Weekend To-Do (Good) List: Circus Edition!!!

As you probably know, Ringling Bros.’ parent company made the startling announcement this week that they will be ending all elephant performances by 2018. We all celebrate this victory after years of petitioning, protesting, and increasing public awareness.

Staples circus protest 2011

We can’t forget though that there is still plenty to do to help animals in entertainment.  Life As a Wave wants YOU to help keep the momentum going by taking these easy actions. Lend some of your weekend time to these efforts, post this blog to your social media pages, let people know what you’re up to and how they can help too.

Most of all, have fun doing good!!

With big, elephant love,

~~~S Wave~~~

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1. Help Magnus the Lion

This cub was removed from his mother shortly after birth and intentionally malnourished by a circus in Spain. They wanted to keep him small, but instead they made him permanently ill. When they wanted to euthanize him, a rescue group and a team of vets came together to save him. Read the story here.

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To find out more about Magnus’ rescue and surgery, visit Let’s Adopt! Global. If you want to contribute some money to his care and to finding a new sanctuary home for him like I did, click here. Most of all, share his story so that people remember that there are many more animals suffering in circuses around the world.

2. Keep the Seaworld Buzz Alive!

One can’t help but compare the elephants in Ringling Bros. shows and the orcas in SeaWorld shows. Two majestic, wild, roaming species confined and exploited to the point of psychological breakdown.

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Citizens from all walks — animal rights activists to the neighbors down the street — are growing weary of SeaWorld’s persistence to keep orcas and other marine mammals performing at their parks. This is especially true since the breakout documentary, Blackfish. In fact, this has been one of the most powerful animal rights campaigns I have personally witnessed. How can we keep it going?

First, watch Blackfish if you haven’t. Post about it. Share the trailer on social media.

Second, be another voice in the protest. Join over 50,000 others in signing this petition by Fins and Fluke or this petition by SeaWorldofHurt.

Third, follow social media sites like Stop SeaWorld and Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project that speak out against marine life abuse.

Fourth, don’t go to SeaWorld! I’ve said it once and I’ll keep saying it: it’s time to move past this kind of entertainment and captivity. It is time for preservation and sanctuary, for respect for animals’ natural behaviors, and for teaching our children to embrace the “wild” of wilderness.

Fifth, if you want to really get out there and get your hands dirty, join a protest! Protests are regularly held in San Diego, San Antonio, and Orlando.

3. Watch Dumbo With a Child

Here’s one that doesn’t make you a “crazy activist” and doesn’t cost you any money (except maybe for some almond milk and cookies). Children have a keen sense of compassion for animals, an instinct that they are too often conditioned to ignore.

Why not engage them in a conversation about why Dumbo was taken from his mother?

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Why not ask them what they think about the Ringling news?

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Why not tell them that they have power to make bad things good? Because they really do.

Youth Protester

Enjoy your weekend and DO GOOD!

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Less amusing animals: How movements work

Reblogging this from David Meyer’s wordpress site. As I hope you have heard, Ringling Bros. have announced that they will be phasing out the use of elephants in their shows. This is a huge development! Historic! Our responsibility to honor our fellow non-human animals in this time of species collapse demands that out-dated exploitations like this end. Thank you, Ringling Bros.!

Politics Outdoors

As anyone who has stumbled across the internet and sampled a tiny sliver of the astounding variety of cat videos, animals can be entertaining.  For years animal rights advocates have been emphasizing the price those animals pay for our amusement.

When we learn that elephants are beaten in training, we may become a little less impressed by those amusing tricks.  Maybe, we go to the movies or  a concert instead of dragging the family to the circus.

After years of countering the rhetoric,  and offering reforms in training methods, even litigating against its critics (and winning!), Ringling Brothers has given up, announcing that it will phase out the use of elephants in its circus shows.  There are a lot of factors–as there always are: circus audiences are declining; taking care of elephants is expensive; and some cities have laws banning elephant performances.

Kenneth Feld, the president of Feld…

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First Killing in 2014 Taiji Dolphin Hunt

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12 Rissos Dolphins trapped at the cove for slaughter. 09-16-14. Photo: Ric O’Barry’s Dophin Project, #DolphinProject

This week, on the 16th, the first dolphins were killed in the annual and controversial Taiji dolphin hunt. In case this is the first you’re hearing of this, the Taiji hunt was featured in Oscar winning documentary The Cove and has gained more and more opponents as the years have gone by. Both Sea Shepherd and Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project provide fabulous coverage of the hunt each year so animal rights advocates can be in the loop.

Below I am reposting an excerpt from a post, Change in Taiji: Finite Disappointment, Infinite Hope, which I wrote during last season’s  hunt. In it you will find some ways to help speak out against the hunt if you feel so inclined. There is also, at the end, a call to maintain your compassion for every individual involved in this dilemma, even those who may seem like enemies.

As the hunt continues this season, Life As a Wave will be standing with others who believe the practice is out-dated, unnecessary and inhumane. More updates will come!

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Here is the excerpt:

So now, dear readers, is the time when we feel helpless to help. However, as Martin Luther King Jr. said, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” So stir up your hope that there is a world awaiting us where respect for our non-human animal companions is the norm. Then, take even just one action. Can’t think of what you might be able to do? Let me help:

Spread the Word:

Follow Operation Infinite Patience on social media and share with your friends and family. Ask them to help us end this atrocity.

Cove Guardian Facebook
Sea Shepherd USA Facebook
Cove Guardian Twitter
Sea Shepherd USA Twitter

Educate others on the link between the captive dolphin industry and the Taiji dolphin slaughter. Please discourage your friends and family from visiting dolphinariums, aquariums, or participating in captive dolphin programs like “swimming with the dolphins”

Contact the Authorities:

Help us end the brutal Taiji dolphin slaughter by voicing your concerns to the authorities in Taiji as well as the Japanese Embassy, US Embassy to Japan, US and Japanese Ambassadors to the UN, and the US Senate members of the Committee on Foreign Relations.

Japanese Embassies Worldwide:

Websites of Japanese Embassies, Consulates and Permanent Missions

List of Embassies and Consulates-General in Japan:

List of Embassies and Consulates-General in Japan

US Embassy in Japan:

Kurt Tong – Charge d’Affaires ad interim
Telephone: 011-81-3-3224-5000
Fax: 011-81-3-3505-1862
Send E-mail to the U.S. Embassy in Japan

Japanese UN Representatives:

H.E. Mr Kazuyoshi Umemoto – Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
japan.mission@dn.mofa.go.jp

H.E. Mr. Jun Yamazaki – Deputy Representative of Japan to the UN
japan.mission@dn.mofa.go.jp

United States UN Representative:

Samantha Power – US Ambassador to the UN
Samantha Power’s Twitter
United States Mission to the United Nations Contact Form

US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations:

US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

Wakayama Prefecture Office, Fishery Division:

E0717001@pref.wakayama.lg.jp
Telephone: +81-73-441-3010
Fax: +81-73-432-4124

International Whaling Commission (IWC)

The Red House,
135 Station Road,
Impington,
Cambridge,
Cambridgeshire CB24 9NP, UK.
Tel: +44 (0) 1223 233 971
Fax: +44 (0) 1223 232 87
Email: secretariat@iwcoffice.org

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) / Convention on Migratory Species (CMP)

UNEP/CMS Secretariat
Platz der Vereinten Nationen 1
53113 Bonn, Germany
Tel: (+49 228) 815 2401
Fax: (+49 228) 815 2449
Email: secretariat@cms.int

Mayor – Taiji Town Hall:

Telephone: +81-73-559-2335

Taiji Fishermen’s Union:

Telephone: +81-73-559-2340
Fax: +81-735-59-2821

Hotel Dolphin Resort/Dolphin Base:

Telephone: +81-0735-59-3514
Fax: +81-0735-59-2810

Japan Fisheries Public Content Form:

Contact the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries

WAZA: The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums

secretariat@waza.org

IMATA: The International Marine Mammal Trainers’ Association

info@imata.org

This information is from Sea Shepherd and surely there is ONE action from this list that you can do. To make it even easier, here is the message I will be including in my e-mail to many of the above contacts. Please feel free to copy the text and use it for yourself as well.

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to express my dismay and disapproval with the continued Taiji dolphin hunt. In light of the increasing global awareness and concern of our exploitation of dwindling marine creatures, as well as the increasing public outrage (including that from Japanese citizens) toward this hunt, I believe the time for defending this tradition has ended. With respect to the citizens and leaders of Japan and admiration for many of the country’s beautiful non-violent traditions, I implore you to cease this annual hunt and bring Japan further into the more peaceful and conservationist future that is necessary for our planet and its species.

Don’t Sacrifice Your Compassion:

Lastly, I want to exhort you to remain compassionate toward the people who carry out this hunt. I have seen plenty of comments on social media spewing hate and violence toward them, but there is no difference between that violence and the violence they inflict on the dolphins. Not essentially. And what are we doing if we counter darkness with darkness?

Your Weekend To-Do (Good) List!

The weekend To-Do (Good) List returns this weekend to give you some suggestions for ways to include altruism and activism, introspection and evolution, compassion and connection in your weekend!

1. Good for the Animals

The Performing Animals Welfare Society provides a new home to animals who have been used (and frequently abused) in the entertainment industries. One of their residents needs a little help and it couldn’t be an easier assignment for you! Here is their request:

Ferguson, PAWS macaque, has become more ape-like as he reaches middle age. A few years ago he began destroying his mattresses so we decided to provide him with disposable beds made of paper or straw stuffed inside a pillowcase. We now have an ongoing need for used pillowcases. If you have used pillowcases you would like to donate to Ferguson, please mail them to our Galt office at P. O. Box 849, Galt, CA 95632.

2. Good For Others

The Greater Good Science Center just added an article about the importance of social connection for the lives of seniors. How can you take some time out of your busy weekend to be that connection for them?

Here are some ideas:

– Schedule a visit to a local retirement community…if you’ve got a skill to share, share it! My Grandmother enjoys it when visitors come to her assisted living community to perform, visit, bring their therapy animals, join in game night, etc. Be creative! Maybe you can simply bring some flowers to distribute door to door. Or a St. Patrick’s Day token. Or offer to drive a resident to run some errands or attend church.

– Call a senior you know! Take time to really listen to them. A phone call may not fulfill their need for daily community, but for that hour you will be a welcomed connection. Don’t know any senior who might appreciate a call?….Nah, I don’t believe you.

– Establish a plan to incorporate your senior loved ones into your family routine more consistently. Build that “village” that we know benefits our kids, our elders, and ourselves.

3. Good For You

Take a lesson from St. Patrick! Did you know that St. Patrick was taken captive from Roman Britain when he was a teen and kept in Ireland for 6 years in servitude until he escaped? In some of his writing he said:

The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was rosed, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same. … I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain.

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As part of your To-Do (Good) assignment I suggest you spend some time meditating on what you can learn from his experience. I don’t want to be too leading here since it will be YOUR meditation, but I’ll just say that you don’t have to be a catholic to relate to his revelation.

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Have a wonderful weekend! Make sure to report back on any other good things you added to your

To-Do (Good) list. We would love to hear them!

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What We Ought

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“In a real sense all life is inter-related. All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garmet of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the inter-related structure of reality.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

Today, as we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. and allow ourselves to be stirred and ignited by the many illuminated messages that he shared with us, I want to encourage you to acknowledge your connection to him. He knew that he was connected to you. Do you know it?

He strived to be “what he ought.” As you strive toward the same—whether in your attitude, your activism, your awareness, your altruism—allow yourself to feel connected to the great multitude of others like King who have lived before you and tried to be their very best in order to inflict great love upon this world. Their energy, their wave, lives on.

Be Encouraged!!

I  just received an e-mail from the Care2 petition site. On a typical day I might delete this kind of update e-mail or skim it quickly before trashing it. Not that I don’t care deeply about many causes I hear from in my inbox, but those e-mails accumulate so fast that before you know it you can’t find that one important e-mail from you boss that must have gotten swallowed up by all of the updates from political campaigns, activism sites, fundraisers, catalogs, etc etc. It’s the digital version of the two brown bags I have in my kitchen overflowing with mail for my neighbor that I have been collecting while he is out of town. I’ve told him, “You can go paperless with many of these things,” but on and on it arrives into the NON-metaphorical mailbox outside his house…fliers and advertisements, solicitations and bills, coupons and newsletters.

This is NOT a complaint post, believe it or not. I’m not spending time on this beautiful evening ranting about spam. Actually, what I wanted to share with you was what I mentioned at the beginning…this update from Care2. The subject?: LOOK WHAT YOU’VE DONE! And in the body of the e-mail is a list of just a few of the game changers in environmental issues, animal welfare, and public health that have occurred all over the world just in July due (at least in large part) to individuals signing petitions on the Care2 petition site. Here are the headlines and links:

FDA Bans BPA in Baby Bottles, Sippy Cups

Santa Monica Mountain Lion Shooting Leads to Policy Changes

Urban Decay Gets Cruelty-Free Status Back

FOUR PAWS Team Rescues Cub From Cruel Fate

Leatherback Turtles Protected in Puerto Rico

Forage Fish Protected in the Pacific

Chevron to Pay $19 Million For Environmental Damages


 

 

 

So BE ENCOURAGED!! You can be an activist and an advocate from the comfort of your own home if that is what feels right to you. Don’t like PETA? No worries! But it doesn’t mean that you can’t stand up for the welfare of animals. Don’t live in the Ukraine? It doesn’t mean you can’t help little Nastia find a better future at Four Paws. Amazing isn’t it? We can impact our world in ways that would have been inconceivable just a few decades ago. You should know that YOUR life has an impact. Always has. Always will.