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We’re killing whales…

This story has bothered me for several months now.

Every time I think about taking a pass on my walk, I think about this unfortunate sperm whale. And the unfortunate whales that came before it. It prods me to put on my shoes, grab a bag and head out the door.

It didn't take long to find out what killed this whale - and other whales before it. We are the culprits.

It didn’t take long to find out what killed this whale – and other whales before it. We are the culprits. We are the killers.

The dead whale washed up in Spain. A necropsy found about 40 pounds of plastic in its gut. The man-made plastic sheeting and other floatable plastics had blocked its intestines, killing it in what had to be an excruciatingly painful, wretched death.

I don’t know if any of the plastic originated from my Sharon View to Colony to Fairview Road to Sharon Road loop in south Charlotte. But drainage from the watershed here leads inexplicably to the Atlantic. Plastic floats and if unchecked, can ultimately find its way to the sea.

And it’s not just whales that are victimized: sea turtles, birds and fish all are misled by this plastic smorgasbord.

To be honest, I had second thoughts about venturing out on Christmas morning. But every piece that ends up in my hands won't end up in the stomach of another creature.

To be honest, I had second thoughts about venturing out on Christmas morning. But every piece that ends up in my hands won’t end up in the stomach of another creature.

So it’s about 8:30 on Christmas morning. My walk in the 21F temperatures is done. The Harris Teeter bag is full of the things that could take the life of the earth’s largest remaining creatures. As I picked up what idiots tossed away, I thought again about these whales.

About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I was a writer by trade so one would think letters would come easily for me. It is so now, but wasn't always that way. Indeed, the first letter was written the Monday after Ellen started her freshman year in college. For years I've wondered - with no good answers - why I swiveled my office chair toward my computer screen to fire up a word processing document for that first letter. I just don't know. I just did. Perhaps it was the angst of separation or wanting to say things that had gone unsaid at that moment when we parted ways in front of her college dormitory. What was a one-off became habitual. When her brother Reid enrolled in the same college, his name was added to the salutation line. They were kids then and are adults now. No matter. The letter writing habit remains so today. I live in Brevard, North Carolina. I'm well away from where they live and don't see them nearly as often as I'd like. That's why letters, at least to me, fill the void of distance. The pages give me something to say and the space to say it. There is no assurance they read the letters; indeed, I have never asked if they do so. With the pace of their busy lives who could blame them for letting a letter sit unopened? Over time, it has dawned on me that the letters are both communicative - and cathartic. By nature, letters are about the writer; the writer can only write about their situation. Perhaps that is as it should be. It's all about the here and now from one person's perspective.

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