Excerpt from Think Like an Ocean by Andi McDaniel (used in A World of Health: People, Place and Planet)

Lately, millions of well-intentioned shoppers have begun to connect the food they buy with the land from which it comes. They read the fine print on their vegetables, meat, and dairy to assure themselves that their purchase will benefit the iconic farmer, cow, and beautiful pasture featured on the label. What could feel more wholesome than helping out these friendly, familiar characters, so central to our concept of America?

It’s harder to identify with tuna.

And yet, mysterious though they may be, our oceans sustain us. As renowned marine biologist Sylvia Earle says, “Without the ocean, life on earth would simply not be possible. Should we care about the ocean? Do we care about living?” All told, the health of the oceans affects our livelihood as much as our farms and forests do. The connection just isn’t as apparent.

  1. Do you agree with McDaniel’s assessment that “It’s harder to identify with tuna?”  Explain.
  2. To what extent are you aware of the issues plaguing the health of oceans?  Is your environmentalism more “land-oriented” as McDaniel suggests?
  3. What actions can we take to reflect an understanding of the connection between the health of the oceans and our livelihood?
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