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June Buggie’s Taking a Walk on the Wild Side

Meow! My name is June Buggie and I have something to say.

You humans have a problem, especially your kids, and it’s called Nature Deficit Disorder.

What is Nature Deficit Disorder?  It’s a term coined by Richard Louv in his book Last Child in the Woods.  Louv shows that humans are tied to nature, and require contact with the natural world in order for children to develop into both physically and emotionally healthy adults.  He asserts that children who don’t have sufficient contact with the natural world and who are not able to adapt to our high-tech, indoor world are more likely to suffer from  obesity, attention disorders, and depression.

A study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 8- to 18-year-olds spend more than 53 hours a week using entertainment media (TV, computer, etc.).

Now I know what you’re thinking.  What does this have to do with animals, June Buggie?

enjoying some outdoor time

Kids who don’t have regular contact with nature don’t have a concept of animals being free in nature.  A disconnect with nature could lead to further destruction of the few places left where animals can live in the wild.

bunny tracks in the snow

Kids who don’t have regular contact with the natural world will be more accepting of livestock animals living in cruel, cramped conditions.  How many of you know what kind of conditions pigs and chickens live in?

Kids who never experience the wonder of insects will not understand the valuable role they play in the ecosystem, and will instead think that all bugs should be killed with pesticides.

A cicada from last year

Let’s consider that Nature had a reason for creating the living things that inhabit the Earth and knows more than humans about what this world needs.

So how about teaching your children a healthy respect for the natural world by experiencing it firsthand, not just by watching it on TV.

MEOW!

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About rumpydog

I am a malamute that was rescued by Jen. I live with June Buggie the cat. I blog about animal welfare and responsible care of companion animals at rumpydog.com. You can follow me on Twitter - @RumpyDog. And don't forget to LIKE my Facebook page! Thanks!

Discussion

33 thoughts on “June Buggie’s Taking a Walk on the Wild Side

  1. My first thought is that we need to have a head/heart connection to all things; and we need each one in balanced proportions. I agree with you June Buggie; the children of the world (and many parents) need to be encouraged to see the natural world in all its wonder and to understand how we are each dependent, one upon the other…
    Well done, June Buggie… ;)

    Posted by carolynpageabc | March 13, 2012, 1:31 AM
  2. Hai June Buggie! *runstoJuneBuggieandgiveshimlickykisses* Yes, what you say is totally right! I can’t agree with you more! *whispers* We don’t have kids here though. To know about natural world is good to educate their sentiment for kids.It’s essential!
    The problem is…*whispers* mom used to be a vegetalian because she loves animals too much and couldn’t even mosquito! Heehee. Now she’s ok though because she remembers food cycle which is also important in nature. Thanks for today’s post June Buggie!!! :)

    Posted by eripankevinw | March 13, 2012, 1:44 AM
  3. So true!

    Posted by Tandy | March 13, 2012, 2:18 AM
  4. I heard about that book and thought it sounded really interesting. I think a lot of it is not so much technology as how nervous parents are for kids be out outside playing, children had more freedom years ago. I understand you want to protect your kids but too much protection is likely hurting them

    Urban Hounds

    Posted by Urban Hounds | March 13, 2012, 5:22 AM
    • Good point. And in some neighborhoods it’s just too darn dangerous for children to play outside.

      But we still need to find ways to expose children to the natural world, because OUR existence depends on it.

      Posted by rumpydog | March 13, 2012, 5:26 AM
  5. Excellent post. If kids spend 53 hours on the puter…. let’s give them jobs… They could certainly handle a 40 hour week…

    I agree… out to nature, everybuddy.

    pawhugs, Max

    Posted by Max the Quilt Cat | March 13, 2012, 5:31 AM
  6. We agree June Buggie! More time outside – fresh air and exercise – good for all of us. I love to be outside with my humans even if we’re just sitting in the grass watching the clouds to by. It’s just good for us PERIOD.

    Kitty Hugs
    Sammy

    Posted by onespoiledcat | March 13, 2012, 5:40 AM
  7. Such a good post! It’s not just kids who have lost their connection to nature… and our society today certainly doesn’t encourage it.

    Posted by Sue at Talking Dogs | March 13, 2012, 5:42 AM
  8. Reblogged this on delia1979.

    Posted by delia1979 | March 13, 2012, 6:12 AM
  9. We’re with ya June Buggie! Excellent post today!!!

    Posted by Ellie and Edmond | March 13, 2012, 6:55 AM
  10. Very valuable good points June Buggie! Kids these days don’t play outside like we did when we were growing up. Things have definitely changed over the years (trying not to show my age here – LOL), because we never had Wii systems or X-Box – we played outside with friends and never wanted to come in for dinner! Oh, the good ole days! Keep up the good work June Buggie, we love your blog!

    Posted by Nikitaland | March 13, 2012, 7:36 AM
  11. Great post! I totally agree kids have to get out there and learn all about nature after all they are our future!

    Posted by Bassetmomma | March 13, 2012, 7:48 AM
  12. I so agree with you here June Buggie!!!

    Posted by Frankie Furter and Ernie | March 13, 2012, 8:09 AM
  13. Right on, June Buggie! I so agree! I’m going to share you on Facebook with my friends because I know they will too.

    Posted by essaybee2012(Steve Bort) | March 13, 2012, 8:48 AM
  14. Dear June Bug,
    Me agrees! We has lived in cities and we lives in the country and the kids here is way more connected! They is not afraid of dogs! They treats animals with respect and in turn treats other peoples with more respect! It is too bad that more peoples is living in cities than before.
    Kisses
    Nellie

    Posted by catfromhell | March 13, 2012, 9:42 AM
  15. When I was a child, I played outside. And my parents took me and my sister out in the weekend to a forest not far away from home. Where we would picnic.

    If I have kids, I would want them to play outside as well, instead of sitting with their faces in front of the tv screen.

    Posted by Dianda | March 13, 2012, 10:03 AM
  16. Right on, June Buggie! I so agree, and I’m going to share you with my FB friends who will agree also.

    Posted by essaybee2012 | March 13, 2012, 10:24 AM
  17. The German: “Big woof again, June Buggie! Your message is so important. Kids can’t learn compassion or to care about nature if they live in stuffy boxes and windowless rooms. Everyone go outside…we doggies will lead the way! (June, I know cats don’t like to get twigs on their fur, but enjoy watching from sunny windows and RC cat loves to sniff the wild smells….RC says children are always better behaved once they have run around outside for a while…)

    Posted by philosophermouseofthehedge | March 13, 2012, 10:31 AM
  18. Great post sweet June Buggie. We believe all living things make a circle and are connected. A lot can be learned and should be learned from nature and those who don’t learn and be a part of it do not have a clue what life is about and cannot function as they are intended to…our thoughts. Hugs and nose kisses

    Posted by Chancy, Mumsy and Crew | March 13, 2012, 10:56 AM
  19. YES! YES! Our mom works with several environmental organizations (and we know how to spell that) and she’s always talking and writing about this! Cookie and others went outside with her and never ran off, and now she’s trying to figure out how to do that for us.

    Posted by animalartist | March 13, 2012, 11:23 AM
  20. Great post! Lover of nature here and a great idea/message to get out an explore your outdoor surroundings – you just might be surprised what you see and do:)

    Posted by cravesadventure | March 13, 2012, 11:50 AM
  21. My wife is writing a paper on just this topic.

    Posted by Russell Smith | March 13, 2012, 1:18 PM
  22. Great post!

    Posted by jlee5879 | March 13, 2012, 2:39 PM
  23. I posted immediately to my Facebook timeline, because I deeply care about how all my friends and family are exposing the children to the natural world. I myself was so blessed to grow up rurally and be immersed in nature! I raised my own two children outdoors and out of the city as much as possible!

    Posted by granbee | March 13, 2012, 2:53 PM
  24. Great rant June Buggie. Sorry I’ve been MIA, a lot on my mind lately. Anyway, I couldn’t agree more that the best way for kids to develop empathy for our fellow earth inhabitants is to simply get out and appreciate their environment.

    Though we live in a pretty big city, there are plenty of trails and parks around here where we can walk and feed the birds and squirrels. There are local farms where we can go and watch and pet the pigs, sheep and cows. We even have a bird sanctuary nearby where we can learn about all sorts of feathered friends and some of the things we can do to help them get back out into the wild.

    The best thing is, these activities are almost always free. We might be encouraged to donate, especially at the bird sanctuary, but we’re certainly not at risk of breaking the bank by grabbing a container of bird seed and hitting the trails.
    :D

    Posted by Sheri | March 13, 2012, 3:11 PM
  25. Right on June Buggie! One of the Guardians of Otis teaches kids about nature for a living, and the other one rehabilitates sick and injured wild animals and releases them back to the wild. We’re all about nature in The Cult of Otis!

    Posted by cult of otis | March 13, 2012, 7:57 PM
  26. Mai mom sez (yeah, she sez a lot Ai perten not 2 lissen) taht she sees moar connekshun w’en kids git involved in scouting. She had Brownie/Daisy Girl Scout Troop at church & saw how scouting helped physical, spiritual (used in ministry ov church) & mentul growf ov teh li’l gurl peepuls.

    Posted by Mr. BobButtons Michael | March 14, 2012, 6:23 AM
  27. Yes! And I’d add that some people know so little about nature they think a 1 kilo chihuahua cross is scary!

    Posted by butimbeautiful | March 14, 2012, 8:42 PM
  28. Our non-furry siblings are outside with us all the time. It’s sad to think about all the things that you pointed out that some children are missing. Another super post, June Buggie. xx Berner Girls

    Posted by Moxie Dogs | March 15, 2012, 12:13 AM
  29. Hey June Buggie, Jet here. You are a wise feline and I do not say that often, trust me. Mom has read similar books/articles and cannot agree more. Thank you for posting about this issue.

    Posted by heyitsjethere | March 15, 2012, 1:46 PM

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