I sat down after giving my presentation on the effects of light pollution on the egg laying practices of sea turtles. My classmates had been decent. A few had asked thoughtful questions to show they had paid attention, and the rest gave me the polite applause expected in a 100 level Geography Class.

The Preservation and Conservation of Natural Resources. I’m not just taking the class because I need it for my minor; it’s something I believe in. The way I see it, we have one planet, and that planet only has so many resources. We owe it not just to ourselves, but to posterity, to be good stewards of them. Once they’re gone, they’re gone.

I had listened intently throughout the semester, and today was no exception. I think it’s fun to see the spin your peers put on the information we’ve learned, and could be influential in shaping your own thinking.

The last presentation of the day dealt with the over-fishing of the seas. According to her presentation, many experts believe that the oceans will be “dead” by 2050, where the remaining fish will no longer be able to reproduce to keep up with demand. I sat there entranced. 75% of the world is water, and within that water lives the majority of the world’s animal life. To imagine a world where those seas were empty sent my mind whirring.

It stayed with me as class dismissed. Dark, frothy, lifeless oceans. The food chain would be destroyed, and eventually life on land would be impacted. It was a global panic that nobody seemed particularly worried about. Why couldn’t there be moderation? Why did we have to over-fish the seas?

I’m not an organizer by any means, but I was suddenly fueled by a desire to act: to promote awareness, to speak with people and develop solutions to the problem. I knew that if people could only be talked to rationally, that they could understand the urgency of the situation, regardless of nationality, creed, or philosophical bent. In that moment, I knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. And that being the case, there was no time like the present to get started.

But you can’t get to work on an empty stomach. I made my way home and stopped at Subway.

“What can I get you?” The woman behind the counter asked me.

I didn’t even have to look at the menu. I knew exactly what I wanted.

“Yes, hi,  could I please get two foot-long Tuna subs on white?”

I mean, if they’re gonna be gone by 2050, I need to enjoy them while I can, right?

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