DEVOCEAN As a young girl, my heart was always connected to living close to nature. In 1981 my husband and I moved to Malibu, a beautiful, majestic, tranquil place where we wanted to settle and eventually raise our children. We spent many years playing in the ocean. One of my children’s favorite activities was to walk out on the reefs during low tide and marvel at the beautiful starfish, crabs, etc. Eventually we all began to scuba dive and our love and respect for the ocean only grew stronger. I became a vegetarian at the age of 14 and eventually became a vegan because of my love and respect for all living beings.
I am very saddened to witness the human-caused destruction of the ocean. We’re all busy people living in a complex society. It’s easy to let slip through the cracks those things we don’t see immediately before us, whether it’s on the news or in our daily lives. Many of us prioritize our concerns this way. As the saying goes: Out of sight, out of mind. Therefore, not noticing ever-compounding problems that affect our vast oceans because they’re hidden or hard to see can happen all too effortlessly. Disastrous dilemmas such as extreme pollution, killing whales, ocean acidification due to climate change, and bottom trawling (which collects and destroys everything in its path: dolphins, turtle sea lions etc.) all contribute to the dangerous decline of our oceans health.
The scale of these perils can be overwhelming, but don’t let them paralyze you from action. The good news is we can all do something to help. Simple things like recycling. Don’t use plastic bottles or plastic bags. Six-pack rings need to be cut up and disposed of properly so they don’t end up in the ocean. We need to decrease carbon emissions by driving hybrids or electric vehicles, opting for solar power in our homes and cutting back on outdoor grilling. Please treat your world like your home: don’t dump, don’t litter.
Let’s get passionate about healing our oceans. It’s time we shift our awareness, have respect for the environment and stop abusing It. We have the power to reverse the damage that has been done to our planet. Changing how we see the world and realizing that we all share this planet are important acknowledgments. Understanding the world as one big living system, connected from the highest air to the deepest sea, is a necessary and critical first step. It takes every one of us to take that step. Let’s do this.
-Cindy Landon, Businesswoman, Activist, Philanthropist.