Before I was Dr. V the vet, I was Jessica V the vet student. And before that, I was Jessica M (see, I wasn’t married yet) the nerdy biology major with an emphasis in marine biology. Before realizing my constitution wasn’t nearly hardy enough to tolerate life out in the field, I was sure I was going to be a wonderful conservation biologist. Sadly, I shrink from the sun like a sparkly vampire so field work was not to be.
I tell you this so that you understand that despite dedicating my career (and most of this blog) to the very small portion of Animalia that dogs and cat comprise, I really do have an interest in the bigger picture and being mindful of all the creatures out there on the planet who rely on us not to trash the place. (Whoops on that, by the way.)
I was just at one of my favorite places on the planet today- Torrey Pines State Reserve, jogging along the beach admiring the long-billed curlews poking about in the sand in search of tasty treats. I love the beach, staring out over the horizon, inhaling the salt air, marveling at the mystery that lies just beneath the glassy surface.
It’s also a sad place, where I might have to dodge the occasional bit of garbage, smell some sort of disturbing runoff, or observe a sign proclaiming the sewage bacterial load has made the water unsafe for swimming.
I remember going to the tidepools in Santa Monica with my professor and mentor to take some water samples, and he related in horror the stories about people illegally harvesting mussels to eat- mussels that were filled with all manner of atrocities, having grown up in a toxic sludge of human waste.
We can do better, for us and for all the animals whose survival depends on it. We must do better.
In honor of both Blog Action Day 2010‘s Water Theme and Blog the Change Day– both of which are today, coincidentally- we at pawcurious have proclaimed this Be the Change for Water Animals Day. Why not?
Here’s 5 easy ways to celebrate and learn about the wonderful world of water:
1. Go to the extremely thorough EPA website and poke around their site for a few minutes. I guarantee you will learn something. (If you find a particularly fascinating tidbit, let me know in the comments!)
2. Check out this post from Greenopolis about 8 items that it’s particularly important to recycle (and perhaps the most original use I’ve ever seen mentioned for cat litter.)
3. Take the Plastics Pledge to help reduce the one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals who die from plastics in the ocean. Then go here and pick up some faboo bags so great you’ll wonder why you ever used plastic ones.
4. If you’re a seafood lover, check out the free region-specific downloadable Seafood Watch pocket guide to help you pick responsibly. Got an iPhone? There’s an app for that.
5. Prevent water poo-lution by picking up after your dog and disposing of the bags in proper trash receptacles (it really does contaminate water!)
Okay, Dr. V., I’ve completed my assignment for the day! 🙂 Wish I lived near the ocean (or the gulf). At any rate, I’ve taken the plastics pledge, learned that there are 3.5 million miles of rivers and streams in the US, and have always done #5. And I had no clue about cat litter/poison ivy! Learn something new every day.
Pup Fan says
Wow… great post! I will be checking out the info in your links.
Great post, Dr. V! We have #’s 2, 3 & 5 covered and plan on #1 when I get a moment. The reminders are great – my little town of just over 1,000 has curbside recycling so if we can do it, ANYONE can! Thanks for the great links to more info!