Monday, April 4, will be the first ever “Compassion for All Animals Day,” kicking off a new, week-long effort by several animal welfare and environmental groups that aims to empower people to take everyday actions to help animals and the planet.

The organizers – In Defense of Animals (IDA)’ Interfaith Vegan Coalition, Charter for Compassion, and Climate Healers – hope the day and the programming will help people expand their compassion for animals beyond their dog and cat companions by examining their diets and exploring ways to avoid harming other animals.

The events kick off with a webinar  – free or by donation – on April 4 that will include videos with prayers for animals, songs about animals, animal rescues, and children singing the song “Happy” with vegan words.  Viewers also will learn the benefits of a plant-based diet and vegan lifestyle. 

A live panel discussion on the International Golden Rule will follow on Tuesday, April 5, and daily video inspirations also will be sent from April 6 through April 21, featuring animal stories and resources for plant-based living.

Participants also can sign the Compassion for All Animals Pledge, which involves a promise not to eat animals or animal products — for a few days or weeks, a month, a year, or for life.

Most people who love their animal companions draw an arbitrary line between the animals who live with them and those whom they eat, organizers said in a press release.

 “Albert Schweitzer eloquently expresses why this topic deserves our time and urgent attention: ‘Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.’ “ said Susan Soleil, with the Charter for Compassion. “Thus, the Charter is focusing on compassion for all animals, both for them and for ourselves.”

Lisa Levinson, co-founder of the Interfaith Vegan Coalition and IDA’s campaigns director, hopes the event will share the message of compassion for all animals and the Earth far and wide.  

“We hope many people will join our celebrations to connect the dots between the compassion in their hearts and compassion on their plates,” she said. 

Those interested can register here, or check out the full schedule and event details on the Compassion for All Animals event webpage.