Growing up, some of the first books I remember reading include The Hungry Caterpillar, We're Going on a Bear Hunt and The Gruffallo. 24 years on and these book are STILL timeless story book classics.
Growing up today however, is a different story. While children are entering the world in the middle of a climate crisis and global ecosystem decline, I believe there to be a need for more children's story books tailored towards environmental education. As well as being fun and imaginative, I feel story books today need to activate children's empathy and intrigue of the natural world and empower them to protect it, before it's too late.
What made me SO passionate about this? Well...
In 2020, the year we'll all find hard to forget, I was studying a Masters in Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law at #UniversityofWinchester. While I was reading into the intensification of animal agriculture, wildlife trading and how 'wet markets' have the potential to spread fatal zoonotic diseases, Covid-19 happened.
'WHY is all this happening?', I thought.
'WHY are we letting culture dictate reality?', I pondered.
'WHY are we so greedy and lack any respect for the natural world!?', I wondered.
Cue the creation of Re-Educating Earthlings. After googling and browsing through Amazon, I couldn't find any environmental educational picture books that taught children, for example, why the Amazon rainforest is being deforested, why pangolins are traded to the far east or how beavers can re-wild ecosystems, (check out the mind map below of all the book ideas I brainstormed one day), so I took matters into my own hands.
If you think the climate crisis is a hoax or fail to lack any compassion for the natural world, last week (9th August 2021) the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) released a report, #CodeRed, not only declaring that we are unsurprisingly in a climate emergency but also stating how humans have irreversibly altered the climate of nearly every region of the world (@Earthrise.Studio, 2021).
I'm not saying I want to become the next #GretaThunberg, but, her inspirational power to younger generations has been remarkable. In terms of the climate crisis and wildlife loss, its now or never....to be seen again. I know children are beginning to understand climate change, the greenhouse effect and plastic pollution but this isn't enough. #EnvironmentalEducation must be taken more seriously and incorporated into the school curriculum and Re-Educating Earthlings has the resources to do so.
Peace out, Earthlings x
Mattea Pauc (The Founder, Creator & Author of the platform that failed to introduce herself)