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!

Weekend To-Do (Good) List: FOR THE DOLPHINS!

This weekend, I am happy to present a to-do (good) list with a theme…..

Dolphin_collage_by_teride2004

DOLPHINS! We love them, are intrigued by them, and consider them to be a lot like us. This weekend, to pay homage to the dolphins (not to mention the multiple other species) that will die or be sold to captivity during the annual Taiji dolphin hunt which began this week in Japan, Life As a Wave is devoting each good deed on this to-do list to dolphins. They are our social, intelligent, and self-aware non-human co-animals who have long been abused and exploited and they deserve better. And so, help us acknowledge these amazing creatures this weekend by participating in the following good deeds on their behalf…

1. Dolphins in the Desert??

Rick O’Barry, the former dolphin trainer featured in the film The Cove, is still in pursuit of dolphin liberation and preservation. Among his many initiatives, he is leading an campaign to end dolphin exhibitions at The Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. The hotel houses dolphins in pens without sufficient shade and without sufficient depth of water to keep themselves cool. The dolphins are apparently displaying skin disorders due to this poor care and then are expected to perform unnatural tricks for audiences.

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On his Facebook page, O’Barry is encouraging people to write to the hotel Head of PR, CEO and Director of Animal Care to voice their disapproval and to demand that the dolphin captivity at the hotel end. In fact, O’Barry has done much of the work for you! Here are the contacts that he shares:

David Blasko – Director of Animal Care – DABlasko@Mirage.Com
Jim Murren – MGM Resorts CEO – MurrenJ@MGMResorts.Com
Yvette Monet – Head of MGM PR – YMonet@MGMresorts.com

And here is the letter template that O’Barry gladly provides: http://www.scribd.com/doc/220135245/Letter-to-Yvette-Monet-MGM

In that letter, O’Barry says,

The death rate of The Mirage dolphins since 1990 is 55%. 12 out of 22 dolphins have died (mostly from stress-related illness). Wild dolphins can live to their 50’s, even 60’s. The average age of death at The Mirage is 10.6 years.
 
Will you take a minute this weekend to copy and paste this letter to the individuals above? Can you help to change the statistics in that quote and possibly help to free a few animals from a life of exploitation and inhumanity? I thought so!
 
2. From Exploitation to Education
 
As SeaWorld continues to flounder after Blackfish backlash, some facilities are making a concerted effort to transition away from animal exploitation and toward animal rehabilitation. The story goes that the Clearwater Aquarium in Clearwater, Florida is one such facility. The Aquarium was featured in A Dolphin Tale, a film about the development of a prosthetic fin for a dolphin named Winter.
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 A recent report says, 
 
The Clearwater Aquarium has announced it will no longer feature any animal performances, focusing instead on the rehabilitation and care of marine animals.
 
According to the aquarium’s CEO David Yates, stories like Hope and Winter’s will be the focus of the aquarium when its new center opens later this year.
 
“We don’t rescue them so we can have them to show to guests,” he said. “Our goal is to release them back into the wild. The whole essence of this thing is no matter what animals we have or don’t have, the experience of getting behind the scenes of our work, that’s going to be the draw long-term.”
 
Hip Hip Hooray if that is all true! You can read the whole story here.
 
But what does this have to do with you and your weekend? I thought it would be nice to give the Clearwater Aquarium a big thank you and a vote of confidence in their ability to help and not harm by following leaving them a THANK YOU on Facebook, Twitter, etc. So just click on the links below to go to their sites and share your encouragement. Remember to mention that you are proud of them for closing their animal shows! Let’s show them that the public is watching and is hopeful in their efforts. 
 
 
3.  The Call of Dolphin Duty?
As I was digging around in cyberspace, trying to find any interesting news about dolphins, I came across an oped in the New York Times from back in May. You can read the full version here, but in a nutshell, the author considers the dilemma (or is there one?) about the use of dolphins in the military. Did you know that dolphins are trained for a variety of military purposes such as scouting expeditions, mine searches, and even drone missions? 
 
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The author suggests that we should beware of hypocrisy in our quickness to condemn sending dolphins into warfare.
 
Many ethicists and environmentalists question the morality of keeping cetaceans in captivity. But if we accept cavorting orcas and dolphins at SeaWorld, then why not working dolphins in the Navy?
 
Well that is up to each of you to mull over. But, speaking of hypocrisy while the Navy values dolphins for their usefulness in warfare, they are at the same time killing hundreds of them with repeated tests off U.S. coasts. The Navy estimates that between 2014 and 2019 the tests will “kill approximately 155 marine mammals outright, permanently injure another 2,000, temporarily deafen hundreds of thousands more…” The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) believes this to be an underestimation. Read the original AP story from 2013 here. In response, the NRDC is suing the federal government to protect the marine life. They have also gathered over ___signatures on the petition located on their website. Click here to sign:
 
 
4. Movie Time!
After all, it is the weekend. It’s a great time to relax and do good at the same time! One way to do this is to watch a good documentary. After all, knowledge really is power and documentaries are a great medium for staying in touch, involved, and in the know while also getting to unwind and recline. So, expand your mind and meditate on our marine life brethren via a enjoyable flick, then share what you’ve learned with people around you. Raise awareness about the plight of marine life in your conversations and through your actions! To help you, here is a short list of films about dolphins, whales, fish, and other sea creatures that need our help in a variety of ways. Okay, they’re not ALL documentaries, but they’re all at least based on true stories.
 
 
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Have a wonderful weekend. Keep listening for news from Taiji over the next few months. Follow us on Facebook and get weekly reminders of your connection to the entire sea of life and beyond! Thank you for caring and for doing good in this world.
 
~~~S Wave~~~
 
 
 
 
 
 

Change in Taiji: Finite Disappointment, Infinite Hope

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Remember in 2009 when The Cove won best documentary? The film opened the world’s eyes to the annual drive hunt of dolphins in Taiji, Japan. Well the hunt continues. This weekend in fact. But the opposition continues as well. Sea Shepherd is one of the leading voices of this opposition. They are even live streaming this year’s round up, capturing and (I assume) slaughter of dolphins. As far as I understand, the slaughter will begin Monday.

USA Today reported the following today:

Fifteen of the animals were taken for a “life of imprisonment in captivity,” the group said, adding that one dolphin died in the process. On Saturday, the group said 25 dolphins were removed from their pod, and one died.

The remaining dolphins will spend a third night in the cove before being killed Monday, the group said. CNN reported that the dolphins taken Saturday and Sunday were likely to be sold into captivity at marine parks in Japan and overseas, according to the conservation group.

In an interesting connection, the popular marine park, SeaWorld, is one of the main profiteers of the Taiji hunt. This year’s popular documentary, Blackfish, details via firsthand accounts from former trainers and others how orcas are captured, trained, and kept captive through inhumane and unnatural methods. The park’s attendance and celebrity affiliations have suffered greatly due to the film’s popularity.

Another account, from Sea Shepherd reads:

“Tomorrow is going to be a rough day. They took over 30 dolphins to be sold for entertainment, including this albino (probably blind) whose mother fought to stay with her baby and then drowned herself, according to Cove Guardians. Tomorrow the remaining 220 will be hacked to death and the Cove will be more red than ever. If SeaWorld really cared about dolphins as they say, they would stop this.”

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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.

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?

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

– MLK

So find your balance, find your love, and take action in your world!

Love to you. And love to the dolphins.

~~~S Wave~~~

Our Role Beyond the Theater Doors

This week I went to see Blackfish, an important film about the life of orcas at marine parks like SeaWorld. It focused on Tilikum who has been in captivity for over 2 decades. It is receiving positive reviews left and right and anyone who sees it will be challenged to defend their support of parks such as SeaWorld where animals are exploited for entertainment and denied the ability to carry out natural social behaviors. In this age, conservation and education needs to be the name of the game. The times of animals in entertainment is passing.

But, those times won’t pass without actual action by regular citizens.  It’s good to show your support of animal welfare through your attendance at the theatre, but our role in real change doesn’t stop when the lights come back on. So after you’ve seen the movie, ask yourself what your next step might be. Here are some suggestions:

-Pledge to boycott marine parks

-Share the film with others: http://blackfishmovie.com

-Attend a marine park protest. How about one going on TODAY!

-Express your intentions via social media

-Express your disapproval to SeaWorld

-Sign a petition. Here is just one of many.

-START a petition

-Support Free Tilly campaigns like this one.

You are more powerful than you think and there is always another step waiting to be taken.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
—  Margaret Mead