Live. Well. Green.

Episode 82: Your eco-grief is nothing to be ashamed of

April 26, 2023 Kristina Hunter Episode 82
Live. Well. Green.
Episode 82: Your eco-grief is nothing to be ashamed of
Show Notes

There were certain environmental issues that I could barely talk about in my classes. Topics like animal suffering were simply too difficult for me to cover. I remember showing a video in class almost 25 years ago now of emaciated whales who were starving due to human over-fishing.

I sat in that darkened classroom with tears rolling down my face. Yes, these emotions made me want to focus on solutions, but they also made me feel ashamed of my reaction. After all, I was the professional, and the university lecturer educating my students on these topics from a scientific perspective.

Years later, I became more deeply interested in inter-species connections and stories of biological reciprocity as well as our own emotional connection to nature. One such story comes to mind of the Canadian nature photographer and marine biologist, Paul Nicklen, also founder of the SeaLegacy charity. Paul was in Antarctica to photograph the Leopard Seal.

These are top predators in the ecosystem, coming in at up to 3.4m in length and 600kg (1,300 lbs). Their heads are about twice the size of a grizzly bear with enormous teeth. Paul’s account of interacting with a large female Leopard seal is riveting, and a prime example of biological reciprocity across species.

In fact, the internet is full of examples of inter-species empathy and friendships! Is it really any wonder that we have these social connections when our very biology is linked? So as we have a deeper understanding of the connections between us and the natural world, here is what to do with those emotions of shame that you might have.

First, understand that they are completely natural, there are examples of inter-species empathy all around us. Then realize, that the fact that we are not alone, but rather interconnected with all of life can make us feel hopeful. This hope then can lead us to take action and make the world better for the many varied beings of our planet.

If you are interested in exploring these issues further, head on over to my website,

While you are there, sign up for the Flourishing Fridays newsletter. It is your weekly guide to Sustainable Wellbeing and effective environmental action.

If you are a professional woman and are deeply concerned about climate change and the state of the world that we are leaving to future generations and want some guidance on the best steps to take. I would LOVE to connect with you, just book a call here.

Paul Nicklen, Nature Photographer and Marine Biologist