The Denver aquarium was crowded and loud today with families on spring break outings. But here in Colorado, almost as far away from an ocean as it is possible to get in North America, four students and I sat for half an hour in dim light, knees pressed right up against the glass, and sketched sharks and sea turtles as the glided gracefully past us. These large ancient creatures, so frightening and fascinating, swam circuits of their tank, oblivious to our existence, as far as I could tell.
I’ve been hearing a new catch phrase in the air: “Take Away.”
These kinds of things irritate me and I have heard this one a lot lately. A docent at the aquarium said that the stocks of large fish in the world’s oceans have gone down to only ten percent of what they were fifty years ago. It is true. I just looked it up online. The study was published in the journal Nature in May of 2003. Maybe that is why “take away” irritates me so much. It’s like a naïve punch line for the culture of heedless unsustainable consumption that I swim in, oblivious to the sources that sustain my existence, as far as they can tell.