Wednesday, July 29, 2015

For Cecil, For the Earth

Anyone who knows me well knows that saving our precious planet has always been important to me. I recycle. I compost. I take short showers. I eat organic. I don't buy bottled water. I use reusable coffee mugs when I stop at the local coffee shop. I don't own a car. Still, I never feel like it's enough.

Lion, Colored Pencil & Watercolor
With the tragic end to Cecil the Lion's life this month, I am reminded once again how it only takes a couple uncaring people to destroy what is beautiful about our planet.  I'm happy to see the Internet exploding with anger and outrage over Cecil's untimely death. Perhaps he had to die for things to change. Sad. So very sad that it takes a tragedy to open peoples eyes.

Asian Elephant, Colored Pencil & Watercolor
As an American, as a Minnesotan, I am embarrassed for the treatment Cecil received. Embarrassed that the hunter who paid that $55000 to kill him lives a half an hour away from me. Embarrassed that it only reinforces the worlds view of Americans. Mostly though, I wish African countries didn't have to sell permits to hunters to pay for their conservation efforts. I read today that one country sold a permit for $350,000 to a hunter to kill a black rhinoceros (one of the most endangered animals on Earth). Why wouldn't these hunters just donate the money to conserve the animals that they love hunting? Is the kill really that gratifying? Perhaps the punishment for this Minnesotan dentist should be that he pay $55000 per year for the rest of his life to African conservation efforts (he can blame his guides all he wants, he should still be held responsible for his part in it).

Rhinoceros, Colored Pencil & Watercolor
I've had conversations with a couple different friends today about the short attention spans of humans. We post links to our facebook timelines and rant a little, then forget about it the next day. We do nothing to help or to change. We just rant. Next week, there will be another event pissing people off. Another tragedy for people to rant on twitter and facebook about. Cecil will have been forgotten. An even sadder state of life in the modern age. The Internet has destroyed our attention spans. We shift our anger from one thing to the next without looking back. Will there be no justice for Cecil in our Internet induced A.D.D. lives?

Reticulated Giraffe, Colored Pencil & Watercolor
I don't want to forget about Cecil, or any other animal. Fifty years from now, I want to look back and know that I tried to help. That I tried to prevent the mass extinction of so many wonderful animals. Which brings me to my point. Going forward, I will be donating 50% of all revenue from my drawings and prints of endangered species to the World Wildlife Fund. The WWF works around the world to fight climate change and conserve animals and their natural habitats. It isn't much, but its something. 

If you are interested in the WWF, please visit their website:

You can view the drawing and prints that I am using for donating the money on my shop on Etsy:

Lets make something positive happen from a bad situation. It's time for change.

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