What We Put in the Sea, It Puts Back In Us

We cannot teach the birds to eat tofu.

The oceans are filling up with plastic. And because we can never divorce ourselves from the sea, so also are our bodies.

I am reminded starkly of this fact riding the ferries in Istanbul, where the sea is a constant part of life, a source of food, a mode of transportation, the historic entrance to an ancient city.

People catch fish and mussels, tossing scraps to multitudes of diving birds, and then sell their yields to end up on dinner plates throughout the city.


The fish are delicious, but just like fish throughout the world, what we put in the sea ends up in them, and then it ends up in us.

Plastic is an intricate part of our lives, contributing to our comfort and sometimes our safety. But we use, and discard, too much. It is even part of our clothing, sloughing off in microfibers into our water supply with every wash.

We owe it to ourselves to exercise caution, to find a better way. Because maybe the vegetarians among us can avoid the worst of it, but we cannot teach the birds to eat tofu.

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