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Snagging a Cecil the Lion Beanie Baby is the most adorable way to support animal conservation.

Angry about Cecil the Lion? This Beanie Baby helps you channel that anger for good.

Snagging a Cecil the Lion Beanie Baby is the most adorable way to support animal conservation.

We're all still upset over the death of beloved Zimbabwean lion Cecil.

This is him. He was gorgeous.


GIF via Pamela Robinson/YouTube.

His death was tragic, but it helped inspire a wave of generosity for animal conservation efforts, many of which have experienced a surge in support. And the latest organization to join the cause is Ty Inc., which created the Cecil the Lion Beanie Baby.

When you buy a Cecil the Lion Beanie Baby, you're helping protect other rare animals.

Ty Warner, the founder and chairman of Ty Inc., announced on Aug. 3, 2015, that he'd created the furry toy in response to the lion's death. Beanie Baby Cecil may not be as majestic as the real Cecil was, but he sure is cute.

Photo courtesy of Ty Inc.

But that's not the best thing about him.

According to Ty Inc., 100% of the profits from Cecil the Lion Beanie Baby sales will be donated to WildCRU, a research unit dedicated to wildlife conservation at the University of Oxford in England.

The Beanie Baby is expected to go on sale for $5.99 at the end of September.

"Hopefully, this special Beanie Baby will raise awareness for animal conservation and give comfort to all saddened by the loss of Cecil," Warner said in a statement.

As expected, there's still a lot of that sadness Warner speaks of floating around the world. And anger. Lots of anger.

Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images.

The image above was taken outside Walter James Palmer's dentist office in Bloomington, Minnesota. Palmer was the guy who killed Cecil. Obviously, many people — and the Internet — aren't happy with him.

There's a big difference between lawful hunting and what Palmer did. He illegally killed an African lion — a species facing the threat of extinction by 2050 if more isn't done to protect them.

Zimbabwe, which just suspended the hunting of lions, leopards, and elephants in a popular hunting region in response to Cecil's death, is planning to seek extradition of Palmer, an official said on July 31.

So while none of us can get Cecil back, we have every right to hope there will be justice in the wake of his death.

In the meantime, you can support efforts to make sure another rare animal isn't unjustly killed.

And it's OK if furry toys aren't your thing. There are plenty of ways to have Cecil's back that don't involve Beanie Babies.

You can support efforts like National Geographic's Big Cats Initiative, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, or Lion Guardians — all terrific groups doing important work to keep lions and other rare animals protected.

And just because Cecil was such a beautiful, fantastic creature, here's an incredible video of him hanging out in Zimbabwe.

RIP, Cecil.

The difference between a politician and a public servant may be a matter of semantics, but when it comes to getting legislation passed that actually helps people, the contrast is stark.

Texas Representative James Talarico is on a mission to get his constituents the life-saving medicine they need. The 31-year-old lawmaker has just introduced legislation that would cap the price of insulin—a medicine people with type 1 diabetes need to live, which has become unaffordable for many—at $50 a month.

The mission is personal for Talarico, as he nearly died three years ago when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

He shared his story on Twitter:

"In May 2018, I was a healthy 28-year-old running for the Texas House. I decided to walk the entire length of my district and hold town halls along the way. I hike Big Bend every year, so I wasn't concerned about a 25 mile walk...

But halfway through the walk, I began feeling nauseous and fatigued. Before the town hall in Hutto, I vomited in the bathroom."

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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