America Online changed a lot of things. AOL gave us instant messaging and keyword searches. But for me AOL gave me an email address. I wanted to use this email address to teach people about wildlife. I was going to sit down every Sunday and great an email newsletter that highlighted one specific animal.
The first Sunday that I tried this experiment I took out all my animal encyclopedias and pulled out all the information I though was important about the Leopard. After four hours of reconciling the data and typing it into this email I sent my newsletter to all my friends and family.
It was a great idea, but that I never did it again.
Since then I have become a firm believer in the idea that people will never care for something they have never been exposed to. No one will donate time, money or resources to saving an elephant if they have never seen a picture of an elephant. Seeing a picture is important but being up close to one changes everything. Experiencing the grace and wonder of these huge creatures is unparalleled even if you don’t love animals as much as I do.
The internet is an amazing resource that enables us to share stories, images and videos instantly. The hard part is not getting your message out there; its being heard.
I still think it was a great idea to write that email. It took me a long time to find another practical medium to create a document that will hopefully aid in the protection of wildlife and wild lands. I am hoping to build a bridge so that people can gain an understanding of the creatures that I feel so passionatly about hopefully improve a situation that is constantly deteriorating.