青年说 ‖ 于朱珠：我想成为能够保护你的大人
Yu Zhuzhu is a postgraduate student majoring in Environmental Science at University College Dublin. During her undergraduate period, she participated in the research of environmental aesthetics and was keen on animal protection. Recently, she mainly focused on the impact of media on wildlife protection.
If I could have a superpower, what I want to acquire most is the ability to talk with animals. I have raised a variety of small animals since childhood, such as fish, ducks, puppies, turtles, and even pupae and crabs. Compared with the amusement park, I preferred to go to the zoo and the aquarium, in which I can see and even touch my favorite animals.
However, all these are slowly changing. Ever since I learned an article about birds returning to nature from birdcage in the primary school class, I have learned that the way we human beings get along with animals is not quite appropriate. When I walk, I often come across stray dogs or cats. Some of them are as thin as a lath, some as black and blue, some afraid of human beings, some with begging in their eyes, which is really pathetic. Over and over again, the eye contact makes me gradually realize that not all owners will take good care of their special family members.
All life on earth is equal, and I was eager to help my favorite animal friends since childhood. When I was in high school, the first thing I learned about the deteriorating environment was not the air quality in Beijing, but the reported deaths of marine animals from marine litter. Since then, I have decided to choose to major in environmental studies, and I am going to stick to it, not for human beings, but for these animals.
During my sophomore year, I learned that there was a foreign friend from the United States who worked at my former school of learning English. In her spare time, she has set up a rescue center for stray cats and dogs, in which she rescued them, treated them and kept them company. After fully curing them, she would recruit international volunteers to send the homeless animals to foster homes around the world. I was honored to be the propagandist for the rescue center, responsible for the recruitment of international volunteers. During this period, we held many fund-raising activities, some students would join the voluntary performances, and other students would donate the money they earned from the charity sale to our relief center. In less than half a year, we have safely sent more than thirty animals to foster families around the world.
During my postgraduate school years, I had the opportunity to meet my supervisor, Professor Simone, who offered me the opportunity to work on wildlife conservation. “The impact of media on Wildlife Conservation” became the subject of my dissertation. In January of this year, I did a month-long survey. Every day I carried my questionnaires to a nature park with a herd of wild deer. At each site, I conducted a questionnaire survey to passers-by, studying the number of tourists who came to feed the deer, their nationality, their age, and the source of the idea. It is undeniable that some good films and television works and reports will indeed have a positive impact on wildlife conservation, such as raising people’s awareness of wildlife conservation and attracting more people to fund non-governmental wildlife conservation organizations. However, media publicity may also endanger the health and life of wild animals, such as illegal trafficking of wildlife and human interference with the lifestyle of wild animals, which will bring adverse effects on wildlife.
My next research will focus on the animal-oriented commercial operation such as zoos, aquariums and cat cafes. I used to think that these places are paradise on earth, but I did not know they were more like hell on earth for some animals. There is still a long way for wildlife conservation since animals are unable to communicate with us verbally. I hope they can live a healthy and happy life. Pets are the family members we choose. Once you choose them, please don’t give up. Cats, puppies, call ducks, the little pigs and other pets have moved from nature to human territory, so what we can do is to protect and treat them well. I’m willing to go all the way, and I know I have never been alone as there are a great many scholars and like-minded friends with me. I believe that the future can be expected, and I look forward to the beautiful world where humans and animals live in harmony.