I love David Attenborough documentaries. If I had to choose between watching Planet Earth and Mean Girls I would choose Planet Earth, hands down.
I also wanted to be a veterinarian for a really long time until I realised I probably couldn’t handle seeing sick pets every day.
Long story short, I love animals of all kinds and I’m kind of a science nerd. But my love for fluffy geeky things doesn’t make me an expert.
But I don’t have to be an expert to be able to acknowledge what we’re doing to our wildlife. And neither do you. We hear about it all the time- there is no ignoring the message- we’re killing our planet.
Still, humans live in a constant state of denial.
I’m sick and tired of watching people palm off responsibility to the ‘experts’: to the scientists and researchers and government officials that they think should be making changes.
They can make changes, but so can we. Starting with not throwing your cigarette butts out wherever you please.
If me banging on about you not littering won’t get you to do the right thing, then maybe this picture of a black skimmer bird feeding her chick a cigarette will:
The picture was captured by wildlife photographer Karen Mason in Florida, USA.
The longer I look at it, the angrier it makes me.
Birds can easily mistake cigarette filters for food and often feed them to their young- they’re roughly the same size and shape as a worm, so it makes sense.
The birds don’t know any better- the mother is trying to nurture her baby and, together, they’re just trying to survive. We know better. We can literally see the impact of our actions and still we refuse to course correct.
Talking to the BBC, a spokesman for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) said:
“Nature is struggling to adapt to the things we are doing to our planet; every year, we see more animals trapped, injured or killed by man-made products. We are even seeing litter being used as nesting material.
Littering is nothing but laziness. It’s not a matter of “oh I can’t throw my rubbish out”, it’s “oh I can’t be bothered.”
Apparently, it’s too hard to walk an extra few metres to a rubbish bin, or hold onto your empty water bottles and apple cores and plastic straws until you get home.
Here’s something some of you might find shocking: it’s not that hard.
Stop dismissing your laziness and start taking responsibility for your actions and your trash. Walking to the bin might lose you an extra two seconds but it will gain the planet a whole lot more.
Someone think of the
children baby birds.