It’s 1am right now!

My blog will be short tonight because it is almost 1am and we are just getting in! Tomorrow I will talk in detail what went down today, but for now I”m just going to post the speech I gave to the Japanese press today.

I’ll have so much to tell come Saturday! 🙂 So much happened today, I am not going to try and remember everything at this moment!

Far Fast deep! Pray the dolphins get away tomorrow too!

Elora Malama West

I was given some topics that they wanted me to cover, the slaughter was not the main idea, for my speech. So I made sure that the slaughter had a very loud presence in the speech, when I wrote this.

My name is Elora Malama West, I was sixteen when I arrived in Japan, but I turned seventeen on the 9th of November. I home-school in Washington State USA, while participating in a corporative within our school district that allows me to get my high-school diploma and start college my junior year. However I had to move fall quarter’s college classes to summer because an opportunity presented itself to me; the opportunity to come here to Japan and voice my concerns about Taiji’s annual slaughter of Dolphins and Whales. I have turned this trip into my senior project.  I started a blog, and now after accumulating a following, I feel that I have a moral responsibility to be the eyes and ears of what is going on at the grounds of the Taiji Cove, for my generation. The generation that needs to take a stand, and clean up the mess that you “the grown ups”, have made.

We as a global community need to keep our oceans clean, healthy, and alive, so that the millions of species on this planet can survive. We only have one Earth, and we as humans, the most destructive species, are the only beings that can reverse the damage. Humans need to live in harmony with the creatures that share Earth with us. Something that Dolphins and Whales have managed to do for millions of years, we should be learning from them.

My future plans are to get my bachelor’s degree. My major being in Environmental Journalism, and my minor Photography. I want to see the world, meet people, and I want to work to save our planet. I am a teenage activist who isn’t going to let age or marriage stop me from fighting against animal cruelty. I know that many girls really do enjoy being a stay at home Mom, I love my mom for that. My Mom, keeps our house clean, cooks, and is always there when we need her, and she has schooled my younger sister and me since we were in kinder-garden and 2nd grade. I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I am only 17.  I am not thinking about families and getting married, I am more worried about the health of our planet.

Fighting against this, while not being able to speak Japanese is tough. However we have managed to do it for three months now. Japanese supporters come help us communicate, there are translators at meetings, and about 50% of the dolphin hunters speak a lot more English than they let on. I am not naive to the fact that if a group of Japanese citizens came into the States protesting something, that they would have a much harder time communicating with us. The police bring in translators here, and we have apps on the Iphone. But what I think is really cool, we will go into a car rental shop and they have books or sheets of paper explaining what we are signing, in English. You wouldn’t see anything like that in the States as far as I am aware of. So I am thankful that the people are actually working to communicate with us.

A lot of Anti Sea Shepherd people think that we are rude for not learning the language. Maybe this is a difference in cultures, but I would stand next to a group of Japanese people standing up against the United States factory farming, even if they did not speak English. I don’t think it is rude when we are trying to communicate the best we can. I only had three days notice that I was coming, it’s not like I could learn Japanese in three days.

My senior project is about Taiji’s culture and annual dolphin slaughter. But something I learned within the first month of being here… was that this is not in-fact culture. I keep being told that they have been killing dolphins for over 400 years. Sea World was not around 400 years ago? Why are they selling their “primary source of food” to marine parks?

You don’t hide your culture! I would think they would have atonement for the animals, but we have watched these dolphin molesters drown, torture, tear apart families, and eat lunch sitting in pools of blood.

We have talked with many Japanese people and people living in Japan, who have done the research to tell us that the slaughter of dolphins has only been happening since the 1970’s. Taiji is a whaling village, and has been for hundreds of years, that is true. But nowadays Whale meat is contaminated with VERY high levels of mercury, that the small town is poisoning the Japanese people.

Why, is the Japanese government assisting Taiji, by helping them not only hide, but also lie? I ask the people of Japan to think about this… your tax payer Yen is going to blue tarps, cost guard vessels (when we don’t even have a boat in the water) and helicopters. Just to watch us take pictures. If I were a citizen of this country I would be very upset. Your government is lying to you.

Dolphins and Whales are the most intelligent species on this planet. They have managed to live in harmony with the Earth, something humans are not able to do. They have a language humans cannot understand. They have a history and a culture that humans have no way of understanding, if we slaughter them! A dolphin can recognize itself in a mirror. They nurse their young for over two years. Dolphins live and travel the world with their families till the day they die… Dolphins can actually see through you. How incredible is that? Why are we mass slaughtering and poisoning a being that should be cherished and protected?

Japan is leading the world in ocean destruction, how can we help turn this around? Here I am 17, I traveled over 30 hours to be here, I’m willing to give up my entire summer break to catch up with school, risk my life around 20 or so very angry dolphin hunters, and come back every year, to be a voice for the dolphins, my generation, and to stand here explaining why this needs to stop! The world is mad at Japan, because the government allows 23,000 dolphins to be killed each year… because it allows 1000 Whales to be killed each year in a Whale sanctuary in Antarctica, because it lies and poisons its people… but most of all because Japan is a huge part of the destruction of our oceans, killing this planet for the future generations to come. All for a very sort term profit.  Industrial over fishing is not sustainable.  I ask everyone to think hard about everything I just said, and ask ourselves… is it worth it?

I want to end on a note of hope though.  Over the last three months I found time and time again that the Japanese people are kind, helpful, gentle and always smiling. This gives me hope. We have had numerous Japanese supporters come to Taiji to stand with us against this, their reactions to seeing the Cove in person gives me hope. And Sea Shepherd being here in Tokyo to discuss this gives me hope. We can turn this around.

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25 thoughts on “It’s 1am right now!

  1. Great speech! I love you and hope you get some sleep. Sounds like a long day. Mine is just starting today. I will talk to you and Daddy this afternoon.
    xoxoxo
    Mom

    • I am sure you have heard this a million times, but what a great kid you have. I’m sure you are more than proud. 🙂

  2. Oh, Elora…this is absolutely beautiful! I am trying to keep the tears from falling on my keyboard right now…..If only we had millions more like you.. I am so proud that you are not afraid to say what you feel and what you know to be true and then act upon your words. I am so proud that your parents have allowed you to become the richly well- rounded young woman who truly lives in the real world! So many many ,people everywhere stand with you and wish they could be with you in the flesh! Unfortunately that is not always possible. We will not abandon you and we will not abandon the dolphins and the whales!
    Congratulation to you and YOU ARE LOVED! FOR THE ANIMALS!

  3. You are doing such an amazing job there telling your story. I am very happy you had the chance to go to Japan and experience something you have such passion for. You are one of the luckiest girls because of that. You now have such world wisdom from this experience. Remember those of us how love you and stand behind you no matter what. Knowing that, remember it will not be easy being you when you return. You have just matured beyond your years and it may take time for peers to catch up to you. Some never will.
    We love you and await your return home.
    The other mom who loves you

  4. Elora- great job! this was beautifully and diplomatically phrased. i applaud you…

    love you and everything you stand for,

    Jen

  5. Thank You Elora!!!! Good luck with this and thank u so much for having the heart and doing something selfless with it. Thank you for those of us who cannot be there…. I have posted your blog to my FB Page..and will continuously do so to raise awareness. thank u so much for blogging. =)

  6. Absolutely brilliant Elora – congratulations! I can only imagien how proud your parents are to have raise such a brave, intelligent and well-spoken teenager! I know it seems some days that there is no hope – but I firmly believe that all the Cove Guardians have done more this year than in the last 30 years as far as the awareness and education around the world. Props to Scott and his guidance and authority to manage this program for Sea Shepherd in Taiji, and I hope to be there, standing on the front lines with you one day, until this cruel activity ends in Taiji.

    Well Done!

    Scott Atkins

  7. Hi Elora, well done, you make us all proud as you represent all of us around the world, around the globe. Wish we could bring you to Belgium, for you to do your talk on tv, to make people aware. We can’t wait for your next post on Saturday but for now, kick ass and keep on going and please pass all my warmest regards to your dad and the other Cove guardians. Huggs, Conrad.

  8. Great speech Elora! Well done!
    All of us who are not able to be in Japan to support the Dolphin Cause appreciate the work
    all the Cove Guardians have done, are doing, and will do ~ past, present and future.
    Thank you, all of you for being there…
    for the Dolphins ♥
    May the find peace in the waters and swim free forever.

  9. Wow! God bless you and everyone out there risking your lives for the world and for these magnificent sea creatures. I only wish I could be there to help you out, physically and emotionally. I know it has to be exhausting. I hope and pray every day and night that God listens to you and all of us and that this all stops sooner rather than later. You have a lot of people behind you here in the States and all over the world. Keep up the great work. You and all the Cove guardians are true heroes. 🙂

  10. You are an amazing young lady and a wonderful voice for your generation. I truly hope the younger people of this world are able to right the wrongs committed by our elders and in your lifetime make this a better place for those yet to experience life on this planet. We have so much to learn about living in harmony with our world, but if we continue to educate those around us such as you are doing with the good people of Japan and here in the States we can make a difference 1 person at a time. Thank you for your bravery and commitment to this cause. We are all with you in heart and spirit.
    And kiddos to your parents for letting you experience a real-world education!!

    A fellow Washingtonian and lover of the sea

  11. Wow, Elora! What an AMAZING speech / article!

    I am so very proud to have you and your Dad in Taiji to represent us, the USA, the World, and Sea Shepherd! While I know it was by chance that you are even there, it certainly happened for a reason! You being there along with your daily updates and blogs (Sometimes minute by minute) have brought an entirely new awareness to the atrocities that happen there.

    You are an ABSOLUTELY AMAZING young woman! I know you will do so many wonderful things in your life time! I am so excited to be able to watch and see what your life will bring and the amazing things that you will accomplish.

    Thank you so very much for all you have done, and especially for sharing all of your experiences with us! You and your Dad truly HAVE made a difference!

  12. Great speech, Elora…how fortunate are the dolphins, whales, and the planet, for that matter, to have you on their side. You are such a special young lady and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for doing what you’re doing and making the sacrifices you are making!
    Fast, far, and deep…my new mantra!
    Big Hugs,
    Cynthia

  13. Elora, I have a friend who is a publicist. She would like to get you on Ellen. Please email me and I will get you hooked up with her. I will give you her info so you can check her out and let you know some of your “friends” that know her, so you can check her out. I imagine you get some whacky offers but I would love to see you on Ellen and get you work out to a major audience. It would be a huge help for our cause. Hope to hear from you soon, and thanks for all that you are doing. You’re being there is a huge inspiration to people of all ages, of course, our next generation of leaders. I know it has to be tough on you, and I thank you for your sacrifice. Namaste’ ~Tracy

  14. Great job on the speech. Thank you for being the voice of these innocent creatures that are senselessly dying. God bless you and everyone who is there.

  15. Elora, you are a very brave and eloquent spokeswoman for your generation. I hope someone – no, many people – are moved by your words and start listening to you and the others among us who understand what dolphins really are: the only animal that is willing to befriend us without any advantage to itself.

  16. Great speech Elora! I truly envy you. To be 17 and know who you are in unbelievable. To be 17 and have a purpose, is very rare. Most people never figure it out, they just trudge along. I will be fighting this fight by your side until we win it. Can’t wait to hear about all your adventures over the last few days.

  17. Said with such eloquent and with such compassion. How can they not hear? You said exactly what I would have wanted to say but SO much better. I applaude you over and over….. Keep yourself fast, far and deep. Keep on keeping on.

    If only there was some way we could warn our ‘fellow travellers’ (the dolphins) against this killing cove.

  18. Same as everyone else in here, you give us hope for the future, Elora. We are all so grateful to have you there, and I hope whoever fills the West family shoes has half the natural voice. You really should consider writing a book about your experience. You are a natural writer. I’m an English teacher. I’ll edit if for you if you like, and try to help you find a publisher. I think it could really help spread the word. Good luck on your trip home. I’m sure your friends can’t wait to see you.

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