EFA: Etsy For Animals Etsy For Animals: Sea Otter Awareness Week: The Economy of an Ecosystem

Etsy for Animals (EFA) aka Artists Helping Animals,

is a team of independent artists, craftspeople,

vintage sellers and craft suppliers on Etsy.com

who are dedicated to providing charitable relief to animals

by donating a portion of the profits from their shops

to an animal charity of their choosing,

and/or to EFA's featured Charity of the Month.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sea Otter Awareness Week: The Economy of an Ecosystem

We continue our celebration of Sea Otters
during Sea Otter Awareness week !

The Economy of  an Ecosystem
by Richard Kriheli

Mention a Sea Otter to most anyone in my generation and there's an odd chance that Jim Henson's puppetry will spring to mind. 

One of the fondest memories from my youth was watching 1977's "Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas", repeating over and over on HBO. Thinking back on the story, I cannot help but dote about how poignant of a statement it makes, while leaving this permanent lasting impression on me. In short, it tells a tale of  poverty stricken Sea Otters as they labor through the holiday season, making ends meet while maintaining holiday joy. It's a simple story that resonates large in today's cloudy economic climate. As 2010 draws to a close and we quickly approach impending commercial madness, I'd like to urge everyone to be mindful of Sea Otters and what they stand for.

Why? For one, they are a hard-working and an extremely under-appreciated species. With all the hoopla surrounding the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the plight of sea otters got a little bit of well-deserved national attention (albeit, brief). Though they appear small and insignificant to many, their contributions to the health of coastal ecosystems across the globe is rather crucial, raising the flag of conservationists near and far. According to Wikipedia, they are considered a keystone species for this very reason. Similarly, it is the working class and artisans that are the backbone of world economy. Collectively, we drive the planet and sustain the economic ecosystem. 

So I ponder the life of the little furry foraging Sea Otters, toiling  diligently every single day - just like most of us who must earn our keeps. I think back to Jim Henson’s mini-movie from the days of my youth and I no longer wonder why it sticks.


EFA member: Malathip

I am a New York City based visual artist that specializes in graphic illustration and painting (both watercolor and acrylics). Born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand, I earned my degree in Interior Architecture before settling to New York's Upper West Side. My work explores natural subjects with an emphasis on raising awareness for endangered animals. Although my pieces begin with planning and forethought, they really come to life as paint, colors, lines and values interact. I am the founder and chief designer at EcoPatterns - http://ecopatterns.com
Web Maestro & Writer

Richard is responsible for keeping EcoPatterns.com up-to-date and sound and penning the various endangered animal factoids. He helps author the blog with his deft writing prowess and is not only a supporter but also someone who sports the shirts regularly. He is also husband to Malathip :)
If you love sea otters be sure to read our first 
Sea Otter Awareness Week feature 
Click HERE !


  1. My husband watched the Jim Henson growing up too!
    Lovely artwork and article!

  2. THANK YOU to Malathip & Richard for their contribution !

  3. Charming artwork! I loved thshop. Great article-good ole Jim Henson!

  4. Excellent article, VERY well written!

    Otter is the totem animal for February on the Native American Earth Medicine Wheel, and as Otter teaches, we must work hard seeking knowledge to become wise. Let's hope we've learned something and will work harder in protecting our waters by encouraging and seeking alternatives to meet our energy needs.

  5. Wonderful post... I too loved Emmett Otter's Jugband Christmas. And one of my favorite books as a child was Little Joe Otter, which I still have... saving for when and if I have grandkids! Thanks for sharing!


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