Despite initial trauma and being horribly malnourished, Nia blossomed under Stacey’s care. Over the months that followed, she started cuddling on the couch with us and playing with her toys.

Thank YOU, Stacey for caring and sharing your story!

Find out more about Stacey’s work on her website.

Insect Guardian

Introducing Nathália Figueiredo, a visionary designer I had the pleasure of encountering.

Her project is a friendly infographic that aims to positively impact, preserve and raise awareness about the existence of stingless bees in Brazil and their risk of extinction.

The project is a cleverly crafted educational tool, designed to engage children aged 5–9. With a “puzzled-pieced map” format, it gradually unfolds the story of stingless bees, from their significance to their vulnerability. 

The bees are essential, not only to maintain environmental balance but also for human existence. Her goal is to communicate with children in a more sensitive way so they can grow into conscious adults, not viewing bees as the villains of the story but as ally animals  that are just as important as any other.

Find out more about Nathália’s work on her website.

Wildlife Warrior

I met Carly Ahlen on LinkedIn and found out that she has always cared for wildlife in need. Whether it’s rescuing, nurturing and releasing foxes, hedgehogs or birds, you will most likely find her lending a helping hand.

Carly’s profoundly deaf but nothing stops her from being a voice for the voiceless. She also runs Gabo Wildlife to inspire others to act by showing her voluntary work.

Among her many tales, one stands out – the story of Buttercup, a red fox battling for survival in the harsh streets of London. Despite initial setbacks and misguided advice from a vet, Carly refused to give up on Buttercup. 

Here’s what she had to say; 

“Each day I spent with her and gained her trust. I find myself most happy alongside animals due to my disability. They do not judge me for being deaf. I slowly hand fed her, gently moved her legs each and every day and provided her with 24/7 care. Weeks went by and she slowly started to gain weight. One morning whilst we did gentle rehab, she stood up and started to walk!

“We grew such a bond. I spent nearly 3 months rehabilitating her back to health and now she can run and even play.”

image Heroes Redefined
Photo courtesy of Carly Ahlen

Find out more about Carly’s work on Linkedin.

True War Heroes

Without honoring those who helped rescue pets left behind in war zones or those fearless heroes who helped refugees bring their pets across borders, this list would be incomplete.

Pets also experience anxiety as innocent war victims and need a lot of care and love. Thankfully, many have understood this and contributed to the rescue of thousands of animals from these zones.

With organizations such as Paws of War, the Network for Animals, IFAW, the Ukrainian Pet Rescue Project, Humane Society International, UAnimals, and Romanian Red Cross, and countless volunteers, humans and their pets are aided with essentials such as food, shelter, and blankets amidst wars.

My heart goes out to all animals affected, humans included.

Entrepreneurs & Creatives for the animals

Social entrepreneurs usually start their purpose-driven business because of something they’ve experienced or seen that they want to change.

Here are a few entrepreneurial animal heroes who have turned their lives around to start a business to help save those without a voice:

Conscious creatives express through their art, whether it’s photography, painting, writing, filmmaking, etc. is a powerful way to speak for those without a voice.

Thorns and Lilies” by Art Noir, written and sung by the lovely Nadine Stelzer and composed by Jan Weber, takes us on a journey into the depths of nature and our soul. 

How did I know Nadine? My dear business colleague/friend recommended her to me because I needed someone to copy edit my book in German: Lily Bowers und der ungebetene Gast. She did a brilliant job too, so if you ever need someone to copywrite or edit your creations in German, she’s your gal.

Much applause goes out to dear Allison Luci, an incredibly talented artist, with whom I connected on Instagram about five years ago. Her paintings are so very colorful, inspirational and inviting, I want them all on my walls! She not only paints on commission, but also from her heart for animal-rights causes to raise money for sanctuaries such as Arthur’s Acres Animal Sanctuary in New York and Odd Man Inn in Washington.

Animal Animal Heroes/Non-Human Heroes

In our quest for finding human heroes, we came across some of the kindest heroes our planet has ever seen: Non-human animals.

Responding to a cry for help isn’t just a human feature; that type of language is universal.

From our closest relatives, orangutans, to tortoises, non-human animals have jumped into action and saved the day for their fellow creatures and even other species.

“To help someone is our animal instinct!” Another thing I’ve learnt from observing Mother Nature’s creations.

Be the hero you adore

If you want to help, but aren’t physically there to be able to be active, you can donate to a farm animal sanctuary, wildlife rescue organization, pet shelters, etc. and shop and eat consciously.

Every dollar spent and every vegan meal eaten also helps.

Also, tell us about some of the heroes you’ve come across in the comments below and make them visible.

Thank you for being an animal hero,

Jessica

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