A letter from our Founder
David B. Casselman: Circle of Giving Commitment
My name is David. Let me tell you a story:
When I was a boy, honesty was a policy. Trees and wild places were within twenty minutes of anywhere we went. Civility was the norm, and weather was beautiful and predictable. But, by November of 2020, when I retired from my life as a trial lawyer, I knew my generation had failed to protect those values and the planet. I realized things had to change. So, I decided to be that change. But hopefully not alone.
So, while honesty and civility remain my policy, I realized I could do much more. And with those goals in mind, I decided to dedicate the majority of my future and a good portion of my life’s earnings to saving animals and the planet. I chose animals many years ago, because they have no voice, and no control over their fate. We are killing them. It is not right. We need to be the change we want to see.
I often think about what I call the Starfish Story, because it reminds me when faced with a daunting challenge, like saving our seriously endangered animals, it seems impossible. But, as they say, every journey of a thousand miles, began with a single step. The Starfish Story goes like this:
One day a man was walking along the beach on a bright sunny day at low tide and noticed a young boy picking up starfish and gently throwing them back into the ocean. Approaching him, the man asked, “What are you doing son?” He replied “I’m saving starfish. They are drying up here on the rocks and sand.”
The man said, “Look down the beach. There are millions of them. You can’t make a difference!”
After listening politely, the little boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and gently tossed it back into the surf. Then, he turned back to the man and said with a smile:
“It made a difference to that one.”
This has become my daily mantra. Save one starfish at a time. Just think what would happen if billions of people around the world took one small step to save an animal or protect our planet every day.
This kind of change has long been my dream. But, underneath that dream, is my belief that those fortunate enough to secure any measurable wealth should find a way of paying it forward, or giving back if you prefer. We are the problem. We have destroyed ecosystems around the world. We need to do better. Much better!
Accepting this responsibility, I have consciously embarked on a Circle of Giving Commitment. We all need to accept the reality of our situation and do what is necessary. I believe that our worth is ultimately defined not by our accumulated wealth, but rather how we use the opportunities we have to help others.
Over many years, I have come to realize that some of my greatest satisfaction has been derived from small, and now increasingly significant efforts to make our world a better place. During these last years of global lockdown, I have sensed a heightened recognition of the urgency around the mounting challenges confronting our animals, and indeed our own survival, as we continue to degrade the planet. So, I decided to throw even greater energy into my giving efforts.
In truth, I want to save elephants… which are in great peril around the world. I want to restore our oceans to the point they can heal themselves. In so doing, I hope to save whales and dolphins…and gorillas and so many other endangered species, large and small. Despite many years working with inspiring individuals and organizations, I am constantly dismayed by how little I feel I have done and how much more we have to do. We created this problem. We owe it to the earth and its amazing animals to change our current trajectory; and in so doing, perhaps give humanity a chance to survive.
My current focus is to reach as many like-minded people as possible. Toward that end, I founded Ecoflix, the first not-for-profit global streaming video channel dedicated to helping animals and the planet. With an amazing team of like-minded people, we intend to use every means and technology at our disposal, together with all of the resources we can muster. Our goal is to inspire people around the world to come together to turn things around. We need global effort to stop the destruction which now seems inevitable.
To achieve this herculean task, we need to change hearts and minds… everywhere. If we can agree on anything, surely we can all agree we need to protect nature, halt the destruction of wild areas, and prevent the needless suffering and extinction of so many animals and species across the world… if only to give humanity a chance. Mars is not our salvation.
Earth is our home. We need to protect it… now!
At this difficult time, with disease and destruction literally everywhere, I call upon the greatest minds of our time to join me. Together we must become one united voice for the voiceless. While I and many others support wildlife causes, charitable organizations, conservation sanctuaries, and social non-profits, it is not enough. We need to reach our friends, peers, family members and their friends and family.
We need to form a line of humanity reaching around the world many times. She needs us now!
Everyone can make a difference, every day. We need to act together, literally, to save the world!
This is my Circle of Giving Commitment. Please join me.