Friday, July 31, 2009

Triumph and tragedy...

There was triumph and tragedy in the tenuous interface between your world and mine this past week. In triumph, a Beluga Whale saved the life of a woman who was drowning in the whale’s twenty-foot deep arctic pool at an aquarium in Harbin, China. Even before the other humans did, the whale sensed the woman’s distress and gently carried her to the surface. This triumph of human and whale interaction stands in stark contrast to a tragedy that transpired half a world away from China, in the Gulf of Mexico off Tampa, Florida. There, caring humans who had nursed a Bottlenose Dolphin back to health released the being back into the sea. Tragically, the dolphin was attacked by a large shark (or kraken as we call its kind). A veterinarian, like my friend Dr. Caitlin Quinn, mercifully put the mortally injured being out of its misery. On behalf of the dolphin who humans tried to save, thank-you. And on behalf of the whale, who saved a human, you are welcome. Triumph and tragedy in the world we share; a world you call Earth but we know as Planet Ocean.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Ignorance, the blind cohort of evil.

Human history is replete with instances in which the majority of your kind has allowed a minority to be persecuted or worse, slaughtered. To the credit of good and decent people everywhere, such brutality has often led to their taking up arms to put down evil, sometimes at the cost of their own lives. Sadly, this has not always been the case and one reason for this tragic failing has often quite simply been ignorance. Are there any among your kind who would tolerate the slaughter of thousands of children, if the horrible reality of this act were brought to your attention? I think not.To that end, I now implore you to go see the movie, The Cove, directed by Louie Psihoyos. It shows the slaughter of another group of innocents, in this case dolphins like me, who are no less sentient, or intelligent, or nonviolent than are your children. After you see the film, you will no longer be ignorant of this act of brutality at the far side of the world. What is more, I am confident that you will want to add your support to Mr. Psihoyos’ Oceanic Preservation Society, and all organizations like it, in their valiant efforts to put an end to the mistreatment and all too often, the murder of my kind.

Friday, July 17, 2009

What kind of people...

In 2005, some compassionate humans rescued a Humpback Whale who had become entangled in weighted fishing lines off the Farallon Islands near San Francisco. I know those waters all too well, and had those humans not risked their own lives to save this magnificent being, it would surely have drowned, or even worse, been eaten alive by the giant Great White Sharks (or kraken as we know them) that frequent those forbidding waters around the islands known as The Devil's Teeth. (See "Daring rescue of whale off the Farallones" by Peter Fimrite). According to the divers who saved the whale's life, after being freed, it circled back and nuzzled each diver before disappearing into the deep.This act of gratitude on the part of an intelligent and sentient being, is made all the more sad by the fact that this year Japan has approved the slaughter of Humpback Whales as part of their annual harvest of great whales in the name of "scientific research". It troubles the mind and torments the soul that the rest of your world sits idly by while such barbaric acts are allowed to continue. What kind of people are they to be so cruel, arrogant, and depraved? And what kind of people are you to be so indifferent, and callous, and aloof?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The blood lust continues...

The 61st annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission, in Madeira, Portugal, wrapped up on June 26th, and despite the continuing efforts of the countries who oppose commercial whaling, including Australia, the United States, Great Britain and New Zealand, no progress was made in getting the blood lust countries of Japan, Norway and Iceland to agree to stop their barbaric practice of whale slaughter. Why am I not surprised? The Japanese government continues to put forth the preposterous notion that my kind should be treated like all other animal food stocks, such as cattle, hogs, and chickens. This is akin to them suggesting the harmless and defenseless people of third world countries should also be considered as a food source. However, as I have said before, the way to change the minds of the three killer nations is not by dealing with their politicians or industry representatives. As the American abolitionist, William Lloyd Garrison, once said, “To tyrants I will give no quarter nor waste arguments where they will certainly be lost.” Instead, the pathway to the salvation of my kind lies with the people, and especially with the children of these countries: if you do not reach out to them, all will be lost.


Saturday, July 4, 2009

If you feed them...

When a human feeds a bear it can be an extremely hazardous act for both man and beast. Unfortunately, a similar situation exists with my fellow dolphins in the coastal waters of America. However, in this case, we are the only ones who die, never the human, and that makes all the difference. Whenever you throw back fish in the presence of dolphins, you are teaching them that fishing boats are floating Smorgasbords. Is it any wonder then that they have learned to help themselves to the fish even before it is reeled in? Sadly, this has led to fishermen shooting many of my kind, as has occurred recently in Florida and California. Such acts of cruelty are illegal under your Federal Marine Mammal Protection Act, and it is encouraging to note that your law enforcement bodies prosecute these murderers to the full extent of the law. However, if feeding us dolphins occasionally led to you humans becoming the meal, as is the case with bears, then you might be more circumspect with regard to dumping fish in our presence. But we don’t eat people (despite the Japanese people who eat us), and so this sad saga will likely continue, as long as fishermen in coastal nations such as the United States, Australia and Brazil to name a few, continue their acts of carelessness, and worse, murder.