Since September I have been working “mentally” with a group on Facebook set up by Oephebia Animal Healer called “Communication, Visualisations, Prayers for the Dolphins in Taiji (Japan)” This works in the same way as the “Badger Protection Ritual” which I outlined yesterday.
It is a gentle peace loving group who link “virtually” at 20.00 hours GMT, to collectively meditate, pray, light a candle or visualise the dolphins remaining free in the ocean with their families. Dolphins, we know are akin to us in many ways, being highly intelligent and they form strong social relations with their family, travelling in pods.
The key difference between this group and the Badger Protection Ritual (the badger cull does not start until Monday 15th October, although we hope that it can still be halted at the eleventh hour) is that we are aware of what is happening by following Tweets from The Sea Shepherd@SeaShepherd The Official Twitter page of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Defend. Conserve. Protect. They can also be followed on http://seashepherd.org/
I returned from meeting some friends at around midnight yesterday so I looked at the Sea Shepherd tweets. There was a drama unfolding, one that is dreaded and has resulted in the capture, killing, imprisoning and training of dolphins to be sold to marine parks, aquariums and dolphin shows. The latter are the “lucky” ones. The others are slaughtered for food, although it is known that the meat contains mercury.
A tweet that started circulating was “Taiji: The fisherman have identified a pod & the boats are in drive formation”
Although it was grim news and distressing, I decided to stay with it and monitor the tweets. If I felt his tense I tried to imagine how it must be to actually be there as a Cove Guardian with Sea Shepherd, witnessing, praying, willing the dolphins on, not wanting to see them be driven into the Cove to be parted from their beloved ocean forever.
My heart was racing, I was pacing, visualising the dolphins keeping moving, drawing on all of their inner strength and survival instinct, ignoring tired fins, focussing on staying together and freedom. I could see that other people were monitoring it all too, living it alongside the Cove Guardians. We were all in one “place” with one entangled intent, to see the pod perform an almost mission impossible.
Can you guess what happpened? They did it. The most welcome tweet that eventually came, that we had all willed to manifest before our eyes was “Taiji: 7 boats have returned and 5 following slowly. No killing today” and “WHEW” day for dolphins in Taiji! BLUETIFUL news ~ the dolphins got away! ”
The word “blue” is a word that we use when the dolphins are “safe” for the day. It means that Taiji Cove is blue as it should be as the Cove turns red with blood if the hunt and drive is successful. When we get the “blues” about Taiji Cove, there is no sadness involved. It’s the same feeling you get when you look up at a clear blue sky.
That was a significant victory for the dolphins. It is very hard to outmanoever the killer boats once they are in drive formation. The hunters are well versed in this exercise as they have been doing it for years. This pod is likely to be inexperienced. The very fact that they were swimming freely indicates that.
These animals are highly intelligent and communicative. How must they have felt to have succeeded against those odds? Hopefully it means that this is a step up in their evolution, that they are developing the ingenuity, strength and speed to escape the predators. Hopefully they are telling the story of their victory to their oceanic community. The ideal message is to keep away from Taiji Cove so that they do not find themselves in that death defying scenario. That is the strongest strategy that we have been sending to them.
The Sea Shepherd Guardians and people like us paying attention are unwelcome participants in the process as far as the hunters are concerned. The observer effect is being observed and is having repercussions. Last night the observers were not going to collapse the wave function until the dolphins were out of range. The onlookers then watched the killer boats return to the Cove with no catch. The dolphins had performed but under their own steam. They had performed for us, the witnesses.
If this was a harmless sporting event like a football match, there would have been an interview with the captains of both sides. But it is not.
There have been developments since last night. The Japanese police have confiscated all mobile phones, cameras and computers from the Sea Shepherds in Taiji.
According to some sources, the SS shepherds crew will not have their equipment back for at least two weeks if it is ever returned.
The Cove do not want the Guardians and the world observing. There are lots of good things about Japan and not all of the Japanese are hunting or supporting this enterprise. But whenver I think of the country now, I cannot separate the name from the dolphin hunt and the sea turning red.
If you would like to know more and read arguments from both sides, a useful source is http://www.japantimes.co.jp/ 9th October 2012. I am in total agreement with some of the counterarguments that have been put forward. One of them suggests that we, in the West are complicit in this activity as we pay to enter dolphin shows and to go into marine parks to see the dolphins. They argue that whilst this demand is there, they will continue so instead of focussing on Taiji Cove, we should be turning our attention towards that dubious entertainment sector. I do agree with that.Although it is a what comes first, the chicken or the egg argument.
They also are asking why we are concerned about dolphins and do not show concern for other animals being hunted and killed. I am concerned about it and I know others are too.
It is well documented that dolphins (and whales) are highly intelligent and that they have a special link with humans as they have rescued some in danger at sea etc.
But yes, we do need to look at our own culture’s part in this with our liking to visit marine parks, Sea World etc. I think that the majority of visitors to those places have assumed that the animals were bred in captivity so have known nothing else and that they have always been treated kindly by humans. People need to be made aware of the fact that the”happy, cooperative dolphin” that they are watching has probaby been hunted down and wrenched from his/her family in the ocean, that he/she is far from happy, that he/she is just literally just going through the motions.
I will end this with some words adapted from Rousseau, Dolphins/whales are born free, and everywhere they are in danger of finding themselves in marine parks.