THE PERFECT PAIR DOLPHIN TRILOGY IS PROUD TO PRESENT A BLOG BY lifelong activist and FOUNDER OF australia's seaworld shut down
Animal activism is my life and always will be. I'm 62 now, but ever since I was a small child the admiration, love and respect for all beings has been in my heart and soul.
My mother was a gentle soul who showed me how to tend to their needs, while my father was the local Butcher!
I didn't realise where meat came from until I was about 11, so as soon as I twigged it started me on my cruelty-free lifestyle.
In 1975 when I was a teenager, I started my journey to help animals. One of my campaigns was SAY NO TO ANIMALS IN PET SHOPS. I started it up about 18 years ago here in Australia and it received much media coverage, including radio, newspaper and magazine etc. I was also asked to go on a top-rated morning TV show to talk about it.
The campaign was all about saying no to pet shop animals, breeders and puppy farms. I spent a lot of money on the campaign (and received donations) but it was absolutely worth it because it was really the start of education here as to the cruelty of buying animals as opposed to adopting from pounds, shelters and rescue groups.
I've spent the last few decades attending protests outside of circuses and rodeos etc and I managed to raise $40,000.00 for Animal Liberation NSW (I was a member for decades since their early years) for a court case to help Arna, the lonely elephant, out of her cruel circus captivity.
It worked! Arna was moved to a beautiful sanctuary with other elephants.
I also still run a campaign on Facebook called SEAWORLD SHUT DOWN and on Twitter @seaworldisevil
I also managed to attract the top-selling newspaper in Australia to print a 6-page story on my SeaWorld campaign!
There are over 16,000 followers and we're all dedicated to opening the hearts and minds of the public, who probably think it's natural and fine to keep cetaceans in tanks for the pleasure of humans.
The tide is turning thanks to dedicated animal activists and social media.
When I started out it was all word of mouth and it was hard going. We'd just photocopy leaflets and hand them out, but now one tweet for instance can reach millions of people - and the media love to hear from activists when they have a story.
I have three grandchildren and they are mini activists. I never hide my light under a bushel; I speak up and educate wherever I can.
People need to be enlightened and animals need our voices.
All groups experience problems with those who are also working towards the same cause, which is still so strange to me.
I know that in the decades that I've been speaking up for animals, various people and even whole groups have conspired against me. It's naturally caused me great pain, but I finally learned to distance myself from their criticisms, which are mainly borne out of envy that I have the know-how to garner media attention, as I've worked in advertising and publicity.
Each campaign I've started has been quite successful, but other groups have spoken out against me. At first it shocked me to the core, but after hearing of other activists’ similar experiences, I know I'm not alone.
The thing is to just keep going and learn what you can from them, and vow not to do the same thing to others who are trying to help our furred, feathered and finned friends.
Still to this day, my name is mud in many animal welfare circles. I've been snubbed by so many people that I'm now immune. I just get better and wiser.
I'm lucky in that my husband and I always worked together. He broke into a pig farm a few years ago and the sickening footage he took was splashed all over Australian TV. Every little bit counts and matters. So, whatever you do to be a voice for animals is appreciated. Never give up and never let anybody get you down.
The animals need us.
June Bird - Sydney, Australia