Déjà vu – 4-19-2020

April 20th marked the 10-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon (BP) Oil Spill. A devastating ecological event that is still having adverse environmental impacts to this day. We are still discovering its lingering effects and probably will be for years to come. The spill affected all in some sort of capacity, whether it was ecologically, economically, emotionally or all the above. Having spent years working as an environmental scientist, advocate, and activist this event made me question if everything I had done or was doing was making a difference. Did any of it even matter? There were feelings of despair, disgust, disbelief, guilt and great sadness. It was overwhelming. How could we move forward? What could we learn? Anything? What did already know? What changes as a society could we implement to ensure an event like this never occurred again? 10-years later I’m still waiting for the answers to some of these questions. Some people have learned nothing. Some have learned a great deal. And now, we are facing another kind of devasting ecological event in the form of a virus. A virus believed to be “created” through China’s live-animal market. Live-animal market. I have to say that a few times to let it sink in. I am beyond disgusted. Humans and their blatant disregard for life. As if other species were here to serve their needs. They are not. Some people look human but are monsters.

How can we disrespect and mistreatment our brothers and sisters in the animal kingdom and turn a blind eye to it?  It is a spiritual struggle that brings me great despair, when my loyalty lies with animals and not humans. I used to feel guilty about this, but I no longer do. I am called to be a voice for my brothers and sisters in the animal kingdom.  Ironically, humans are part of the animal kingdom, lest they forget.

Maybe the virus is wake-up call, the much-needed slap in the face to change the way we live our lives. At least how some of us live our lives. How do we move forward? There are people still walking around in disbelief as if the virus doesn’t affect them. It does. Restaurants selling ready to grill “meat packages”. Seriously? Is it really all about the money?  What have we learned? Anything? Or are these actions because of the lack of peoples short-term and long-term memory? It saddens me to think that as a society we can’t or won’t implement changes to ensure that an event like this never occurs again.

The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill was caused by greed and human error. The COVID 19 was caused by lack of morals and human error. Both have caused loss of life. 10-years from now we will be living through or remembering yet another ecological event or pandemic? Will we ever learn?