“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”
I love and always have loved animals. It was instinctual. My love of nature was more or less cultivated by my experiences. Growing up on the south side of Chicago, nature wasn’t as apparent as having my dog to love and play with. As I traveled with my family to go camping or visit places like the mountains of Colorado and Germany, my love of nature grew and I became more aligned with it.
Throughout my life, it became more apparent my love for animals and nature. But a life changing visit to the Performing Animals Welfare Society (PAWS) in California directed me to really align to become a voice for animals. I met wildlife of all kinds at PAWS, including a bull elephant named Nicolas that was rescued from a circus who forced him to ride a tricycle. After seeing what was possible at PAWS, I knew it was time to leave my career as a physical therapist and devote my life to being an advocate for animals.
I began volunteering with the Humane Society of the United States and Tusk Task Force to help advocate for legislation to be passed in Illinois to ban the sale and trade of elephant ivory and rhino horn. It took three years of advocating and meeting with legislators to pass this bill. Shortly thereafter, we were able to pass an all-encompassing piece of legislation that would ban the sale and trade of wildlife parts of all endangered species in perpetuity in Illinois.
Since then, I continue to advocate for other animals in Illinois, the United States, and around the globe.
I was then inspired to create two petitions to help wildlife. One to support the elephants in Botswana which currently has over one million signatories. The other petition which has over 80,000 supporters is addressed to the United States government to pass the ProTECT Act (Prohibiting Threatened and Endangered Creatures Trophies Act) which would ban trophy hunting imports of endangered species.
As I was advocating for the wildlife, I was inspired to reach our youth and began speaking to children at schools about wildlife trafficking and why the wildlife’s existence is so important for all of us. I was touched by how engaged and eager the children wanted to help.
It was through advocating for endangered species, I began learning more about the important roles elephants and rhinos play as keystone species in ecosystems. I was seeing the interconnection these species have with nature; how they help sustain and improve ecosystems which benefit other wildlife, as well as humans and the overall health of the planet.
As I was becoming more aware about nature’s vital role in all of our lives and our inherent interconnection with it, I wanted to bridge the gap between us and nature and find ways we can make this world a better place for all beings. Thus, Wild For Change was born from this love of both animals and our planet.
I started the Wild For Change podcast to celebrate the gamechangers who are making a difference for animals and nature. With each guest I speak with, I become more inspired to create positive change, and more in love with our planet.
I have become part of the All About Animals Radio Show family and co-host radio shows speaking to animal advocates, conservationists, and organizations who are making it their life’s work to help and protect animals.
I am Wild For… Animals to be treated with respect!
I am Wild For… The Earth to be treated with reverence!
I am Wild For… Sharing how both are interconnected to each other and us!
I am Wild For Change!