Times have changed

I remember when I was a little boy
first learning about the Vaquita.
I was filled with wonder and determination…
Determination to keep them on this planet.
I donated my Christmas money;
I didn’t get souvenirs when the rest of my family did,
so I could donate even more.
I told everyone I knew,
and told them to do the same.
I even started a Vaquita club at my school to raise money.
I emailed the experts as often as I could,
and read every book and website with the word, “Vaquita.”
I don’t exactly remember what I thought was going to happen to the species,
but I know what I wanted to happen.
That was around the time Chris Johnson’s movie came out,
and I loved it.
But I was also scared…
Scared we might lose the Vaquita forever.
Thinking back upon these things,
I wasn’t doing very much.
But I loved doing it.
Then came V-log.
I still remember coming up with the name,
“A vlog is a video-blog, and Vaquita starts with V, so it could be a Vaquita-blog!”
I was 11 at the time, so I wasn’t the best with websites.
My first post was,
“Vaquita is Spanish for ‘little cow.’”
I became obsessed with learning and writing about the Vaquita,
so I started a book on it.
When I finished writing the book,
I kind of stopped for a little while.
But then my passion was rekindled by art.
I learned that I love to draw, especially Vaquitas.
I began illustrating my book.
And then, on one fateful March morning,
I received a comment.
It was from William Whittenbury.
He told me all about his club,
The Muskwa Club.
My life changed dramatically on that day.
Together, we have accomplished so much.
Videos, tables, my book’s publishing,
and National Save the Vaquita Day.
This event coincided with the Official Norm law,
and this summer was one of utter awesomeness for the Vaquita,
and me.
I am learning the ways of a businessman, conservationist, and artist.
Or some combination of the three…
Muskwa and I may be getting some pretty crazy ideas,
but hey, they are working.

And there has never been a more exciting time in the world of the Vaquita.

Guilt

Alright.

I want you to go deep into your memory.

Back to when you were a kid.

When the world was simpler,

Yet more wondrous.

Now travel to the worst memory of your life.

Maybe the day you broke your leg and ruined your summer.

Or maybe someone died.

Like a friend.

Or a family member.

Someone you loved.

Think about all the tears and the pain.

How their loss changed your life.

How dearly you missed them.

How you wish you go back in time and be with them.

How you hoped it wasn’t real.

The Vaquita is a family member.

A brother.

A sister.

A father.

A mother.

Except this family member,

You can save.

If the Vaquita goes extinct,

You may not even know.

You could find out years later.

How guilty would you feel?

Did you ever feel so guilty,

Because you knew that something was your fault,

But someone else was punished.

Minorly or majorly.

Extinction is not minor.

Extinction means ‘to extinguish.’

Forever.

In a way,

Losing the Vaquita is worse than losing a loved one.

Because we completely control the fate of the Vaquita.

We are holding the entire species in our hands.

Like a fragile egg.

We can manipulate its success.

Not individually,

But as a group,

A whole,

We can save the Vaquita.

Because if we don’t,

The guilt will be overwhelming.

The present

The present is an important time.

By now, the present is in the past.

And there is nothing you can change about the past.

However, the only time you can change the future

Is right now.

Why?

You might ask, “Why do I help the Vaquita?”

And my answer is, “Why wouldn’t I?”

I cannot force myself to think of a world without Vaquita.

They have helped shape much of my young life, from the early online research to now.

They have inspired me to do things I never thought were possible—or had the courage to do.

They have given me the confidence to stand up and make a difference in this dying world.

They have presented me with endless ideas for poems, books, and artwork.

They have saved me with the knowledge that I am saving them, and they still have a chance.

The Vaquita has given me so much, and now it is my turn to give back to them.

I know the day the Vaquita dies will make me want to do the same.

It is this fear of loss that has pushed me for years to make a change.

And you may ask, “Why save the Vaquita?”

And my answer will always be, “Why not?”

Like a web

Like a web,

the net

devoured my soul.

With invisible hands,

the net

gouged my body.

Like a whirlpool,

the net

sucked me in;

stabbing me with knives,

wrapping me up.

I rolled to escape

the net,

but it was no use.

The net

tightened,

suffocating me.

The net

stopped my heart.

She was beautiful

Sun made its way

to her back,

Casting a morphing shadow

on the powdery sand.

Bubbles slipped out of her lungs,

dancing to the swirling surface.

She rose up

toward the beckoning sun.

Her blowhole inhaled

the salty air,

Refilling her lungs

like a balloon.

She noticed a ship

in the distance.

Binoculars and cameras faced her,

flashing.

She floated in glory,

admired by the many people.

She was beautiful.

Lifeless

The boat rocked with every rolling current

As I slowly fed my net into the swirling aqua sea.

I watched as the floats drifted off,

Knowing the next time I would touch them,

I would be hauling hundreds of shrimp onto this deck.

I leaned against the cabin window,

Arms crossed.

I thought of my beautiful family:

My wife and son.

This was for them.

A large mob of gulls swarmed around the boat:

There must have been something in the water.

Spitting tobacco overboard, I began to pull in the net.

Inch by inch,

Foot by foot.

It was too late.

She was already gone.

A dead Vaquita lay mangled in the mesh,

Lifeless and dripping in blood from the lacerations.

I sat down on the deck and began to cry.

Bears, fish, and a porpoise

In bamboo forests Pandas dwell.

They’re shy and hidden, but we know them well.

Anglerfish live undersea in glory.

They’re rarely seen, but strangely, same story.

Why don’t people know about the Vaquita?

Because few of us have gotten to meet ‘er.

The fact is, though, we’ll never get to see one

Unless we immediately start to save ‘em.

Let’s not wait another night:

Click the link to Cetos, on the right.→

Ghost

A vision, a ghost.

The Vaquita is hidden,

Never to be found.

Or is that silver fog that

Frequents the water’s surface

A lone Vaquita?

Surely it cannot be so.

For years ago we

Wiped the species from the Earth.

But now it is too late. Or is it?