There’s always something worthy to mark a special day or two

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I was at a bit of a loss with respect to an appropriate topic for the column this week so I asked my best friend “Google” to help me out with some suggestions.

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Of course I have a passion for raising awareness for various things, so I stumbled upon a site with some international days of observance and appreciation so I thought I would share a selection for this week.

July 11th is International Town Criers Day.  Back in the day, there were people whose work role was to obtain everyone’s attention in the streets to make official proclamations or announcements. The day was founded by a town crier himself, Scott Fraser of Waterloo, Ontario. He wished to highlight how town criers have contributed to societies via the dissemination of important information to the general public before the advent of mainstream media.

World Population Day also falls on July 11th. It seeks to converge attention on the seriousness and urgency of current population issues. It was sparked by the public interest in Five Billion Day on July 11, 1987 when it was estimated the world’s population would reach five billion.  The actual world population recorded in 2021 counts 7,874,965,825 people, and this number is expected to rise to 8,548,487,400 by 2030.

Henry David Thoreau was born on July 12, 1817.  National Simplicity Day (July 12th) is observed in honor of his birthday. Thoreau was an American naturalist, essayist, poet, and philosopher, a pre-eminent transcendentalist.  He is best known for his book “Walden”, a personal reflection on simple living in natural surroundings.  His work aims to inspire us to step back and engage in simplifying existence in such hectic times.

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July 14th is Shark Awareness Day.  While sharks have a fearsome reputation, they actually kill fewer humans than jellyfish and deer!  Even falling coconuts kill more people than sharks.  The Shark Trust aims to eradicate the fear of sharks and create positive change. Scientists believe that these big fish have been around for 400 million years, even before the dinosaurs! They evolved in 500 species, all different in size, color, diet and behavior.

Sharks play a role in keeping the ocean healthy by maintaining other populations in check, eliminating the sick and old, preventing the spread of disease, and improving the gene pool. At the present time they are under threat because of human activity, overfishing, rising water temperatures, and coastal development.

World Orca Day is also on July 14th and is dedicated to protecting orcas and their home, the ocean. They are the top predators in most marine ecosystems, keeping other animal populations in check. Orcas belong to the cetacean species, along with dolphins and porpoises.

World Orca Day promotes fundraising initiatives and endeavours to foster a global movement to bring positive change for orcas.  For a long time, orcas have been part of marine park entertainment however, it became clear that they suffer in captivity, develop boredom, stress and zoochosis.

World Chimpanzee Day occurs on July 14th as well and celebrates the human race’s closest cousin!  Chimps are social animals with whom we share 98 percent of our genes. They can live to be 50 years old in the forests of Central Africa.  Jane Goodall is the most famous expert on chimpanzees and spent her life studying them.  She recorded observations whereby they made and utilize tools, exactly like humans.  The special day raises awareness and seeks to educate and empower local communities.

There you have it.  Some content to spark discussion with friends and family this week.

Information in this column is compiled by Shell-Lee Wert, CCSH, 470 Dundas Street East, Unit 63, Belleville, K8N 1G1.  Please visit our website at https://ccsh.ca or email me at shell-leew@ccsh.ca, or call 613-969-0130 or 613-396-6591 for information and assistance.  Community Care is a proud United Way member agency.  Funding in part from Ontario Health East.

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