Animals do what?
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From a sea urchin’s jaw used in space exploration to a dog capable of warning of an oncoming seizure ‒ the natural world plays a complex and awe-inspiring role in many of mankind’s innovations as well as in daily life.
Celebrating the role of animals on land and in the ocean, the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) has just launched the #AnimalsDoWhat campaign, with international communications giant M&CSaatchi Abel, to raise awareness and funds for NSPCA.
Already gaining traction on Twitter, the campaign encourages people to send any of the 3 147 available emojis along with #AnimalsDoWhat, and the NSPCA will respond with an amazing fact.
Some of the mind-boggling facts include how mosquitoes puncture human skin has inspired the design of a painless injection, dogs’ ability to track down drugs and to sense and warn their human about an oncoming seizure, or that moth eyes have inspired scientists to develop a thin film that could be used on mobile phones to greatly reduce reflection.
NSPCA has also challenged some of the world’s top celebs, such as Ariana Grande and leading conservationsist David Attenborough, as well as some of the globe’s top corporates, such as Samsung, SpaceX and French perfume house, Chanel, to join in the fun and raise awareness of the importance of the natural world around us.
This week on Twitter, the campaign included dogs detecting low blood sugar and treating sleeping disorders to tracking down drugs, a sea-urchin’s jaw inspiring the design of a claw-like device that could be used in space exploration and that without pollinators, such as bees, wasps and ants, many plants could disappear, as well as a tweet to McLarenF1 asking “wasn’t the design of the McLaren P1 inspired by the way a sailfish can accelerate very rapidly over short distances?”.
@NASA was challenged with “you designed a tight-fitting ‘bio-suit’ inspired by the tight muscles of a giraffe’s neck that will give astronauts better circulation Animals do so much for us. Repay the favour”, while Chanel’s famous No.5 perfume was highlighted as containing “extracts from the ylang-ylang tree, which relies on nocturnal insects for pollination”.
NSPCA said the campaign would continue to challenge some of the world’s top business and thought leaders to take a hard look at how animals had contributed to their success and their daily lives.
NSPCA CEO Marcelle Meredith said this week: “Our mission is to prevent animal cruelty and to be a voice for the voiceless. This campaign, although light-hearted, plays a role in educating the public that animals, no matter what their size, shape or form, play a critical role in society. People will be surprised at just how many things around us are only possible because of animals.
“We want to highlight their importance to all of us with a campaign that brings out tangible facts for maximum impact so that we can truly raise awareness,” she said.
Other elements of the campaign include an animal-inspired Spotify playlist, digital billboards as well as print and radio advertising.
All donations will go to the NSPCA. To get in on the challenge, send any emoji to @NSPCA_SA on Twitter using #AnimalsDoWhat, or to make a donation, go to nspca.co.za/donate
The Independent on Saturday