Fixing Humans, Saving Manatees | Teen Ink

Fixing Humans, Saving Manatees

October 16, 2009
By Kelly Caputo BRONZE, East Setauket, New York
Kelly Caputo BRONZE, East Setauket, New York
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

The human race has its faults, but following fads is one of the worst. Easily brainwashed by the media, people would rather support causes deemed ‘worthwhile’ by their favorite celebrities than find something meaningful to donate their time to that they could, perhaps, find themselves passionate about. Africa seems to be the latest fashion statement, and a special thanks should be given to the charity-guru himself, Bono, who started it. After that, everybody followed suit. Some went to Africa and came back with haunting pleas for donations, some came back with babies.

That’s why so many great causes fly under the radar, not getting anywhere near the help that’s needed. If it won’t make them something to talk about, people won’t support great causes. Among these is Save the Manatees, an organization I have been passionately involved with for years now, having adopted a 29 year old manatee named Lucille. Manatees face extinction everyday, and this organization allows environmentally concerned people to adopt manatees, donating money to lobbying for protection for the great species. Listed as endangered, these water-inhabiting mammals known as “Sea cows” face great risks, particularly in the waters of Florida where boaters pay them no regard. They frequently meet their deaths in the underwater Hell that boaters have created, using their litter and their disregarding tactics. Many try to navigate the blue seas, only to meet their untimely end at the hands of, not God, but a man-made propeller.

Yes, it could be argued that donating time or money to this organization would be following another celebrity- it was founded by the man of Margaritaville himself, Jimmy Buffet. But this organization was founded before the rush of online blogs and trashy tabloids skyrocketing taboo-charity movements to fame, protecting it from the negative connotations of the glitz and glamour of celebrities. It doesn’t seek fame or glory, it seeks protection and refuge for a great, helpless species that has done nothing to deserve imminent extinction, joining the ranks of the dodo or the mammoth.

Maybe you won’t get a funky tribal-colored braided bracelet for joining, or maybe you won’t get a tee shirt designed by a celebrity. But you will get the satisfaction of knowing you’re making a difference for a species that can’t, a species drastically reduced by humans, as 41% of their deaths are caused by humans. Even if you choose not to support this cause, when choosing a place to donate your time, money, or heart don’t just follow what your favorite celebrity is doing. Sure, Angelina may have a baby from Africa today, but will you follow suit as she snags one from Asia next? Find a cause you’re passionate about, and that’s when donating to a cause is really something that you can feel good about.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Jan. 22 2015 at 9:48 pm
Amanda Tonks BRONZE, Draper, Utah
1 article 5 photos 8 comments
This article made me smile. Partially because my nick name at home is Mandatee and also because the opening of this essay was strong. It may be a good idea to bring more of the beginning back into your closing but not do it with hypotheticals because it can come off as demeaning. I love your writing style and how you use facts to support your point! Referencing celebrities and well known societal trends gives you instant pathos and I'm glad that you're so passionate about this.