The Watering Hole, Monday, December 22nd, 2014: Make Me Smile

Since I’m sick of the current population of humans, in my next life I’d rather come back as a dolphin or porpoise. Even though humans may still top the food chain, I’d like to have a bigger brain and be able to swim the oceans with few natural enemies. It’s no wonder they seem to be smiling all of the time (yes, I realize they can’t help it), I would, too. At least dolphins and porpoises make us useless humans smile, we can’t help it, either. And it seems that they have the same affect on other animals as well.
dogs and dolphin
dolphin and seal
dolphin face

Hope these pics made you smile, too. Everyone needs it on a Monday.

This is our daily Open Thread–what makes you smile these days?

The Slob Fishermen of Japan

Richard O’Barry who once trained several dolphins for the “Flipper” series has created a documentary, The Cove, which will be released on August 7, 2009.  This documentary exposes the fishermen that needlessly slaughter up to 23,000 dolphins a year in Taiji, Japan.

(From MSNBC)

It’s no exaggeration to say that “The Cove” could do for Japan’s slaughter of dolphins what Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle” did for the meat-packing industry or Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” did for polluters. Whether you’re a fervent PETA activist or someone who still likes eating veal, you’ll find yourself shaken by the revelations of this powerful new documentary.

Dolphins, as it turns out, swim some 40 miles a day in the open sea. They have a very sophisticated sense of sonar, in which their undersea cries allow them to understand their surroundings. Not surprisingly, they hate being stuck in small tanks — most dolphin shows keep large quantities of Maalox and Mylanta on hand, we are told, because the intelligent, finned creatures suffer from stress-related ulcers in captivity. (The dolphins’ permanent smile hides their true feelings.)

If only the dolphins could change their facial expressions, then we would know how they feel about being confined in a tank.  We place these free animals in jail with a life sentence of entertaining people.

Faring far worse are the dolphins that are slaughtered by the hundreds each day between September and March off the coast of Japan; they’re lured into a cove, and those that aren’t sold off to trainers are butchered.There’s a case to be made, of course, about killing animals for food, but the film tells us that dolphin meat is so saturated with mercury — 22,000 parts per million, when the legal limit in Japan is 0.4 parts per million — that it’s too poisonous for human consumption. And yet, Japan defends its right to kill dolphins, even buying off impoverished nations to vote alongside Japan in international conferences that manage the capture of whales and other cetaceans. (It’s worth noting that most Japanese citizens have no idea that this slaughter is even taking place; city dwellers far from the coast are shown reacting with horror when shown the filmmakers’ footage.)

This inhumane slaughter of these highly evolved and intelligent mammals is appalling and reminds me of the Slob Hunters of Pennsylvania.  Neither of these butcheries are for food.

The Japanese fishermen consider dolphins to be a nuisance, kind of like field mice in the corn shed and therefore, they are to be destroyed.  Japan has over fished the waters surrounding its island nation and is now competing with dolphins for fish for making sushi and other Japanese dishes.

Of course, this film has stirred up some contraversy with tourists and places like Sea World.

Long notorious for its brutality, the Taiji slaughter is a so-called “drive hunt,” during which fishermen in a string of boats use clanging sounds to herd dolphins into small coves. Once penned, some dolphins are picked out by dolphin trainers and animal brokers for purchase and transport to amusement parks and resorts. The rest are killed with spears, knives and clubs in an orgy of cruelty. As the film graphically shows, the sea water churns into a bloody froth. The cries of the dolphins are pathetic.But is it really possible that American tourists buying tickets to Sea World are somehow supporting this hunt and others like it? To understand the answer, it helps to know how amusement parks obtain their animals.

Read more about the dolphin trade here.

There are videos on YouTube showing the dolphin slaughter.  Be warned… these videos are very graphic and that is why I choose not to link to them.

Until this needless slaughter of these intelligent mammals is stopped, I will boycott all products that come from Japan.

(Point of View ~ Cats r Flyfishn which may not represent the views of other Zoo Critters.)

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Dead dolphins wash up on gulf shore

The Raw Story

This is just so sad…

Marine officials are worried that they may be facing another significant dolphin die-off in the Gulf of Mexico after 21 of the marine mammals were found washed up on Texas beaches over two days.

The carcasses were discovered a year after about 70 dolphins washed up in the same area over a two week period.

“We are concerned, especially because (of) what happened last year,” said Blair Maise, the marine mammal stranding coordinator for the national marine fisheries service.

“There may be more.”

Researchers weren’t able to determine a cause for last year’s significant die-off because the animals’ carcasses were too decomposed when they were discovered.

The bottlenosed dolphins found on Monday and Tuesday on the Bolivar peninsula near Galveston, Texas were also badly decomposed, but officials are hopeful they may still be able to determine a cause.

They will also study satellite photos taken over the past three weeks to see if the dolphins could have been killed by a red tide, a harmful algal bloom which is becoming increasingly common in the Gulf.

“It’s been around for hundreds and hundreds of years, the red tide, but what’s unusual is the areas where we’re starting to see it more and the impact on the marine life,” Maise said.

We’re not the only ones, or the first ones, to be affected by climate change.