My brother sent me an article this morning about a baby humpback whale that washed ashore and died on a beach not far from here the other day. It apparently had gotten caught in a fishing net, which hastened its demise.


A fishing net. I just don’t understand what I’m supposed to do anymore. Why bother to separate my plastics from my metals? Why bother tossing my papers in the recycling bin? Why not just throw my batteries away with the rest of my trash? I’ve seen so many things that twist my gut about the way that humans just haphazardly treat the planet and all the living goodness on it, that I’m just not sure that my awareness make a difference. In fact, sometimes I wish I weren’t aware at all. Sure would make things easier sometimes.

Imagine not knowing about puppy mills. Imagine being ignorant of animal testing. Imagine not caring about the water we drink, the earth we grow our food in, the zoos that cage wild animals, the decimated ocean life, the disappearing rainforest, the rate of animal extinction, the floating island of plastic in the ocean… I hate knowing these things, because what does knowing it really accomplish? What’s the point of my outrage when people I’ll never meet can just buy themselves a clean conscience while I go broke sending donations to countless organizations who are doing the work I wish I could?

The Cheerleader I Live With and I were in Guatemala earlier this year with El Camino Voluntours doing some work with the Project Somos Children’s Village, and the amount of roadside garbage, plastic piles, mountains of old tires, and smoke-belching vehicles was shocking. I mean, don’t get me wrong, we loved our trip, but there were times when I thought, “and I recycle WHY?” because it seemed so futile for me to be doing it while other nations have far bigger concerns than having blue bins… you know, things like not starving to death, or being killed by their drinking water.

Anyway… the article my brother sent me was essentially the journalist apologizing to the now-dead baby humpback whale, and describing the many ways in which she (and the human race) had failed it. I agreed with her. I feel guilty, too. Even though it wasn’t MY fishing net, I apologize for it being there. But what am I supposed to do? How do I make sure that never happens again? I feel stuck, helpless, and almost defeated. I want to save the animals and help world, but it’s so big I’m not sure where to start. I guess I’ll keep shopping with my reuseable bags, turning off the lights when I don’t need them, and using my car as little as possible. It does make me feel better… but I don’t see how it helped that baby humpback whale at all.

Now, I know that was all rather doom-and-gloom for a Thursday morning, so how about I treat you to a witty little video about pollution? Trust me, it’ll make you laugh. AND it’s narrated by Jeremy Irons! I give you, The Majestic Plastic Bag. (Warning: The attack scene at 1:30 may be gruesome to some viewers)

Happy Thursday all…