Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Present and Aware

Though an extraordinarily long time since my last updates (due to traveling from Canada to Australia, being purposely homeless and free for some time, and an absolute lack of internet or energy to bring fingers to keys) the time has come to unleash the most absolute power of my frustration, despair, confusion, and ultimately anger at the fisherman of Taiji. All this neatly packaged into a cool, calm, and stoic persona while I film, record, and vie for the best vantage points of this twisted massacre so many are trying to defend as tradition, culture, or livelihood. There is no excuse strong enough, no rationale rational enough to convince, no pity party poor enough to change the deep seeded emotion that comes forth every time I see those nets across the water; the red streaks in the waves, the feeling of unity in fear I feel when I see video upon video of cetaceans swimming for their lives with walls of sound surrounding them.

Within three weeks I will stood upon those shores. Nearly a year in planning after that fateful decision on Mnt Benson I will be there. No more wishing or worrying about not being able to go. The ticket is purchased, sat snugly in its ever-so-inviting Flight Centre sachet. Funds will be tight, with the proposed trip of a three to four week vigil being shortened to a mere one week. But let not such obstacles dissuade you from completing such a trip yourself. I made decisions that led to this outcome and as the fates have it with this particular trip shortened the opportunities to assist in other worthy ventures has opened. The cetaceans of Japan will not be forgotten from my mind, a return in March of 2012 is in plan (with my husband joining to see the hunt off), as is a return every year until I see the last.

As I stated in earlier posts I am committing my life to helping end the slaughter. Even if all I am able to accomplish is to get the same sort of footage and recordings as all the other Cove Guardians present with me, posting those materials and reaching those few hundred people in my little bubble of a world, then that is fantastic. As with any cause or campaign (and not just particular to environmental or species equality issues) there needs to be those few passionate individuals to make the difference. Especially as we are now so fortunate to have social media to spread information in a near instant, the need for those individuals grows exponentially. My footage may only reach the hundred people on my facebook page, and maybe a few hundred more on the forums I frequent, but there will be several on each who will be as inspired. They may not have the desire strong enough to be on location but they will be inspired enough to spread the message. My hundred people may reach out to another hundred of their own, growing and expanding until everyone in the world with access to undiluted media will be informed; the answer to social change being of course, education.

Watching my activist friends fundraising themselves into an early grave is making me feel as though I have it easy here working in Australia. Admittedly I could have fundraised my heart out but all events happen in exactly the way they’re supposed to. I am able to fund myself for a week on the shores of Taiji, then into the world of severely endangered animals of the Nepalese jungles, for that I am proud, but not nearly as proud as I am of all those gathering every cent available, every bottle and can, even taking to the streets with fruit and baked vegan tastiness, shouting with every chance at the direness of this campaign.

Whilst on my way to Australia and in the country I have seen two pods of dolphins. One darting across the bow of the ferry while headed to the airport, in essence escorting me on my journey to ending the slaughter of their kin (as they also did to fellow activists in March on their trip to Otsuchi for the porpoise slaughter, the guardians of the guardians). The second brought tears to my eyes and an emotion so foreign I can describe it as a sadness so deep as to awaken the fighter in us all. In the waters surrounding the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef I watched, dazed, as a pod of five or six dolphins rolled and leaped out of the aqua waves contrasted against the black cliffs just twenty feet off shore. Without consciously speaking my thoughts I found myself whimpering, “they shouldn’t be any other way, it’s all wrong.”

A short video of "my dolphins" here in Australia. You can hear some of my whimpers, just no coherant words.

Thankfully Sea Sheperd’s presence was felt wholeheartedly in the Cove this past season with an estimated 750 cetacean lives saved. This success will undoubtedly bring even more passionate and willing individuals to volunteer their time and energy. Not to be confused, as this campaign has been happening for twenty odd years and still running strong. I have met many that assume this protest has only been in existence since the release of the 2008 Academy Award winning documentary, The Cove. Those involved in the film had been following aggressive police and fisherman, protesting and filming as cetaceans were brought in  day after day to be slaughtered, and recording every scrap of material available (and sometimes unavailable, but painstakingly captured or found) for decades. The response to this film was immeasurable. In my lifetime I doubt I will again see a response so strong, so determined, and so confident in its ability to change (though one can hope for more). Such is my certainty in education being the answer.

In three short weeks I will join two Cove Guardians I miss from the place I see as my truest home thus far, Marley and Carisa. These two highly motivated and charismatic people will make my stint in Japan that much more bearable. My emotions are vastly conflicted in what I want to see during those seven days. I am aware of my absolute lack of control over the events I am still wishing for seven dolphin free days. There are some benefits to having dolphins being in the cove for myself; ability to get footage to further educate the public, proof that this slaughter is still going on and hasn’t been shuffled away just because the credits on your screen finished, and as I know that my emotions and my reactions to those emotions are kept well hidden until such moments as seeing in front of me the devastation I am curious to see what I am capable of. Anger and sadness are excellent motivators. That being said I would choose to stay unawares of my capabilities if it meant for one week every fisherman went hungry from lack of cetaceans.

Educate. Be the friend that won’t let it go, be the parent that won’t stop fighting for their child’s future, be the teacher that pushes the boundaries of over exposure.

Be there. Present and aware.

In friendship,


All donations still be accepted and are wonderfully appreciated. Please donate even if only a few dollars as every dollar counts! Hotel and train from airport to hotel will be the most costly.