Excess, what price are we willing to pay?

With the year at a close and a new one ahead, social convention dictates that we mark this occasion with new and determined resolutions.
Most of these New Year resolutions will be forgotten by morning and the remainder are sure to wash away into obscuraty by the end of the week.

We so often inflate our egoes and continually remind ourselves how incredibly smart we are because of our technicological achievements, thus we tend to live massively opulant lifestyles.
Our so called leaders waste huge amounts of money on planes and houses furnished with the very best and latest of fashion trends while their people live in abject poverty the list could go on and yet come election time all we hear about are promises of change.
They squander their countrys natural resources for instant, often personal fiscal rewards.The madness goes on and on.

Even the grandest of city’s with huge skyscrapers with every five star amenties one could dream of would not last a week without living
in symbiosis with our natural world. Working with one another not against each other.

I decided a little while ago that I would do my part to try affect some sort of change no matter how small and seemingly insignificant.
I like to believe that our little blog including our videos do in some way help in this regard.
No matter who you are and what ever your social standing is, I believe that every action and choice we make has a trickle down and ripple effect.

Now days with the help of information sharing via the internet we are exposed to a powerful resource. We need to use it. Fresh ideas and uncensored reporting is available for the world to see if they choose to.
Coming from a country where even music was sensored for political reasons it is something that younger people take for granted.

I dont want this video to distract or demine the selfless acts that men and women perform in conflict.
No matter what colour, creed or religion you are, I am sure that we can all agree that it makes no difference. The motivation for the impending posilble loss of your life,for your cause/belief is the ultimate sacrifice. If nothing else we have to respect that. I dont want to get onto the who is right or wrong bandwagon but more the long term consequences of our actions as a war-ing people.

Sometimes we get so caught up proving a point that we can easly miss the wood for the trees.
Does it really matter who is right when we destroy everything to prove that point.
In the past we have faught for political agenda, gold and oil. If we continue along this path burning down our forests poisoning our water and polluting the sea.
The next major war we will face, we will fighting over food.
I would like to point out that I was not behind the camera for every bit of footage in this clip, so with this in mind I would like to thank the people who made the extra needed available to me. It is very much appreciated.
I would also like to mention a few sec of footage was taken from a patrol not so long ago.
(During this patrol the solders took small arms fire from all sides.Late in the day CPT James Nehl was hit by a enenmy sniper,The wound resulted in his death)
If we could spare a moment in thought of his family and friends he left behind.

I am realistic in that we have a huge mountain ahead with many twists and turns, not to mention no single blog no matter how good it is will not change the world.
However if this can persaude just one person to think twice about going on a canned lion hunt,choose not to order shark fin soup,or even just pick up that piece of litter that you would normally avoid.Then I think it is well worth the effort.
(I still struggle to understand how shooting a sedated lion that is in an enclosure can possibly be a sport. How can watching an intelligent and incrediably social mammal perform tricks in a tank be classified as entertainment. Or how is it possible that a zoo always seems to have cute newborn animals to drive ticket sales, where are the old ones… animals age right!)
I could make a much longer video showing you the senseless slaughter of animals and the shear devastation of our activities not to mention some of the natural wonders I have been fortunate enough to witness. It is not my aim to depress people into a hopeless state of depression.
I just hope I can add to the momentum of free thinking.
If you think anything that I have said makes a tiny bit of sense or has made you think for just a moment, please share this post/video in your social networks.
You may contribute in making that tiny difference, which counts.
As people will be lamenting the days gone by when you could safley drink spring water, see wild animals actually in the wild and be able to grow plants in dark rich soil.
These are not the ravings of a mad man unfortunatly this is soon to be fact.

I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year. Perhaps this year we can start something new making our resolutions count.
Dan

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Plastic kills …

I went on the internet wanting to find out roughly just how much plastic there is in the ocean to gauge what sort of a problem we have globally  & whether it would be possible to tackle the problem or ind some sort of solution. This is the answer I found & I was completely speechless & sadden to just get my head around the figures!

In a study recently done there is estimated to be about 5250 billion floating pieces of plastic in the ocean, with a combined weight of 268 940 tonnes. (http://www.popsci.com/five-trillion-pieces-plastic-are-floating-ocean-near-you-3)

So as a result, I could not resist sharing this image & story illustrating just how deadly plastic is for our environment, ecosystem & animals both marine & terrestrial.

I was sadden to hear of this Orca’s death espicially since it washed up a few days prior and NSRI & various other people had successfully managed to get it back & swimming in the water again, after many hours of hard work & several attempts of it trying to strand itself again. It was then seen on Sunday morning swimming along the coastline. Everyone celebrated as it looked like all who were involved had done a great job & the story ended happily. However this was short lived, this Orca was found dead on Monday morning.

Orca - plastic

 “After we went through the stomach contents of the Orca that stranded in Plettenberg Bay on Monday morning, 14 December 2015. Very alarming to see the amount of plastic we found. Other than plastic, she had consumed a few big clumps of sea grass and about 400g of what looks like some sort of simple tubed organism (sea cucumber or anemone fingers). Only 2 pairs of squid beaks and those were very old so she hadn’t fed properly for a long time. 5.7m female, no other obvious injuries, infections or obstructions. Huge thanks to the Plett Stranding Network, NSRI and Bitou Municipality for co-coordinating this massive operation” –  Gwen Penry

I really hope we can all take something from this story & be a bit more aware of our plastic consumption as well as trying to not litter and leave plastic stuff lying around to just blow away in the breeze. With summer here, I am seeing more people flocking to the beaches, while enjoying themselves they also tend to leave a lot of trash behind thinking “someone” else will sort it out & pick up after them. Unfortunately this is not always the case & most often it lands up in the sea, causing harm to all life involved.

Fi 🙂

 

Brief two days in Tasmania

I was lucky enough to spend the weekend in Tasmania, getting the chance to have a family catch up as well as include some sight seeing whilst there. The minute I landed, I had a weird yet calming sensation run through. I instantly fell in love with the place. The beautiful, undulating hills with thick forest, the fresh cold air, rural yet busy enough to not feel isolated and the wildness about the place.  This was the furthest South I had ever been on the world map, and I could feel it. It was a wonderful feeling, wild coastline with the odd scattered housing across the land, among them beautiful farmland and forestry could be seen for miles.

Staying in Hobart, I instantly felt at home with the place & was so excited to explore and yet at the same time, I wish was was staying longer than two days. Staying up on Tolman’s Hill was absolutely magnificent. Over looking the Derwent River & Harbour. Simply breath taking & peaceful.

Saturday morning I woke up early & Sean (my cousin) decided it would be a good idea to go up to Mount Wellington as soon as possible as the weather was clear & very few clouds in the sky. He said the views up there would be beyond amazing & would also give me perspective on the area & where everything is in relation to the mountain. He was spot on with everything, 1250m above sea level & 6 degrees we were up on Mount Wellington taking in the sights, smells and vast space. After spending some time there we left to go visit the well known Salamanca Market, after spending 3 hours browsing around & shopping till I dropped, it was off to lunch in Peppermint Bay. A fabulous restaurant overlooking the water, with rolling green lawns.

Sunday brought around some winter weather, so I was pleased that I managed to tick Mount Wellington off our list in the short amount of time we were there. I visited MONA (Museum of New & Old Modern Art) what a powerful, insightful place. Thoroughly enjoyed it & it spoke 1000 words for me. Interesting and certainly very unique pieces of art. Not your typical museum that’s for sure!! We then went for lunch at Coal River Farm near Richmond, where I bought a few wooden items. We then spent the afternoon just catching up on family news and memories, which was very special & so needed!

I immediately fell in love with Hobart & was very sad to leave after just spending two days there, its a place I could happily return to.  I certainly hope to in the future.

Flying back to Sydney I continue the last week of my holiday. Can’t believe 3 weeks are nearly up, but at the same time I am looking forward to arriving back home.

 

 

Food for Thought

I recently had to say goodbye to my oldest friend. He has packed it all up, moved his wife and kids to Scotland to start a new life. He did however manage to make a day for just us before he left. A final blow out, till we meet again. In true rebel rousing fashion we went for a paddle around Cape Point, did a bit of sea cave exploration, had a braai for lunch followed with a cold swim in the kelp forest.

A great way to spend some time together and a day I will not forget any time soon. Mainly because he still can’t cook chicken properly on a fire. Really, he has been making fires and enjoyed the outdoor life since I can remember and yet a few pieces of chicken get the better of him ( There are two unique ways Andrew cooks chicken, burnt or raw).
As it is expected in moments like these we spoke about the old times, where we have been as well as what has and what has not changed. I won’t bore you all with  the childhood stories however there is one piece of conversation I thought I would share.

In the late 80’s we had the TURBO craze. Anything could possibly be cool if it had the word turbo somehow tied in. Turbo vac, turbo sunglasses, turbo running shoes  even certain television shows had to include this awesome word into their slogan’s to up their appeal. Night Rider and Air Wolf immediately pop to mind. Mystical red buttons( Turbo Boost) all lit up, which were to be pressed at the slightest hint of danger. This would press the driver or pilot into the back of his chair and he would be flung of at some impossible speed. Faces all contorted due to shear exceleration.

Then in the  90’s there was EXTREME and MEGA, this one I never really got into. Everything had to be extreme. You want to have a cold drink… No it must be a EXTREME cold drink. This sad tale lead to extreme motor cross, extreme kayaking, extreme mountain climbing and extreme monster trucks. Unfortunately the list goes on and on.
It seems we still have traces of it floating in American television with Extreme fishing etc all at some extreme volume setting

These days it seems that the Eco bug has hit in full force. “Wanna be Greenies” and tree huggers are taking over the world. Bring out your sandals and muesli this is going to be a long one.

Don’t get me wrong I am all for living with nature as well as the things we need to achieve to live sustainably and in harmony, to me this is normal not a new exciting craze. As smart as we profess to be we can’t live without our environment in some form.
However somehow the extreme and Eco bug have mutated into the extreme Eco nuts,this kind of thing gives environmentalism a bad name.

As kids Andrew and I would embark on various adventures. We would go up into the forest and look for pine cones,  mushrooms and some days hunt for figs and guavas. Stealing ” mielies” (corn to most of you) from his dads fields, grabbing whatever we could on the run.  As we got older we started fishing collecting mussels and diving catching crayfish etc. This is what I thought was not extremely special just what we did. Some of the best times were first thing on a frosty winter’s day, barefoot, mist hanging low we would let the cows out and play poo island. We would jump from pile to pile to stop our feet going numb in the cold grass. Aahhh good times.

This type of thing has become the new lifestyle choice and a big fat fad. Picking fruit etc has become known as  foraging. collecting mussels, mushrooms etc has become wild foraging.  Following animal spoor has become Tracking. Thinking where a lost animal went or trying to anticipate were it is has become spiritual tracking. Diving with cylinders as kids was not a option so we made do with mask and snorkel , now its known as free diving a whole now sub culture.

IMG_6501

Also is it really necessary to see all your branded clothing to prove  how good you are at what ever your interested in today. Walking around barefoot was practical most of the time as well as washing feet was much faster than taking smelly shoes off every time we went indoors. Now it is a way to ground your negative energy and connect with your ancestors or forefathers.the list goes on and on.
(You can spend lots off money going on long winded courses, teaching you how to do this, even issue you with certification upon receipt of cash err I mean completion!)

Why is it that we have to make everything into such a specialized alternate lifestyle. I cant seem to turn my head without someone trying to explain how raw organic food is, the way forward and that you somehow have to be an expert in raw diets harvested ethically from a enlightened guy down the road before you start your daily yoga session. If you can quote a few lines from some orange robed chap or prattle on about some  10000 hours story you are socially set. I must say I find this all can get terribly boring! Its not all that complicated in my mind, maybe I am wrong.

We are all animals. Deal with it.
We all need to eat a balanced diet. To much of anything is bad for you.
It would be great if we could all eat fresh food we harvested ourselves. Most of us cant.
Real food does not last long, so we preserve it by adding the most cost effective chemicals we can find. Soon as you add anything to preserve food it will kill good and bad bacteria.
Good healthy unprocessed food is what we are meant to eat. I mean it kind of makes sense. It doesn’t look or taste half as good as most processed food. People have spent millions to make food look and taste better than their competitors, so we will buy it. Price invariably  wins.

In nature we would be very hard pressed to find all the sugar ,fats and protein that we find in such high concentration in food off the shelf. this is one of the reasons why we are getting bigger and bigger. It is just to easy to find calorific rich foods at the drop of a hat.
I have noticed I can sit down and eat a whole commercially raised roast chicken without much fuss, however I would be lucky if I can eat half a naturally raised chicken (One that eats grass hoppers etc). Yes that’s right chickens don’t only eat grain and vegetables.
Unpasteurized milk?  Well I will talk about that at some other stage.  That’s a blog in itself. Just because you drive the latest hybrid Eco car each year does not make you more Eco friendly than I am even, though a drive a 10 year old diesel bakkie.(No matter how efficient it is it had to come from somewhere.  (Some huge factory and steel mill made them thousands of sea miles away using parts from all over the world). So please think before you judge me.

chammancha touch

The real truth is that there are just too many of us roaming around not to mention we have a unquenchable thirst for resources and not enough respect or understanding of our place on this planet. Saving the Panda or a Whale because it pulls on our heart strings will not be enough long term. Environmentalism as well as environmental awareness needs to be elevated from a social fashion statement to a fact of life, not dissimilar to breathing or getting old.
Gully touched
We need to be better educated in this field as well as have a better fundamental understanding of our environment ( The place we call home,not invest billions of $ looking for a chance of life on some distant planet). Have an ego check, be humble about who and what we are, only then that do we stand a viable chance of making the next 1000 years.

Dan