Today I read an article about climate change and the Great Barrier Reef which is in danger of extinction and it made me extremely sad, frustrated and scared. 80 % of the northern Great Barrier Reef is close to extinction, and the main cause for this is coral bleaching which is caused by water pollution and increase of water temperature that forces the corals to shed the algae that live in symbiosis with them and provide them with all the essential nutrients. The rise of water temperature and increased UV radiation are induced by climate change, plastic waste and over-acidification of the oceans. Fertilizer and pesticides (mainly from the animal industry) find their way into the oceans where they destroy the ecosystem. Due to fertilizers the crown-of-thorns starfish proliferates drastically and destroys the corals. Corals and starfish used to be in perfect balance (like any ecosystems which aren’t disturbed by humans), and the starfish were even NEEDED for optimal health of the reef, however, now through human interaction the amount of starfish is way too high and prevents the corals from regenerating themselves fast enough. Tourism, the Australian coal ports and overfishing also play a significant role in the dying of the coral riff. Isn’t it sad that something so breathtakingly beautiful that was built over millions of years and resisted volcanic eruptions, ice ages and continental drifts is now getting irreversibly destroyed by humans within a matter of years?! The dying of the Great Barrier Riff is just one of many catastrophes we have induced and most of it is related to the animal industry (watch „Cowspiracy“ and „Before the flood“ for further information). I just don’t get it – there is SO MUCH information out there, climate change and pollution are discussed in the media on a daily basis, and still most people don’t seem to care or even know about it! How can we be so blind and ignorant? Why do we ignore such important problems? It makes me so angry to hear people talk like „Oh no, this is so sad“ or „the politicians should do something about it“, but don’t think twice about their own actions and lifestyles. It’s not just the „bad politicians“, it’s us – we all are contributing to ecological devastation in some way, whether we want it or not. In the world we live in it’s not possible to live completely harm-free and sustainable, but we can do our best to try to cause the least harm possible. EVERYONE can do something about it, no matter if you’re withe or black, young or old, rich or poor, confident or insecure – we all have the power to change something and do something good. You don’t have to be „perfect“ or better than anyone else, it’s not a competition – the only thing you should strive for is being the best version of yourself and doing the best YOU can! It’s not the others, or the politicians, or society who needs to change, it’s YOU as an individual ! You can’t decide for others, you can only decide for yourself. If everyone just says, „This needs to change“ or „xy needs to change something about this“, change won’t ever happen. It has to begin within yourself! Don’t ever think „I’m just one person, I can’t make a difference“ because YOU CAN! Every single person matters – every huge movement consists of many individuals who have made the decision only for themselves, but it adds up and every movement has to start somewhere. I am also just one individual person who has made the decision for herself, but I realized that I really can make a difference! I can inspire other people to go vegan (which already happened with many of my friends and it makes me so happy and proud), I can pick up trash outside, I can raise awareness about environmental degradation, I can donate money to ecological organizations, I can be aware of my own consumerism and try to improve it as much as I can. I don’t get why so many people get annoyed by those who stand up for environmentalism and try to raise awareness or to call people „eco freaks“ because they care about the environment?! Why do you get annoyed by people who tell nothing but the truth and try to raise awareness? And why is it odd to care about our planet, our HOME? Furthermore, I don’t get why some people keep picking on environmentalists and pointing out all the things they’re still doing wrong and telling them, they can’t tell other people to care about the environment as long as they themselves aren’t flawless. First of all, most of those people are doing far worse than the people the shame, and second of, it’s not about being perfect, it’s about doing the best we can to reduce harm to our planet. You don’t have to live in the woods without clothes, a house and electricity, and pick berries to have some food. As long as we keep being part of society and using any of the items that make our lives easier and comfortable, it’s impossible to eliminate harm, however, we can definitely reduce it a lot. Nature is incredibly strong, it has the ability to endure and level out a lot of damage and regenerate itself, but the incredible amount of damage we’re inflicting on it is not compensable anymore and is going way too fast for nature to regenerate itself. We need to do something NOW! Sadly, a lot of damage we’ve done is irreversible, but it’s still not to late to turn around and stop, or at least slow down, ecological destruction. It’s all in our hands. Please wake up, stop talking and start DOING! Someone sent me a very true and beautiful quote: „I’m not an optimist. I’m not a pessimist. I’m an activist.“ The planet needs you. It’s our home. Please care for it.