Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Something Worth Knowing...

A Plastic Problem
8" x 7"

The above is my second piece done this semester for my Illustraton Thesis class. This semester, I chose to center my illustrations around the topic(s) of environmental issues, and animal welfare. Both are subjects I am deeply concerned with, and would like to help bring awareness to. My way of coping with these disturbing world issues, and finding a way to feel less helpless in my position to stop them, is to speak about them through my illustrations. For anyone who knows me, they know I always have some kind of shocking article, or documentary I've seen to talk about. I have really become all about opening my eyes to the hidden, dirty secrets of the world.

What I have learned is that the Northern Pacific Gyre "Garbage Patch" (an area in the ocean, 30 metres deep, full of a sort of plastic 'soup' that is 2 1/2 times the size of Texas) is possibly one of the world's dirtiest secrets.

Plastic is all around us, many of us throw it away every day, and what I think most of us don't realize is that it never is fully gone when we throw it away. Plastic does not biodegrade. Plastic either ends up in landfills, or in the ocean, where birds like the albatross, mistake it for food and feed it to their young. During the summer, my Dad showed me an article in the Globe and Mail about the Garbage Patch, it was something I had never heard of and upon knowing of it, became overwhelmed. For my illustration I decided to focus on the effect the Garbage Patch has on animal life.

Albatross are large seabirds who spend 6 months raising their young, and in recent years researchers have started to discover that nearly half of Albatross chicks die from being fed plastic accidentally by their parents. I find this absolutely devastating... But it isn't only the albatross who are affected by this, it is the entire food chain, and soon it will soon be us.

It's depressing stuff, I know... But, please take a step toward change, and become aware by watching the below...



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