Decades ago, the comedy troupe known as Monty Python’s Flying Circus did a wonderful sketch about a penguin on your television set exploding. In honor of that fabulous skit, I have always had a penguin of one sort or another on or near my television set. Which led to a lifelong habit of noticing penguins wherever they could be seen.
Prior to 1979, the San Diego Zoo had a small group of penguins in a small enclosure. My memory played a trick on me, as I remember the building being designed to look like an ice floe. But the only photo I can find of it looks much different than memory but also rather familiar. Anyway, to get back to the subject, stopping to see the penguins was one of the highlights of any zoo visit.
I love the fact that many people think there are polar bears in Antarctica and penguins in the Arctic. As if penguins didn’t have enough trouble with seals and whales and so on. As a result, and the point I am trying to make is that I love penguins. So when I saw an article with the title How to Help Penguins, I was in.
The article isn’t the best written but still, it has important information about some of the very different species of tuxedo-wearing flightless birds. You will notice that not once does it indicate we should go to South America or South Africa on our way to Antarctica and help out there. Out of the list of practical suggestions, here are the ones I can most get behind.
- Seafood Watch List — I have dumped red meat out of my diet and try to eat a lot more fish these days. Did you know that any “farmed” fish is going to be less healthy for you than wild caught? Tilapia is nearly poison due to the fact these fish will eat anything and can stay alive doing so. I look for wild caught fish and a type of fish not on any endangered lists.
- Carbon Footprint — I know the fact that I won’t eat red meat doesn’t make a huge impact on the greenhouse gases issue. But it’s a little thing that I have done and might translate into one or two fewer beef cattle being kept on a feedlot. I plan my car time as well as I can to make the use of one trip to hit all the stops I need. We use LED lights everywhere and turn the lights off promptly when not in use. Our appliances are energy efficient. We eat locally and we don’t shop for fashion. I love the Holy Clothing line for women, knowing they make an impact in India with the workers who make the clothes I love.
- Support Conservation Works — Of course, the article was written by staff from the World Conservation Society but there are many organizations that I have mentioned in the past. Please research the group as best you can but then think of it like a Christmas Club thing. Send them $5 every month or however much you might be able to give. Set up a donation opp on your Facebook page and get your friends to chip in. We have a lot more influence as individuals than we realize.
For information on the individual species of penguins that are endangered, World Wildlife Fund has more details. Of course, climate change and melting ice is pretty much the top of the list of things damaging to these birds. Over-fishing of the southern oceans is a close second. To raise awareness and money to fight for the penguin flocks, WWF also has an Adopt a Rockhopper Penguin opportunity in a range of prices. Not only do you have the satisfaction of helping the species, you get some solid proof that you have helped save penguins.
Thanks for reading, I’ll be back next Sunday.