Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Finding happiness

Do you also feel sometimes that happiness is hopelessly overrated? 'All I want is to be happy', nothing else matters. And so we search and try and take all sorts of desperate measures (like jumping out of planes and getting married) to somehow trap happiness and call it forever ours. Just as looking for true love, the search for happiness becomes like the search for the holy grail. Yet truth is: It doesn't exist. There are happy moments, but constant happiness is merely a Hollywood illusion.

The problem is that the feeling of happiness is a powerful drug and hence it is highly addictive. Again, it's the same with romance: Once you've experienced being in love you want more of it! Once you've felt overwhelmingly happy you end up chasing this feeling as if it was the air you need to stay alive. Human obsession.

I'm tempted now to write an ode to sadness and melancholy but...maybe another time. Instead, I'll ask you a simple question: What makes you happy? Because if you know what you're looking for the chances are much higher of actually finding it...

Over the last 6 weeks I've asked the same question to lots of different people and filmed their answers. The result is a little video which I'm using to promote the re-release of the English ebook of THE LITTLE BUDDHA – more information @

Here's the video. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Enjoy the ride

Remember happiness is a way of travel, not a destination. (Roy Goodman)

Blablabla... Sometimes I hate all these stupid quotes! They can sound so real and promising when you read them but reality is often a totally different story.

November in Cologne, Germany. I want to visit a friend in Barcelona and am checking out my travel options. Number 1: taking a two hour flight with a crappy Irish airline – cheap, but I will probably get annoyed about being treated like shit and giving money to a company whose business model I don't agree with. Number 2: jumping on a train and spending much more cash and especially more time than I would if I was flying. Option number 3: hitch-hiking. But in winter? Em, no thanks.
To change the habit I decide on taking the train. Seems like a good idea – in times of climate change and with the fast-paced life all around us it's nice to slow down a bit and use a slightly more sustainable form of transport.

At 4 o'clock on a Monday afternoon I leave home and head for the station. It's cold and wet, my back is hurting and I am tired – the perfect conditions to embark on a 16-hour long trip! Desperately I'm trying to remember why I didn't buy a plane ticket...
The first part of the journey takes me with up to 300km/h via Brussels to Paris. Pretty straight forward. However, what I'm not looking forward to is the fact that I have to change stations in the French capital. Good timing too – I'm set to arrive for the evening rush hour which means a hopelessly overcrowded Metro is waiting for me. And there's potential for even more stress: All that it takes is that my train gets in late and I'd miss my connection in the other station. 'Stay positive', I try to convince myself.
To my surprise the positive thinking works for once: the train arrives on time at Gare du nord and the Metro is pleasantly empty. In my wagon there's just me, two handfuls of other passengers and a colourful Dude singing a folky version of 'Don't worry be happy'. Nice!

Thirty minutes later I'm in Gare d'Austerlitz, with over an hour to spare. I walk around the station which is again much quieter than I've anticipated. Who said travelling in big cities has to be stressful? After indulging in a fresh croissant I decide to have a little walk outside. Leaving the entrance hall I cross the road and find myself right on the banks of the Seine. It's 9.15pm, full moon has just risen and the river is flowing by peacefully in front of my eyes. I call my sister and report happily, “I'm in Paris!”
Soon after I go back into the station building and make my way towards the platform where I encounter the next surprise: a piano! Yes, that's right – next to where my train is waiting there's a piano and a young guy is playing classical music. On top of the piano a sign reads: “This piano is for everyone – please use it!” Wow... In most places across Europe music in public is increasingly getting banned; here it's being promoted – instead of impatient moods, art is shared!

At 10pm I get on the train, feeling uplifted by the brief yet beautiful experience in the city of love. I squeeze through the very narrow corridor and am wondering how often it happens that some overweight person gets stuck in the aisle. Maybe they don't want fat people to take trains...? Anyway, I head for my cabin where I find my travel companions for the night: a Japanese traveller who doesn't say a single word; a really nice guy from Ecuador, a musician and a writer who has come to Europe to find inspiration for his first novel; and Miguel from Argentina who, as it turns out, is the ex-guitarist of The Gypsy Kings. While Mr Japan keeps hiding on his bottom bed the three of us spend several hours making music and exchanging philosophies about life. Train travelling at its best!

Arriving in Barcelona the next morning I'm feeling melancholic because my journey has come to an end already. Instead of an ordeal it has turned into a wonderfully enriching experience. And you know what? I doubt that a fast plane trip would have provided similar pleasure. It almost seems that you have to travel slowly to really get something joyful out of it, to allow for special things to simply happen.

I guess Mr Goodman was right after all: Who cares about the destination when all the fun is happening along the way?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

In search of inspiration

John Lennon, Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King, Charlie Chaplin, Hermann Hesse, Nelson Mandela, Buddha – apart from being men, they all have three things in common:

        1) They inspire us
        2) They are famous
        3) They are dead

Of those alive today, who is inspiring us? Who is wise and brave enough to speak the truth? Surely not the famous – Barack Obama? The Pope? Justin Bieber? It's so sad, it's almost funny.

Anyone who is trying to find true role models with a heartbeat is facing really hard times. Of course there are some left but usually they are unknown heroes – they don't make the headlines and don't appear on TV shows or book covers. So I guess we just need to look for them in other places...

I'm lucky, I've found one. He lives just down the road from me – a simple guy with a bunch of priceless messages. Have a look for yourself, I've done a little documentary about him:

Monday, September 22, 2014

Ten times happiness

It's Monday, late September – another weekend gone, another summer too. I feel tired, slightly melancholic and kind of bored. The news is filled with wars and greed and the new iphone 6 and somehow it just all seems to go round in circles, spiralling downwards.
Last month I wrote a blog about peace and when I checked the statistics page earlier on, I saw that it got less than a third of the usual hits. In fact, it was the least popular article since I've started blogging 4 years ago. Makes me wonder: Are people not really interested in peace?

So maybe I should talk a bit more about all the misery going on around us. Let's see... There are the children in the Middle East who are trying to walk through life without legs. There are millions of modern-day slaves wasting their precious time producing cheap clothes, one-way headphones and plastic toys no-one needs; billions of animals are locked away in dark factories to feed fat people and old habits; despite leading richer and more comfortable lives than ever before, depression in the West is spreading far quicker than Ebola. Food is turning to poison, forests to deserts and oceans to seas of rubbish. There's Nestlé, Primark, Ikea, Monsanto and McDonalds. Corrupt politicians, selfish businessmen and hateful priests; ignorant consumers and heart-broken dreamers. Shall I continue?

I could, but I won't. After all it's Monday and I like Mondays. So to counteract the rising winter blues, here are 10 reasons why I feel grateful in this very moment:

  1. There's music – how amazing is music!
  2. And sunsets!
  3. I have a warm bed to sleep in tonight
  4. I'm able to go and buy organic food if I want to
  5. I share a house with good friends
  6. Autumn rain has arrived (check out the Pluviophile)
  7. I'm a Dad with a beautiful daughter
  8. When I look outside my window I see trees
  9. Each day, more people help to create a better world
  10. Possibilities are endless

In summary: Life on this planet sucks at times but being alive is truly wonderful!

PS: What about you? What are your 10 reasons to feel grateful and happy today?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Power to the peaceful

Name five songs about peace. Come on, do it. Now!
It’s not that easy, right? I’d say there are a hundred times more songs about violence, money and the wide spectrum of silly human drama. Makes you wonder – what does that say about the world we live in?

War has returned to the Middle East and images of flying rockets and bleeding children are once again daily reality. We find ourselves in a rollercoaster ride between anger, frustration and deep sadness. So much suffering – for what?

Meanwhile, the global community is having a fierce discussion about who is right or wrong. In the media and during coffee breaks there's talk about death and destruction, about fear, revenge and the price of gas. We blame, hate and lose track of anything good. We are infected by darkness!

For me, even more outrageous than the war itself is the lack of action from the UN. Send 10.000 peace troops in, tell everyone to shut up and sort it out. But no, nothing. It’s a complicated situation they say. And indeed, it’s complicated, but not for those muppets in diplomatic suits – it’s complicated for the family who saw their house burn down or for the little boy who had his legs blown off. What more needs to happen before the world says ENOUGH?

Just the other day Obama condemned the repeated attacks on a school and then, in the same sentence, he went on to say that of course the US will refill the munition depots of the Israelis. I do you acutally respond to this? Shall we give him a second Nobel peace prize?

While trying to understand both perspectives, I’ve always sympathized more with the Palestinians. So perhaps life wanted to tell me something when I bumped into four Israelis last week...
I’ve spent a couple of days with them – they are really nice people, we shared food, made music and enjoyed the heat of the Andalusian summer. Good times. We also talked about the situation in their homeland but not once did we speak about the political nightmare. It wasn’t about who might be right or wrong, it was a purely human perspective with a very clear conclusion: war sucks!

With one of them I had a longer conversation about how she copes with it all. The time in the army; the constant fear of being called up; bomb alarms; dead friends; despair. At some point I asked her if she still believes in peace. She shook her head – and she’s only 24... We were both too sad to even cry. Just imagine what that must feel like if you’ve witnessed at such a young age already so much physical and mental war that you've given up on peace.

My new friend told me that her mother is from Iran and her father from Irak. She was born only a few years after those two countries had stopped fighting each other. So I said to her that maybe in 50 years it will also be normal for an Israeli and a Palestinian to marry and be happy together.
She smiled and called me a dreamer. I smiled back and said that it’s a nice dream.

Let’s travel 900 years into the past, to the time of the crusades: Imagine you would have told a Christian that in the future his descendants might marry a Muslim – your head would have been chopped off instantly! Yet today, when a Muslim marries a Christian in Italy, Spain or Germany, it’s usually no big deal. Who would have thought...

              Yes, there’s hope.
              Cause it will change.
              One day.

We need peace. And the only chance we have to create it is by focusing on it. I’m not suggesting to ignore wars and injustice, but simply to spend more time cultivating peaceful thoughts and feelings. Whether it makes me sound like a Hippie or not, I don’t care – eventually, love will spread.

You say you’re not fighting a war? Well, you might not be in Gaza, but if you look inside, is there real peace?
Here’s a little story my Israeli friend told me: An uncle of hers was listening to a discussion between an Arab and an Israeli. The Israeli asked the Arab, “will you ever accept Israel as part of the Middle East?” Her uncle interfered and spoke to the Jew: “You should ask this question to yourself: Will YOU ever accept Israel being part of the Middle East?” Pretty deep stuff, but the bottom line is: first, sort out your own shit!

Peace won’t come from different polititians, from more wars, new neighbours or different laws – peace can only come from within.

So, back to the music: here’s a mix I made with songs that talk about peace. Just click on the cover, start listening and dare to dream... And then send out some Peace & Love to my four friends who will be back in Israel in a few weeks, and to all the others who want to live a life without bombs. 'Cause everyone deserves peace!

(Image from Michael Franti & Spearhead)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

It's just a game

I love football
Not the FIFA
All those overpaid players
Their exaggerated fame
Starving fans
The world has gone insane

Yes, joyful it was
7:1 against the host
Fascinating and surreal
Then the final victory
I admit: I screamed

My team has won
My country, my dear nation
My flag
My hymn
My heroes
All imagination

I’m not proud
Scared I am
Of any hypnotized crowd

Manmade maps
Dividing lines
It’s just a game
No need for crimes

My Argentian housemate and I.
Just before the final.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Organic food sucks!

I’m totally fed up seeing labels of natural products. Seriously! In most supermarkets you find organic apples, Bio yoghurt and fairtrade coffee. It has become a real hype and, quite frankly, it’s ridiculous.

Ok, maybe ‘ridiculous’ is the wrong word. I guess ‘sad’ is more appropriate. Let’s take one of my favourite vegetables as an example: Broccoli. So you go to the veg section of the supermarket of your choice and see a mountain of Broccoli heads piled up in front of you, all nicely wrapped in plastic. The sign says ‘Broccoli – 0.99’. Either directly next to it or a few metres away there’s another mountain, albeit much smaller, with a sign announcing ‘Organic Broccoli – 1.99’ (usually with a tiny footnote: ‘Natural produce’).

Now, what happens in the mind of the person doing the shopping? Very often it will be something like this: ‘Organic…hm, that’s the latest fashion, isn't it? And any fashion product is always expensive.’ It’s like buying an iphone, a Hollister shirt or one of those stupid nespresso machines – you don’t pay for a good product, but mainly spend your money on some fancy marketing campaign. Hence it’s better to buy the ‘normal’ broccoli.

However, when it comes to food, it’s not about fashion at all. There’s nothing cool about organic food, not even if you spell it organiK (no, I didn’t make this up – I’ve really seen it like this). 
The underlying problem of this whole dilemma, apart from the weirdly functioning human brain, is totally inappropriate and misleading labeling. Here’s what it should say on the two signs:

Broccoli – 1.99
Toxic Broccoli  0.99
And ideally there’d be also a (huge) footnote attached to the second choice: ‘Sprayed with pesticides and insecticides; grown with artificial fertilizer in a monculture – harming the soil and poisining your body!

I reckon some idiots would still go for the cheaper option (maybe to save up for the new iphone?), but most people wouldn’t think twice and would buy the non-toxic vegetable. Common sense, right? Some more examples:

Cheese – 3.99
Pseudo Cheese – 1.98 (made from milk that comes from cows who have never seen daylight and are pumped up with antibiotics on a daily basis)

Bread – 2.50
Lethal Bread – 1.09 (stripped of all healthy ingredients and with an extra amount of conservatives so that it will stay artificially fresh for at least 8 weeks)

Chocolate – 1.99
Slave Chocolate – 0.89 (guaranteed with cacao that was harvested by hungry, underpaid peasants in the third world)

The list could go on endlessly… I think all ‘normal’ food should be automatically organic, cultivated with sustainable methods under fair conditions. All other food, ie that which is classified as normal today, should be clearly named with words such as harmful, processed, poisonous, chemical, etc. Since we're still far away from being free-thinking and highly conscious people, only the brutal truth has the power to make us change our habbits – fairytales invented by ruthless advertisement agencies won't help. So:

Kill the organic hype – bring on the toxic label!

PS: Having said all this – cigarette packets have been carrying photos of black lungs and messages of ‘smoking kills’ for many years now, and still people continue to smoke. Maybe we’re simply too stupid? Aliens, hurry up!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The art of action

Everyone knows that a glass of water between each beer or gin’n’tonic can prevent hangovers. Nobody likes hangovers. Yet if you visit a busy bar late at night, how many people do you see ordering water?

In 2007 I wrote THE LITTLE BUDDHA, the story about a young Buddha (not Mr Buddha himself) who starts to feel lonely and disillusioned sitting all day long under his tree and so decides to go travelling. On his journey he encounters lots of different people and situations and learns about what really matters in life.
During the last couple of years the book has become quite popular, with lots of fans all over the world and up to now over 25,000 copies sold. Not bad considering that several people had told me ‘you can’t write a book just like that – stop dreaming and focus on a normal job!’ All those disencouraging voices may be reminded of John Lennon’s words: 
“Those who say it cannot be done shouldn’t be interrupting those doing it.”

Anyways, a while ago I’ve talked to a friend who read the book and didn’t think much of it. His comment: “It’s like spirituality for dummies. You don’t say anything new Claus, we know all this stuff already.”
You know what? He’s totally right. THE LITTLE BUDDHA talks about nothing new – no ground-breaking theories, no secret keys to eternal happines. It’s just a nice story that uses long-known wisdoms. In fact, pretty much all ‘spiritual’ books talk about stuff that has been talked about at least a thousand times before. Even the bible – or do you really believe that Jesus and his mates came up with all that clever shit all by themselves? Very unlikely…

Here’s a question: if we already know how to lead a happy life, as my friend suggests, how comes everyone is so messed up? How comes the world is in constant crisis if we know all the solutions?
The answer, or at least part of the answer, is that the human being is highly talented when it comes to forgetting. For example, we all know that life is much more enjoyable and meaningful if we live in the Now. A pretty simple concept really. Yet amidst the daily whirlwind of worries and fears, of broken hearts and holiday planning, we forget to take that occasional conscious breath and to put our attention to the present moment.

Different books with the same messages have been and will continue to be written because we need to be reminded of those messages, over and over again. It’s human nature: we only learn through repetition, no matter whether it’s memorizing vocabulary, mastering a craft or embracing the present. 
Some skills naturally require many repetitions, like when you want to be become a really good musician; other skills require simply awareness – that is, becoming aware of the benefit or necessity of a certain action and then to do what needs to be done.

So coming back to the water and alcohol: until we put a valuable life lesson into practice, we’ll have to keep on suffering. Unless knowledge is applied, even the most intelligent person will remain an idiot.

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Recently at the local healthfood shop I was staring at a 500g packet of organic brazil nuts. 9€ – quite expensive I thought, just for some nuts. Then I started wondering: if the local bar had mojitos on offer for 4,50€, pretty much everyone would be delighted about the bargain. A couple of cheap cocktails – who would think twice?

Whenever a discussion starts about sustainable and ethical products, soon the argument of price is raised: Buying green and organic stuff is far too expensive – “I just can’t afford it!”
Yet how comes we can afford all sorts of other crap?

18 € for 50 nespresso capsules (250g) – great value!
18 € for 6 shitty coffees at Starbucks – business as usual
18 € for 1kg of organic fairtrade coffee – rip-off!

3 € for half a chicken from Lidl – bargain!
3€ for a chicken kebab – normal
3 € for half a dozen organic eggs – expensive!

299 € for a new flatscreen TV – I’ll take 2!
299 € for a new smartphone – of course
299 € for a new solar panel – what for?

79 € for a hoody jacket from Abercrombie & Fitch – almost free!
79 € for the same from Adidas or Nike – fair enough
79 € for a hoody from Armedangels – those eco people are thiefs!

A better world exists – choose it!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Daily silence

Today exactly one year ago I finished my first Vipassana course – a 10 day silent retreat with 100 hours of meditation. Check out the article I wrote about my experience, here.

During the last 12 months I’ve managed to keep up the daily practice. With very few exceptions, every morning I’ve sat down, shut up and observed what’s happening inside. More recently I’ve also become interested in Zazen, the meditation practice of Zen Buddhism. Although there are many differences between Vipassana and Zazen, at the core I feel they’re pretty much the same: It’s all about learning to see the way things really are, rather than living in a delusional fairy-tale world, tormented by broken dreams, unfulfilled desires and lies.

Now, when talking about meditation, any kind of expectation shouldn’t really be present at all. However, since I’m just a pretty normal, unenlightened guy, some expectations have slipped in. So if you had asked me one year ago what effect one year of meditation would have, I would have come up with all sorts of different ‘ideas’. Here are some reflections regarding these ideas: After one year of meditation…

I can sit in the full lotus position for hours without any discomfort
Sadly, this is not the case. I can’t even do the half lotus; my legs still fall asleep and after some time my back still starts craving a comfortable bed. Yes, I’m able to sit now for an hour without agony, but no pain? Nope. We are not monkeys, and I’m no fucking Yogi!

I've become a really peaceful person
I wish! Actually, more the opposite has occurred: I’ve been more angry than I was before. While this is not always fun, on the whole I regard this to be a good thing though. What’s the point in trying to be peaceful, when inside you’re feeling like you could set the world on fire? Regular meditation is helping me to accept the emotions that are present, be it anger, fear, grief or ecstasy. Like everything else, emotions come and go – so the trick is to not hold on to them; let them be, observe and then move on. As long as I don’t act out what I’m feeling, ie getting up and punching the first person I see, it’s fine because there’s always something to be learnt about myself.

I'm getting better at meditating
Again, wishful thinking. I used to assume that Zen masters are able to dip into deep and blissful trance states whenever they want, instantly! But actually this is not true. Even the Buddha himself had shit days when his restless mind drove him nuts (at least that’s what I’d like to think). What I’m learning more and more is that meditation is not about having goals – it’s quite a difficult lesson since we’re living in such a goal-orientated society. But really there is no goal, because a goal lies always in the future. The moment, the here and now, couldn’t care less about whether you’re getting better at meditating or not. As Brad Warner says, “Just sit down and shut up!”

My Ego and all desires have disappeared
Haha, that’s a funny one. Where would the Ego go? To heaven? Hell? A black hole? All the new age crap of ego destruction is just so unhealthy and especially UNREAL! What’s the problem with having an Ego? I think it makes much more sense to try your best at becoming friends with your Ego. Acknowledging its existence, because otherwise it will rear its ugly head even more and will play power games with you. Regarding the desires: I think there’s nothing wrong with having desires either; the problem starts when you allow them to control your life. When you become a slave to your desires, that’s when the real suffering starts. It’s that greedy voice in your head that drives you to the shopping mall when you could just go for a walk and watch a beautiful sunset. Meditation has helped me to question my desires and to see them for what they really are: random thoughts that promise happiness. Yet if I’m not happy today, what am I supposed to do with promises? Put them in a frame and pray to them?

Everything is just wonderful
Hm, let me see… No, it’s not. On many days life sucks, no matter how long I sit in silence. I think Hollywood and the advertisement industry are very guilty of causing these kinds of wrong expectations. If only I met the right partner, if only I found the perfect job, the perfect home, the perfect answer to all my questions, then everything would be superdupa and I’d be living happily ever after. Bollocks to that! Life is cruel, painful and eternal happiness doesn’t exist. But you know what? That’s fine. Life is still beautiful. It’s an entertaining ride through ups and downs and we should be grateful for having been given the chance to experience it all. One thing daily meditation is doing for me is that it keeps me from overreacting and indulging in all the extremes. When I have a bad day, I might still be a moody German giving my house mates lots of frowns, but I know it will pass; likewise, when I sign a publishing contract for a new book, it certainly puts a joyous smile on my face but I’m not jumping around like a maniac any more. Because even the best day of my life will pass, and then what? The higher I jump, the lower I will fall. Which is not to say that you shouldn’t get excited, but just don’t expect the great moment to last. Cause it won’t.

In summary: 30-40 minutes of daily silence might not turn me into an enlightened saint any time soon (whatever that is, englightenment), but the regular practice really helps me to be more honest with myself – and this honesty makes everything more real and more fun too! Furthermore, rather than ‘understanding’ life only intellectually, I’m getting first hand experience of what it actually is: 

A colourful collection of fleeting moments!

Friday, February 14, 2014

In love with music

Great, another year being Single on Valentine’s day. Not that I care too much about commercial love days anyway, but it sucks seeing so much romance when you don’t get any yourself. Nevermind, there are more important things. Like...MUSIC!

What would we do without it? Seriously. Have you ever tried to dance to silence? Live a year without melodies? Be happy without your favourite tunes? It ain’t much fun...

Latest from the day when I started working in a local record shop at age 16, I was totally hooked! I’m hopelessly in love with what many call THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING IN THE WORLD.

For about 20 years I’ve been making mixes – first on 90min cassettes tapes, then on minidiscs, then on CDs and now MP3s. I adore exploring new music and putting it it together, it’s like doing a sound puzzle.

So for all the lonely souls out there and also for the loved-up ones, here’s my present to you for Valentine’s day: over 20 mixes of simply great music!

There’s something for everyone: Reggae, Soul, Ska, Rock, Electro, Swing, Chillout, Bluegrass, Folk, Acoustic - upbeat, downbeat, you name it! Music to dance, cry and love to, and most importantly: music to ENJOY!

Listen to any of the mixes online by going either to my DJ website – – or straight to my page on Mixcloud:

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Lions, sharks and the human beast

17 years ago I was diving in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia when suddenly a 2.5 meter shark passed right in front of me. He (or she?) briefly looked at me and then continued peacefully along the way. It was an absolutely amazing experience!

The strange thing is this though: sharks are said to be brutal killers – shound’t I be dead?

From an early age on we learn that sharks are dangerous. Our parents, friends and especially the media teach us that sharks love to eat humans. But the truth is far from it: They’re very shy animals, often they are even more scared of us than we are of them. And sadly, while our fear is irrational, theirs is justified.
Each year an average of 5 people get killed by shark attacks. At the same time humans kill over 100 million sharks – annually. That’s about 10.000 per hour! PER HOUR!
Most sharks are caught, their fins cut off and then the rest of the body is thrown back into the water. Fins are profitable, bleeding animals are not. Makes sense, right?

Another vicious animal is the lion. Not suprisingly, we either lock them in cages so we can stare at their amputated wilderness, or we kill them. But what if we treated them differently? Check out this video, at least the first couple of minutes. It’s probably the most beautiful thing you’ll see today:

Looking beyond our illusionary fear, here’s what lions and sharks really are: They’re beautiful animals! And they're the police of nature! As top predators they control the balance of the eco-system they’re living in. Sharks for examle eat fish which feed on plankton. Plankton takes carbon out of CO2 and thus produces breathable oxygen. No sharks mean more fish which means less plankton which means less air for us. Considering that about 75% of all our oxygen comes from the deep sea, the health of the oceans is vitally important to us. In other words: without sharks we are screwed!

I really recommend the documentary SHARKWATER – beautiful, sad and inspiring. And even free!

Now, you may wonder what all this has to do with you? You don’t eat sharkfin soup and you neither kill lions nor do you visit the zoo. So what are you trying to say, Claus?

Here it is: The world is a hyperconnected, living organism – if you destroy one part, it will affect all the rest. A simple concept, but somehow difficult to grasp for the highly evolved human mind.
Kill sharks and the oceans won’t be able to provide us with oxygen; cut down the rainforest to have burgers and salami and again – no trees, no oxygen. Burn all fossil fuels and the air gets polluted leading to...guess what? That’s right, no oxygen. So basically if we continue with our ‘ignorance-is-bliss’ strategy, we’ll suffocate!

Already I hear the Japanese say, ‘but sharkfin soup is so delicious!’ And the white man adds, ‘but I just adore the taste of lamb!’, while everyone insists, ‘I need a car and want to fly to Paris for the weekend to do some shopping!’ Human reasoning, you gotta love it!
Killing sharks for soup, cutting trees for juicy beef and polluting the air for comfort – you would think these are selfish acts, but they’re not. They’re stupid, because ultimately we’re committing suicide.

Here’s a final thought: If we as a species want to kill ourselves, that’s fair enough. But why do we need to kill all the other species in the process too? Surely we could figure out a smarter and more respectful way to go to heaven. Although I guess we won’t go to heaven anyway, because hell is where it belongs: the human beast!

Who knows, maybe some of us will end up like this…: