Animal Friends Blog
From the very first day of November, you can usually spot poppies pinned onto people’s clothes. While the traditional colour is red, people do wear white and purple poppies, too. These flowers are worn as a sign of respect for the military personnel who have lost their lives during times of conflict.
What does a purple poppy mean?
On the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, we hold a two-minute silence to commemorate those that gave the ultimate sacrifice, forgetting that animals often served and died beside soldiers, too.
The purple poppy is therefore worn to remember the animals that have been victims of conflict.
What did the animals do in the war?
Animals couldn’t volunteer to help in the war efforts but instead were specifically employed by mankind. They had no say in their work and had no choice but to do as they were trained and told. Horses helped draw heavy artillery, dogs were used to find survivors in the rubble, cats lived on warships to protect the food on-board, and even elephants were used as war workers.
During the First World War, an estimated eight million horses died, Britain used around 100,000 pigeons to carry vital messages, and dolphins, whales and seals were culled for oil.
Over one hundred years since the end of the First World War, the purple poppy provides an opportunity to remember these unsung heroes and victims of conflict.
Can I wear a purple poppy with a red poppy?
The Royal British Legion stated that they “see no conflict in wearing the red poppy next to the purple or white poppy. Many animal rights supporters also support our work.” You won’t see purple poppies sold beside the red poppies, but you are able to buy them from some online shops.
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