I want to thank everyone at Portland Vegfest for hosting Sea Shepherd at their event! It was a really great experience and I talked to so many interesting and wonderful people.
I had the opportunity to give a presentation both days. My first speech was on what is happening in Taiji and how the captive industry is connected to the slaughter of marine cetaceans and drive fisheries around the world. Remember: DON’T BUY A TICKET!
The second speech was actually supposed to be given by my father, Scott West, about the Faeroe Islands pilot whale slaughter. Unfortunately Scott had to go out of town last minute and I stepped in to speak about what happens in Denmark-Faeroe Islands. Thankfully I am friends with several of the previous campaign’s crew members and have access to information through Sea Shepherd.
I spoke about the dangerous levels of mercury and other toxins in the meat they are consuming. How cetaceans are non-human persons and should be valued as such. I played videos of Paul speaking about the legal/illegal ramifications of the slaughter, and footage of a recent slaughter itself. I spoke about how unsustainable it is to mass slaughter species, especially apex predators who do not reach sexually maturity for up to 15-20 years. And of course about the cultural argument verses what these people said to our undercover crew members: “The blood makes us feel very powerful and confident”.
No one would go hungry in the Faeroe Islands, much less starve to death, if they never killed another whale. Sea Shepherd discovered in 2011 that there are even underwater grave yards where the killers have dumped the bodies because no one wanted to consume the meat.
Today was day 6 without a slaughter or capture in Taiji :)
However 100 cetaceans lost their lives in Faeroe Islands THIS last Sunday.
On a more positive note I spoke to many kids and teens about how to get involved in their communities, schools, and of course even in the Taiji campaign with a parent or guardian. However, I want to make it clear that even if ocean conservation isn’t your cause, you can go out and work on whatever it is that is important to you. If you are educated about your topic, you work hard, and you make enough noise… people are interested to hear what young people have to say. You just have to be creative and articulate.
- Elora Malama