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.
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.
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