"It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen."

Saturday, May 19, 2012

We Could Be Heroes

"Never depend upon institutions or government to solve any problem. All social movements are founded by, guided by, motivated and seen through by the passion of individuals. "
Margaret Mead

When I saw The Cove I thought it would be depressing, but it was very exciting. I still don't think dolphin slaughtering compares to how we house and kill masses of cows, pigs and chickens in factory farms all over the place, but the big difference is that dolphin meat is toxic. It's full of mercury. So the slaughter for food is truly senseless. The creepiest part is that they put it in mandatory school lunches. Actually, it turned my stomach that the lunches were provided by schools and children were made to eat every last bite, and there seemed nothing parents could do to intervene on their children's behalf. I can't even imagine: my kids won't tolerate the wrong kind of mustard....

 I remember as a kid being fascinated by the mercury in our thermometer. My parents were scientists, so my dad broke open the thermometer so I could explore the properties of mercury. He poured it onto a piece of metal, broke the ball apart, then rolled it around until it all joined itself again as if it desired to be in one big lump. I also remember his holler whenever I moved to touch the stuff. It's poison! It'll kill you. And I had to scrub my hands for several minutes even though I never actually made contact. Children were being forced to eat it.

It's an inspirational movie. These guys who devote their lives to the planet are in their 70s now, and they need younger folk to join the ranks. I don't have the kind of skills necessary for hiding underwater cameras, but I can write and talk and spread the word, and that includes writing letters to the political figures just in case they get on board on this one. See the Cove link at the beginning of the post for action tips. If you're really into it, picket at Marineland. I have consistently refused to take the kids there, and now I feel even more justified in ruining all the fun. I want them to learn I'm not cool with having fun at the expense of others. I've held that position long before I knew about the problems with dolphins in captivity; animals are not here to perform for us. Here's a good site fighting the practices at Miami Seaquarium. We need something similar to highlight problems with Marineland.

At one point two fishermen are walking across a beach of dead dolphins. As they make their way, one walks around the carcasses, but one walks on them, almost playfully navigating the balance act on the slippery skins. And I was reminded that it's all about "othering." As long as we think it's okay to treat any other creature as less than ourselves, as objects available for our own exploitation, we will have problems surviving together.

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