I am not an animal person.
There, I said it.
True, as a child, there was a dog I loved completely, but it wasn't until Smokey's death that my ears finally became unclogged. I was unknowingly allergic, but because I grew up with a four-legged friend, I never understood how good I could feel when one wasn't around.
My allergies shoot into hyperdrive if Fluffy simply saunters across my side of the hemisphere, let alone the living room. I can sense a cat from 500 feet.
The irony is most animals love me, even as I gently try nudging them away with my foot and offering a few emphatic words of discouragement.
Words like, "Come near me again, Sparky, and you're barbecue."
Anyway, last month my family embarked on a road trip to South Padre Island, Texas where we visited the island's famed Sea Turtle, Inc. The moment we walked in the door, my boys were mesmerized:
We checked out Allison, the only sea turtle to have ever been designed her own prosthetic:
Thanks to one of our hosts, Aunt Patty, who volunteers at Sea Turtle, Inc., we learned a lot. We listened to how sea turtles face extinction, how a multi-national effort is underway to bring them back, and how tourists muck up the nesting grounds for breeding moms. She also went on a rant against sea turtle soup, and we quickly understood how often she must have given the same diatribe when we went out to breakfast and a waiter-friend gave her a little ribbing:
|For the record, Aunt Patty does NOT love turtle soup.|
And then it came back to me. Because it's always about me.
I LOVE to eat fish. Catfish. Grouper. Halibut.
Yum yum yum.
I NEEDED to help keep Leatherbacks safe!
Ironically, when I returned home to Chicago, I read how Mayor Rahm Emanuel has pushed through a plan to phase out plastic bags from stores in Chicago. At first, I was annoyed. I hate the new light bulbs I'm forced to buy. I can't stand the light they emit. I'm also forced to tell Chicago-hired vendors on a monthly basis what my diet looks like and how my stress is being managed because Chicago thinks that will make me healthy.
So far, it's made me fatter. I eat when I'm annoyed.
Anyway, I have used these now out-lawed plastic bags for years to wrap up dirty baby diapers, spilled contents, and sucker sticks. I stow them in the car for whenever a kid turns green, like during our aforementioned Texas road trip:
|Jack gave me a 30 second warning at which time the cars beside us on the expressway could hear my yelling: "GET 'EM A BAG! GET 'EM A BAG NOW!!!!"|
Hardly a drop was spilled because of the amazing powers of the plastic grocery bag.
But then I remembered how often Leatherbacks mistake plastic bags for jellyfish and die because of it.
Maybe I could live in a world without plastic bags. Because saving one Blackleather sea turtle means really cheap wine sautéed salmon for me.
Did I mention it's all about me?
And that Chicago Lives Healthy crap? They totally want me eating more fish, too.
So I'm on board with saving the sea turtles. And limiting plastic bags.
And eating more cod.
Take that, PETA.