“When I grow up, I am going to own a huge animal sanctuary and take care of all the endangered animals in the whole entire world!” I remember grown-ups giggling at my long-winded response, but I was serious. There were endangered animals that needed help (well, according to my nightly television), and I was going to do something about it.
You see, a number of movie and TV characters influenced this extravagant vision of mine. There was Montgomery Bell, the millionaire animal activist in Madonna’s Who’s That Girl?, who collected exotic animals and housed them in his rooftop Brazilian rainforest. Then there was Crysta of Ferngully: The Last Rainforest, a fairy who fought to save the rainforest and its inhabitants from the evil loggers. And, of course, I can’t forget Captain Planet and the Planeteers, who were always running around saving poor, hunted animals from evil humans. All I could conclude was that there were animals out there that needed saving, and I wanted to live up to Captain Planet’s declaration “The power is yours!”
In order to buy a huge animal sanctuary to take care of all the endangered animals in the whole entire world, I figured I needed to save about a million dollars (little did I know) to pay for everything. My parents used to always talk about my rich uncle Chris, who was a doctor, so I figured I would become a doctor, too—no, a veterinarian! After I made my millions as a vet (how very little did I know), I would take my earnings and build my animal sanctuary and live happily ever after. My days would be filled swimming with dolphins, playing with monkeys, and feeding polar bears—my animal sanctuary included all hemispheres. I said “huge animal sanctuary,” didn’t I?
Unfortunately, this career path doesn’t exist, so now I donate to the World Wildlife Fund and recycle, because “the power is mine!”
Read the next When I Grow Up: Doctor Dreams on Ice
Five Places You Can See Wild Animals in the Wild
Five Tips for Giving Wisely to Charity