Update: The incredibly talented singer/songwriter Maria Daines, who is also a passionate animal advocate, wrote a song in honor of Mary Alice Petch-Pollard entitled, "Shepherds of the Seas". This song speaks to the dedication of advocates who stand to bear witness to the horror the dolphins and whales endure, and to other advocates, like Mary Alice, who do whatever they can to help animals everywhere.
For weeks there have been reports and streaming live media from the Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians, telling of the horrors of the annual dolphin hunt in Taiji, Japan. Members of the organization have stood watch, to make sure the entire world would know about this nightmare. It was a heartbreaking task, but these dedicated and compassionate volunteers do this in order to be a voice for these precious lives. The work to end this hunt is needed now more than ever.
The story of this bloody practice was documented in the Oscar-winning film by Richard O'Barry entitled, "The Cove". During the months of the dolphin drives/hunts, various species of dolphin are herded into the cove by boats, where they are systematically slaughtered. A very select few are chosen to be sold to amusement parks for human "entertainment". The rest are brutally murdered for their meat, to be consumed by the Japanese who still eat dolphin and whale meat. The waters of the cove turn red with the blood of these innocent animals, as they try desperately to escape, with families frantically trying to protect the youngest of the pod.
Dolphins live in family close-knit family pods. They have their own individual language within the pods. The offspring never leave the family group, and babies swim right beside their mothers while they learn all the things needed for their own survival. They are loving and dedicated to each other, and will do whatever they can to protect their young. They are highly intelligent animals, and looking into their eyes you can see reflected back the deep knowledge and wisdom they hold.
Mothers have been witnessed to commit suicide when their babies are torn away from them, as happened with Angel, the tiny albino dolphin. She was spotted by the hunters and immediately ripped away from her mother, who spy hopped and cried out in a desperate search for her baby, and then vanished under the water, killing herself. Tiny Angel swims all alone in a dirty and isolated pen, still searching for her lost mother. It is heartbreaking beyond comprehension to do this to an innocent being.
The Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians bear witness to these atrocities, so that the world can no longer turn a blind eye to what is going on, and how these animals arrive at the "amusement parks" around the world. It is agony for them to be forced to only stand and watch, as well as record the events through photographs and live internet feeds. They do this in silence, and must endure the heartbreak of not being able to stop it. However, if they take any action at all to interfere with the hunts, they would be arrested, and they would be banned from ever being able to come there again. This horrific practice went on in secret for years, until Richard O'Barry had the courage to film it all, and show the world exactly what was going on.
Even today, the fishermen try to hide the actual slaughter underneath tarps hung across the cove. But, those standing watch are able to see it through the spaces in the tarps, and the screams of terror and agony resonate through the cove. It takes a very strong person to do the work of documenting this horror, and these guardians have the highest respect from advocates around the globe. They are special people indeed.
Beyond being killed for their meat, a small number of the animals are singled out, like tiny Angel, to be sold to "amusement parks", or places where live dolphins and whales are put on display for humans who pay the entry fees. The youngest, prettiest and strongest are separated away from their families, while they must watch as their entire family is then massacred. They are held in tiny pens until they are sold to the highest bidder. Once they are sold, they are shipped off on a long and tortuous journey, where the ones who survive all of that will spend the rest of their lives in unnatural captivity.
The need to end this hunt is huge. The waters turn dark red with their blood, and the nightmare does not end, because if they are not killed or captured, they are sent back out to sea, separated forever from their families. The work to end this hunt must never end. It is hoped that with more education and enlightenment of the public about this brutal practice, there will become less demand for live animals, or for the meat. It is hoped that without the demand, this hunt will one day become a horrible memory, and finally end once and for all.
The majority of the younger generation of Japanese abhors this hunt, and are forming advocacy groups to try to bring it to an end. We must all join together to put this nightmare to an end for our brethren dolphins and whales. We must stand up and speak out for them, since they have no voice of their own.
Please consider an alternative to visiting any exhibit where live dolphins or whales are imprisoned. No matter what might be said to the contrary, there is no "humane" life for these animals who have been ripped from their families, watched them slaughtered, and then face a lifetime trapped in a concrete enclosure.
Also, please take a few minutes of your time to read and sign the petitions linked below regarding this brutal annual hunt. We must all educate ourselves about this and other dolphin and whale hunts that go on each year.
Please visit the Facebook page for Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians to see detailed information, videos, and pictures of this cruel hunt in Taiji. Please give these animals a voice, and help end this nightmare for them forever. There are links there to other hunts, and other actions that can be taken to help these animals. These precious beings deserve to live the lives that were intended for them. They were not put on this earth for human entertainment. Please help to educate everyone about the high cost paid by the animals they see in the parks, and help stop these hunts forever.
Will you speak for them?
Click here to sign the petition: "Urge Shinzo Abe to Stop the Taiji Drive Hunt Forever".
Click here to sign the petition: "Stop Dolphin Slaughter in Japan".
Click here for the Facebook page: Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians
Click here for the Facebook page hosted by Mary Alice Petch-Pollard: Act For Animals World Wide.
Click here for the website: "The Cove".
Click here for the Facebook page: "Rick O'Barry's Dolphin Project".
Click here for other music for the animals by Maria Daines and Paul Killington: Maria Daines Rock for the Voiceless
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