Today we’re celebrating Teddy Bear Day!

09 September 2020

We all love teddy bears, don’t we? Those furry ears, the podgy tummy and cute little paws, what’s not to love? However, here at Animals Asia, we are probably a little biased!

So we’re thrilled that there is a day dedicated to these cute little dudes that are, of course, fashioned on our most beloved animal.

But how many of you (our American friends aside!) know the story of how the teddy bear originated? We were surprised by the history of the teddy bear, and feel that the story helped plant the seed in people’s minds that The Only Cure is Kindness when it comes to the animal kingdom. 

In 1902, the then-President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt was partaking in the unsavoury activity of hunting for sport. His friends had, sadly, caught and tied up a black bear, and told Teddy to take the fatal shot. But Teddy refused. Although his reasons weren’t entirely altruistic - he said it would be “unsportsmanlike” -  he did suggest that the bear was “put out of its misery”.

On hearing of the event, political cartoonist Clifford Berryman sketched a embellished version by portraying a disgusted Roosevelt refusing to shoot a cute bear cub. This likely impressed in the public’s minds that Roosevelt was touched by the cub’s innocence and therefore had a soft side

The cartoon was an instant hit - probably because it portrayed the President’s humanity - and inspired New York store owner Morris Michtom to design a new toy: Teddy’s Bear. 

Today, the teddy bear is synonymous with acts of kindness and - although not entirely representative of how the story actually played out - represents human empathy for animals.

We will take the amended version of events any day and continue to celebrate the innate love humans have for animals and nature. Indeed, it is the only way we are ever going to end the suffering that is still inflicted on many wild and domesticated animals across the world.

We take comfort in knowing that, for every act of cruelty against animals, there are many more who are against it, and who are helping us in our campaign to end the cruelty. We saw earlier this year, even as the world was at a standstill and many people felt scared, confused and worried for the future, our supporters took time out to join our #bearinawindow campaign to demonstrate their continued and unending love for our natural world and all its inhabitants.

So on this very special of International Days, let’s celebrate these gorgeous toy bears in all their splendour by remembering why we are here, and why we will continue to do what we do - but most importantly, remembering that The Only Cure really is Kindness.