THE REAL Villains

Spielberg’s blockbuster movie JAWS singlehandedly etched a false reputation and devastating fate for sharks. Subsequent movies like THE SHALLOWS and THE MEG continue to cement the notion that sharks are aggressive, malicious, and vindictive creatures that pose a real threat to humans. This erroneous narrative is beyond irresponsible, with grave consequences.

 .  .  .

These films, along with sensational wildlife shows like Shark Week on reputable channels such as National Geographic and Discovery, continue to perpetuate harmful narratives through lies and editing techniques. They are responsible for instilling deep-rooted fears within us, which become near impossible to rectify despite providing a litany of facts.

It is much easier to continue fearing sharks than to take the time to learn and understand them, especially given their portrayal as easy villains due to their appearance. However, the reality is that sharks only attack humans when they are confused or curious. Instances where humans splash in the ocean can lead to sharks investigating, resulting in leg nibbles and accidental attacks. These incidents are always sensationalized by media outlets worldwide, further compounding our unfounded fears.

SHARKS. FACTS. PERIOD.

1

SHARK FOOD.

Sharks DON’T eat humans; humans eat sharks. Sharks feed on fish, seals, sea lions and other marine mammals. Humans are not calorie-dense enough, and our bony structure is counterproductive to their slow digestive system.

2

PRESTIGE AND STATUS.

Humans kill sharks as trophies. We also kill them for their meat, internal organs and skin to make products like shark fin soup, lubricants and leather. Shark cartilage and oils are also found in cosmetics (often called squalene) and nutrition supplements.

Shark fin soup is eaten as a status symbol. And most certainly served at weddings in Hong Kong, Taiwan and China, to make a prestigious statement of “look how rich I am and what I can afford.” Shark fin soup is also used as an aphrodisiac and treatment for aging. 

3

SHARK FINNING.

Shark finning is a practice where fishermen haul sharks from the ocean, slice off their fins, and throw them back in the ocean. Alive, wounded and immobilized, they are left to die an agonizingly slow and cruel death.

This is the equivalent of someone cutting off your arms and legs. And your child’s arms and legs. Then leaving you in the middle of the jungle or desert to be attacked and eaten or eventually die of hunger.

Shawn Heinrichs and Paul Hilton discover gruesome realities while undercover for the documentary film Racing Extinction.

4

EASY VILLAINS.

Every story has a hero and a villain. It’s the winning recipe we’ve concocted that lends to views, clicks and likes. Rinse and repeat. 

Sharks, by the very nature of their size and appearance, make for the perfect villains in our story lines. They fit the bill, perfectly! Add a few lies in there, heart-pounding horror music and give it the Real Housewives reality show treatment. And Boom! Ratings. Reviews. And Money. Why in our “right” minds would we deviate from this winning formula?

5

STAY CALM. AND CARRY ON.

People tend to fight for what they love. People love dolphins, manta rays, elephants, giraffes, polar bears and penguins.

Sharks have been portrayed as deadly, to be feared, and vindictive killing machines. As a result, most people don’t care of lack sympathy for sharks. Thus, there’s less of a public outcry to protect these beautiful creatures. This deadly perception and lack of connection makes it easier for the shark industry to continue with their barbaric and murderous practices.  

6

NUMBERS AND PROBABILITY.

One person is killed each year in the U.S. and about 6 people worldwide from sharks. Humans kill 100 million sharks every year! That’s 11,415 sharks every bloody hour, no pun intended!!!

We are more likely to die from an asteroid or lightning than from sharks. Annually, 150 people die from falling coconuts, and 17.7 million from heart disease and stroke.

7

ENDANGERED TO EXTINCTION.

The rate at which we are killing and murdering sharks is unsustainable. Sharks are especially vulnerable to overfishing as they are slow to reach sexual maturity, and therefore, reproduce less often. They also give birth to fewer sharks.

Sharks are endangered. On the other hand, human population continues to grow exponentially. We are 7.7 billion people on the planet. More people. More consumption. More destruction.  

Sharks are magnificent, intelligent and beautiful creatures. They are gentle and ever so graceful. 

Humans are the real predators on this planet. We encroach on wildlife habitat and threaten their existence. Then, we have the audacity to claim that WE are the victims and make wildlife creatures the villains!!! Our self-serving interests know no bounds!

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Shawn Heinrichs and Mermaid Hannah Fraser

WHY SHOULD WE CARE?

Because our existence depends on the survival of sharks. The irony!

Sharks play a vital role in maintaining healthy ecosystems. We are killing them at an egregiously sinister pace, and they cannot reproduce fast enough. Combine this fact with the devastating effects of ocean acidification and climate change; we are racing sharks to extinction while championing the collapse of our oceans.

Wondering what would happen if there were no sharks? Watch here.

The planet does not need another you or me. The planet needs more trees and wildlife.

APATHY OR ACTION?

1. Watch the documentary film — Racing Extinction and Seaspiracy
2. Watch Ocean Ramsay diving with sharks and sharing their truth.  
3. Book by Ocean Ramsay and Juan Oliphant —  What You Should Know About Sharks
4. Become an Armchair Warrior — Sign petitions with Sea Legacy and Only One 
5. Use and support animal friendly cosmetic brands. Crunchi, best performance and non-toxic makeup
6. Reduce your footprint — Buy less. Watch Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things
7. Avoid plastic. Reuse as much as possible.
8. Dive with sharks and experience the beauty of another world. 
9. Share and discuss sharks with your friends and family. 
10.Have Sex. Not Kids.   

Published: August 27, 2018

Twizted Myrtle is sustained by readers like you. As a solo creator, crafting each piece demands significant time, money and resources. Your ongoing support, big or small, makes a real difference. If the content here enriches your life in any way, please consider becoming an ally as a  sustaining patron.

Twizted Myrtle is sustained by readers like you. As a solo creator, crafting each piece demands significant time, money and resources. Your ongoing support, big or small, makes a real difference. If the content here enriches your life in any way, please consider becoming an ally as a  sustaining patron.

Yada Yada Yada.

Dangerous Liaisons


WARNING — Newsletter content may cause discomfort. Overdose will result in head explosion. If symptoms occur, there’s no turning back.

From Global Roots to Unearthed Truths

Asha was born in India, raised in Oman, and lived in London before settling in the U.S. Her multi-continent, multi-cultural, global experience was a clear predecessor that fed her insatiable curiosity – and the inspiration for her defining Twizted voice.

As a rare breed, she’s truly mastered the art of metamorphosis in body, mind and soul. In her first adult incarnation she graduated Magna Cum Laude from ASU and pursued a vibrant career in the hospitality industry. Then, she grew new wings. Ever intrepid and intrigued by the unknown, she launched and helped grow a thriving e-Commerce technology company with her business partner, proving herself as an entrepreneur and demonstrating both the skills and resolve required of a woman intent on succeeding in a male-dominated industry.

In 2014, she boldly stepped into uncharted territories again, starting a new venture, Twizted Myrtle, in pursuit of her undeniable thirst to confront and create consequential social change. Few understood why she would leave behind a burgeoning e-Commerce business that served marquee clients like Amazon, Samsonite, Viacom, Pokémon, Red Bull, Taylor Swift and other household names – all during the pinnacle of a successful career.

The impetus for leaving the traditional business world for a less conventional path was intensely personal; a deafening voice and inimitable force inside her told Asha that she needed to contribute to the world in a very personal and life-changing way. Asha found herself in the throes of depression and new depths of loneliness. She was acutely aware her “success” was empty. Like many, she had lost her soul in the daily grind of chasing unhappiness.

Ironically, during this time, her depression revealed spiritual clarity; it connected her to the struggles of others who face the same suffocating walls of relenting darkness. Photography became a sacred respite that unleashed a strident voice; like a caged tiger set free, she could never again return to the confined existence dictated by society.

Twizted Myrtle became the multi-pronged platform to confront social issues that we’ve been plagued with for centuries. To break free from these vicious circles, she challenges what we accept, without question, as “wisdom,” and our conventional way of thinking through artistic means – provocative writings, thought-jarring podcasts and captivating photography.

Bringing a refreshing curiosity with the unique empathy of a true global citizen, she speaks with an open mind and unfiltered honesty on a host of issues where most would fear to tread. Her work compels us to see and think differently to help unlock our mindsets from self-imposed limitations. In doing so, she seeks to help people break free from the invisible chains that enslave us as oblivious prisoners. 

Lion cub plays with careless freedom while under the watchful presence of parents in the Masai Mara.

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