We thought we'd like to offer a new way to connect with everyone, to share some of our thoughts and to let you all know some of the cool and fun (or sometimes kind of lame but still fun) things that we're up to, places we've visited, and so on. So this is our new blog called "Giraffe Tails". Hopefully it'll provide some insights into who we are and what the whole shirt thing is about. We welcome your comments in response to any of the blog posts as well. Responses will be moderated before publishing, though, and we ask that you please be respectful so we can include your comments on the site. Enjoy!
When we started The Angry Giraffe Shirt Co, we were quite clear that this was merely a fun endeavor, that we were not animal activists or conservationists, and there wasn’t any noble underlying agenda associated with our company. Yes, we supported the Giraffe Conservation Foundation’s efforts to improve the plight of the giraffe. That came about quite by accident as we were researching “giraffe” in the early stages of the company. We actually had no idea that giraffes were in trouble, that the population had been reduced by more than 40,000 individuals – nearly 30% overall – in a span of only 30 years, and we felt that supporting the GCF tied in nicely with who we were (still not conservationists, though!). We adopted a young Namibian giraffe named “Dobby” and we pay a monthly fee to the GCF to help out. However, our main goal remained to simply make fun drawings on shirts, sell them, play guitar, ride motorcycles, have a beer and come up with new designs for shirts.
That is still our goal, in part. However, despite our best efforts to remain aloof and blissfully ignorant of the challenges our planet faces, we have found it impossible to do so. We’ve all heard about rising ocean temperatures, melting polar ice caps, extreme weather patterns, the loss of wildlife habitat, blah blah blah. This has been in the news for years, as have the debates about whether global warming is even a thing, and whether humans are actually responsible for climate change (doesn’t this just happen on a cyclical basis anyway?). Recently, however, a few things have really opened our eyes and driven home just how dire the situation on Earth really is. The first was a documentary series on Netflix called “Our Planet”, narrated by the venerable British nature historian and documentarian David Attenborough. And yes, it’s slightly embarrassing to acknowledge that some of our most important education in recent years has come from Netflix, but so be it. This was not simply another show about flora and fauna; this was a very stark depiction of the impact of humanity on the rest of the planet, of how countless animal species are threatened on orders of magnitude that were simply staggering. To see and hear about the loss of wildlife habitat on such enormous scales and at such a rapid pace in merely the last 10-plus years was jarring. Of course we knew this was happening, but we had no idea to what extent and how quickly it was occurring, nor did we realize the imminent danger that so many species faced. We’re not talking 100 years from now, not 50 years or in some cases even 10, and we’re not talking 10-20 different animals/organisms. This is on a scale far beyond what we expected, and it’s all happening right now.
The next revelation followed shortly thereafter with the release of the 2019 United Nations Global Environmental Outlook. If we werecompletely aware of how much trouble our planet was in after watching Netflix, this sealed it. The world’s scientists basically threw down the gauntlet when they released this latest report on the state of the planet, saying essentially that we’re killing everything, in some cases very quickly, and if we don’t do something to fix things RIGHT NOW, the damage will be irreparable. Consider that almost “1 million species, including 40% of all amphibians, 33% of corals, and 10% of all insects, are now at risk of extinction. Species of all kinds – mammals, birds, amphibians, insects, plants, marine life and terrestrial life – are disappearing at a rate tens to hundreds of times higher than the average over the last 10 million years due to human activity.” (https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2019/5/7/18531171/1-million-species-extinction-ipbes-un-biodiversity-crisis) That’s mind-boggling, it’s shameful and it’s terrifying because nothing happens in a vacuum; for the loss of every individual species, there is a butterfly effect of changes, each of which can create its own cascade of circumstances that can have their own devastating effects on our world and remaining species.
So what can we do? There are countless changes we can make: reduce waste; change what we eat (and yes we're still going to eat meat, but maybe not as much as we seek out alternatives); stop buying so much stuff and living excessively; lobby our government to get tough on environmental issues; etc. But the very first thing we can do is to inform and educate. We are all part of the problem, even if our individual contributions are but a drop in the bucket when compared to that of large corporations and certain other countries, and simply being aware of this is a huge first step toward saving what’s left of our planet. And that is the reason for this lengthy initial blog entry – to create awareness, to accept responsibility and to think of what we can do to help rather than to continue ignoring a problem that’s existed for far too long (and it’s always been our problem, not someone else’s, and now it’s REALLY our problem!).