During my time in China I learned a lot about myself, the one health initiative and more ways that animals and the environment are connected to social work. Our main job was to teach guests at the panda base about the one health initiative, this was very hard to do. When we would start talking about the environment and how it impacts human health, people seemed to stop. I think this says something about people and what they care about. They came to the panda base for their own enjoyment not to learn about how to protect pandas and other animals in order for ourselves to be healthier. This is important to understand so we can come up with different ways to get people caring about the environment.
All of the field trips we went on really helped to see conservation social work in action. The Gao farm was an extreme example of how to protect the environment, humans and animals by organic farming. Pesticides and gmo are not good for the health of humans or animals. Mother Nature knew what she was doing when she created all of the living things, we should let her do her job to protect the health of the humans, animals and environment. This internship made me think about my actions in life such as the food I eat, the things I buy, and the things I throw away. I have decided to make a conscious effort to eat less meat and when I do eat meat and have the money I will buy meat that is raised and killed more humanely than in factory farms. I am also thinking of ways to reduce the trash that I make by composting, purchasing reusable items and buying less packaged goods.
This internship has also got me thinking about the different careers I would like to have related to conservation all social work. I am doing the child and youth concentration with the AASW certificate but I have decide to take the one health class to add more to my knowledge about this topic and see more opportunities for things in my life I can change and how I can use it in my career.