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Children are highly empathetic and surprise us with their willingness to put the need..
by KindMeal.my, 05 October 2014
Children are highly empathetic and surprise us with their willingness to put the needs of the animals they love before their own needs. This little boy, Matteo Walch, has some pretty unusual best friends. Unlike other children who might call a dog or cat their companion, Matteo calls a group of Alpine marmots his friends.

Marmots are typically very wary of human beings, and it is rare that they willingly interact with people. This group of marmots, however, has been keeping Matteo's company for around four years now. Matteo does not keep these furry creatures as pets, rather his family takes two-week vacations to the Austrian Alps every year to visit. When he comes to visit his friends, they run up to him and show him nothing but affection. Amazing memory they have!

Matteo’s mother, Michaela explains, “He loves those animals, and they are not at all afraid of Matteo because he has a feeling towards them and they understand that. We go there every year now for two weeks; it’s amazing to watch the connection between a boy and his animal friends.” Michaela Walch has documented Matteo’s interactions with the Marmots for four years and is always amazed by the perfect harmony between these animals and her son. There is something so beautiful about seeing the pure curiosity of a wild animal in the presence of an equally curious and careful individual.

Learning to interact with wild animals in a correct manner can result in beautiful relationships. It is important to respect wildlife and to be aware of their hesitation towards humans. Not every marmot will be as open to making friends with humans as these, but it is clear that Matteo and his friends have developed a very special connection grounded on mutual affection and respect.

Matteo's relationship with the marmots is an excellent reminder that we share the planet with some amazing creatures. Part of treating them with respect includes eating in a way that reduces human impact on the environment. Making the choice to eat less or no meat is a great way to show compassion, both for the earth and for the other animals who live here with us.

How about taking your human friends for a fabulous, meat-free meal today? Look for ideas at http://KindMeal.my/

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