Most people who are aware of David Shepherd C.B.E. will know that he is a celebrated british artist mostly known for his beautiful wildlife paintings. Not surprisingly he is also an avid conservationist, and I have recently discovered that for many years he has run a wildlife charity which operates in many parts of the world. As a person interested in art and colour I have painted images of animals facing extinction ( although nothing like David’s standard of art), as an effort to bring it to the notice of people that I come into contact with. Whilst researching on the internet for information about tigers I came across David Shepherd’s newest charity which is called ‘TigerTime’ www.tigertime.info, which is about saving tigers in the wild and educating people about the myths relating to tigers.
There are people who think that eating parts of a tiger give them its strength and ferocity, and also gives them medicinal benefits, commonsense tells us that is not true. There are pictures on the website that are very harrowing, showing tigers imprisoned in so-called farms that are being starved to death so that their bones can be made into wine. These animals and others are being abused beyond belief because of myths, in a world that moves forward technologically in massive leaps and bounds. Education has to play an important part, but also it needs people power behind these campaigns to show that these myths are unacceptable in 2012.
The DSWF (David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation) is also responding to the growing crisis in Rhino poaching. Wealthy people are buying rhino horn for the keratin which they believe has mythological qualities. The animals are paralyzed and then the horn is hacked or sawn from their face, they are then left to die an excrutiating death. Those that do this are educated wealthy people, who have no concern for the plight of the animal, or the heritage left to future generations. As with the tiger, our children, and grandchildren, will not thank us for depriving them of the wildlife of the planet for the sake of money, and an out of date belief that eating their parts will give strength and mystical qualities.
As a spiritual person I believe that all life should be valued, and as an artist I fully support the DSWF in their mission. Membership brings an interesting package explaining all the work that they do, and a limited edition print of David Shepherd’s art work. Membership is £32 .00 yearly, and apart from support from many celebrities there are some wonderful art works from wildlife artists worldwide which can be purchased. The TigerTime site also has a really nice shop selling good quality items at reasonable prices.
They deserve a visit, and if nothing else another signature for their various campaigns