Monday, March 29, 2010

Creatures of a Lesser God.

Japan, Iceland, and Norway are the whaling equivalent of the ‘Axis of Evil.’ However, it is not the ordinary citizens in these countries who are to blame; most are ignorant of the wanton slaughter of great whales that their governments perpetuate on the high seas. Rather it is the government officials who are responsible for their respective departments of fisheries, along with the men who do the actual killing, who are true parasites on the soul of man. And speaking of parasites, let us turn to some other odious creatures who afflict whalekind. First, are the barnacles who attach themselves to the slower moving members of the baleen whales. Your scientists categorize this as ‘obligate commensalism’, because they do not harm their host. I beg to disagree because at best, being heavily laden with thousands of pounds of hard-shell invertebrates adds to the whale’s burden; and at worst, it slows the whale down and makes him easier prey for whalers. Thus, the Ministers of Fisheries in the Axis of Evil are ugly, blind, and self-serving creatures exactly like barnacles. And then there are whale lice. These odious, blood-thirsty crustaceans actually feed upon the living whale's tissue. They are nature's equivalent of the evil men in whaling ships who kill and butcher their victims. Both are louses of the first order. So there you have it, whalers and their government enablers, the lice and barnacles of your kind; truly creatures of a lesser god.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Something Is Wrong With Right Whales

Something is wrong with Southern Right Whales and scientists among your kind are trying to find out why. Over the past five years, more than 300 whales, mostly young calves, have been found dead in the waters off Argentina’s Patagonian coast. It is the largest die-off of great whales ever recorded, and a cause for grave concern with regard to the recovery of the Southern Right Whale population. The whales were given their name by whalers who considered them to be the ‘right’ whales to hunt because they are such slow swimmers and before this barbaric practice was banned over 45,000 Right Whales were slaughtered around the globe. Sadly, it is estimated that there are only 7,500 Southern Right Whales alive today, and Northern Atlantic and Northern Pacific Right Whales number far less. Scientists from the International Whaling Commission are working with the governments of Argentina and the Province of Chubut to solve this mystery. Let us hope they find the cause and correct it before it is too late. With Japan, Iceland and Norway still butchering great whales, and Denmark lining up to join in the blood fest, it is critical that those of you who care about these magnificent beings do whatever you can to prevent their disappearance from the face of the earth. Please help by financially supporting 'Save The Whale' organizations, by writing your government in support of the ban on commercial whaling, and by telling your friends about this blog and others like it that seek the salvation of whalekind.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

All's Fair In Love And War. Not.

Paleontologists in Italy have analyzed the fossilized skeleton of a dolphin and determined that this ancient ancestor of mine was killed by a shark. By analyzing the teeth marks on the skeleton’s ribs they were able to determine, in gruesome detail, the size of the shark (big) and the nature of the attack (brutal). While this particular dolphin and shark are both extinct, their descendants obviously are not, and such horrific attacks on my kind by these mindless eating machines continue to this day. The only consolation that I take in this unpleasant reality is that my much larger cousins, the Offshore Orcas, delight in eating sharks, especially Great Whites. In addition, whenever we have the numbers in our favor, we dolphins kill every shark we encounter. What is it that you humans say, “All’s Fair in Love and War?” Well, in this case you are half-right. There is no love lost between dolphins and sharks. We are mortal enemies locked in a perpetual state of war. Our survival depends on killing them before they kill us. It is an unfortunate way to live, but then again, you humans know all about that, don't you.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Whale Poop Tells All

I thought both you and I could use a brief respite from the tragic tone and tough message of my recent postings. Lord knows there is too much pain and sadness in the sea of troubles that separates your world from mine. So today, I will talk about an amusing story that comes to us from Seattle, Washington, where Dr. Brand Hanson of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service (whew, his business card must be a foot long), has been studying whale poop. Poop you say? Yes, poop I say. You know, those little (little being a relative term), irregularly shaped nuggets of excrement that my kind leaves behind (pun intended). Unlike you humans, we obviously do not have tidy porcelain bowls to collect our waste. Instead, it floats off into the sea, or in this case, into Dr. Hanson’s net. (I hope he has a doctoral candidate to collect it). At any rate, using the poop of my cousins, the Resident Orcas of Puget Sound, Dr. Hanson has determined that they prefer Chinook salmon from British Columbia’s Fraser River to those spawned in rivers further south in the United States. He suggests this is because Fraser River Salmon are fatter but I have another theory: given that the Fraser River salmon are Canadian, they are friendlier than their American counterparts, and therefore more unsuspecting of the Orcas’ intentions. And what do they get for this greater sociability? They get eaten and turned into whale poop. Too bad for them, eh?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

An Alternate Universe St. Patrick's Day Wish

A U.S. District Court in Los Angeles today pronounced sentence on the chef of a sushi restaurant, and on the CEO of its parent company. Both men were convicted in the illegal sale of meat from Sei Whales. When questioned why they had continued to serve whale meat despite knowing it was from an endangered species and prohibited under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the men just shrugged and said that whales are nothing more than big, fat, juicy ocean-dwelling hogs. Apparently, they were unaware that such marine matters are handled within the United States Littoral Waters federal court system, and unfortunately for the accused, its current presiding judge is a Grey Whale whose brother-in-law, a Sei Whale, went missing in the Southern Ocean last year (the Japanese claim they know nothing of his disappearance). The defense attorney for the accused, a Transient Orca who also enjoys eating whale meat, insisted the men were doing nothing more than what is common practice by people in Japan, Iceland and Norway. Despite this argument, a jury made up of Bottlenose Dolphins, Minke and Humpback Whales found the men guilty as charged. As proscribed by the law, the men will be dragged behind a U.S. Coast Guard motor launch through the waters off the Farallon Islands next September at the start of the Great White Shark season. So let it be written, so let it be done!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Something Is Rotten In Denmark

In Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet (Act 1, scene 4), Marcellus says, “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” Sadly, in a case of life imitating art, this quote is as apt today as it was during the time of Shakespeare’s ill-fated prince. As evidence of this, I submit the following appalling news item: the government of Denmark has applied to the International Whaling Commission for permission to begin hunting Humpback Whales again. It is not enough that Denmark helped decimate the North Atlantic population of Humpbacks before this archaic and brutal practice was banned, but now that these magnificent creatures are making a slow comeback, the Danes are eager to begin the slaughter again. Apparently, they have heard that the Japanese intend to hunt Humpbacks without the IWC’s permission, and they want their share of the blood fest. Thankfully, the IWC rejected the request…for now. For all you citizens of the world, who abhor this horrific practice, please write your government and demand that whaling be stopped once and for all. If you do not do this now, the seas will soon run red once again with the blood of Humpbacks, and all hope for their kind will be lost. Forever.

Friday, March 12, 2010

"The Cove" Wins an Oscar!

I am pleased to report that Director Louis Psihoyos’ film, “The Cove”, won the best documentary Oscar on Sunday. It depicts in horrifying detail the annual slaughter of thousands of dolphins by fishermen in the Japanese town of Tajii. The Japanese government defends this brutal practice by saying that dolphins should be treated like other animal food stocks, such as cattle, hogs, and chickens. Obviously, I disagree but you should decide for yourself. Please see the movie. It is available now on DVD. After you do, even if you accept the government's argument(and thereby disregard the extensive scientific evidence that dolphins are sentient and intelligent beings), at the very least, I think you will agree that the dolphins deserve a better death than the horrific fate that awaits them in that cove from hell. While great care is taken by most cultures to harvest cattle, hogs and chickens in as humane a method as possible, the Tajii fishermen make no such effort. Instead, they slice open the dolphins with long knives and laugh as the doomed creatures writhe in agony in water the color of blood. One can only hope that when the movie begins showing in Japan this summer, millions of decent and humane people among the Japanese population will demand that their government puts an end to this barbaric slaughter once and for all.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Killers of the Fourth Kind

To scientists among your kind, there are three types of Killer Whales; the first are a noisy and sociable group who eat only fish and inhabit fixed territories within coastal waters. You call them Resident Orcas. The second type is far more reclusive and taciturn. They are nomads of littoral seas who eat only mammals, including other dolphins and whales. You know them as Transient Orcas, and these cannibals are pariahs among my kind. Much is known among your scientists about both these types. However, that is not the case with the third type of Orca, for they are a breed apart. They live far out in deep, bluewater and never interbreed with the other two types. Although they eat mammals, their preferred prey are sharks. You refer to them as Offshore Orcas, and they are a fierce and powerful breed best left alone by both your kind and mine.
Having said this, there is another kind of Orca, whom I shall call Killers of the Fourth Kind. These Orcas were captured in the wild and doomed to spend foreshortened lives of mindless boredom and emotional anguish in your aquariums and sea parks; or they were born in those confined concrete tanks and will never know the joy of freedom. Either way, they are the equivalent of those whom you keep on death row, and like them, these Killers of the Fourth Kind have nothing to lose by venting their rage in the worst way possible. They have killed humans before and they will do so again. Count on it.