During a recent convention, we attended a showing of a documentary called "Racing Extinction" at the Hawaii Theater in Chinatown. The film highlighted the rapid loss of natural resources that humans are inflicting on the world. Not just in urban areas, but also in rural nations. The film took a serious look at the problems of Manta Ray fishing, the illegal shark fin trade, extinction of Hawaiian birds and frogs, methane overproduction, and more in a scientific and visual way that allowed us to understand our impact. However, it also showed us how humans are not only the disease (eradicating natural resources) but we can also be the cure. The movie shows how education and changing the culture to shift the economy to ecotourism instead of hunting of creatures such as whale sharks, It showed how simple awareness and changing every day habits (like eating one vegetarian meal a week) can create a huge amount of change in the demand for beef and resulting methane impact on the ozone layer. Although there certainly was bias, it was eye opening and a call to action for everyone who attended. As a veterinarian, I am always in the midst of animal issues, but I had not thought of things in the way the film presented them before. At the showing in Chinatown, we were surprised how few people were in attendance, so we decided to have a small screening of our own for members of The Arch Project.
One of our Founding members Christy Park, gave us access to a small theater at the Pacifica in Honolulu. 35 members of our organization attended this screening, and we provided donation based popcorn and drinks to fundraise for upcoming events. It was also the first time we put our shirts out there to get some feedback on the design and fit. We met some new faces and we were glad everyone came!