Do we need another word for "Wild Life"?

We need a more respectful and inclusive term for "wildlifle" that emphasizes our shared heritage and the profound connection with the remarkable creatures we love

Do we need another word for "Wild Life"?

Dear friends,

As you may know, I am an ecologist and a film maker and story teller. I educate and inspire people in Africa from children to great-grandparents, of all walks of society about wildlife.  But recently, I've been wrestling wtih that word, "Wildlife".

I've been discussing it in my conservation groups, and with two amazing intellectual colleagues, Barbara Lawrence-Strydom, Lebogang Montewa and - and I'm now clear that the word "Wildlife" conveys a certain unintended meaning that impacts on our engagement with the incredible creatures and nature we hold dear.

Wildlife or fellow beings? Words convey powerful meaning in our story telling - 

While "wildlife" is commonly used to refer to animals and nature, Barbara had helped me come to realize that it can inadvertently create a sense of separation, as if these beings exist entirely apart from us. However, we are not merely observers but integral parts of the same ecosystem - our cultural, spiritual, and ecological connection to all life runs deep.

Language is a powerful tool that shapes our perceptions and attitudes. Therefore, I believe it's crucial to find a more respectful and inclusive term that conveys the true essence of our intentions when we say "wildlife" and purpose - one that emphasizes our shared heritage and the profound connection we have with the remarkable creatures we love.

When we educate children what subliminal messages are we communicating without thinking

I would love your help on findng an alternative word or words that invoke the profound cultural, spiritual, and ecological relationship we share with all life.

A word that celebrates our coexistence, fosters empathy, and embraces the intrinsic value of each living being.In the spirit of collaboration.

Please share your suggestions for an alternative word that better represents our mission to promote African wildlife that honors the harmony and interconnectedness we have with the natural world.

Our goal is to nurture a global community that respects and appreciates all life forms, where conservatinists,  filmmakers and enthusiasts alike can come together to celebrate our collective heritage and inspire positive change through the power of storytelling.

Maybe when we see elephants as fellow beings, not wildlife, ivory markets will vanish. 

If we don’t deal with this we fail to honor nature and remain part of  the problem that we are trying to change.

Thank you for considering this, and for your continued dedication to our shared nature. Together, let's embark on a journey to redefine our language and deepen our understanding of the beauty and significance of our fellow Earth cohabitants.

Please feel free to share this post and lets start this conversation to change our relationship to all life on earth.

With Gratitude and Love, Paula