Today I will be discussing a particular blogger who has been an inspiration and role model for me. That person happens to be Lori Robinson, creator of Saving Wild.
Saving Wild is a blog about animal liberation, wildlife conservation, and Robinson’s passion and experience with animals. Her blog glows with optimism; a reflection of her self-titled ‘conservation optimist’ role.
Like wildlife conservation activist Ofir Drori, Robinson stresses the importance of optimism within wildlife conservation work and passion. The truth is, this field isn’t an easy one to get into, let alone stay in. You face discouraging statistics, heartbreaking realities, and backlash for your activism.
Writing about her experience in the field, Robinson reminisced about her time at the Animal Welfare Institute, recalling,
With a degree in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz, I went to work for the Animal Welfare Institute in Washington DC, writing about whaling issues, factory farming and vivisection, a task that transformed my hope and dedication to make a difference into a pile of quivering tears at the end of each work day.
After having an internally bad experience, Robinson turned to modeling. However, her passion called for her like a lost puppy looking for its mother. Conservation needed her and, this time around, she knew what to do differently. She explained that,
Working in the conservation field this time around I learned to cling to signs of progress, and success stories, however small. I would find hope hiding in the story about the elephant trucked from twenty years of isolation in a Canadian zoo to a California sanctuary, the first wolf pack to be discovered in 100 years in Northern California, and the new law giving captive chimpanzees the same endangered status as wild chimps.
Robinson maintains her eagerness for saving wildlife with action, persistence, and “stubborn optimism”, as she says. Her post, Wild Lives, talks about this optimism and how it serves as the overtone for the book Wild Lives, Leading Conservationists on the Animals and Planet They Love, written by Robinson alongside Janie Chodosh and Carl Safina (foreword).
Within her post, she explains that Wild Lives includes stories from multiple leading conversationist, or “human superheroes”, in the field. She continues to explain that,
…when a species doesn’t go extinct, when birds still migrate, where giraffes still run and lions still rule and elephants continue trumpeting to the sky—it’s because of them.
It’s quite shocking because some of these conservationists have been bitten by snakes, one even chased by a rhino, another almost died from Malaria, some even hunted by rebels. On the other hand, one conservationist found a way to conduct peace in the Middle East with birds.
Not only do I applaud all of the wildlife conservation heroes tirelessly working hard and in uncomfortable circumstances for the sake of conservation, but I applaud Lori Robinson for revealing their stories to the public. Even more, I applaud her commitment to optimism throughout her work. Her hope and confidence are very apparent in her writing and I believe that is important to gain public interest, as well as help to those emotionally struggling in this field.
Like I said, conservation needs Lori Robinson and people like her that promote passion and optimism for the animals we fight for.