AEPGA and the International Donkey Day
For almost two decades the Association for the Study and Protection of Asinine Cattle (AEPGA) has been working to preserve the Miranda Donkey – a native Portuguese breed, particularly threatened with extinction - and to dignify all the donkeys in the country, disseminating information about their docile character, the culture associated with them and the different roles a donkey plays so well - teacher, guide, therapist and, above all, friend.
As in previous years, AEPGA invites you to celebrate the International Donkey Day with us: to remember their inestimable value, not only in Europe, where these new roles have been fostered, but also in developing countries, where donkeys are the main means of transport and work companions of millions of disadvantaged families who, however, rarely have the knowledge or the resources to guarantee them a healthy and well-being life.
May 8th is the International Donkey Day, and AEPGA wants to call on the creativity of people from all over the world to help in the celebrations. This day also aims to alert to the importance of respecting the five freedoms of animal welfare: freedom of hunger or thirst; freedom of discomfort; freedom of pain, injury or disease; freedom to express the normal behaviour; freedom for fear and distress. With this in mind, we have listed some ideas for you to celebrate the event with activities that, beside the fun, also teach and dignify the donkey:
1. Illustrate your donkey ears and display them with pride - and not with shame, as has happened over centuries. Words associating the donkey with stupidity and ignorance began to appear long ago, and in the old primary school, one of the ways to punish the students with learning difficulties was to put them at the window of the school with donkey ears. In order to reverse the disdainful opinion about the ears and the donkey itself, we challenge you to know more about their docile and intelligent behaviour and to customise your own donkey ears, which we make available in pdf format for download at diadoburro.pt. If you don't have access to a printer and also want to save paper, we encourage you to combine a good dose of creativity with good mood and build your original ears, by reusing materials you may find at home.
2. Create or reinvent a saying that positively refers to the donkey - and not in a pejorative way, as it happens in most Portuguese popular sayings. After all, a donkey loaded with respect is a happy donkey!
3. Photograph to celebrate donkeys, and especially the woolly Miranda Donkey. Share with us a photo of your long-eared friend or of a special time spent with the donkeys and add a personal story to it. We will love to meet them too!
4. To the celebration of the donkey, we will combine art and environment: create a work about the Miranda Donkey that promotes the biodiversity of the Mirandese region. Search about this area, explore its features, find out what donkeys like to do and get your imagination working. Build, draw or paint, using elements of nature and objects that would be thrown away, and create a mascot that represents a healthy and happy donkey.
5. Become an active member in the preservation of the Miranda Donkey by sponsoring a donkey and get to know more about this native Portuguese breed, its daily habits, behaviour and characteristics. If you want to become a godmother or godfather of a Miranda Donkey, receive the donkey’s photograph, a certificate of your sponsorship and the possibility of freely visit your donkey at his/her home, the Centro de Valorização do Burro de Miranda (CVBM), go to https://www.aepga.pt/area/como-apoiar/apadrinhamentos/ and fill out the registration form. Soon you will receive news from us.
Share your work with us, publishing a photo of your creation on social media - using donkey ears, holding a saying that honours the donkey, a photo of a good time you spent with donkeys or any other idea - with the hashtag #diadoburro or, if you prefer, send us to email@example.com.
By participating in this action - sharing your creativity with us - you will be part of sharing the message that the donkey is a valuable companion who deserves to have a life with quality, health and happiness, and that the Miranda Donkey, in particular, needs protection.