Friday, February 26, 2010

"Cap'n, thar be whales here!" -- Scotty, Star Trek IV

As the dolphin becomes just another victim of
humanity's utilitarian attitudes towards the Earth, it
seems as though the ancient friendship between our
respective species is no longer entirely reciprocal.

Such exploitation is nowhere more evident than in the
capture and display of cetaceans for profit. Stripped of
their natural identity, deprived of their own culture
and environment, the dolphin and whale incarcerated
within the oceanarium not only symbolizes an abuse of
that ancient relationship, but above all our
estrangement from nature as a whole.

Prince Sadruddin Khan

The Bellerive Symposium on Whales and Dolphins in Captivity (1990)

I'm not a vegetarian. I love a juicy red and char-
blackened steak. Hopefully, the more of Temple Grandin's
methods for humane slaughter of cattle are adopted, the more
times I'll eat meat with a clear conscience.
Never mind the carbon-footprint aspect, which negates
all the humanity stuff. I didn't say I had no vices.
If I thought the fat and sodium wouldn't kill me at an
earlier age, I'd eat bacon all the time. And pigs are
considered one of the more intelligent animals.

I don't eat veal, which I used to love, because I found
out how grossly inhumane the animal is treated.
I wouldn't advise reading up about how chickens get to
market if you like eating them either.

I'm not an "animal lover," though logic and morality
demand a recognition of the co-members of nature
taking up a percentage of space with us humans on
this planet, including plants and fish. Even crystals are
known to exude and transmit energy, so maybe rocks
and dirt for that matter have some input in our shared

After all, on a molecular level, we're all made of the
same stuff that comes from the creation of stars...
whales have been mistreated in the world over
the last 250 years.
'The Whale' by Philip Hoare describes instances of total
thoughtlessness on the part of humans' use of an
"As their land-borne counterparts drove buffalo from
sixty million to extinction, so these oceanic cowboys
pursued whales to the brink. . . . For America, the
common enemy was the wilderness; and just as that
wilderness was in fact full of animals -- and native
peoples -- so the American seas were full of whales,
ready for the slaughter."

The Russians don't escape blame either in this
"During the Cold War, gargantuan Soviet factory ships
dispatched and processed their quarry with grim

Lamps no longer burned whale oil during the 1950s
and 1960s; whales were made into lipstick, margarine,
vitamins, lubricants, fertilizer, glue, leather and food
for minks and other fur-bearing animals."

The overall issue is about the animals we live with.
There has been a long term outcry against making fur
clothing from animals. Very recently I have seen increasing
activism about so-called "puppy mills" where dogs are
bred beyond the ability of the demand of puppy lovers
to absorb them so that many have to be killed.
We got our dog from a shelter, and there were hundreds of
other dogs there waiting for a home they'd never see.
We have no control over our fellow citizens of the
earth in other countries where tigers have been
poached down to near nonexistence.
Then PETA makes a silly ad comparing the
problems with tigers to the problem of a guy named
Tiger in order to make a point--but not a good point.
So they pulled the ad.

Animals kept in captivity, in zoos, aquariums, or in
any of a number of other unnatural habitations
is not healthy for them, or for our human
perception of them. If a parent thinks the child will
become more knowledgeable about an animal by
observing it in a zoo, circus, or constrained in water
when it was meant to roam the sea, that parent should
realize that the real lesson the child learns is how
people can be bullies over even the most powerful of
creatures. That's what I learned from seeing monkeys
in a zoo or graceful dolphins in a small area, or huge powerful
lions chasing their tails over and over in confinement.

It is especially souring that a woman who is said to
have loved her relationship with the great Killer
Whales, was killed by one of them in an accident.
This incident needs to bring to the headlines that these
animals need to be let loose and out of captivity.
The news reports are even blaming the trainer for dangling her
ponytail in the water, and this confused the Killer Whale. Her fault
was not in trying to embrace and love this whale, it was the fault of
a system that says that humans can invade the world of nature with
no consequence, and no thought. In the wild, a human would never
try to interact with a large Killer Whale. It's not natural. Dogs are
domesticated animals over several thousand years--Killer Whales, not.

Circuses need to be disbanded, and animals fit for the
wild need to be released into their native habitat.

Let Sea World hire James Cameron to develop a huge multi
-screen "Avatar"esque 3D show about how Orcas live,
eat and produce in the wild. Show them sneaking up
on the California Grey Whale calves and munching
down in a few bites as the Greys make their way with their
mothers down to Baja to spawn. It's terrifying,
grotesque--but it's natural and none of our business--
go ahead and film it for the sake of educating our
children. Sea World would thrive on punching
those tickets for that filmed 3D show.

There's more to learn in the natural activity of the food
chain than there is in the artificial depravity of human
technology conquering an ignorant beast.

All of this sounds pretty way out and far-fetched--let all the
zoo animals go and close down the circuses...
How do you think it sounded to the Sperm Whales when
they were being hunted and killed to use their oil to
light the gas lamps of London 160 years ago? They
couldn't believe it either!

People are so bizarre. Try talking to one sometime--
you won't believe what you hear next.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments signed Anonymous will not be published.