"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." – Anatole France

Souls Awakened: The Animals Who Have Shaped Us

A Community Art & Photo Exhibition

All of us who share our homes with them, work with them, or campaign for their welfare have a reason why we devote a portion of our lives to animals. For many of us, we can think back to the exact moment when we looked into an animal's eyes and thought, "This is a life worth valuing." Maybe it was our first dog, or the first horse we rode. Maybe it was an animal seen at a zoo that filled our minds and hearts with amazement and wonder. Maybe it was an animal in need, sick or injured, that inspired in us the humanity to help. The National Museum of Animals & Society exists because of these connections, these bridges between the human and nonhuman animal worlds that touch our hearts and enrich our lives.

We are launching an online art and photography exhibit to highlight the various ways in which animals have influenced us. Souls Awakened: The Animals Who Have Shaped Us is a way for YOU and the animal who changed YOUR life to become a part of the bigger picture. Your image and story will contribute to a larger exhibit on the way animals throughout history have changed how we feel, how we think, how we act, and – ultimately – who we are.

To become a part of Souls Awakened, simply send us a digital photograph, drawing, painting, or other visual rendering of one specific animal who shaped you. Then, write us a short paragraph (3-7 sentences) telling us your story: Who is/was this animal? What did s/he do to affect the way in which you view the world? Eligible contributions will be compiled and added to an interactive photo album on our Facebook page and permanently archived on our website. All photos and written entries must be submitted no later than January 31, 2012, 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time. Participants under age 18 are welcome to contribute with their parent's permission.

Write in whatever way you feel most comfortable expressing yourself – formally, conversationally, a limerick, anything! Don't forget to include the animal's name if you know it. The subject of your entry must be an animal you have had a personal encounter with, so no fictional or celebrity animals seen in movies, books, or television – sorry! The image you send can include you or other humans, but it doesn't have to. If you choose to contribute a piece of artwork, it must be your own work; please see our Terms & Conditions (at right) for further legal details on photo and artwork submissions.

Check out these testaments to the power of animals to affect our lives from some well-known sources; then, go to the form in the righthand column to submit your story.

Today I head to Gombe whenever I'm able to escape from a schedule that keeps me lecturing and traveling more than 300 days a year, spreading the word about the plight of chimpanzees in the wild and in captivity. I like to walk alone to an area called the Peak, close to where the chimpanzee I named David Greybeard first accepted me 43 years ago. He was the first individual I saw making a grass stem to fish termites out of their nest, an observation that prompted [Louis] Leakey's famous remark: "Now we must redefine Man, redefine tool, or accept chimpanzees as humans." When David Greybeard died of pneumonia in 1968, I mourned for him as I have for no other chimpanzee.

Jane Goodall, preeminent British primatologist

I looked up into an eye, an eye the size of my fist, and what I saw there changed my life for the rest of my life. I saw understanding. The [harpooned] whale understood what we were trying to do. Because the easiest thing for that whale to have done at that point was to hurl himself over and crush us, or seize us in his jaws, and he did neither. Instead, with great deliberateness and in pain, he slid slowly back into the water beneath the waves, and I saw his eyes disappear below the surface, and he died. He saved our lives. He could have taken our lives, but chose not to do so.

Paul Watson, founder and president

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Exhibit Submission Terms & Conditions


1. License. For valuable consideration, I hereby irrevocably grant The National Museum of Animals & Society, its successors, assigns, licensees, sub-licensees, and other designees (hereinafter “NMAS”) the perpetual, nonexclusive, transferrable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to reproduce, distribute, display, transmit, publish, or otherwise exploit, in whole or in part, and create derivative works from the artwork or photograph(s) submitted (“Submission”) herewith and as particularly identified in the Submission Form attached hereto, in connection with the NMAS “Souls Awakened” Exhibit (“Exhibit”) and promotion of the Exhibit, without additional compensation or subject to my further inspection or approval, either digitally or in any media now known or later discovered, including but not limited to: publication on or within www.museumofanimals.org or other NMAS publications, including both physical and electronic versions thereof, and to use the Submission for communication or display purposes without notification.

I further waive any “moral rights” or other rights with respect to attribution of authorship or integrity of the Submission that I may have under any applicable law, foreign and domestic, and whether under copyright, contract, tort, unfair competition, trademark, or any other legal theory, with respect to any use of exploitation of the Submission.

2. Releases. I represent that and warrant that I have obtained all authorizations, releases, clearances, and consents from others as may be required in connection with use of the Submission. I release and discharge NMAS and its successors, assigns, designees, and sub-licensees from any claim or cause of action, now known or later discovered, for, among other things, invasion of privacy, right of publicity, and defamation arising out of the use and exploitation of the Submission.

3. Assurances. I represent and warrant that: (a) I possess or have obtained all rights to the Submission which are necessary for the granting or transferability of such rights; (b) this agreement does not and will not conflict with or violate any agreement that I have or will have with any person or entity; and (c) use of the Submission as permitted herein will not infringe upon or misappropriate any rights or any person or entity, including, without limitation, any copyrights or trademark rights or rights of privacy, publicity, and/or personality, whether statutory, contractual, common law, foreign, or otherwise.

4. Indemnification and Limitation of Liability. I shall indemnify NMAS and its affiliates, officers, directors, employees, agents, assignees and sub-licensees and hold each and all of them harmless from and against any and all loss, cost, damage, liability, and expense with respect to any claim arising from the representations and warranties made under this agreement. In no event shall NMAS be liable to me or any third party for any indirect, consequential, special, punitive, or incidental damages.

5. Entire Agreement. This agreement constitutes the entire agreement between NMAS and me concerning the subject matter hereof. No amendment or modification shall be effective unless it is made in writing and signed by both parties. This agreement shall in all respects be construed, interpreted, and governed in accordance with the laws of the State of California. Should any provision of this agreement be determined to be invalid or unenforceable for any reason, such provision shall be severable from all others and shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any remaining provisions.

I hereby certify that I am at least 18 years of age (or if under 18 years of age, have received permission from a parent or guardian), that I have read this agreement prior to signifying my approval below, and that I fully understand the contents, meaning and implications of this agreement.

Delilah, Delilah, oh my, oh my, oh my, you're irresistible

You make me smile when I'm just about to cry

You bring me hope, you make me laugh and I like it

You get away with murder, so innocent

But when you throw a moody you're all claws and you bite

That's alright !

Delilah, Delilah, oh my, oh my, oh my, you're unpredictable

You make me so very happy

When you cuddle up and go to sleep beside me

And then you make me slightly mad

When you pee all over my Chippendale suite

Delilah, Delilah,

Hey, hey, hey,

You take over my house and home

You even try to answer my telephone

Delilah, you're the apple of my eyes

Meow, meow, meow

Delilah -- I love you

Freddie Mercury, lead singer, Queen

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