Free Morgan the Orca!!!

Three years ago, a young orca was rescued off the coast of the Wadden Sea. In claims of rehabilitating the whale, an aquarium, Dolfinarium Harderwijk, brought her in. She was given the name “Morgan,” meaning inhabitant of the sea in Dutch. After a couple months in captivity it soon became apparent that the Dolfinarium had an ulterior motive for keeping Morgan. Many experts agreed that Morgan was ready to be released, but the aquarium kept her confined in the world’s smallest orca tank, a mere bathtub to a species that moves over 100km a day in the wild. She performed tricks for the public as SeaWorld officials who monitored her progress claimed she was unreleasable.

Enraged, animal activists sought legal action to free Morgan through the Orca Coalition, but the court declared the aquarium’s actions were legal, although false information was presented. An appeal to the hearing was made later in November 2011, but Morgan was sent to Loro Parque (a marine park in Spain) under the pretense and excuse of “education,” the same one SeaWorld uses to defend its corporation. Animal activists argue that there is nothing educational about unnatural behaviors performed in an unnatural environment and that it teaches the youth that it’s okay to imprison animals for entertainment – not exactly my idea of conservation.

At Loro Parque, where all of Sea World’s “excess” orcas are sent, Morgan has been attacked by the other orcas there, an unnatural behavior for female orcas in the wild (only male orcas have extensive rake marks). These rake marks on her melon show the frustration and violence orcas display in a captive environment on themselves and their trainers. In the wild, there has never been an attack on a human and orcas live in highly complex social structures, torn apart with solitary confinement and human control over all social interactions.

Last year, Morgan was unwillingly placed in a tank with Keto, an effort by the aquarium to get her pregnant at the age of 5-7. The natural age of pregnancy in the wild is an average of 14 (based on survey taken in 2005) and a range of 10-21. Activists claim that SeaWorld is using these animals as breeding machines, ejaculating sperm and artificially inseminating orcas to produce more captive animals to profit off of. It should be noted that SeaWorld legally owns Morgan and the court rulings would most likely have been different had the judges known this.

In 2012, another court hearing was made by the Orca Coalition to free Morgan, claiming that Morgan was legally releasable and that the aquariums holding her have provided false information. One such example is the claim by trainers that Morgan is deaf. But this was a complete lie, as shown on a YouTube video in which she responds to an audio signal after the report was made. Yet the judges still ruled that Morgan’s confinement was legal.

On December 3rd, an appeal of the previous ruling will take place in Den Haag of the Netherlands. The Dutch government owes it to its people to right the wrong the previous one has done and take into account all information truthful and honest. But beyond a legal sense, Morgan has become “a ward of the Dutch people to be held in public trust by the Dutch Government until she could be released back to the sea, to rejoin her real mother” (DutchNews.nl). India has declared cetaceans to be “non-human persons” and has banned dolphinariums in their country. It is time for us to raise our voices and take a stand for those that cannot speak for themselves. May Morgan finally be released and rejoin her family – which has been found!

“No aquarium, no tank in a marine land, however spacious it may be, can begin to duplicate the conditions of the sea. And no dolphin who inhabits one of those aquariums or one of those marine lands can be considered normal.”
-Jacques Yves Cousteau

© Zach Affolter 12/2/2013

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In Lack’ech (The Source and End is You) – An Essay on Entertainment

Gladiator GsmrdThroughout the ages of time, men have sought the means to enrich and perfect their lives. Thinking only of themselves, they laid waste to the land. They searched for slaves to do the work, animals to entertain them, and money, money, and more money from the inferior. Great palaces were built in place of trees, the natural beauty of earth was smothered. Dressed in the finest of robes, they gathered into a building that stood in Rome. A great show was in store that night, lions and bears, oh my! But first, it was man versus man in the world famous Gladiator games. They charged at each other upon slaving horses, the crowd loudly roaring. Cheering on the death of the warrior now kneeling on his knees, they clapped and merrily screamed as they motioned downwards with their thumb.

The collector of the fares was safe outside collecting the gold while the blood of the fallen warrior formed a lake on the ground. Somehow, having the power to control the life and death of another gave the most enriching experience to the audience. Every day they gathered by the thousands to watch the warriors slice each other to death. They roared and applauded, never stopping, never opening their eyes.

Then one day, it suddenly all came to an end. Rome had fallen, the city now in cinders. It seemed the pride and physical strength of the glorious civilization had blinded them; the soldiers had lost the fight. But the same lust for entertainment would survive, more money and more lakes made.

The Gladiator Games were one of the first sources of full-scale entertainment, but they were certainly not the last. Whenever one injures another for the amusement of others, greed will be their ultimate downfall. Religious as they were, the people were so fearful of not going to heaven. Yet atrocities such as this, brutal wars, and slavery still existed? It seems to me that over time religion became an excuse for those in power to oppress those who were not. This statement applies most generously with circuses. Animals were believed to be the spawn of the devil, so naturally religion provided the perfect excuse to make the suffering of, say elephants (a species nearly as intelligent as us by the most commonly misused definition), acceptable. And acceptable it was. The “religious ways” of the older generation were passed to the new, embedding in their minds that a perfect world existed, nothing needed to change; their ways were okay. But it was all just an illusion, a trick to keep those from finding the truth and speaking up against it. Those who did stand up were ridiculed, beaten, whipped, and sentenced to death under the crime of heresy to infuse a fear that would prevent rebellion. That would prevent the master from obtaining that dang dime!!!

And boy did they succeed. The ways of entertainment still live on today. Television, zoos, aquariums. We just don’t get it. We believe the excuses the greedy make: “oh it’s educational, it’s good for the economy, it’s fun.” Well, tell me this: Would you find it fun if you let your own child suffer just so you could buy a new car with a sweet ride? Would you sell yourself, would you want to be a slave just so someone can profit off you because it’s fun? Just because something is acceptable in society does not mean that it’s ok!!! Slavery was accepted, and now we see that as unethical. And abusing sentient beings for entertainment is not? Stop believing the lies of those trying to make a quick buck!!!

So now in 617 words we have come full circle from the beginnings of selfish entertainment to its manifestation in present society. Selfishly venomous, mankind takes, cheers, takes more, and cheers again, poisoning the planet. Their vicious and vile ways will come back to haunt them, and their greed will be their downfall. They must open their eyes to the world around them. It is already happening – ozone depletion, global warming, the oceans are dying while overfilling the bathtub humans call “the perfect world.” The Mayan civilization predicted the world would end. Perhaps they will be right, not in the context of 2012, but in our own destruction of it. They have a saying, and I suggest you pay attention. It means that we must make every action count towards bringing love and peace back to Earth, because what goes around comes around. Please do not be another me (In Lack’ech).

The End

Forever Blue <3

p_beautiful-dolphin

The ocean rests calm
and sings its wonderful song
all day long
,
as the waves roll merrily along

The color of blue washes away
all of the things gone astray
as the dolphins joyfully play
and Ocean dances a beautiful ballet

This is how it should forever remain,

as love and peace forever reigns,
unshackling the chains
and melting away the pain 

Let us all dream of this wonderful hue,
and let this dream come true,
as the world starts anew,
forever imbued in BLUE!!!

Swim free ❤
~Rising Sun

R.I.P Risso’s Dolphins

Yesterday, a pod of Risso’s dolphins were taken into The Cove and slaughtered by the Stone People. After twenty days in a row without this atrocity taking place, today was a heartbreaking loss to both Ocean and those standing up for its blue waters and creations. However, we must not let ourselves become sullen and full of hate. It is good to have a fire burning inside of you, but it is bad to have hate contaminate that fire. We MUST stop the slaughter as soon as possible, but we MUST remain kind and loving. Dropping down to the same level as the murderers and taking them out by force is not the right way to end this. Whatever temporary good violence may seem to obtain will result in a permanent evil that plagues the whole world forever.

So with that in mind, I would like to turn the tides and send the following words out to the souls that no longer are present in this lifetime:

One day, you all were born in the great waters of Ocean. You lived your lives to the fullest and there was a bounty of happiness and peace to go around. This Golden Time continued throughout your whole lives, until the Stone People interfered. Concerned only for themselves, they cared about something only if it made them happy. They have lost their balance and oneness with Ocean, and that has led them down the path of injustice. From the moment private property came into form, humans would begin their global suppression and oppression of the world.  Now in the time of the present, that has led to the slaughter of your clan along with countless others before you. But you must remember that the Stone People can keep you locked up for life and take your dead body, but they will never obtain your spirit. They cannot take away what is underneath. You will all remain a part of Ocean and will continue to keep its heart beating with life – even as the Stone People are spreading throughout the body and trying to cause cardiac arrest. That is something that the Stone People cannot comprehend at their stage of ignorance…

And with that I do send the following lines to those lost last night:

Moon shining on Ocean
May the moon shine brightly,
as the oceans shimmer under its light
creating a silver path shining nightly
giving no reason for fright

May the stars remind the Wild Ones
that no matter how bad the beat of the drum
or which the way the wind has them spun
to always remember where they came from

For the Wild Ones 
always stay wild
as the moon always wanes
for upon them Gaia has smiled

May the shimmering ocean
remind the Stone People
that we are one,
no matter how high the steeple

What they fail to realize 
is that we all come from the sea
They think freedom can be monopolized
but they are unable to see

Freedom is something you are born with,
leaving you a choice to keep it as you age
Taking it away from someone is a myth
no matter how dark the cage

For in the mind, you are always free
unless you let illusions cloud your mind
this you will always be
no matter where you are confined

Though many are cut down,
there is still a tree

Though it is dark all around,
the moon still lights the sea

With the birth of tomorrow,
you will find
that there is no need for sorrow
when the stars are aligned

They sing a new song to us,
one that is about the glory
That Ocean does possess
in every story

This story now becomes
a living reality
as we all bask in the light of the sun
so gallantly 

 
So farewell my friends,
someday we will meet again
when we all transcend
the boundaries of our terrain

Message to Lolita

Image

As this week continues on, Lolita has now spent her 42nd year in her lonely prison cell since her traumatic capture in 1970. Therefore, I send this message to Lolita as the moon begins to rise tonight:

O unum de fera,

O unum autem Oceanus
Tokitae, 
thou erit liberum

Ut Luna dabit lumen suum
et sustento nocte clara 
Ut sidera dirige via tua
et suggeret vobis locum Circuli Vita

Ut sol sustento interius ignem ardens,
custodiens te calida a frigus
Ut Gaia vigilate super te nocte,
et revertere te ad Circuli Maioris

Translation:
Oh, one of the wild,
Oh, one of the Ocean
Tokitae,
thou shall be free

May Moon send its light
and keep your night bright with light
May the stars guide your path
and remind you of your place in the Life Circle

May Sun keep your inner fire burning,
keeping you warm from cold
May Gaia watch over you tonight,
and return you to the circle

As this week begins, Lolita has now spent her 42nd year in her lonely prison cell since her traumatic capture in 1970. Therefore, I send this message to Lolita as the moon begins to rise tonight:

Lolita, despite all odds you have remained strong for so long. Where many would give up or become bitter, you have never forgotten who you are and have never turned on us even though we have hurt you so much. Our species has become out of touch with The Great Mother; forgetting our place in The Circle of Life.

We have come to think we are alone in this world, as if nothing else exists. All of this has hurt all of us so much in the past and the present. It has corrupted our spirits, and has caused so much suffering for you and your kin. If we could gain a sense of understanding, then the suffering will end.You in your kindness and strength have made some of us realize that we were only thinking for ourselves, and not of you. It’s truly amazing how one soul can have an impact on others and even other species. I see much hope in the future; a chance for change and a world returning to its complete physical beauty once more.Inner strength is not denying who you are, it’s remembering who you are. You have always stayed connected with your pod through the shine of the moon and have kept your spirit free, even though the Stone People have tried to snuff it out like they do the captive borns.

Thank you for remaining strong all these years and inspiring all of us…I see much hope in the future; a chance for change and a world returning to its complete physical beauty once more. May the moon continue to guide the way and one day physically return you to your family and may the stars light the darkest of skies in tonight’s strife. May your soul and spirit remain free! May you forever Dance with the Moon!