Friday, December 31, 2010

Moby Solangi Part ll Katrina and the dolphins

Marine Life Oceanarium, owned by Moby Solangi, was located right on the coast of Gulfport Mississippi. Opened in 1956, Marine Life had seen its share of hurricanes. But the fact was, the facility was old and in need of major renovation. Solangi felt that since his facility had survived Camile, it would do fine with Katrina. The day before the storm, Moby had 6 of his 14 dolphins moved 6 miles inland to 2 different hotel swimming pools. He sent 8 of 26 Sea Lions to ride the storm out at a trainers home, and moved his exotic birds to Florida by Truck. He and his staff left behind 8 dolphins, a harbor seal, and many sea lions behind to ride out the storm at Marine Life, alone. On the morning of Aug. 29 2005, Gulfport was  battered by Katrina, A nearly 30 foot storm Surge, 55 foot sea waves, and 120mph winds. Beachfront neighborhoods were leveled and flooding went 6 to 12 miles inland up and down the entire Mississippi coast. 90% of the buildings along the Gulfport/Biloxi coastline was wiped out, including Marine Life.

Marine Life Dolphin swimming in hotel swimming pool.

  Why did Moby Solangi wait till the day before the storm to take action for the animals? With the eye of the storm being South of the mouth of the Mississippi, the fact that Gulfport was to the east of the storm, and Katrina's size and power should have been enough for Solangi and his team to act much sooner. Every hurricane is different, and although Marine Life had survived many storms in the past, each storm should be treated as a threat.
 Instead of moving all the animals, Solangi decided to only move a few, they say they did not have the time to move them all. The 6 dolphins that were moved to local swimming pools are: Tessie (31), Cherie (20), Brewer (9), Katelyn (7), Jonah (6), and Cayenne (2..we will talk about her soon). These dolphins were located in the outdoor Bay pool. I guess the staff thought they were at the most risk in the storm. The rest of the dolphins were moved to the 30 foot deep main tank. These Dolphins are Jill (40),  Kelly (31), Jackie (31), Tamra (21), Michelle (20), Toni (17),  Noah (6), and Elijah (4). And although Marine Life staff felt that the animals left behind would be just fine, no one stayed with them (which was a good thing in the end).

Marine Life dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico
   Once the storm was over workers rushed to the park to check on the animals. They waded through water, mud, and piles of rubble to get to the facility. They expected to find dead animals, but they found nothing. There was no animals at all. The 8 dolphins, 1 harbor seal, and 18 sea lions left behind, were no where to be found. Twelve days after the storm the missing dolphins were found in the gulf of Mexico. Amazingly, they were all together, alive, and happy to see there trainers. Some had injuries from their "adventure" (I think Nightmare is a better word), all of them had lost weight, were extremely hungry and in need of medical care. The trainers visited the dolphins 3 times a day feeding, examine, and training them three times a day. It took a week to rescue all 8 dolphins. All the Marine Life animals were moved to temporary facilities until the owners of Marine Life could figure out there next move. You can read the full IMMS story here. 
Marine Life after the storm. The dolphins were left in the
tank in the middle of the picture.

 But there is an issue with this story. If there was 14 dolphins at Marine Life, 6 of those were moved inland and 8 of those were left behind and all found in the Gulf of Mexico...what baby dolphin was found in a muddy pool at a near by golf course? See Story here. Marine Life had two young dolphins Elijah, who was left behind, but was said to be rescued in the gulf, and Cayenne, a dolphin IMMS had rescued the year before, after she was stranded, who was moved to a local pool. Who was the dolphin found on the golf course?

Sea Lion from Marine Life found dead on the street of Gulfport
  After the rescue was over Moby Solangi was called a Hero, for saving the very animals he left behind. Why? It was his job to rescue his animals. Actually it was his job to make sure they were never in harms away, the least he could do is rescue them. The memory of the Harbor seal that was never found, and the 5 sea lions that were killed or found dead quickly faded and all the buzz was about the amazing rescue of these "beloved animals". Loved so much, they were left behind. Don't take this wrong, I am so very thankful these dolphins made it out alive. These are the very dolphins Eric spent hours a day playing with. We were both over joyed when we found out they were OK. But I can't help but wonder, what would have been said about Solangi if the dolphins didn't live or were never found? Would the media had then asked why he left them in a tank yards from the ocean? Or would it still just been a "tragic loss", as the 5 seal lions and the harbor seal were? If the building would have caved in, before the tide came up, and the dolphins were trapped and drowned, would Moby Solangi still be a hero? I'm sure Zack (26), TC (21), Splash (19), Kiana (25) and Parker (17), the 5 Sea Lions that lost their lives, wish they had had a hero to save them.


In December of 2005 Moby Solangi was fired as president of Marine Life and 17 dolphins owned by the facility (some of Marine Life's dolphins were on loan at the time of the storm) were sold to the new Atlantis Facility.   On Jan 1 2006 15 dolphins belonging to Marine Animal Production (MAP) were sent to Atlantis Resort. These dolphins are Jill, Jackie, Tamra, Sasha, Toni, Cherie, Michelle, Echo, Wee Tee, Naia, Katelyn, Noah, Jonah, Elijah,and Brewer. Of these 15, Echo (also known as Clovis), Wee Tee, and Sasha were not at Marine Life when Katrina hit. They had been on loan (rented) to other facilities, by MAP. Tessie was held in the States due to illness (Fungal Infection).  Despite her chronic illness she was sent to Atlantis on August 12 2006. Tessie lost her battle on December 31 2006. Official cause of death is listed as Zygomycosis. Despite Marine Life claiming they sold 17 dolphins to Atlantis, there is only record of 16. Marine Life did, in fact, own one other dolphin Cayenne, but she died after Katrina. 

  Sweet little Cayenne, her story has broken my heart. Rescued by IMMS, om March 3, 2004, when she was only about a year old, Cayenne was deemed Not fit to be returned to the wild. She was sent to Marine Life (Big surprise) to live in a tank with older females.  She rode out Katrina in a local swimming pool, and then was sent to Gulfarium in Fl. Sadly, on Oct 9 2005, just months after the storm Cayenne died. Her official cause of death: Presumed Pneumonia, Pathology Not Submitted. I may be overly emotional about little Cayenne, the fact that she was found all alone, mom no where to be found, covered in horrific sores. Nursed back to health and sentenced to life of slavery. Only to die a year later, and no one was worried enough to even find out why this little angel died. Pneumonia is always the easy way out for these facilities. And maybe she did have pneumonia, but it could have been so many other things. She was a baby, IMMS had est. her Date of birth to be Oct of 2003. Regardless to WHY she died, this young girl would still be nursing on her mom in the wild. It is  MY (Chasity) opinion that IMMS, MAP, Marine Life, Moby Solangi, and any and all Caregivers of Cayenne, failed her. These are the people who saved her life a year prior. The people who deemed her unfit to go "home" and proclaimed that they would take care of her, keep her safe. And although I do not (obviously) blame them for a hurricane destroying their facility, I blame them for being reckless with  Cayenne's and every single one of their animals lives.
  (NOTE: According to both the MMIR data base and Atlantis Resorts MMIR  11 out of the 17 dolphins that MAP owned were taken from the wild. Cayenne was the ONLY one that had been rescued due to beached or stranding. How is that for odds.)

This video was taken in Gulfport Ms at the Holiday Inn Beachfront Hotel. The hotel was located minutes from Marine Life.

Read Part III  Moby Solangi Part III IMMS 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dolphins of Taiji part II Captivity

   It is not hard to find people all over the world who think that the killing of dolphins is heartbreaking. Most humans love dolphins, and find the thought of them be killed in such a horrific manner unacceptable. But, bring up the fact of the live dolphin trade, or claim that places that hold dolphins captive worldwide, have anything to do with the dolphin drives, and you can find yourself in the middle of a huge debate. Why is this? Why is it horrific to slaughter these dolphins, but its OK to rip them from their family for our own amusement?
  For the dolphins of Taiji and other countries that capture them, their new found life is anything but happy. In Taiji, once the dolphins are in the killing cove, the trainers come in to look for the best of the groups. They are normally looking for female bottle-nose dolphins, but they do take males and other species as well. The trainers have been seen taking mothers and leaving their calves, and have also been seen taking very young dolphins that were much to young being without their moms. When trainers find the dolphins they want, they put them into a net or sling tied to the side of a skiff and transferred to the sea pens in the harbor. It has also been witnessed that smaller dolphins are loaded right into the skiffs and taken directly to the Taiji Whale Museum.

Trainers looking over a dolphin

                                        Dolphin pens in the harbor

 The dolphins new life starts by being taught tricks on command. They are rewarded with a meal of dead fish. Dolphins eat a host of different types of food in the wild, but none of it is dead. Another new thing taught to the dolphins is how to pose to be examined and how to take medications. Dolphins in captivity undergo exams and medical test. They must know their role in these exams to make things run smoothly. Dolphins also receive vitamins and different types of medications in captivity. A major problem with dolphins in captivity is stress, boredom, and depression, which lead to ulcers. Medications that prevent and treat these problems are often given. Animals receive these medications 2 different ways. One is by medication being stuffed or injected into the fish they eat, the other is by mouth with a syringe and feeding tube.

Learning to get their blood drawn.

Learning to take medication from a feeding tube.

Putting medication into the fish.

Once the dolphins are trained, and someone buys them, they are moved to their new homes. The dolphins are sold to aquariums or swim with me programs around the world. The dolphins are taken out of the sea pens,  put into creates, and then loaded onto trucks.  These animals of the sea are transported by both truck and by plane, depending on where they are heading. Their journey to their new home can take them thousands of miles away.While in the creates the trainers put gel pads or wet towels on the dolphins to keep them moist.They can be in these creates for hours, even days. Once they make it to their new homes, if they make it there, they are put in holding pens to be observed by staff and slowly are introduced to their "new pod".
 Sadly, anyone with money can buy these dolphins. Most of them end up in places that are very unhealthy for them. Four dolphins that were bought from Taiji were found in a backyard swimming pool in Egypt. These dolphins were in poor conditions. Their pool did not have the right filtration and they were swimming in their own waste.  This is not the first time animals from dolphin drives have been found in such conditions.

Dolphins found in swimming pool in Egypt

Besides eating dead fish, which is not a normal way of life for wild dolphins, another major change for dolphins in captivity, is their sonar use..or the lack of it.. Dolphins use sonar to find their way in the ocean. They use it to detect the size, shape, and speed of objects hundreds of yards away. Their skills are so precise it can determine the difference between different types of fish based solely on density. Dolphins in captivity can not use this natural sonar. The concrete walls of the tanks they are held in makes it imposable. Some researchers say that dolphins born in captivity never learn to use their sonar at all. Many argue that in captivity a dolphin doesn't need the use of sonar any. Tanks are not murky and they are hand feed fish, so its just not important. Still, the other side would say a child doesn't not need the ability to see or hear since it has a parents to guide them through life, but no one would purposely take a child's vision or ability to hear.
  One other difference between life of a captive vs, wild dolphin is life expectancy. A dolphin in the wild can live 40 to 50 years. Captured dolphins life expectancy is grim, to say the least. Over 50% of dolphins caught in a dolphin drive dies within the first 3 months. Of those that past the 3 month mark, 50% of those die within 5 years. There are some captured dolphins that have lived relatively long lives.Still. the average life span of a dolphin in captivity is 15 years. Although, the oldest living dolphin in captivity is Nellie, who is said to have been born in captivity at Marineland in Fl. in Feb. 1953. So, Nellie will celebrate her 58th birthday in 2 months.

Nellie in a Timex commercial

                                          Nellie on her 57th Birthday

Japan has called dolphins "pest" and claim that they eat all the fish in the area. They claim that buy killing the dolphins, they are able to maintain other sustainable fish populations. It is not uncommon for areas to have "resident" dolphins in coves and bays. These animals hang out in a certain area all year long. But the majority of dolphins, and dolphins caught on dolphin drives, are not residents of the area they were captured. In the wild dolphins have been known to travel up to a hundred miles in a single day. In captivity dolphins are held in concert tanks. The size of these tanks very from place to place. Most countries, like the US, have regulations set up to ensure the dolphins have "enough space". You would think that the space requirements would be pretty large, for animals that swim such vast areas in a single day, but this is not the case. In the US, the Animal Welfare Act, put in place to protect animals in captivity, calls for a minimum of 24ft x 24ft and 6 feet deep, with 95.38 square ft. of surface space for 2 bottle-nose dolphin. (FYI..A Minke Whale only requires a space of 56ft x 56ft and 14ft deep. You can read more requirements of animals in captivity by checking out The animal care resource guide.) This is no different then locking a person up in a prison cell, except, the person normally has done something to deserve it.  
   In the US, the Marine Mammal Protection Act was passed on October 21, 1972. All marine mammals are protected under the MMPA. The MMPA prohibits, with certain exceptions, the "take" of marine mammals in U.S. waters and by U.S. citizens on the high seas, and the importation of marine mammals and marine mammal products into the U.S. But in the 1980's, marine theme parks, including SeaWorld, aquariums and even the U.S. Navy imported dolphins captured in Japan in slaughter drives. The last dolphin to be caught in US waters was in 1993, for the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, 21 years after the MMPA was put into place.
  The Associations of Zoo's and Aquariums (AZA)  has accredited over 200 Zoo's and Aquariums, including SeaWorld. Of those there are about 200 dolphins in captivity between them. 75% of these were born in captivity, the other 25% were caught in the wild. The 25% of wild caught dolphins came from being rescued  after being beached or stranded and deemed unfit to go back into the wild, from a dolphin drive in Japan or the Salomon Islands, or caught in US waters. AZA, has since denounced the dolphin drives. With a healthy breeding program and new dolphins coming into the programs after being rescued, they have no need to catch dolphins from the wild.
  The sad reality is, these dolphins are being caught, pods are being murdered, and a select few from the pods are being held captive and sold into slavery. It doesn't matter where they are being sent, it just needs to stop! Most countries in the world have moved away from human slavery. It was deemed morally unacceptable. When will the people of the world open their eyes and see that slavery is slavery, regardless of the species that is being forced into it.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Mobashir "Moby" Solangi Part l The Facts

  The Facts.... 

According to to the IMMS website
Moby Solangi
"Dr. Moby Solangi is the President and Executive Director of the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies.  He founded the organization in 1984 to promote marine research, conservation and education.  Dr. Solangi received his Ph.D. in marine biology from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1980.  He has conducted pioneering research on dolphins both in the wild and under human care.  His research experience includes work in pathobiology, disease diagnoses and control, aquaculture, water-quality management, marine ecology, and marine mammal behavior, husbandry and veterinary care.  In addition, Dr. Solangi serves as adjunct faculty at multiple universities and accordingly has supervised graduate students conducting research on marine mammals. His professional associations include membership in the International Association of Aquatic Animal Medicine, Society for Marine Mammalogy, and the International Marine Animal Trainers Association.  Dr. Solangi has an extensive list of publications ranging over multiple scientific disciplines."
 ACROSS the Gulf states of Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana, Moby Solangi is painted as a hero. In 2005 he rescued dolphins that were washed out into the gulf during Hurricane Katrina from Marine Life, his oceanarium. His Non-profit organization The Institute for Marine Mammals Studies rescues dolphins and other marine mammals that are beached along the gulf. And since the BP oil spill IMMS, has been instrumental in rescuing animals effected by the spill in hopes to rehabilitate and release back into the wild, as well as conduct research studies on those animals who did not survive. But Moby Solangi has a dirty little secret in his past. A secret that is so dark, it is hard for many to believe anyone could ever call this man a hero, or allow him to be near any marine mammals.
 BETWEEN 1956-1989 Moby Solangi captured over 200 dolphins in the Mississippi Sound. These animals where sold to Sea Circuses, amusement parks, the US Navy, and other dolphin facilities around the country. Solangi also rented out dolphins to Zoo's around the country. Zoo's that rented out these dolphins would pay a set price every month and the package would include a dolphin and sea lion show, food, supplies, veterinarian supervision, and a trainer. If a animal got sick or died, Marine Animal Productions (MAP), the company which Moby Solangi Co-founded in 1965, would simply send a replacement animal. The Oklahoma City Zoo was one of the many zoo's that rented dolphins from MAP. The zoo closed its Dolphin Exhibit after they had many dolphins die and activist, including Ric O'Barry, confronted the zoo about the deaths and brought it to public attention, in 1991. At that point all but 2 of the dolphins MAP had been renting out (Teri and Sandi) had died. Teri and Sandi were sent back to Marine Life, Solangi's facility. (Note. I have found no record Teri and Sandi being moved to Marine Life, other then articles claiming this. I have also not found anything on where Teri or Sandi are now, or when they died. I do know that they were not at Marine Life in 2005 when Katrina hit.)
"Change is always good. We all like to go places. You keep them in the same house it gets old. By moving them around, mixing them around, changing them to where they are compatible, I think it is very healthy for them. That's what we call enrichment.'' ~Moby Solangi

 WHILE capturing these animals, there are accounts of many dolphins dying due to stress or drowning. On one occasion a former employee of Solangi claimed that about 20 dolphins died.On another capturing expedition another former employee says that a mother and calf were caught in the nets. Both were cut free but the young calf died due to stress (You can read more about this in the link below "Loving Dolphins to Death"). Lack of laws and shady record keeping makes it imposable to know just how many dolphins MAP took from the Mississippi sound, and how many died while doing so.

 "Every dolphin catcher in the business risks losing a few in accidental drownings, or to capture shock. It goes with the territory." ~ Moby Solangi

  MOBY Solangi co-owned and was the president of Marine Life Oceanarium , in Gulfport Ms.Opened in 1956, the facility housed dolphins (which were part of those Moby himself captured), Sea Lions, a harbor seal, 25 birds, and a reef tank.
 (NOTE: Eric worked for Marine Life Oceanarium from 2002 to 2003, he has personal knowledge of the going ons at the park and of Moby Solangi. He was a diver in the reef tank and also kept the dolphin tanks clean. He had no idea at the time that Solangi or Marine Life was connected to dolphin captures or trafficking. This is a very sad and personal topic for him. He will be writing his own post at a later date of his accounts of Marine Life, for now, we are sticking with proven facts.)
 THERE where 3 dolphin tanks at Marine Life. An outdoor tank in which a swim with me program was held. A tank in which a dolphin and sea lion show was held and the main tank in which the main dolphin show was preformed. There was no other holding tanks and the dolphins stayed in their respective tanks at all times. The dolphins in the show tanks, each preformed 5 shows a day in the summer. In 2005 hurricane Katrina, a Cat 5, made its way towards the Mississippi Gulf coast. The day before the storm was due to hit trainers started relocating some of its animals. 8 Sea Lions were set to a trainers home, 6 of the 14 dolphins were moved inland to saltwater pools of hotels, the birds were sent by truck to Florida. The remaining animals were left to ride the storm out. During the storm Gulfport endured 120mph winds for 6 hours.
Marine Life after Katrina
 When the storm let up, total destruction was what was left behind. On arriving to what was left of Marine Life, No animals were found. In the weeks that followed workers worked to find their missing animals. When all was said and done, 6 animals had lost there lives, a harbor seal and 5 Sea Lions. Of these deaths some were found dead and some were euthanized. Of those found dead, 1 sea lion was reported to have been shot by a local police officer. The Harbor seal was never found.  Durning this time Solangi told the media he would not stop till his dolphins were found.  12 days after the storm trainers from the facility set out to find there missing dolphins by boat and by air. To the surprise of many, the 8 dolphins were found not far from what was left of Marine Life. Amazingly all 8 dolphins were re-captured and moved to new facilities. The media went crazy over this "feel good" story. Maybe it was because with all the sadness surrounding the coast, many needed it, whatever the reason, Solangi was painted as the Hero. With Marine Life a complete loss, the animals were sent to near by facilities to stay until decisions could be made about Marine Life. In Dec of 2005 Don Jacobs, co-owner of Marine Life, fired Solangi and made arrangements to sell the 17 dolphins (Note that all the sudden Marine Life owns 17 dolphins for sell, but only 14housed at Marine Life before the storm..) to Atlantis in the Bahamas. Solangi tried to get an injunction to stop the sell of the dolphins, but failed. (See report) Through it all Solangi said he would open up another facility, but turned his attention to his work at IMMS.
  THERE is now plans to open a new Oceanairum in Mississippi. Ground breaking was scheduled to happen in Dec 2010 with the park opening in 2012, but work has not started as of yet, on the facility. Solangi  has a $10 million dollar federal grant to create the complex, which will feature dolphin shows, aquarium exhibits and bird sanctuaries. Reportedly the grant requires that the facility is to be built by the end of 2011. According to an IMMS news release, The facility is claimed to be a one-of-a-kind marine education center, which will provide both students and the general public an opportunity to learn about nature and marine mammals. The Total cost of the new facility is supposed to be around $75 Million when finished.

  Read Part 2 Moby Solangi Part ll Katrina and the dolphins
  Read Part 3 Moby Solangi Part III IMMS

To read more info on Moby Solangi please visit the following sites:
Tribes article by Ric O'Barry
Dolphins of War
Loving Dolphins To Death This is a MUST READ! A 16 page article, it starts talking about Moby Solangi on page 3, under Kelly Williams story.
History Of Risk Surrounds Captures another must read! Solangi starts on page 3
Ceta-Base- Data base of marine animals in captivity. Not a complete Data base, but a lot of info. Dolphins listed under Marine Animal Production and IMMS.

Take time to love life....

  As I lounge on the sofa, in front of a cozy fire, new toys strewn all over the living room from this mornings festivities, and Linden running around like a crazy man, hyped up on the excitement of it all....I can't help but smile. Today was a wonderful day, full of fun, laughter, and love. Our family has been blessed in so many ways, and today we all soaked it in.
  Last night a post on group that I am a member of on Facebook really got to me. I could never relay it word for word, nor am I writing this to call anyone out. But the post really got to me, and I think its something that needs to be addressed. The post was basically downing those who celebrate Christmas. The poster was not downing people because of religion or beliefs, but felt that no one should be celebrating when animals and humans are being treated cruelly and dying everyday. It was a very long thread, and it was very harsh. As the thread progressed there were some that agreed with the poster, and some that didn't. But what stuck about those who agreed with the poster, was a very negative attitude. But I didn't make another comment because  I refused to get into a debate with these people. Their attitude was the world sucks, F!@# the world, Christmas, and anyone who enjoyed or celebrated...even for a day, and f#$% anyone who ate meat. 
 I do not know anything about these people that made these comments, but after what I read, it saddened me. To accuse everyone who takes part of Christmas, or any holiday, of supporting animal or human abuse, cruelty, neglect, or death, is out of line. To claim that activist of any kind, can not take time to be happy and thankful for what they have, and the few joys they may find in life, is unfair.
  I can only speak for myself, but I think that many would agree, there is not a day that goes by, since I have started an activist path, that I don't think of all the lives, both human and animal, that are lost needlessly. I personally spend just about every free second I have raising awareness, watching videos, researching, and networking for my causes. Many activist around the world do the same. Do you think we don't deserve a mental break? What about those who volunteer at animal rescue shelters? Those who stand guard in Taiji as cove guardians? The crew that board SS ships? People who man feed the hungry stations? None of these people deserve a break from it it all? Do you honestly think any of these people EVER forget whats going on? You think that taking a day or two off to enjoy the gifts in their lives will really make all they do unimportant or forgotten? Most of these people couldn't forget if they wanted to.
  Being an activist is hard. You witness, be it in person or through video and pictures, things that can rip a person apart. It is normal to have a day where you just don't feel like you can take anymore. Its common, after suppressing so much emotions, to blow up and need a major release. But being negative about the world and life in general is not the way. Every day I have to find away to put my emotions in check. I have learned how much I can handle, and I know when I just need to release that emotion. It can be through tears, through writing, through talking, their is a number of ways, but the key is to get it out. The emotions that an activist have can be painful. It can lead to anger, hate and it can and will consume you. Maybe these people have not mastered the art of controlling their emotions. Maybe they don't know how truly important it is. Or maybe they are just people with a truly negative out look on life. Either way, there is something you might want to think about. If you let the negativity to consume you, you stand a chance in slipping into a bad place. After saying F%$# the world so many times, you might REALLY start feeling it, then what kind of activist will you be?
   We must take time for ourselves. This can be hours, days, whatever that person feels the need. Everyone is different, we all handle things in our own way. But, when you can't take time to enjoy the moment.. When you only see the negativity in the world..  When you stop caring about life, what makes you think you can fight to save it? Abuse, cruelty, neglect and the death all suck, but a negative attitude sucks just as much.
   Remember, insults and negativity will never when your battle. If we hope to achieve our goals we must learn to educate and spread awareness.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Vegetarian Challenge

 As 2010 comes to an end, people will start thinking about and making New Years resolutions. Its a tradition that millions of people carry out every year. One of the most common resolutions is to lose weight or live a healthier life. In January the number of gym memberships sold go up. The sales of alcohol and tobacco go down.  At the grocery stores more fresh produce and "healthy food" are purchased. We start of strong but, sadly, by May more then 50% of those resolutions are long forgotten. Researchers claim that most people fail their resolutions for many reasons. Not being serious about the resolution when it was made, making a goal that was unrealistic, and not really educating yourself or having a real plan to follow through, are among the top reasons for the failures.

 This year we want to challenge everyone who makes a resolution to not only succeed in their resolution, but we want to challenge you to educate yourself on Vegetarianism and give it try. No, this is not a joke, its not April Fools! Going vegetarian may seem hard, and it is a personal choice, but many people refuse to try before they know anything about it. There are so many people who think they know what a vegetarian eats, but really they are uneducated on the subject. So, we are here to try to educate you.

 There are a number of reasons to go vegetarian or vegan.  Most people go vegetarian due to the animal cruelty that surrounds being a meat eater, others go vegetarian for health reasons, some for religious reasons, and some simply do not like the taste of meat. Whatever the reason, done right vegetarianism  is the healthiest way to eat. Although some people try to go veggie and then go back to meat, most people who go veggie, never go back to eating meat again.  In 2009, there was an estimated 6 to 8 million vegetarians in the US.

 Lets first look at some numbers. In 2008 the USDA reported the following numbers, these are the amount of animals slaughtered for the year of 2008 for consumption in the US.

  • Chickens: 8.3 Billion
  • Turkeys: 296 Million
  • Pigs: 117.6 Million
  • Steers and Calves: 40.8 Million
  • Rabbits: 2.4 Million
  • Fish: 6.5 Billion
  • Shellfish: 64 Billion
For a TOTAL of roughly 80 BILLION Animals

This of course does not include the millions of animals that die due to illness, disease, neglect, or abuse in factory farms. This is just the number of animals slaughtered for US consumption. Finding the number of animals killed for human consumption is easy. What is not easy to find is the data of how much of this meat is wasted. Go into any grocery store and you will find a large amount of meat in the butcher, seafood, and deli sections. To anyone that thinks about it, its obvious that all this meat is not sold. When you find super cheap deals, this is normally meats that are going bad, and the retailer needs to get rid of it quickly. But how much of it is actually thrown out. This data is not made available. What is available is the total amount of food waste. This includes all foods including grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy and egg products, and meat. An estimated 100 Billion pounds of food waste is produced every year in the US alone.

Dangers of eating meat..
  There are many dangers to eating meat. Many people refuse to believe this as truth, but it is. Here are just a few of these dangers...
  •   Eating large amounts of beef, pork, and chicken can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, increased cholesterol levels, cancer, and obesity. Most people think that pork is a very lean meat to eat, but the fact is most cuts of pork is higher in fat then all meats.
  • Beef contains a large amount of Dioxin. Dioxin is the most toxic organic chemical known. (Pork and chicken also contain Dioxin, but not as much as beef does) Dioxin is linked to Cancer, endometroisis, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), reproduction system defects in children, chronic fatigue syndrome, immune system deficiency, and rare blood disorders.  A single hamburger contains up to 100 pictogram's of Dioxin, 300 times the EPA's acceptable daily does for an adult.
  • E. coli illness has been associated with eating undercooked, contaminated ground beef. E. coli bacteria live in the intestines of healthy cattle and, although the number of organisms required to cause disease is not known, it is suspected to be very small. Meat becomes contaminated during slaughter, and organisms can be thoroughly mixed into beef when it is ground. Contaminated beef looks and smells normal.
  • other dangers...Salmonella, Rotavirus, Giardia, Mad Cow Disease, cryrtoproidium, and a slew of parasites.
  • Growth hormones and other additives
             Growth hormones are proteins that stimulate growth. All animals, including humans, naturally produce growth hormones, mostly in early stages of development. Naturally occurring hormones can be replicated and injected into both humans and animals to cause faster growth. Currently, hormone injections are used by a large number of beef and dairy farmers to make more product with fewer animals.
What are the side effects of consuming animal meat or products with these hormones?
  • Dairy cow growth hormones are linked to cancer in humans. Several studies have linked high levels of residual hormones in Diary products to an increased risk of breast, colon, prostate and lung cancer in humans.
  • Growth hormones can cause early maturity in humans.
  • Milk from treated dairy cows may have residual antibiotics. Cows treated with bST have a higher rate of udder infections which the farmer treats with antibiotics. The antibiotics do show up in that cow’s milk, and if the farmer does not allow a sufficient withdrawal period, the entire milk supply could become contaminated.
                         Additives are added to foods for many reasons. To keep the food fresh for long periods of time and to add flavor and color are among the top reasons.  Some of the commonly used food additives and preservatives are aluminum silicate, amino acid compounds, ammonium carbonates, sodium nitrate, propyl gallate, butylated hydrozyttoluene (BHT), butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), monosodium glutamate, white sugar, potassium bromate, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, etc. Some artificial colors are also added to the foods to give them an appealing look. These coloring substances are erythrosine (red), cantaxanthin (orange), amaranth (Azoic red), tartrazine (Azoic yellow) and annatto bixine (yellow orange).
Although additives and preservatives are essential for food storage, they can give rise to certain health problems. They can cause different allergies and conditions such as hyperactivity and Attention Deficit Disorder in the some people who are sensitive to specific chemicals. The foods containing additives can cause asthma, hay fever and certain reactions such as rashes, vomiting, headache, tight chest, hives and worsening of eczema. Some of the known dangers of food additives and preservatives are as follows:
  • Benzoates can trigger the allergies such as skin rashes and asthma as well as believed to be causing brain damage.
  • Bromates destroy the nutrients in the foods. It can give rise to nausea and diarrhea.
  • Butylates are responsible for high blood cholesterol levels as well as impaired liver and kidney function.
  • Caffeine is a colorant and flavorant that has diuretic, stimulant properties. It can cause nervousness, heart palpitations and occasionally heart defects.
  • Saccharin causes toxic reactions and allergic response, affecting skin, gastrointestinal tract and heart. It may also cause tumors and bladder cancer.
  • Red Dye 40 is suspected to cause certain birth defects and possibly cancer.
  • Mono and di-glycerides can cause birth defects, genetic changes and cancer.
  • Caramel is a famous flavoring and coloring agent that can cause vitamin B6 deficiencies. It can cause certain genetic defects and even cancer.
  • Sodium chloride can lead to high blood pressure, kidney failure, stroke and heart attack

 In the United States 34% of adults and 17% of children are obese. This is a very serious problem. In 2008 Americans spent an estimated $147 billion dollars on treating obesity related ailments. Over 300,000 Americans die every year due to obesity. This is not to say vegetarians can not be obese. About 30% of vegetarians are obese. This proves that eating healthy portions and not overindulging is a big problem for all Americans.

 There is a lot of misconceptions about vegetarianism.
  • All vegetarians eat are vegetables.... This is far from the truth. Although vegetables are a main portion of most vegetarians diet, there are many "meat" replacements out there that are soy or veggie based. And if you want to take it  a step further and go vegan, there are plenty of dairy and egg replacements too. Then you add breads, beans, nuts, rice.. there is tons of foods to eat.  I can only speak for my family, but besides not having steak, we actually don't eat much different know then we did when we ate meat. We still have all of our favorite meals, they have just been changed a little.
  • Vegetarians don't get enough Protein... This is something that comes up so often. Meat is not the only source of protein out there. There are so many things that contain protein, there is no way that it could be listed here. So I will refer you to the following video. Its silly, but true. 

    If you want more, here's another...

  • Vegetarians love Tofu and Soy Milk... Personally, we do not like Tofu. There are some Tofu products that we will eat, but for the most part, we do not eat Tofu. Of course many vegetarians, and non-vegetarians alike do eat tofu. But it is not required to be a vegetarian. Soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, there are tons of milk substitutes out there. But, that doesn't mean all vegetarians drink or use them.
  • Vegetarians can't eat at Restaurants... Although it is imposable to go to some restaurants, most of them have some sort of vegetarian option on the menu. The more you know what you can eat, the easier it becomes to eat out. Fast food can be challenging, but most fast food is junk anyway.
  • Vegetarians have to take a lot of Vitamins and supplements....Vegetarians do not need to take anymore vitamins then a meat eater. Vegetarians that are eating a well balanced diet, do not even need vitamins.  
    Since our family has gone vegetarian both Eric and I have not only lost some much needed weight, we also feel amazing. Our meals taste great and are filling, but we don't get that heavy lethargic feeling when we are done. When we have guest over for dinner, we make vegetarian and vegan meals for them, and most wouldn't notice a difference. Last year Eric's family was in town for the weekend of Linden's birthday. His nephew had no idea that he eat vegetarian and vegan the whole time he was here. He enjoyed everything I cooked.

Vegetarian and vegan products we love...


Boca has very yummy products. There ground crumbles are used just like ground "meat". There flame grilled burgers and their Chik'n patties are taste!

Morning Star Farms

From Morning Star farms we love their Viggie sausage links, a lot of their burgers, buffalo wings, Chik'n nuggets, the chik'n patty,  the Hickory smoked riblets, and the crumbles.

Quorn ( Pronounced Corn)

There is nothing from Quorn that we have not liked!

These are just a few examples of Vegetarian/Vegan products. And the things you can do with them are endless.

Here are a few sites for Veggie/Vegan recipes...

Vegetarian Times
Vegetarians Recipes
International Vegetarian Union (IVU)

There are many more out there to find.

 So here is your Challenge... Learn about vegetarianism and/or veganism and give it a try! Even if you just try a few meals a week, it would be wonderful. The point is to live a healthier lifestyle.

Need more reasons?


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Jumping Tank

Do dolphins want to be in captivity? In an interview about the Taiji dolphin drives Fred Jacobs, Vice President, Communications SeaWorld  Parks & Entertainment, said "There was a time in our history when we took animals from this hunt, and of course we viewed it in a defensible way; they were the only animals that were going to survive. If you could ask these animals: "Who wants to volunteer to go to an aquarium?" I think that you'd have quite a few animals that would volunteer." Well Fred, true as that may be, we can not ask these animals this question. And its pretty clear that no one asked this Dolphin were it wanted to live....

 It clearly does not want to live in captivity. So much so, it risked its life to get out! I don't know what breaks my heart most about this video. The fact the animal was for some reason, upset enough to leave the confines of its "home" or the fact that all the other dolphins rush to the glass to see whats going on. You have to wonder what is going through their minds. Do you think they were worried or frightened about what had happened to their friend? Maybe they were happy he got out and was wondering why he was just laying there instead of swimming away to safety? Either way its clear that they they cared, because most of them stay with him at the glass the whole time.

And Mr. Jacobs, shame on you for even saying such a thing.  To suggest that these animals would volunteer to leave their families, as they are being slaughtered, just to come live in a concrete tank and eat dead fish for the rest of their lives, is sick. I think that you need to educate yourself on dolphins. Is that not what Seaworld is supposed to be doing, educating people on the animals they display?  You must have not payed attention when they talked about dolphins and their family bonds.

Fred Jacobs
Vice President, Communications
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
Phone: 407.226.5210

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Letter from Embassy of Japan

  Here is the letter we received from the Embassy of Japan, in D.C. It is a cookie cutter letter and I know a few others (including 10 year old William DeBord, who spent a week in Taiji with his mom Carrie, as Cove Guardians) have received the same one. I guess after studying some of the e-mails, faxes, and phone calls, they knew to just hit every point and be done with it. Its pretty sad when you think of it, there are thousands of people around the world sending faxes, e-mails, letters, and phone calls in to this place daily, and all they can do is send a few cookie cutter letters back.

 I  (Chasity) got nothing out of this letter. It was kinda neat that I got a reply other then some auto reply saying they received my email. It seemed like Mr. Naktsuka felt he had to dumb things up for me a little (pointing out that there are diverse cultures in the world, the geology lesson on Japan, ect.). But, when it comes down to it, the only valid point Mr Nakatsuka had, was saying that people are greatly distant from the source of their animal protein and witnessing kills in industrial slaughterhouses is just as off-putting.

 I have pretty much already tore this letter apart between my previous post. But let me just hit a few points again.

  Japan is not suitable for agricultural development.....
     Well what are you going to do when there is no more fish and marine mammals in the oceans? It is the Government of Japans job to see that it is doing whatever it has to do to develop its land to met the needs of its current and future population.

 Fishing is carefully managed so as not to deplete the stock.....
      You can not issue permits and say that is carefully managed. You issue permits to kill dolphins every year, but do  not make available how many dolphins were actually killed and how many were taken into captivity.

 Mercury in seafood including dolphin meat, which is from natural sources, should not be confused with high level industrial mercury.....
        Either Mr. Nakatsuka needs to educate himself on this matter, or its an outright lie by him. Maybe he (or the Government of Japan) feels he can try to lie to us "outsiders" like he does his own people! But I'm not buying it. There is far to much research studies to prove otherwise.

 False Labeling food in Japan is illegal......
        Illegal or not, its happening and there is concrete proof of that as well. The Japanese Government should really look into it, although most feel like they wouldn't have to look to far for who is behind it all.

 Improve killing methods....minimum suffering to the animals.....
        A dolphin being held down, having a metal spike drove into his head, then a wooded nail hammered into that hole, and thrashing around for 15 minutes before it dies.....IS NOT MINIMUM SUFFERING.....try again!

We do hope that you take the opportunity to further expand your understanding of Japanese culture, which is very different from that of the United States....
       First off....thanks for implying since I am an American I couldn't possibly understand another countries culture, that was nice of you! Second, what I understand is that not only is the Japanese government lying to their own people, they are trying to pass the same lies off to the rest of the world. Thankfully, for not only the people of Japan but the world, the people who are fighting this horrific battle do know the truth! We will stand together, and we will NOT stop till dolphins can swim free in Japan waters, without the fear of being killed or captured by anyone.

Please do not let up on sending letters, e-mails, faxes, and phone calls to every agency you can. I know that it doesn't always seem like its helping. I know that it gets discouraging when we send all these letters, yet dolphins are still caught and killed. But please remember something, what you are doing IS making a diffrence. You may not see it, but it is. Also, as you start to stumble and wonder if your letter really matters....think of all the AMAZING Cove Gaurdians. They have stood at the cove everyday since Sept. They have seen these horrific event take place right before their eyes. They have been broken and discourged, yet they keep on! We must keep going!

~For the Dolphins~

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


  In a letter received from Shuya Nalatsuka, First Secretary, Embassy of Japan, it stated that Japan was not suitable for agricultural development (we will get into the letter in a later post). Therefore, Japanese people had to look for a sustainable source of protein from the sea. (Now, this is not just about Japan. Many countries turn to the oceans for their main food source. So as to get people from claiming we are JUST picking on Japan, this goes to any country that thinks the ocean is a sustainable food source! But we will use Japan because 1. it deals with our cause and 2. they are the ones who sent us a letter!)

(Life Sciences & allied applications/ Environmental Science) taken from The free dictionary
  capable of being maintained at a steady level without exhausting natural resources or causing severe ecological damage.

  By definition alone, no wild animal is a sustainable food resource. Fish or mammal, on land or in water..its just not possible. We as humans are known to overindulge. We can not just take what we need and we will use. NO! We have to take as much as we can, and who cares what we waste! Its the human way. Over fishing and over hunting makes it impossible to ever relay on something wild to be sustainable. Lack of Government (Local, State, National, and Worldwide) regulations on catches make it impossible. Look at all the endangered and threatened animals around the world. We are the sole reason for these species dying off. Even with laws in place to protect these species they are still being killed through poaching and loop holes. More time then not, by the time someone steps in to put laws in place to protect a species, its way to late! So many animals are struggling to keep their species alive. Look at the Great White shark. Did you know it was endangered? There is so little known about the great white population, that by the time scientist realized they were in trouble, their population plummeted. Endangered, yet still killed everyday.

In a previous post (Why the Oceans?) we shared the video about Namibia Africa. A small town known for an abundant amount of Sardines, but they had all disappeared due to overfishing. They too once saw these sardines as sustainable. They would have never guessed they would just vanish. But they did, and the town has a major problem on their hands now.

 Japan feels that turning to the oceans, be it for fish, whale or dolphin, is all they have. But what happens when these animals are gone? These animals do not belong to Japan, they belong to the earth. Will the rest of the world sit by and let this happen? It is up to Japan and ever single nation the the world to protect our oceans and wildlife. It is up to every country in the world to find sustainable food resources that doesn't threaten or harm the environment.  Turning to the sea for your main source of protein may be a easy and immediate fix, but it is NOT sustainable. What will they do when the oceans die, due to overfishing? What will you do? I do not suggest waiting for that day to come before we act! Remember, if the oceans die...we die, its that simple!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Dolphins of Taiji

 Taiji is a town off the coast of southern Japan. The little fishing town is home to about 3,500 people and is known as the birth place of whaling in Japan. For generations the men of Taiji have hunted whales and dolphins, both in the waters of Japan and in the Southern Ocean off Antarctica. The village is very proud of their heritage. To these men, fewer then 30, they are simply carrying on a tradition that has been passed down for hundreds of years. To the people of Taiji dolphins and whales are just fish. They see nothing wrong with killing, consuming and selling them. To them what they are doing is no different then other countries killing and consuming Cows, Pigs, or Chickens. Japans population is massive and the country is not suitable for farming like other countries. They feel turning to the ocean is their only choice. Many Japanese residents believe that the outside world is harshly judging them without understanding their culture, their over all needs, and simply their way of life.

 Every year Japan's Fisheries Agency issues the Hunters of Taiji a permit to kill at least 2,000 dolphins. Dolphins migrate every year off the coast of Taiji. From September 1st through March the hunters (NOTE~ they call themselves fishermen, but dolphins and small whales are not fish, so we will not call them fishermen.), set out to kill these dolphins and also catch dolphins to be sold in the live dolphin trade.  This activity is known as "Dolphin Drives".

 As the sun raises in Taiji, the hunters board boats called Banger Boats and set off to find their catch. Banger Boats have a metal pole that extends from the boats deck into the water. The hunters bang on this pole to drive the dolphins. Once a pod is found the group of banger boats work together in formation to drive the dolphins back into the Cove of Taiji. By Banging on the poles the hunters are able to scare the dolphins and get them to go the direction they want them to. Though disoriented, the dolphins fight for hours to get away. There are times when their persistence and hard work pay off, and the dolphins escape. But this is not always the case.
                                          Driving a pod of Dolphins into the Cove of Japan

  Lets take a moment to look at what dolphins and small whales these hunters are targeting. To many, including us, the species that is being hunted doesn't matter. But we will take a look, because they have earned the respect. Here is a list of some of the dolphins and small whales the Taiji Hunters target.

                                          The Bottle nosed Dolphin

                                           The Pacific White-Sided Dolphin 
                                          The Risso's Dolphin

                                          The spotted Dolphin

                                          The Striped Dolphin

                                          The False Killer Whale

                                          The Short Finned Pilot Whale

   Once the hunters have pushed the dolphins into the cove they drop nets to trap them in. At this point the dolphins are not only terrified but exhausted. They are confined into a small swallow area, in which many get cut, scratched, or bruised up, just from trying to swim around.

video from KahakaiGirl showing dolphins trapped in the cove

The Hunters then push the dolphins into a smaller more private cove, known as the "Killing Cove".By its name, one does not need a huge imagination to know what happens there. At this point (depending on the type of dolphin that is caught) the "Trainers" are called in. These people work for Dolphin Base, Dolphin Resort Hotel, and the Taiji Whale Museum. It is their job to come in and pick the best dolphins out of the pod to be sold in the live dolphin trade. They get into the water and inspect the animals, and decide if any are good enough to sell. When they find an animal they like, multiple trainers jump on the animal and hold it down. They get it into a net or sling attached to a skiff (sometimes the animal goes right into a boat for its ride) and its moved to a sea pen in the harbor, or directly to the Taiji Whale Museum. Once the trainers are done picking their favorites, they leave with their animals, and the rest of the pod is killed (Note~ there has been times when some of the pod has been released).
                                          Trainers at work

    Over the years there has been a few different recorded methods of how the hunters kill the dolphins. Footage of animals being gutted alive, speared to death, and having a metal rod drove into there backs severing the spinal cord. The Japanese Government claims that they are dedicated to ensure these animals are slaughtered in the most humane way they can, with as little pain, stress, and suffering as possible. They see these animals as blessings, so the utmost respect is given to them. Once the animals are dead, their bodies are taken to the gutting barge and then to the butcher house, which is located in the harbor, to be packaged up for consumption.

                                           Whale Ceremony in Taiji, Japan

                                           Dolphins being speared

                                         Collecting the dead dolphins

                                                          Dolphins being pulled from the gutting barge, heading for the butcher

   It seems pretty cut and dry. And if in fact these animals were fish, I am sure many people would not think much about it. But these are not fish! These are animals that many, including top researchers, would argue are just as intelligent, if not more so, then the human race. There is no denying dolphins are very intelligent. Study after study shows us this. From the fact that they can recognize themselves in a mirror to the fact that they can see right through us like an ultra sound. Did you know that dolphins never fully sleep? They would drown if they did. Instead half of their brains sleep at a time, so they are aware at all times. Yet, they have plenty of energy to swim many miles and day. Jumping through the water and playing along the way. Sadly dolphins also have some not so pleasant human traits. They suffer, feel pain, get depressed, morn the loss of loved ones, and have even been known to commit suicide.

CNN report on dolphins being self aware

Bubble play...

Dolphins and whales have family bonds that rival human bonds. A pod can have many generations in it. Mothers nurse their young for two years, before the baby starts sampling sold foods. Most dolphins stay with their parents for life. A pod can range in size from just a few animals to hundreds, even thousands. A pod can also have different species of dolphins in it. It is not uncommon to see large pods made up of multiple species of dolphins.

Large Dolphin Pod

Very large pod

 With these things in mind, lets revisit the dolphin drive again....

  It is true that the residents of Taiji have been hunting dolphins and whales for hundreds of years. No one is arguing this point. But a lot has changed over the years. In fact, so much has changed that its imposable for many people to agree that these dolphin drives are part of Taiji's heritage.

 Generations ago the hunters were not killing enough dolphins to provide food to be sold all over the nation. They simple killed what their village needed to survive. Now days, studies show that that most Japanese citizens do not, nor would not, eat dolphin meat. So why does Japan kill over 20,000 dolphins a year? If the majority of the population doesn't eat it, where does this meat go? Well the sad truth is Japanese people are eating dolphin meat, they just don't know it. Some of the meat is used to make pet food, some is packaged and sold as dolphin meat in markets, but a good portion of it is packaged and mislabeled as other type of meat and sold in the markets to unsuspecting consumers.

Repeat of the video from my Mercury Poisoning post

 The question has to be asked, How do we know that Japan is not exporting dolphin meat to unsuspecting countries as well?  I know that this could be considered a huge accusation, and I'm not saying they do. But the fact there is Scientific proof that dolphin meat was falsely labeled and was sold in markets in Japan. How do we know its just in Japan?

Shocking Video by Scott Baker

 Another reason why many refuse to except dolphin drives as part of Taiji's heritage is the fact they capture and sell dolphins in the Live dolphin trade. This did not happen generations ago! Face it, this is Taiji's bread and butter! This IS why Taiji is doing dolphin drives. It has nothing to do with food, or heritage, but everything to do with the $100,000 to $300,000 USD they get per dolphin sold. If there was no live dolphin trade, these dolphins of Taiji would not be killed. Dolphin meat is undesirable, they have to mislabel it to even sell it. These hunters are there for the live dolphin, the ones they kill are just a by-product.

Why do they hide it? People around the world are proud of family tradition and celebrate their heritage. So if these dolphin hunts are part of Taiji's heritage and a tradition that they themselves are not ashamed of, then why hide it? They have used tarps, boats and just about anything they can find to block the view of what they are doing. Why? Why have they become so angry that the world has seen what they are doing? Why has Ric O'Barry's life been threatened? Why has he been told that if he steps back in Taiji his safety is not guaranteed? So he filmed a documentary of what was going on. So while filming, they set up hidden camera's in areas they "were not to go in". But what does it matter? The film just showed the world Taiji's culture. Of course, in doing that, they also uncovered the truth of the mislabeled meat and the abuse and cruelty these dolphins endure. But hey, its your heritage, your proud of it...Why hide?

Video belongs to delfinusdelphis

                                          Taken from

                                                        No Dolphins in the cove...Tarps open
                                                       Dolphins in the cove and blood in the water...tarps closed!

                        And they could use a course on using Tarps, because most the time...they are not hiding anything!
  This year many organizations including Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Save Japan Dolphins has vowed to have people on the ground, in Taiji, everyday of the season. The goal is to abide by Japan Laws, but be there to document everything the hunters do in the cove. Volunteers from multiple countries around the world have answered this call. Equipped with still and video cameras the Cove Guardians take their places everyday ready to catch the days events.  Live updates Via Facebook and Twitter has kept activist around the world in the know. This has allowed those who can't be in Taiji the opportunity to to still be involved. As soon as the boats leave the harbor, thousands of people around the world take action by calling, faxing, and emailing Embassies, the Fishing Union, and many other government offices, requesting to release of any dolphins caught. They have also contacted international media outlets and celebrities who might be able to help in some form or another.

  Since the Cove Guardians have arrived in Taiji the footage they have managed to catch is mind blowing. Cruelty at its worst! Baby dolphins being separated from their mothers, left to die. Dolphins being punched, hit, and held underwater to be subdued. Live dolphins being tied be their tails and pulled backwards by skiffs, not being able to breath, fighting for every breath. The list of abuse goes on and on. These hunters, and so called "trainers" do not care about the age of the dolphins they kill or take into captivity. We have been shown baby dolphins being both taken and killed. Little lifeless bodies thrown around the gutting barge. Very young babies sent to die in a glass and concrete tank, because they can't survive with out there mothers. The footage is haunting. So many horrific acts have been captured. Dolphins trapped in nets, fighting to breath. Dead dolphins being cut from nets, because they lost the fight. Dolphins floating in the water dead due to being held underwater to long while being inspected, and drowned. A dolphin being killed by having a metal rod jabbed into its back, which is supposed to sever its spine, and then having a wooden nail hammered into the whole to stop the bleeding. The poor dolphin thrashed around for about 15 minutes before it died.  AND this is their idea of humane!

Video taken from BigGunnsmissions, Dolphin being pulled by their tails alive and dolphin being cut out of net dead.

video taken from RosieKunneke, more dolphin tied up by the tail, fighting to breath

Raw footage from RosieKunneke showing trainers elbowing and hitting dolphins will selecting them.

According to Scott West, who has been in Taiji since September as the official SSCS representative, roughly 423 dolphins have been slaughtered and another 134 dolphins have been taken captive, this year (as of Dec. 7th.) With 3 months to go in the season, there will more blood, more cruelty, and more heartache. How much longer will these atrocities go on? When will the hunters of Taiji see that these barbaric actions do not belong in today's world. When will people who participate in swim with me programs or attend dolphin and whale shows around the world realize they are the root of the problem? Dolphins have been known to save human lives all around the world. When will the world decided to stand up and save them?

Video from Kahakaigirl

taken from FreeDolphins2010 A wonderful video made by a couple from Japan who are helping in getting awareness out to stop the murdering of dolphins.

For more info on the Cove Guardians, daily reports from Taiji, and how you yourself can become a CG.
Visit Here.

So much more to come on this subject....