Thursday, March 8, 2012

We are all Cove Guardians

My last full day in Taiji, a few of us headed into town to film our parts for this video. I hate being on camera and public speaking, but I hate the senseless slaughter of living beings even more. And I liked the idea of standing around in front of a whaling vessel and discretely flipping it off. Research my ass.

If you can, please share that video. Tweet it, Facebook it, Tumbl it, post a response video on YouTube, make some calls, send some emails, whatever it takes to spread the message that what's happening is not OK and you won't stand for it. It's up to all of us to protect our planet and together, we can all be Cove Guardians.

I'm back home now, which means back at Occupy Wall Street. Last night, I made my first meeting of the Animal Issues working group in a while. We've got a lot going on. Most notably, we'll be presenting a wide range of workshops at the Brooklyn Food Conference on Saturday, May 12 on topics ranging from animal agriculture and the environment to food and free trade issues to bringing plant based diets to urban communities of color. Should be rad. Hope to see you there.

I was just about to post this when I read this bit of good news: the Japanese whaling fleet has called it quits for the year thanks to Sea Shepherd (again)!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

More than Murder

My second week in Taiji, the dolphin hunters found a large pod of several hundred Pacific white sided dolphins. Eight bangers, four skiffs and a few hours later, two of those dolphins were stuffed into the Fisherman's Union harbor captive pens I mentioned in my post. The boats chased the dolphins down, circled them and entrapped them with progressively smaller nets until they were relatively easy to wrestle into the skiffs.

Everything else aside, that black smoke the bangers constantly fart out pisses me off to no end.
White sided dolphins are stronger and fight more than bottlenose, so the hunters take them while they're still at sea instead of driving them into the cove where they may damage themselves on the rocks. Once they had the dolphins restrained in the skiffs (a diver had to lay on top of one of them to keep it from moving too much), they took them to the harbor pens, which they had intentionally blocked with their gutting barge so we couldn't record the transfer. I managed to get a couple of small peeks anyway.

Friday, March 2, 2012

The View From (and of) Taiji

As you may already know, Taiji's dolphin slaughter has ended for the year. The banger poles have come off most of the boats (they spend the rest of the year as regular fishing boats), the structure they use to hide the butchery has been dismantled, and they're moving on to the pilot whale slaughter and bonito fishing.


Sea Shepherd's Cove Guardians will still be on the ground for at least the next month or so to evaluate the situation and plan future campaigns, a rather daunting task when the future of Taiji itself seems so uncertain.

Anyone who spends a significant amount of time in Taiji, will come to notice three things:

1. Taiji is beautiful.
2. Taiji is poor.
3. Taiji is dying.

I'm no economist, but it seems to me that these states should be mutually exclusive; if you have beautiful land, invite people to look at it, then charge them for the privilege. Make all food and drink walking distance from the gorgeousness obnoxiously expensive. This would lead the people who live there to be proud of their home and encourage other people to visit, or move there, instead of moving out at the first opportunity.

The problem with Taiji is that for every this:

There is this: