Hope for The Future- A Family Travels to Taiji

Hello all,
Every now and again you hear a story that restores your faith in humanity. This has become quite a rarity for me, because while I can see, appreciate, and respect all the work our activism community is out in the world doing, I, and I think most environmental activists, are still bombarded with the evil in this world. It’s part of the cost of being so involved and educated, you have a lot of sleepless nights. However, I think its important to remain educated about these issues while also focusing on the good people are doing in the world.

I want to introduce you to a very exciting family: Stuart, Kristy, and their three kids. They have a Youtube channel and website, and call their travel series the Family Adventure Project. The family travels around the world documenting their experiences and sharing their stories.

“We’re all about cultivating a sense of adventure, creativity, fun, learning and respect for the environment in our family life… in a world that can seem dominated by 24 hour TV and internet, curriculum obsessed schooling, advertising and consumerism, fast food and obesity, overwork and economic stress, we think that a regular dose of family adventure is a helpful antidote.” (See website)

Stuart and Kristy’s philosophy on learning is very similar to how my parents raised myself and Sabrina. I am so impressed and inspired by their adventures. Especially their recent trip to Taiji, Japan. As you probably already know, my father and I started the Sea Shepherd: Cove Guardian campaign back in 2010 when I was just 16. I was actually brought to tears listening to what the kids had to say about the movie (The Cove), the slaughter, and dolphin captivity.

I could completely relate to what was being said on the car ride to Taiji. I had that same excited nervousness not knowing what adventures awaited. I had to chuckle because their drive into town was so familiar to me, as were all the places they posted notes. It was like I was right there with them.

This a perfect example of how powerful media can be. Not only was it an Instagram tag that prompted this family to watch the Cove movie, The Family Adventure Project has a beautiful way of bringing you along on their journey, while keeping you interested in the story. I hope people see this and join in the fight to stop the slaughter in Taiji. One of the most powerful, yet simple, things you can do is follow the Sea Shepherd livestreams and #tweet4taiji when there is a drive or capture happening. Do not let the world forget what happens there.

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Recently I’ve come under fire, again, for a video that came out about 5 years ago of us talking to the killers in Taiji. I want to point out that this family traveled to Japan and wanted to experience Japanese culture. They watched the Cove movie without any prior knowledge of what takes place in Taiji, and traveled to the town to see what it was all about- for themselves. There, they came to the same conclusion, on their own I might mention, that there is no place in the 21st century for this barbaric tradition- and that cetacean captivity is cruel. They saw how bizarre it was for a town to love dolphins and want to swim with/hug them- then turn around and brutally slaughter their families.

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Any arguments that those who protest and directly get involved are doing so because they are racist have absolutely zero standing. I am tired of it. Racism is defined as: A person who believes that a particular race is superior to another. That is simply not the case here, and especially not with the Family Adventure Project. Our argument is simple: stop killing whales and dolphins. If you want to hate us- come up with a more eloquent argument than “you are racist.” You make yourself look unintelligent and weak when you use that ‘reasoning.’

I’ve been inspired again by the Family Adventure Project, and I hope you are too! Please share this video on all your social media platforms.

For the Oceans,
Elora M. West

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Update on GrindStop 2014

Update: Sea Shepherd Crew Released

All 14 Sea Shepherd crew have been released. The six volunteers from the land team must return to court tomorrow. The eight from the boat team have been told to return to court on September 25th. The reason for this is that it allows the police to hold the three Sea Shepherd boats until the end of September because they are being held for “evidence.”

It’s been a very busy week in the Faroe Islands- they had their first Grind with Sea Shepherd present on the grounds yesterday afternoon. 14 crew members were arrested and are still sitting in jail, awaiting their trial, and 3 of our boats were seized along with all our film.

To see all the updates from yesterday’s events please read up on the GrindStop 2014 Facebook Page Here.

Screen Shot of Grind

When we sat down with the Faroese police in March- we explained to them what story we told this summer was dependent upon their actions. Between all the hostility, vandalism, physical assault, throwing of dead animals at our doorsteps, killing stranded whales, and now a Grind…. clearly they want to be labeled as an ignorant, aggressive, cold-hearted, cretinous, and dated society. If they did not want to appear that way, the government would put their citizens back in line and come into the 21st century. Just like Taiji, a small group of pathetic men are staining their reputation blood red.

Something else to think about: If the Faroe Islands are autonomous like Denmark claims- then why is the Danish Military over there protecting something that is illegal in their territory!?

I am posting Paul Watson’s most recent commentary about the events yesterday- this is the day after the Grind.

-Elora Malama

Some crew arrested

The Day After the Slaughter

Commentary by Captain Paul Watson

Sea Shepherd volunteers woke up to a bag of dead birds tossed on their doorstep and it is now quite clear that the Danish government has thrown their cards on the table in support of cruelty and slaughter.

During the last 85 days, the Sea Shepherd look-outs on land and the Sea Shepherd boats on the water were able to divert back to sea, three large pods of pilot whales, and for 85 days not a single whale or dolphin was slain.

However we all knew that eventually the logistics and the geography would allow for a breach for the whalers to seize their opportunity.

Yesterday the six-person team on Sandoy Island at Sandur spotted six boats leaving the harbor. They immediately informed the closest Sea Shepherd boat crew, the nearest being Bastien Boudoire from France and his crew on the Mike Galesi.

A small pod of 33 pilot whales had been spotted by residents of the small island of Skuvoy, not far from the island of Sandoy.

The whales unfortunately had passed very close and there was little time to divert them.

As the Mike Galesi raced to the scene, the Loki and the B.S. Sheen were called in from their patrols off the island of Suduroy.

The Brigitte Bardot was 52 kilometers to the North and hours away.

The Sandoy team made it to the beach before the whalers arrived. Meanwhile the police at Torshaven scrambled to board Royal Danish Navy helicopters to rush to Sandoy. The Danish Navy dispatched high-speed ridged hulled inflatables to Sandoy in what must have been one of the proudest moments in Danish Naval history. I mean what was the battle of Copenhagen where they lost to Nelson, compared to this valiant and strategically important race to support the whale killers of Sandoy?

As men, women and children flocked to the beach, laughing and cheering as if they were at a birthday party, eager to see and smell the spurting blood, the whales were driven to within 200 metres off the beach.

When the Mike Galesi arrived, the Danish Navy ordered the crew to back off. The same order was given to the arriving Loki and B.S. Sheen. Australian Krystal Keynes in command of the B.S. Sheen did not hear the warning and moved in close to film what was happening with the land crew.

From the time the whales were spotted to the time the whales were driven onto the beach was 25 minutes.

As the land volunteers waded into the water to defend the whales they were tackled and arrested by the police. The boat-crews were chased down by the “brave and illustrious” Danish Navy. In all, fourteen Sea Shepherd volunteers were arrested and transported by Royal Danish Naval helicopters to Torshaven and detained. No report on charges have been released. All Sea Shepherd cameras have been seized.

There is no disgrace in a group of unarmed compassionate conservationists being overtaken and captured by a member nation of NATO. They have the guns, the machines, the money and the men to do it of course. It is in fact an act of profound courage that they waded into the fray in the face of such a frenzy of anger and such a force of arms.

The image taken by Sea Shepherd photographer Nils Greskewitz of three Sea Shepherd volunteers forced to their knees before a Danish Military helicopter will be iconic.

Sea Shepherd is proud of each and every volunteer on the Faroe Islands.

According to the new rules no unauthorized people may approach the killing area.

Section 11, Paragraph 1: that an area also on land may be considered as grind herding area. The magistrate has resolved, that no unauthorized people may come closer than 1 mile from the grind. From land is grind-area where unauthorized persons must stay away. On shore, the police will cordon off the grind area with strips, so that only people, who participate in the catch, may enter. Catching men has to be able to work undisturbed by unauthorized persons.

On the killing beach were numerous children. When Sea Shepherd land crew leader Rosie Kunneke inquired as to why they were there and asked if the Grind Master has authorized that children be allowed on the beach, the police said that the only unauthorized people are Sea Shepherd crew. All others are authorized. The police appeared to not have cordoned off the grind area prior to the arrests.

Apparently in the Faroe Islands, the whalers get to dictate the laws that the police are obliged to enforce.

The confirmed 14 people (8 men and 6 women) arrested are:
Six Nationalities
8 French, 2 South Africans, 1 Spanish, 1 Italian, 1 Australian and 1 Mexican

Sea Shepherd Boat Crew

1. Bastien Boudoire (French)(Offshore Leader)
2. Jérôme Veegaert (French)
3. Guido Capezzoli (French)
4. Tiphaine Blot (French)
5. Baptiste Brebel (French)
6. Antoine Le Dref (French)
7. Céline Le Dourion (French)
8. Krystal Keynes (Australian)

Sea Shepherd Land Crew

9. Maggie Gschnitzer (Italy)(Sandoy Island Leader)
10. Rorigio Gilkuri (Mexico)
11. Nikki Botha (South Africa)
12. Monnique Rossouw (South Africa)
13. Sergio Toribio (Spain)
14. Alexandra Sellet (France)

The Land and boat crew heard the whales screaming in agony which certainly contradicts the Faroese claim that the slaughter is painless despite even the stress of the drive.

An entire family group of pilot whales was massacred on that beach at Sandur and Denmark has exposed the fact that the Danish government is collaborating with the whalers. Denmark is prohibited by European Union regulations from supporting whaling. This incident gives Sea Shepherd plenty of evidence to push for action from the European Parliament. The Faroes receive massive EU subsidies through Denmark, the only place in Europe subsided by the European Union that does not have to abide by European law because although Denmark is part of the EU, the Faroes claim to be independent of Denmark and thus not part of the EU.

According to the European postal services, the Faroes are indeed a part of Denmark because they will not allow letters addressed to the Faroes unless the country name of Denmark is written on the envelope.

The Faroes are to Denmark what bogus scientific research is to Japan, simply a loophole to get around conservation law.

Many Danes continue to argue that Denmark is not a whaling nation. It appears that the actions of the Danish Navy and the Danish police demonstrate that Denmark is very much a whaling nation.

Last night a bag of dead birds was thrown at the door of one of the houses rented by Sea Shepherd in the Faroe Islands.

The disrespect that this island of dolphin, whale, puffin, and fulmar killers has for marine wildlife is horrendous. When they say that this is all part of their “culture” we should stop and think for a moment just where this word “culture” comes from.

A culture is an environment from which things grow and like cultures of bacteria it is not always a good thing. In fact what is occurring in the Faroese can be viewed as a cult of killing and cruelty.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is dedicated to eradicating such despicable and obscene cults. Unfortunately in today’s world, opposition to cruelty and slaughter is considered criminal in cultures that condone such evils like bull-fighting, dog-fighting, seal-clubbing, dolphin killing and this particular bizarre and odious Faroese activity that they call the Grindadrap which literally translates as whale murder.

The Sea Shepherd volunteers on the Faroes are dedicated and compassionate people who have traveled to these remote islands at the own expense to oppose an evil that should no longer exist on this planet.

Tomorrow more volunteers will travel to the only other place on the planet where such a horrendous slaughter takes place – Taiji, Japan.

These are the two most savage places in the world for dolphins and whales and when you consider that of seven billion people in the world, there are less than 60,000 living in these two different places where such agonizing cruelty is inflicted against species that the rest of the world loves and cares for, it can certainly be seen that the cult of pain and death that is the foundation of these two perverse cultures is an aberration and thus a disgrace to the human race.

Around the World… Off to Finish College

Hello World!

It’s been far too long since I last wrote a blog. Despite running around the planet all year, I have neglected this site. I suppose I felt like some of what I was doing was not very blog worthy, because it was more logistical work. But I think I forgot how special writing here is for me. Setting up my new home, in my college town, and getting ready to finish my undergraduate work has made me think a lot about how I got here and how I started this crazy journey into Media Activism.

This blog. Sitting down and sharing my thoughts about the world with you all. Sharing photos of Taiji and my candid feelings about what was happening. Being our main source of media for the first few months of Infinite Patience, without even realizing it at the time, launched me into this life. I have chosen a hard and exhausting journey for myself… but I love this work so much. We have a beautiful home and I want to fight to protect it, from ourselves.

Burlington College

Some of what I have been up to this last year:

I worked as Paul’s assistant for many months, we traveled a bit and I experienced my first East Coast winter since I was a little kid.

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In March of this year I was assigned Volunteer Coordinator for the current Sea Shepherd Global campaign Operation GrindStop 2014. So, I traveled all over Europe having meetings and preparing for that job. I saw some amazing parts of the world out of taxi and hotel windows. I want to go back some day and actually see Europe. Several of us also went on a scouting trip to the Faroe Islands in March, for a week. This was to get a lay of the land, plan the campaign, meet with the police, and so I could prepare information for our volunteers.

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When I flew back to the States I needed to move back across country to my home in Seattle. However; I was neck deep in work for the Faroe Island’s campaign and my dad was kind enough to drive 95% of the way- while I turned the passenger seat of my car into a home office. Haha!

I pretty much lived and breathed the Faroes campaign for weeks while things were kicking off and everyone was getting settled. With the help of my office cats. Because I’m really 100 years old, you see. I sit at home most days working with my cat.

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Sarah came to visit me in Seattle! I missed her so much. We had the fortunate task, with two other awesome girls, of driving the Sea Shepherd RV across the country to the first ever Sea Shepherd Summit, in Vermont. I didn’t do any of the driving. Mostly because I was working full time and dealing with my major changes to the campaign… but also because I don’t think they trusted my driving ;) Not the world’s best driver here. We were lucky enough to see the Yellowstone River, Niagara Falls, and a beautiful sunset at Lake Erie as we camped along the way.

The summit was amazing. It was so great to see everyone I’ve been missing for years, to hear new ideas, and to learn so much about what other Sea Shepherd entities are out there doing. We are a movement! You can’t stop a movement.

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I am also happy to announce that starting this Wednesday I will be the Youth Correspondent and Media Activist for the radio show “State of the Oceans,” on LA talk radio. With Paul Watson, Sia and Shane Barbi, Jani Shultz, and weekly guests. I have been on Jani’s show many times in the past, but I am so excited to have worked out a weekly schedule with them that works with my classes. So be on the look out for that! Link here

Speaking of classes, I have moved once again. My dad helped me move all my stuff across country. We camped along the way and had some great adventures. It was nice having one last trip together before I start school again.

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This time I am officially moved out of my family house. Despite my leaving some stuff there, I won’t be living at home for the next two years- and who knows where I will be going after school is finished. It should feel strange and scary, but my parents have been so supportive of my work and travel over the last few years- that I feel like this is just another adventure. They know I’m only truly happy when I’m on an adventure. You can always go home :)

So I am studying Media Activism at Burlington College, for my undergraduate degree. Media Activism recognizes that mainstream media shapes the dominant consciousness. This degree is about learning how to use media to lead new ways of thinking and develop a more educated and well informed electorate. I want to expose corruption, create news, and make people think.

Please think about helping me pay for school. I would really appreciate any help you can give. I hate asking for money. This is completely out of my comfort zone. But maybe some of you out there, who have followed my work since the beginning, would like to help me out! If I can enter the world with a little less debt than I am currently looking at collecting, I will be in a much better position to start my life.

Go Fund Me – Click Here

So that was my year, so far! It’s been good.

I hope everyone has had an equally exceptional year full of adventure, laughter, love, and the kind of work that excites you.

For the Oceans,
Elora M.

World Love for Dolphins Day!!

Hi all!

This year Sea Shepherd USA is doing something a little different. IF you’re as frustrated with Taiji, and the capture and slaughter of the world’s marine cetaceans, as I am – spend a part of your Valentines day protesting at your local Japanese embassy! Information about the event is below. (Click Here) to find an event in your local area.

-Elora Malama

Taiji Banner

Via Sea Shepherd USA:

On the heels of the recent global outcry condemning the brutal and inhumane dolphin hunts in Taiji, Japan, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is inviting supporters and all concerned individuals to join with us and our Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians in targeted demonstrations on February 14, 2014 against Taiji’s brutal capture and slaughter of dolphins.

On February 14, 2014, Sea Shepherd USA chapters will be leading demonstrations at the Embassy of Japan in Washington, D.C. and Japanese consulates in cities across the country to stand in solidarity with the Cove Guardians in demanding an end to the bloodshed in Taiji. Sea Shepherd invites anyone who cares about dolphins to join us for peaceful “World Love for Dolphins Day” demonstrations on Valentine’s Day to raise our voices for the dolphins. On a day meant to celebrate love, we will show Japan the love felt by the people of the world for dolphins.

“Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to stand with Sea Shepherd at the Embassy and Consulates of Japan and tell the Japanese government that the world holds dolphins very near and dear to our hearts and we will not tolerate this brutal slaughter by a small group of men who are dishonoring Japan to sell dolphins to the captive industry. We hope that thousands of people will turn out to show their love for dolphins and ask Japan to end the needless killing,” said Susan Hartland, Administrative Director, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society USA.

Please find details on how the public can participate in Sea Shepherd’s “World Love for Dolphins Day” demonstrations below:

World Love for Dolphin’s Day

Valentine’s Day Demonstrations Feb 14th, 2014, 12:00pm-1:00pm ET/PT

Join Sea Shepherd Conservation Society & Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians at the Japanese Embassy and Consulates on Valentine’s Day to honor the dolphins who are brutalized in Taiji’s Cove.

There are two ways to help:

1. Demonstrate at Japanese Embassy & Consulates

Sea Shepherd will be demonstrating outside the following Japanese Consulates and the Japanese Embassy in Washington DC. Join Sea Shepherd and Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians at these locations to remind the Japanese government that the Taiji dolphin drive hunts dishonor Japan. Japan can only begin to restore their honor by ending the horror in the Taiji Cove.

2. Send a Valentine for a Dolphin directly to the Japanese Embassy

Remind the Japanese government that dolphins are loved and revered by millions. Download & print a Valentine for a dolphin here and send it directly to:

Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae
C/O The Embassy of Japan in Washington, D.C.
2520 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20008

Sea Shepherd encourages international demonstrations: Sea Shepherd invites our global supporters and dolphin lovers to join in the demonstrations and bring their concern to the doorstep of the Japanese government in cities around the world on the same day. For a list of Japanese embassies and consulates worldwide, please visit: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

Show your support for the dolphins in Taiji!! Visit Sea Shepherd USA’s website here (click here) to download a poster for the protest and find an event in your local area!!

THE TAIJI DOLPHINS NEED YOUR HELP! LETS PUT MORE PRESSURE ON JAPAN TO END THIS CRUEL AND UNUSUAL SLAUGHTER!

CALL TO ACTION! TWITTER!

Last night Stephen Colbert had Jeff Skoll, of Participant Media, as a guest on his show (The Colbert Report). Skoll’s company backed the film The COVE, which sparked a worldwide movement to protect dolphins and whales in Taiji, Japan!

Skoll discussed how the film made a difference. He told a story about media showing up in Taiji, and one time the killing boats did not go out—thus no dolphins were killed. Colbert took it further, probably confused by Skoll’s statement, that the slaughter had ended.

The killing is not over! There was a pod slaughtered YESTERDAY!

Use your media to reach out to the Colbert Report and tell them that the slaughter in Taiji is still occurring! Please be polite, we need allies in this movement.

Link to the interview: http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/432004/january-09-2014/jeff-skoll

TWEET! CALL TO ACTION!
Tweet the ColbertReport and tell them the slaughter in Taiji is still happening! Dolphins were killed YESTERDAY! USE #tweet4taiji

Sea Shepherd Cove Guardian Facebook Page


Sea Shepherd USA Cove Guardian Daily Reports

-Elora Malama

Bloody Dolphin 4x6

A win!

If you saw my recent post about USA Today encouraging tourism in Taiji, Japan, and promoting the town’s whaling history— I had asked you to write to USA Today and explain to them what really happens in Taiji.

However, please note that the article in question was pulled from USA Today’s website. My site had nothing to do with it’s removal, but I want to thank everyone who wrote to the editors when it was first discovered! Due to the public outcry in the last 24 hours the post has been removed. This is a win!

Call to Action! Taiji-Photos-

Hi all,

A friend came across this interesting photo contest, and I thought we should contribute.

Enter November 11 through December 2.
Voting begins December 9.

Contest Information:

“Some pretty amazing memories have been made in our parks over the past 50 years, and we’d love to relive them together.

Send us a photo of your favorite SeaWorld moment, and it could be featured in our online gallery. Together we’ll build a timeline of memories to celebrate the past five decades.”

Below are some photos I plan to contribute. If you don’t have any of your own, please feel free to use mine. Click here to submit photos and see the contest

Captivity Sucks Photo Contest 4

Captivity Sucks Photo Contest 3

Captivity Sucks Photo Contest 2

Captivity Sucks Photo Contest

(Please keep in mind these are very small files compared to the originals, so they will not make good prints. I wanted to make it easy to download and re-upload.)

Obviously none of us will win this. If you do not live in the United States you will not be able to submit photos. However, here is some information you can put in–because it doesn’t really matter if we follow the rules:

You can use your own name and email, or make one up.

U.S Registered Phone Numbers:
Sea World- 888 800 5447
The White House- 202 456 1111

U.S State and Zip Code:
Tallahassee Florida, 32301

Please keep in mind that Bottlenose and Risso Dolphins were killed in Taiji today, and 4 juveniles were loaded onto a skiff (after watching their family go through slaughter) and were dumped at sea. To me, the equivalent of killing a toddler’s parents and placing the child on a crowded highway.

Thank you!!
-Elora Malama West

You're never too young to make your voice heard!

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