Friday, October 29, 2010

Dolphins generate £4m a year to Scots economy

Dolphin spotters contribute an estimated £4m to Scotland's economy, new figures have suggested.
Aberdeen University researchers examined what impact bottlenose dolphins off the country's east coast had on the tourism sector.
They found dolphin-watching was a major reason behind 52,200 overnight trips to the area.
A total of 17,100 people said that seeing the creatures was the main reason for their trip.
The study, by researchers based at the Aberdeen centre for environmental sustainability, also found that more than 200 jobs in the tourism industry were generated by overnight trips to see the dolphins.
Rural Affairs and Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead described the marine mammals as "much-loved inhabitants of Scotland's eastern waters".
He said it was "little wonder that many thousands of people plan especially to see them".
'Delightful symbol' Mr Lochhead said the Marine Scotland Act had been designed to help protect wild species, such as dolphins, while also aiming to ensure the country could benefit from "the riches contained within our waters".
He added: "While dolphins directly add to our tourist income, they are also a delightful symbol of this unique and special environment which we protect, develop and enjoy."
During the summer months most dolphin tourists come from outside Scotland but Scots travel more frequently for shorter trips at other times of the year.
The research was based on a survey of 529 visitors during 2009.
It comes after a Scottish government report put the net economic impact of all wildlife tourism to Scotland at about £65m, supporting about 2,760 jobs.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Taiji - Town of sun, the black tide and whales

Most people have seen, or are familiar with the movie "The Cove" and while nobody can argue that it has brought the world's attention to the plight of dolphins  the movie has been criticized by some for not treating the Japanese fishermen fairly, that is up to the individual to decide but we believe that if a solution is ever to be found that all parties involved should have a fair voice and as such we would encourage everyone to watch the following short 3 part documentary.

Film makers synopsis

over 400 years ago, in the small coastal town of taiji, organized whaling began in japan. since then, the town and its people have been closely connected to both whales and whaling, making it a fundamental component of their culture. the western world however, began a worldwide campaign against the killing of these cetaceans not only at open seas but also around territorial waters. environmental groups and organizations applied what seemed to be a knockout punch on the issue when videotapes of the slaughter of whales and dolphins at hatajiri bay in taiji surfaced all over the world, prompting the production of news articles, ad campaigns, news clips and even a film. people from taiji felt violated by those who objected to their ancestral practice, and in response they began to isolate themselves. consequently, we have only heard one side of the story. until now, when a small group of westerners spent almost three weeks in taiji, getting to know its people, interviewing people from taiji, including two different generations of whalers, on camera for the first time in years, expressing their feelings about whales, whaling, environmental groups and culture.




Four Taiji Dolphins Shipped to Egypt Amid Deadly Heat, Extreme Abuse

This is the full text of the article.

Four Taiji Dolphins Shipped to Egypt Amid Deadly Heat, Extreme Abuse The fate of the dolphins remains unclear after their transfer to a desert dolphinarium

Hurghada, Egypt: Surviving two flights and a truck drive into Egypt under 110 degree heat, four bottlenose dolphins may have been smuggled into Hurghada, Egypt, August 15, from Taiji, Wakayama, Japan, in violation of the Convention on International Trade and Endangered Species (CITES). They reputedly traveled through a country that was a non-signatory of the CITES treaty. If confirmed, this would have made the entry into Egypt illegal, even though the importation was approved by officials. The four dolphins were shipped to Egypt in mid-August along with four other Taiji dolphins that were exported to Saudi Arabia, according to Japanese custom officials.

Wagby Saad, Egyptian owner of the Taiji dolphins, placed the four small cetaceans into a swimming pool on the grounds of his villa in Hurghada, Egypt, in the Red Sea Governorate, on August 15.The dolphins were under quarantine awaiting transfer to Saad's new desert dolphinarium, under construction outside Hurghada. Saad, who owns another dolphinarium in posh Sharm el-Sheik, had reportedly paid $300,000 for each small cetacean.

Late September local residents found the dolphins languishing in their own excrement in Saad's polluted pool, igniting community outrage. Hurghada EnvironmentalProtection and Conservation Association(HEPCA) was contacted, who in turn dispatched marine mammal expert and former Flipper trainer Ric O'Barry to Hurghada, September 26, to help resolve the dolphins' desperate plight.

On October 1, O'Barry and his filmmaker son, Lincoln, drove to the site where the dolphins were being held to assess their health. When they reached the site and attempted to open the car door, three guards attacked the pair, one of them unleashing a pit bull targetting O'Barry's leg. He escaped the dog's lunge just as another attacker tried to grab his son's video camera, which captured the incident.

In a telephone interview October 2, O'Barry said, "I filed a police report ...and I understand they are filing charges against the owner (Saad) and his three thugs who attacked us." Officers responded to the attack by dispatching eight police armed with machine guns to round up the attackers. They found no one at the villa, O'Barry said. Amr Ali, Managing Director of HEPCA said, " We also tried to lend assistance to the dolphins' owner but all we got was (negative) action from the bodyguards."

The besieged dolphins were later examined by a veterinarian. They were found suffering from their polluted environment due to the pool's defective filtration system, a HEPCA official said. No specific details on the health of the dolphins were issued.

The Red Sea Governorate promotes eco tours and prohibits the trade, shipment, or captivity of wild dolphins within its borders.The Governor of the Red Sea Governorate issued an ultimatum to Saad to transfer the dolphins within 48 hours to his facility due to the appalling conditions of the fetid swimming pool. A $10,000 fine was imposed for every day the transfer was delayed, O'Barry said. The Governor also issued a decree to ban the import of any mammal into the Red Sea Governorate, blocking shipment of five more Taiji dolphins bound for Egypt.

O'Barry was skeptical of the four dolphins surviving in the new dolphinarium, saying, "They're going to die where they're going to, this tank in the desert is not the solution ...I'm going to go on record saying they're going to die when they're moved!" He said the dolphins should be sent back to Japan to Miyake Island where Japanese protect the resident dolphins and added, "but not to Taiji where the dolphins will end up being someone's lunch."

On October 5, the Taiji dolphins were finally transferred by truck to Saad's new facility. The opening date remains unclear and the success of the dolphinarium may be in jeopardy in the wake of community revulsion against dolphin captivity.

After a screening of The Cove October 3, where scenes depicted the bloody spearing of captive dolphins in Taiji, O'Barry said, " People are really outraged, (at Taiji's dolphin slaughter), they're very environmentally conscious here...they think it's totally obscene what's going on...and they get angry.". HEPCA launched a campaign, supported by local travel agencies, tour guides and dive shops, to discourage tourists from visiting the dolphinarium when completed.

Hiromitsu Nambu, a Taiji dolphin broker who arranged the dolphin exports to Saudi Arabia and Egypt, was accused of "cruelty by neglect" by Australian Nigel Barker, a former yearlong resident of Taiji, who was aquainted with Nambu.

Barker said, "Captive dolphins were in the sea pens during a fireworks display conducted on the sea wall, about 15 meters behind the pens, during Taiji's annual Kujira (whale) festival, October, 2007..."And the fireworks went off, BANG, BANG, BANG, BANG, for 45 minutes and there's a good chance a couple of dolphins died of shock or a heart attack." Barker added, "He (Nambu) didn't move the dolphins...that was singularly cruel,,,"Why didn't he move the dolphins or set them free!" In another incident during a selection for live captures, Barker said, "I observed Nambu laughing on the beach while dolphins were tethered and drowning within five meters of where he was standing."

Nambu's seemingly cavalier attitude towards the captive dolphins was also reflected in another occurrence. His office, within the Taiji Whale Museum complex, was very close to a small tank where I witnessed three captive dolphin calves swimming in filthy water during a visit to the museum in 2006. I saw one baby dolphin tiring and suddenly drop below the surface. It never resurfaced. The calf might have been saved if Nambu, who was at the museum at the time, had bothered to monitor the stressed calves, whose mothers were recently slaughtered in a dolphin drive. The other two calves also died a few weeks later after being force-fed a milk substitute.

Boyd Harnell is a Japan-based journalist who has worked for Time Life TV, UPI, Kyodo News
and other media outlets.

Footnote: TDAG understands that shade has been erected in their new pool. The health of the marine mammals seems to be improving and the white layer on their eyes is disappearing. Furthermore they are interacting a lot more with each other. Also since the importation of the "Hurgadha Four" The head of the Egyptian quarantine authority has been fired and replaced ~ via Hepca.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

How to Kill a Dolphin, Taiji Style

In December of 2009 the Japanese dolphin hunters refined an old killing method and added a simple but effective new twist - the cork or stopper

This tool is used to sever the spinal chord of the dolphin, it paralyses but does it kill? the cork on the string is used in case the tool is dropped so it can be retrieved and that piece of wood? Well that is jammed into the hole made by the tool to stop the bleeding and make sure that the waters do not turn the red colour we are so used to seeing in pictures of previous hunts.

The Taiji Dolphin Action Group is making further inquires into what the Taiji Fishermens Unions claims is a new "more humane" way of killing. Where did this method of killing dolphins (less the plug) come from? Well let me tell you where these people got their inspiration - The Faroe Islands!

It is not only those of us who oppose the slaughter of of our beautiful dolphin friends that are united, apparently Taiji and the Faroes are not only practicing the slaughter they are an inspiration to each other.

Mark B
co-founder TDAG

Conversation with Scott West & his daughter Elora 16th October, 2010

A friend of ours whose group is known as Enviromending Ofit, called and reported the following


by Enviromending Ofit on Saturday, 16 October 2010 at 03:10
It would seem that I initially called, just as Scott had tossed his phone to Elora, as he was being taken away by the police in Taiji, Japan today.

Elora was amazingly strong and said "My dad is being taken away, can I call you back?" (very cool under pressure :-)

I called back a little later, and coincidentally, it was JUST as Scott was walking through the door of the hotel room.  The sound of jubilation filled Elora's voice, as she also had her mum, Suzanne, on a Skype call.  The relief and joy was evident, as was the laughter that I heard over the phone.  The room was busy, with about 7 or more people milling around in excitement (Elora tried counting as we spoke :).

After a few minutes Elora put me onto her dad, Scott, who told me the following:

He has NEVER seen dolphins fight as hard as they did today, but sadly the fishermen won the day by slaughtering 8-10 Risso Dolphins, behind closed doors, hiding their acts.

As it became obvious that something different was happening, Scott had walked beyond the blocked areas to film what was happening, and for this the police took him into custody.  He was put into the back of a police vehicle and taken to an interrogation room at the Taiji police station.  In his wisdom, Scott refused to answer any questions, but instead insisted that the US embassy be called, and he was asked several times to talk.

It became apparent, from what his interpreter was telling him, that he was actually NOT under arrest, so he tried to leave, but was asked to remain.  This information was repeated and confirmed by the interpreter the second time and Scott (having the law enforcement experience that he does) realised that they were not able to make him stay unless he was formally charged.

He got up and walked out!

When he asked about his daughter Elora, it would seem that the local police realised his concern, and in fact drove him back to the cove.  Everyone had left to get back to the hotel, (to report) but a couple of the team from 'Save Japan Dolphins' were driving by, so gave him a ride.

That is where our conversation started.


In my view, it would seem apparent that the fishermen chose to kill these dolphins today for a couple of reasons, primarily because if they left it until tomorrow, it was very likely that Scott, Elora, Lailani and others on the ground may have succeeded in capturing it all on film, and secondly because there have been thousands of people calling over the last 10 hrs or so, asking them NOT to kill the dolphins.  Scott agrees.

In many ways I feel that this small group of fishermen chose to defy all protests, because they could.

It defies logic, it defies humanity, it is a blight on the Japanese government that they continue to allow this in this 21st century, BUT we must also remember that 'hating' the people is not the solution.

'Hating' the crime, yes!!  But honestly, I know how much energy it takes to 'hate' and words are very, very powerful, so I would ask you all to try not to let this feeling in, but instead focus on the many things that we CAN do as a collective voice.

There is action happening in this crazy social networking world of ours, and a huge movement is taking place.  IF we all choose to work TOGETHER as individuals and organisations, I honestly believe that stopping these heinous acts from continuing IS possible.

I send a HUGE virtual hug to Scott and Elora in Taiji with much love and thanks for their on-going efforts (as supported by SSCS) and a massive thanks from all of us at ARC - Animal Rescue & Conservation to you all, for your on-going support, encouragement, time and efforts in helping.

This is a wonderful 'team' that we are creating.  Let's keep the momentum up.

ALL embassies and many other details can be found in the discussion and 'notes' areas of these pages.  Please be sure to cut and paste the sample letters (if you need to), the many email addresses and send to those listed.  If you print it out (sorry trees) and mail a copy to the Prime Minister of Japan, I suspect it will also help.  Details are also there.
*Keep copies of what you send (sadly we may need them again).

Sincerely, Enviromending :-)

Thanks to Enviromending for leting us share this with you all


Mark Bamberry
co-founder TDAG

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Orca Deaths at SeaWorld Parks

Name Sex Date of Death
Shamu F Aug 23 1971
Kilroy M Sep 23 1978
Kandu F Jun 16 1971
Orky (II) M Sep 26 1988
Nootka F Mar 13 1990
Winston M Apr 28 1976
Kona F Sep 28 1977
Kandu (III) F Jun ?? 1975
Frankie M Jan 29 1974
Canuck (II) M Aug 02 1981
Kandu (V) F Aug 21 1989
No Name F Sep 03 1979
Bjossa F Oct 08 2001
Baby Shamu (II) F Jan 16 1986
Splash M Apr 05 2005
Sumar M Sep 07 2010
Ramu M Jan 12 1982
Canuck M Dec 01 1974
Sandy F Oct ?? 1977
(Kandu IV)
M Sep 20 1990
F Aug 06 1991
Gudrun F Feb 25 1996
Kona (II)
F Oct 15 1987
Nootka (IV) F Sep 13 1994
Kalina F Oct 04 2010
Taima F Jun 06 2010
Nyar F Apr 01 1996
Nootka's Calf
? stillborn
Gudrun's Calf
? stillborn
Taima's Calf
? stillborn
Winnie F Apr 11 2002
Kahana F May 14 1991
Kotar M Apr 01 1995
Haida (II)
F Aug 01 2001
Samoa F Mar 14 1992
Katerina F May 05 1999
Kahana's Calf ? miscarriage
Samoa's Calf F stillborn
Taku M Oct 17 2007
Haida's Calf
F Dec 28 1994
Halyn F Jun 15 2008
Unna's Calf F stillborn

Friday, October 8, 2010

Breakthrough interview with Mr. Sugimori, the head of the Taiji Hunters Union

Dear Friends:

I do hope you all read Elora's blog today and everyday.

Interviewing Mr. Sugimori never goes as planned. Today was the third time in a year. He knows me...perhaps I am the only western dolphin activist to ever engage him in conversation.

The plan was for Elora to interview Sugimori and for Yoshiko and I to help translate.

Sugimori seemed stressed. He has developed an eye tick since we last spoke. He has lost his caution too. He had never before let himself or his comments be filmed. This time he jogged out of the Hunters Union yelling to get out of his parking lot. The man called “Private Space” joined him.

I thought at the time he was yelling at me, but as soon as Elora left, his tone changed. Elora's blogs are making the rounds of Japanese media…I think Sugimori is afraid of the charming blonde haired eloquent 16 year-old high school student, Elora West.

I think he has reason to be afraid. Elora's writing and photos bring a powerful message to people all over the world. There has never been anything like it with the Taiji dolphin issues. She is the Joan of Arc for the Dolphin Movement. Follow her--Save the Dolphins!

After Elora got great video shots of the normally cautious Sugimori sputtering guttural frustration, she left to stand vigil with Scott, Jackie, John and Patricia.

I thought Sugimori was open to discussion. He definitely didn't want to let me or Yoshiko leave. He kept asking questions to engage us in conversation.

1. Don't you know that hunting dolphins is guaranteed by the national Japanese government? Don’t you know we have a right to do our jobs?

2. Why did you come here with that terrible Sea Shepherd group?

3. Can't you be independent from Sea Shepherd? We would take you seriously if…

4. Why do you talk about dolphins and not chickens? And what about kangaroos?

I tried to answer his questions but he didn’t seem to be listening. He just kept asking questions, the same questions. He was not yelling but he wasn’t really trying to discuss.

Then an actual threat to my livelihood: If you continue to fight against us, I will call your school principal, Steven, I know you teach in an Osaka high school. He wasn’t smiling when he said this. When I heard him, I wasn’t smiling either.

In retrospect, I realize that Sugimori was just trying, consciously or unconsciously, to dominate the conversation, bait me, and intimidate me.

It wasn't until I started asking compromise-based questions that his tone changed. We had a breakthrough.

Much debate has gone on behind the scenes. Basically, if we can get some form of agreement with the union, some lessening of the horror, we can start to unravel the mess that is the dolphin hunt and capture.

I asked Sugimori three lines of questions: mercury, baby dolphins, and money.

1. Can't we at least label the meat for mercury?

His demeanor changed. He actually answered the question: “if there were a mercury threat, the government would not let us sell the meat.” Wow. They don’t acknowledge the toxicity.

Would you like pregnant woman to eat the meat?

He sidestepped the question: the meat isn’t eaten very often.

So there is mercury in the meat?

If there is, it isn’t significant. The official tests showed low risk in Taiji.

This line of questioning…the mercury issue…started to come into clarity. This in itself is a breakthrough. With clarity we can more easily discuss the issue with solid scientific data.

--I believe, based on the research that I have read, that dolphin meat has mercury and other contaminates and that these chemicals are harmful to humans.

--The Dolphin Hunters believe that the meat is safe to eat.

2. Can’t we at least save the baby dolphins and the pregnant females?

This question seemed to take Sugimori off guard.

He stuttered…mmm…don’t you eat baby cows (veal).
I answered. It’s wrong to eat baby animals that have had no chance to live and it is inhumane to kill pregnant animals. No modern society kills females while pregnant. It would be an extermination policy.

Sugimori looked over at Private Space and asked: The babies are saved, right? …not killed… Private Space shrugged.

I continued: when the dolphins are run in from the open sea, don’t some babies get lost or run over with the boats? Don’t some pregnant females abort out of fear?

Sugimori and Private Space had no reply.

I started with the next line of questions realizing that BABY DOLPHINS is point to start a fresh dialog for compromise. With focused vision, I believe we can get the union to discuss ways that babies might be saved.

3. Finally: Money

If the union continued to corral dolphins for the aquarium trade but stop the hunt, how much money would they need to make up?

Sugimori hesitated seriously. I think he did not want me to discuss this answer.

I told him the answer: calculating approximately 2000 dolphins,: the Taiji annual kill limit, times approximately 300 US dollars per dead dolphin, the government supported price, equals 600,000 USD. There must be a way to make up this amount in an alternative way like dolphin watching tours. Let’s try a sample month with an organized watching tour and a real no kill policy. If in one month, you can get 1000 people at 100USD per person, we would match the current income.

Isn’t it worth a try? Let’s use this opportunity to discuss our views and to find solutions.

TDAG is committed to finding solutions to end the hunt. Thank you for joining. Thank you for sharing:-)

Steven Thompson
TDAG Co-Founder

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Meeting Shamu: An Early Awakening

 Those of us who oppose captivity have arrived at this point in time united against the cruelty and inhumanity of what is nothing more than a cold calculating business often disguised as conservation or education but that is an illusion designed only to protect shareholders, do damage control and prolong the myth that captivity is good for us and dolphins, to any caring, unselfish persons this is blatantly wrong and many of us arrive at this conclusion in a myriad of ways and at different times of our lives.  A little earlier today I read Kathleen Cain's Facebook post on her visit to SeaWorld in Ohio in 1970 and am grateful to Kathleen for allowing us to share her story here.....

The year Seaworld of Ohio opened in 1970, I was nine, and I lived in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. My hardworking, middle class father saved what little spare money he earned, to take my family to see Shamu. We were so excited, but upon arrival, I stared into the eyes of the most captivating, beautiful creature, that I had ever seen. What I saw was sadness, loneliness, fear, and desperation. He spoke to my heart, and I fled up the stairs of the stadium in tears. I was not a crybaby child, so my parents were shocked, when I could not catch my breath, and begged them to help me get him out of there. They were speechless, and I fled back down the stairs to see him closer again,  When he pressed his face toward me, through the glass, I felt my heart crushing the breath out of me, and I threw up. My mom had to leave with me, and my dad was so pissed. I tried to make her understand, but that was then, and this is now.

When I turned twenty, I got my first job as a travel agent, I flew to Seattle for a familiarization trip. We took a boat out and saw a wild pod. That was the day that I cared less about myself, and more about the "cause".  I fell in love with Washington State, and talked about moving there, but unfortunately was not brave enough to do so.

So, here I am, a million years later, in Florida, hoping that the insanity of mammal captivity will end.

1. Shamu - 6 years
2. Ramu - 15 years
3. Kilroy - 11.5 years
4. Kandu - 4 years
5. Orky2 - 20 years
6. Nootka - 20 years
7. Winston - 15.5 years
8. Kandu3 - 4 years
9. Sandy - 4.5 years
10. Kona - 6 years
11. Canuck - 2.5 years
12. Frankie - 5 months
13. Kandu - 15 years
14. Kenau - 15 years
15. Gudron - 19.5 years
16. Canuck2 - 4 years
17. Kona2 - 10 years
18. Kandu5 - 12 years
19. Winnie - 24.5 years
20. Kotar - 16.5 years
21. Shawn? - 1 year
22. Kahana - 12 years
23. Nootka4 - 12 years
24. Haidi2 - 9 years
25. Samoa - 8.5 years
26. Baby Shamu2 - 11 days
27. Katerina - 10.5 years
28. Splash - 15.5 years
29. Kenau's baby died in womb
30. Samoa's baby died at birth
31. Taku - 14 years
32. Nyar - 2 years
33. No Name- - 8 days
34. Hayln - 2 1/2 years
35. Taima - almost 21 years along with her stillborn baby
36. Bjossa - 21 years
37. Haida 2's baby died in womb
38. Stillborn to Kalina
39. Stillborn to Gudron
40. Stillborn to Nootka 4
41. Kona 2's baby died in womb
42. Corky 2 had miscarriage
43. Kandu5 had stillborn
44. Unna had stillborn
45. Sumar - 12
 46. Kalina - 25 years
*This does not include all the stillbirths and miscarriages or any deaths I can't find information on or were not reported.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Emily respnds to Shuya Nakatsuka First Secretary, Embassy of Japan

Those of you who have read Shuya Nakatsuka's response to Emily Pompie's letter may of been surprised by some of the rather strange views expressed (you can read the full letter here) and so was Emily, she has taken the time to send her own response and we thank Emily for allowing us to share it with you here

Dear Mr. Ambassador,
I am writing back to you in response to the letter I recently received from Shuya Nakatsuka, First Secretary, Embassy of Japan. I was taken aback, to put it mildly, at what he wrote. Some of what he wrote was incorrect at best and disingenuous at worst. I quote from the letter: “mercury in seafood, including dolphin meat, which is from natural sources, should not be confused with high level industrial mercury which caused the tragedy of Minamata disease in the 1950’s.”

Where, pray tell, Mr. Ambassador, does this naturally occurring mercury come from? Where do all the PCBs that contaminate the food chain come from? You and I know the truth. It comes from human pollution. We are killing this earth and all the life within it to suit our wants and needs, regardless of the consequences to species and future generation.

People like to use “tradition” as an excuse or justification for continuing practices. I respectfully argue that just because something is a tradition, does not make it right, ethical or worth carrying on. Here in America, we once had a tradition of slavery and of not allowing women to vote. It is not a tradition we are proud of but they are also not “traditions” we continue to uphold today.

There are many cultures with many traditions all around the world and, yes, I agree that we should all learn about each other and respect each other but we should also stand up for what is right.

In ancient Rome, Christians were killed by animals for the entertainment of the public. Cruel traditions change. They must change and become cruel history in Japan as well. That is what the world is asking from you. It is the only way for Japan to become a more civilized country and gain more respect from the world and from her own citizens. Traditions are something that a country is proud of. Most of the Japanese people do not even know about this slaughter and obviously are not proud of it. Here are the quotes of some Japanese citizens:

"It's not tradition nor culture. It's shameful act."
"Tradition that needs to be protected must be a good tradition. Bad one must be stopped."
"While millions of people are starving in the world, in Japan we are dumping millions of tons of food. There is absolutely no need for such Japan to hunt wild mammals for food. From now on, we need culture to let wildlife live instead of killing. Please stop showing off shameful Japan to the world. Please make our culture to be called 'culture to respect life'."

The preceding quotes prove it absolutely unnecessary to hunt oceanic mammals for food because of need or tradition.

It is scientifically proven that dolphins are highly intelligent creature, one of the most intelligent species that live with us on this planet. They communicate with each other telepathically and do so intentionally and deliberately. This is something we “superior” humans have yet to achieve.

They are incredibly emotionally evolved, with strong family ties and live together in extended families. They take care of each other when they are sick and old. They do not cast out “undesirables” from their pods. They respect each other and all other creatures.

They are self aware, like we are, and do understand when they are mistreated and slaughtered mercilessly — that is the worst of it, the absolute worst of it. When they are driven relentlessly across the sea and into a cove, their terror is unfathomable. When their loved ones are separated from them, the fear and horror is unimaginable.

Can you even begin to imagine their pain? Can you for even a single moment, open your heart and your soul, and truly put yourself in their place? Imagine that your family is rounded up. Your beautiful daughters, nieces, granddaughters, sisters, perhaps even your mother, is taken from the group. You know in your heart, that something beyond your worst nightmares is going to happen.

Then, the people that have rounded you up and taken you from your homes in the most brutal manner, begin to murder you and every single one of your family that is left. You feel the searing pain of the attacks, feel your blood and your life leave your body and all the while, you hear the screams of your loved ones and see them going through the same thing.

You pray that the ones who were separated from you earlier will be spared this, and they will be. They face a different kind of hell. They will spend the rest of their days, enslaved where they will be forced to perform, to entertain upon demand. It is no different than the kidnapping and selling of children into the underground sex trade.

We humans like to consider ourselves to be the most intelligent, the most evolved, the most sophisticated species on Earth. I say that we are not. We merely create newer and more exciting ways to kill each other and this planet we live on. We have no regard for life. We have no respect for those that we share this world with, whether fellow man or beast. We are the only creatures on Earth that will line up in groups and genuinely try with all of our might to wipe each other out of existence. I don’t think that is very intelligent or evolved, do you?

I am begging you personally, Mr. Ambassador, to stand up for what is right. These hunts for dolphins and whales must end. The never-ending worship of money must stop. We must respect the Earth and the life within or we will all surely perish. We must all learn to live with each other with love and respect.

Most respectfully,

Emily Pompei