Darkness, the abscence of light, the color black, all seem to be considered negative concepts. I don’t really see why. Sure I was a little afraid of the dark when I was a kid, but I was not afraid of the moon, the stars or the bigger fish that come out at night, I was afraid of a bunch of Disney characters and Freddy Krueger. It’s the movies and TV that instill fear where there shouldn’t be any and who make us trust and consume those things that are REALLY bad for us, things that put our lives in actual danger.
I live in the sea and I’m not afraid of sharks. Why would I? They’re not looking for me, I’m not their food of choice, I’m far too skinny for their diet. They’re territorial of course, and they’re predators, I know a big great white might eat me if I ever end up floating for hours in the middle of the ocean, their territory. They have big teeth, and they look mean but in all my travels I have never met anyone who was attacked by one, or anyone who knew anyone who was attacked by one. Not one person. Still we are killing over 70 million a year.
Did you know that? Fishermen are trapping them, cutting their fins off, and throwing them back into the sea to sink and die slowly. Their meat is not even used to feed anyone. Shark fins are very expensive, they’re used for soup, even though they’re not tasty or particularly nutritious. It breaks my heart. Sharks are incredible creatures, they’re ancient, they have evolved for millions of years, and in a decade we have nearly annihilated them just because their soup has been advertised to reduce the chances of cancer.
We know for a fact that smoking causes cancer. Eating shit food causes cancer. But cigarettes and shit food are available everywhere, they’re advertised and happily consumed everyday. They kill us but we do not mind so much.
Sharks do not kill us; there are only a handful of incidents a year and they’re usually by accident because of murky waters or because of a surfboard or wetsuit that makes us look like a seal. They certainly don’t knock on our door to attack us, or sell human meat in their grocery stores. We are actually more likely to be bitten by another person than a shark. But we fear and loathe them because of a blockbuster from the 70s and a couple cheap movies with annoyingly bad acting that came out in the last two decades. And so we don’t care if they all go, even though we need them to control the other fish populations, life on our planet depends on it. We can’t produce sharks and they definitely do not deserve our cruelty. I’ve contacted an NGO that’s trying to open people’s eyes and stop shark finning. I have not received a reply yet, but I really want to do something about it, make sure that everyone knows, especially in Asia where shark fin soup is so popular.It’d be so easy to just stop buying the freaking soup. If there’s no profit, they’ll leave them alone.
I know there’s a million battles going on right now. It seems we’ve screwed up everything that could be screwed up, Monsanto is even playing with the cannabis seed now and so it’s becoming legal all over the US, even though it was officially considered the worst of evils for decades, it’s such a joke. So, now more than ever, I think it is important that we use our time and energy wisely. Turning off the TV is no doubt the first move. Stop their spoon-feeding of fear and advertising by just not watching. You don’t need to give up entertainment, have a hard drive with world cinema and TV shows you do like instead. Or watch Netflix or something like that if you have access to the internet. But most of all, realize we do not know how long we are going to be around.
Life must be lived today. We are capable of so much love and compassion, so much connection. There is so much bliss in giving and sharing. It’s instantaneous. We must not let a day go by without being kind to others, a big contagious smile is so powerful! We cannot change everything that’s happening but we can open our eyes, share the information we find important and make good choices. We must speak up against injustice and cruelty. Some problems are solved just by being informed: when we stop choosing something, it becomes obsolete. And humans instinctively learn by example. Be the change you want to see and you will be amazed at the results.
Have faith in humanity, we are it. What it becomes depends solely on us.