It doesn’t take a lot of time, money, or sacrifice to do an incredible amount of good. Hence the name of this post (and potential series): Five Minutes on Friday. Even if it’s not Friday, this post might interest you…
Can you — and can I — take just five minutes each Friday (or Saturday, Sunday, etc.) to fix big problems and feel awesome in the process? Sure. It need not suck or feel like work. In fact, it can be like getting a Christmas present. Or perhaps like slaying bad guys as The Punisher.
Pretty sweet on both sides. Here are two quick options for your five minutes this week…
Listen to Music, Save Japan
Make a $10 or greater donation to Music for Relief for earthquake and tsunami relief in Japan and receive a kick-ass exclusive compilation of music from incredible musicians. To get people to take action, the offer is only good for a few days. Listen to the music (listed below) and make a donation here: http://japan.downloadtodonate.org/
Hoobastank — Running Away (acoustic)
Shinedown – Shed Some Light (acoustic live)
Sara Bareilles — Song For A Soldier
Flyleaf — How He Loves (live)
Staind —Right Here (live)
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus — 21 and Up
Angels & Airwaves — Hallucinations
Taking Back Sunday – Best Places To Be A Mom
Placebo – Bright Lights (live)
Black Cards – Dr. Jekkyl & Mr. Fame
B’z — Home
Surfer Blood – Take it Easy (Live)
Ben Folds – Sleazy
Slash featuring Myles Kennedy – Starlight (live)
Counting Crows – Colorblind (live)
R.E.M. – Man on the Moon (live from Tokyo)
Talib Kweli – GMB
Plain White T’s — Rhythm Of Love (live)
Elliott Yamin — Self Control
Pendulum – Witchcraft
Patrick Stump – Saturday Night Again
Linkin Park — Ishho Ni
Pretty sweet, right? Click here to download the tracks.
Email/Call a Company, Save 200,000 Sharks
More than 100 million sharks are now slaughtered annually to fuel the shark fin soup trade. The soup is non-nutritive, expensive, and doesn’t even taste particularly good (yes, I tried it in China in the 90′s). It is served mostly as a status symbol at Asian weddings, formal functions, and high-end restaurants.
How is this fine soup made?
Shark fins are cut-off the sharks in a process called “finning.” The practice is wasteful, unsustainable and ecologically unsound. Here’s how it works: sharks are caught on long-lines (miles of line floating in the oceans, affixed with hooks and bait), brought to the boat, and have their fins are hacked off. Next, since shark meat isn’t worth as much as shark fins, the mutilated but normally live animals are thrown back in to the water to sink and die.
Sharks cannot reproduce fast enough to keep up with mass-production shark finning. In the Atlantic ocean alone, shark populations in many species have decreased more than 90% percent in the last 15 years alone. It’s fucking disgusting.
I wanted to be a marine biologist for nearly 15 years, and if there is two things to remember about sharks, here they are:
- Most sharks don’t attack humans and have no interest in us whatsoever. I’ve dived with hundreds of sharks without incident.
- If you destroy apex predators (predators at the top of the food chain), the rest of the food chain topples soon thereafter.
If the oceans go to hell, so do we. To stick it to the bad guys and help the good guys, here are two five-minute options:
1. Boycott and Publicly Shame Restaurants That Serve Shark Fin Soup
Below is a list of Canadian and US restaurants that still serve shark fin soup. Boycott them, write to them, and — corporations hate bad PR — publicly shame them for inhumanely slaughtering sharks, using blogs, tweets, Facebook, e-mail, or whatever you have:
2. Join Future Shark Adventures
The University of Miami offers year-round shark expeditions, including weekly tagging trips in the Florida Keys, Great White Shark expeditions in South Africa, and Diving and Tagging tiger shark adventures in the Bahamas. Click here for more information.
If you have other creative ideas on how to promote ocean conservation, please contact Dr. Neil Hammerschalg at nhammerschlag-at-rsmas.miami.edu. To learn more about shark protection, visit these sites:
Yes, I really love sharks. Here, I tag my first shark off of Miami as part of Summit Series: a beautiful female tiger shark. Truly gorgeous.
Have a fantastic weekend, all. Take the five minutes if you can. It will make you feel incredible, and it will have an impact.