Did you watch “The Cove” last night? If not you missed a fairly compelling view into a problem that a lot of people can’t accept, or choose to ignore. You’ve probably heard by now that its about Dolphin’s being slaughtered in Japan, that the movie itself won an emmy, and that Rick O’Barry went from training Flipper, to wanting to save dolphins from captivity. What you may have missed is the raucous crowds that can develop around the people that are trying to film the atrocities. You may have missed how hard it can be to report on such heinous activities because locals firmly believe that their culture is in jeopardy.
Although the filmmakers and dolphin advocates of The Cove did not engage in any real physical confrontations (as in getting punched, etc.) Activism, I feel, will begin taking on a much more interventionist role. I am not just speaking on behalf of the Sea Shepherds, or some other shows that you may see on Animal Planet. Politics, money, and media are beginning to take on an even bigger role in keeping some of the inhumane activities in business. Such as Japan’s ‘partnerships’ with poorer countries such as Cambodia, to further their grasp in the IWC to permit whaling to be a bit more open then it is already. A compelling read on how Cambodia is being involved says:
Cambodians have never had to load harpoon guns and head for the deep ocean in the search of extra protein. So just what is Cambodia doing among the 88 nations of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), which meets up in June in Morocco for a crucial meeting on the future of whaling?
Ordinary Cambodians might ask why their government is forking out about $10,000 a year, plus the costs of travel and accommodation for its delegation to attend meetings, to be part of the commission.
The answer is that maybe it doesn’t.
“We have not researched the facts with regard to Japanese Overseas Development Aid (ODA) to Cambodia but know that in many other cases ODA has been used to recruit nations for Japan’s benefit. In these cases it is believed that Japan has also paid the membership fees for joining the IWC and the travel and accommodation costs of delegations,” says Greg McNevin of Greenpeace International.
Underhanded, but legal in most cases because of politics, no real answers may ever be charged or even found. The portion that struck me the most had to do soley about the victims of these countries:
DEATH BY NUMBERS
More than 30,000 whales have been killed since the ban on commercial whaling began in 1986.
Before organised whaling began in the 1800s, there were 1.5 million humpback whales, today there are just 20,000.
Amazing that 30,000 thousand whales have been killed, even after it was banned commercially in 1986. I don’t think we need 30,000 dead whales for research, do we?
This is the part I get angry about, there are agencies such as Greenpeace, Sea Shepherd and Oceana (and to clarify, when it comes to the issues between Greenpeace and SSCS, I side with SSCS) that do a wonderful job in advocating for the lives and well being of animals. However, sadly that doesn’t seem to be enough anymore. I am speaking about whales primarily since that seems to be the allure that most people lean to, maybe because of how majestic they are, or simply their size and grace. Sea Shepherd of course is a more interventionist organization, it’s sad to see that it takes their members getting arrested and being away from their families to 1. stop whaling in any way they can, and 2. get other people (general populations) to turn their heads and notice. It’s sad really, people not being able to realize what we are doing to our ocean’s and wanting to do more about it. Even signing a petition or passing on a link helps. Although, I understand that may not be the popular thing to do, since standing in line for hours for an iphone is much more advantageous, or watching and sharing youtube video’s is much more interesting and compelling to watch.
Hence a youtube video for you to watch:
Sorry, not exactly as fun as watching a kid on a skateboard fall off a flight of stairs, however, it’s much more painful. To give some notes on this video and its content, a whale shark has been de-finned. The fins were cut off to make soup from a poacher that had no regard for the life of the animal, and discarded its body to be left in pain, and with the inability to live, but die slowly. Whale Sharks have no teeth, they are not any type of threats as predators to us, but are the biggest fish in the ocean that are also some of the most gentle. I have not had the opportunity to skin dive with one, and they are fairly elusive, however, our filmmaker and activist at 21st Paradigm, Vanessa Schulz has, and she tells me its nothing short of astonishing, and what of the greatest moments of her life. To be next to an animal that large, in its own realm, and being able to spend time with it while it moves harmoniously through the water. Why would you want to cut of the fins of something that is supposed to be protected because of their dwindling populations? Incomprehensible.
This sort of issue isn’t good for my health, or even yours for that matter. Not because these types of acts get my blood pressure moving, but because we are destroying our oceans. We are directly interfering with the circle of life in the waters throughout the world, and as Captain Paul Watson has said, we cannot live ourselves with a dead ocean.
Issues with the inhumane acts on animals does not stop in our oceans. The movie that 21st Paradigm currently has in production focuses on the neglect and viciousness that some people inflict on man’s best friend. A stretch of Riconanda in Chile, people are blatantly throwing away their dogs along with countless other stray dogs to live in oblivion. Without food, without water, and without any love that should be shown to these 4-legged animals. There are, however a few people trying to help out in Chile, by helping bring food to the homeless dogs, as well as bringing some sort of shelter to them so they can survive in the cold.
These Puppies below didn’t make it unfortunately, they passed away last Winter, no one ever loved them the way they should have, no one ever tried to help but the few that continues to try to make a difference.
This unfortunately continues, especially after the devestating natural disasters that has happened there such as the Volcano eruption and Earthquakes, it only seems to be getting worse.
Do myself, along with the rest of the 21st Paradigm team need to head down South America to intervene? Do we need to do even more filming of cowardly people throwing their dogs away, out of their cars into the cold and unforgiving world of homelessness. Do we need to hide in the bushes, as we film, and then follow these types of people, only to hunt them down and ask them why they would do something like that? Do we then take those notes and make examples out of them by plastering their faces around the internet just like the Japanese fisherman trying to stop the filmmakers that were getting footage of the dolphin slaughter? Interventionists seem to be inevitable. Especially since democratic run countries are also at fault because of their general populations laziness in voting into office the wrong people. We get more politicians that hold seats that they have no business being in, and make deal with countries to allow them to keep doing heinous things to our environment (see BP, ie Oil Spill from offshore drilling).
The campaign’s of the 70’s such as ‘Save The Whales‘, are still felt with the activism of a few, but are not big enough, especially with growing populations, and money being more important than lives, and more important then what you think is right.
I am a huge turtle lover. They are older, and their populations are wiser than any of us humans will ever be, and sadly even they are in danger of human slaughter. Turtles that don’t attack humans, and pose no threat to hurting any of our interests. We currently own 2 red eared sliders in our backyard pond, and my daughters absolutely adore them. Always wanting to feed them, and watch them swim around, the turtles return that interest by always swimming up where my daughters are around the pond. They aren’t the largest of turtles, but they like any other deserve to have the room to grow, swim, and live properly. Event the largest of turtles are endangered, killed for their meat and eggs, and sold to markets for profit.
Besides the ‘Green’ initiative, and global warming issues that are becoming more prominent around our planet, we need to understand that wiping out creatures in our oceans, and not respecting and loving the animals that share the same dirt to walk on like we do, will only do more harm to us, and our planet. There are amazing things that animals can teach us, not just as loving companions, but with education. There have been instances where our canine friends, being as loyal and attentive as they are, help kids read better, since they basically are a fantastic audience.
There is much to learn from animals, even those we keep as domesticated animals, and I don’t mean learning from them by weighing their stomach contents. We are killing ourselves, and our planets, and we will have no where to go. This phenomena is happening sooner than you think, especially with UN experts predicting our ocean’s fish can disappear in 40 years.
Something I stand by saying consistently. As humans we pride ourselves on being the superior race on this planet because we have the ability to reason. However, we are the most unreasonable species to inhabit it.