Day 157 11/29/13: Sea Shepherd’s Shark-Saving New Film

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s true. Sharks could be extinct in 30 years.

Some populations may disappear within a decade.

For the last three years, Sea Shepherd has been working on a documentary in collaboration with the union of environmental lawyers in Latin America to help educate the environmental legal community. This film is the first of its kind designed to educate and inspire environmental prosecutors.We need to not only to create tougher shark finning laws, but to make sure that they’re enforced. We need to keep marine sanctuaries safe from illegal finning and get tougher convictions for ocean-related crimes.

This is is such a good cause, and you can be a part of it for as little as $1.00!

Day 90 9/23/13: New Beginnings & The End of Half-Assed Veganism

After “Sharkwater” ended, I talked with my students about Paul Watson’s remark that major social change always begin with a handful of people, not a miraculous awakening of the masses. “I think we need to do more than protest, though,” a student remarked wistfully. I agreed. ¬†She’d pinpointed a restlessness in me to start something, to go beyond teaching–although today this section, which had felt a bit stilted, became a bit more alive.

“Why don’t classes talk more about things like this?” another student asked. “Things” like the fact that we are living through a mass extinction. On the way out, a young woman asked for advice: she had to give an informative speech. Should she talk about Sea Shepherd’s mission or the plight of sharks? As they gathered their books I overheard a few others talking “Have you seen “Blackfish”? It’s really sad.” I liked that they were talking. Sadness is a beginning. Anger is a beginning.

After the class had ended, I thought about how sharks have shaped the evolution of other animals in the sea, and how they have shaped my evolution as well. Fear and charisma. I think my students would find me weird or sentimental for saying so, but sharks are to me like strange, ancient Gods.

And what should we call the brutality and waste of shark finning but a mortal sin?

Continue reading