Not very successful…but not stressed

And I finished my third Colin Fletcher book, The Secret Worlds of Colin Fletcher. I am a bit sad that I can’t carry a 60 pound backpack and walk for 20 miles a day. Seriously. Anymore I can’t find a pair of shoes that work for me, and I’ve got a closet full of them!

At this point, despite my good intentions, I’d have to say I’ve not been very successful this summer with my lofty, well intentioned goals and ideas. It’s weird because I don’t really care.

For starters, I couldn’t resist reading the Fox and NYT apps on my cell phone almost every day despite my firm commitment not to do so. It’s such a bad habit. In some ways it was depressing to see that things weren’t changing for the better…but it was even more depressing to see change for the worse. I refer primarily to the free-for-all shootings, both here and in Ukraine. Not that I’m gun free. And hysteria and hatred were at an all time high, in the media anyway.

But I’ve read some great books! For starters, Stay off my Operating Table, written by heart surgeon Philip Ovadia, was most interesting, especially his steak diet – that won’t work for my budget. But perhaps even more interesting and helpful was A Statin free Life, by Dr. Aseem Malhotra, a highly respected cardiologist. I loved this guy’s diet advice. SOO DOABLE! And finally I read Live it not Diet, by Mike Sheridean. This book was a bit too restrictive for me for the long haul, but it was worthwhile reading. I tried his diet plan for a week, but I was sabotaged by my husband when he made his own recipe of coconut oatmeal cookies. I got into these books because the quack doctor I’ve seen twice now tried to insist I go on statins. I refused. I’m looking for a doctor now who agrees with me.

I also read the rivoting The Hidden Life of Trees, by Peter Wohlleben. If you think I’m being sarcastic, I’m not. I will admit, though, that I could only read one chapter at a time because I really found it necessary to actually go look at trees after each chapter to really see and experience what he was talking about. Fascinating! Trees are amazing when you know how smart they are!

Resting on a 5-mile hike

And I finished my third Colin Fletcher book, The Secret Worlds of Colin Fletcher. I am a bit sad that I can’t carry a 60 pound backpack and walk for 20 miles a day. Seriously. Anymore I can’t find a pair of shoes that work for me, and I’ve got a closet full of them!

And I read some great John Sandford books and some gory murder/detective books. That was fun.

But, I just can’t get into the meditation stuff. Every time I try to meditate I fall asleep.

As for the business…it’s languished. I have been giving out the Saving Our Oceans book, however. Sometimes I leave a copy in those swap boxes. I have had some book orders which is always a challenge when I’m on a boat.

As for the cruising world where I currently am…very very few boats out and about. In the 40 years we’ve been boating, I’ve never seen so few vessels. In some ways it was really nice…in other ways it was kind of eerie to travel all day and not see another boat! Fuel is the big issue obviously. Anyway, we’ll be going into drydock August 10th and will be back in Arizona in early September. I’ll be happy to be home, no matter how hot it is in Arizona.

The author of “the old lady” book assures me it’s almost finished. She says she has completely changed the plot, but is much happier with it. I’d just be happy to see it after waiting almost three years. I’m suspicious at this point.

No updates on orcas other than a few orca babies have been born this year. Salmon are still waiting in limbo for someone to get the kahunas to tear down dams so they don’t become extinct. No one believes in the rights of nature, I guess. And some very stupid people still think that whales belong in swimming pools.

Stay free…free from covid, monkey pox and things that scare you.

Back on the water again…and don’t buy an electric car

But mostly I want to hike and row, and fish and read without a gazillion thoughts rushing around in my head. I think that’s maybe like trying to be in the mysterious NOW zone.

To escape the torrid heat in Arizona, we made our yearly trek to Anacortes Washington, last month. Well, it’s sure as hell not hot here. The thermometer hasn’t made it out of the 50s yet. And it’s not just cold, but windy, and rainy, and did I say cold? Periodically a bit of sun teases us and gets our hopes up.

I’m sure the boat appreciated our return, and it looked as good as when we left last October. It didn’t seem to have any trauma or damage from the exceptionally cold, snowy, rainy, windy winter here.

The plan is to leave port when the weather is more inviting and head north for three months. I hope to get photos of orcas and find Cookie, the whale I adopted. Plus, continuing with my seaweed identification and paintings booklet is high on my to-do list. I’ll also be giving out copies of Saving Our Oceans to libraries and random people I see reading. In fact, I also want to put Saving into ebook format.

Next, I hope to get some editing/work done on the book about the runaway 70-year-old woman that we’ll release – if the book ever gets finished and we get lucky!

Then, for my sanity I need to take a vacation from my cell phone. I just don’t think doing so will be too difficult. Somehow my phone number got shared with every telemarketing service in the entire world. I no longer answer the slippery contraption. If you want to talk to me, please leave a message and I’ll return your call. Plus, the news has become too unbearable to read more than once a week. I don’t do the social media stuff like Facebutt. Once in a great while (like twice a year) some unknown energy makes me tweet.

But mostly I want to hike and row, and fish and read without a gazillion thoughts rushing around in my head. I think that’s maybe like trying to be in the NOW. I need to calm down, PERIOD.

I’ll stay in touch. Meanwhile, don’t buy an electric car. See my last blog! Digging for all the needed metals will ruin huge swaths of earth.

Stay safe and keep warm!

Remembering Purpose

Does this mean we should not eat meat? NO….well, maybe. Do I? Yes.

It’s so easy to lose focus. Maybe for you it’s not…but I get side-tracked just walking out the door.

Photo by change.org

I finally said,  “Wait a minute! Whoa Nelly!” or something like that. I have fretted over, and tried to support, too many issues:  Southern Resident Orcas; Saving Our Wild Salmon; plastic pollution and conservation; diminishing aquafers; orcas kept in stupid-ass swimming pools (whales belong in oceans, not swimming pools)! Oh, also those horrible trucks hauling sad-looking cows to slaughter. Even worse are the horrible slaughter yards…just sad sad sad. But worse yet, if that’s possible, are monkeys who share over 95% of people’s DNA being used for medical experiments. These animals have feelings exactly like we do.

Granted I have donated money to some organizations that are up and running in terms of finding solutions for nature. For example, the NRDC (Nature Resource Defense Council) is highly successful at stopping outlandish destruction of public lands, and the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition has a strong stance and support. Ecuador’s GARP project is progressing, and CELDF (Community Environmental Defense Fund) is doing well in helping citizens protect their environments. Basically, these groups are doing fine, with or without my donations. (By the way did you know that Ecuador has adopted the rights of nature into their constitution?)

Photo by John Boyd

As for The Southern Resident Pod of orcas? Depends on what you read…and who writes it. Overall, though, the prognosis is not good.

Ultimately, I finally remembered what all these interests boil down to: THE RIGHTS OF NATURE! I’ve read two books about the Rights of Nature – you’d think I wouldn’t forget about it.

So, my focus is back to square one: I want to defend the Rights of Nature…all nature…and try not to be tarred and feathered by the naysayers. Essentially all animals need to be treated respectfully. Scientists have proved that they feel pain and fear. Does this mean we should not eat meat? NO….well, maybe. Do I? ummm yes. Then there is land and forest destruction…too much.

 I’ve designed a sign to hangon the wall by my desk to keep me focused:   Becky, what are you doing today to promote the Rights of Nature?

This fall we will be publishing (ebook format only for now) a book titled: NO WATER – NO LIFE. That should help!

We’re Still Alive!

This lack of action has been going on for years despite Save Our Wild Salmon Alliance’s efforts to have the Lower Snake River Dams removed. The inability to make a tough decision is wasting time…and not helping to restore the salmon runs.

Although it’s been a long time since anyone here has blogged, it’s not because anyone  has had overwhelming misfortunes or the perennial Covid. Instead, we’ve had tax nightmares, knee replacement (my husband), and we are trying to have an orderly first quarter for 2022.

On the bright side,  another baby orca in the Southern Resident Pod has been spotted!

On a semi bright side, talks are still continuing about how to restore the salmon runs in the Pacific Northwest. But as most adults know, talk is just that. Action is what counts. Everybody involved talks the same talk, but not everyone is willing to walk the same walk. This lack of action has been going on for years despite Save Our Wild Salmon Alliance’s efforts to have the Lower Snake River Dams removed. It’s tiring…and shameful. I won’t point fingers at certain individuals since I’m not a resident of Washington State and don’t vote there even though I’m there for months at a time. The inability to make tough decisions is wasting time…and not helping to restore the salmon runs.

On a somewhat  brighter side, however, Washington State has removed some dams and has plans for more, increasing long absent salmon sightings…they just can’t seem to make a final decision about the Lower Snake River Dams. And there’s no doubt it’s a monumental one. Somewhere the buck needs to stop, however… Below is a photo from the Seattle Times of the removal of the Elwha Dam.

That’s all for politics…I don’t want to get started on Washington D.C.

NEW PROJECTS:

Moonlight Mesa will probably be converting Saving Our Oceans and A Beginner’s Guide to Owning a Mule  to ebooks in 2022.

Despite getting off to a good start, it’s an early death

For whatever of the many reasons/excuses  we’ve come up with, Saving Our Oceans  has been a tragic, major flop despite getting off to a great start. First, the title is misleading. It should be Saving Our Water. Maybe I can talk our cover designer, Vin Libassi, into changing that. Second, it’s become obvious that not everyone cares about plastic pollution, water pollution and contaminants, whales, flesh and brain eating bacteria etc. Maybe it’s just too overwhelming and depressing.

A Beginner’s Guide to Owning a Mule has been, hands down, our best-selling title in both 2020 and 2021. However, I had a critical knee jerk reaction when some buyer returned 99 copies of the book (out of an order of 156.) We’ve had a few books here and there returned, but 99 books cost us upward of $900 in return fees. Ingram charges $2.00 a book for returns plus we had to pay for the printing, etc. So, in my hysteria, I all but eliminated the discount and took the book off  the “return” category. Naturally sales have plummeted. I may try one more time to give it a higher discount and make it returnable. But that hurt…bad. And I’m now a bit leery. I also have 99 copies of the book to personally sell.

Now that “someone” has seen to it that fuel prices are skyrocketing, it appears that our summer plans are dead in the water. With fuel prices for diesel already hovering around $6 to $7 a gallon in Canada (and who knows what they’ll be come June) we need to reassess the plans and speaking engagements we’d been working on arranging in Canada and Alaska. We’d hoped to donate some 500 copies of Saving Our Oceans to libraries and schools – that plan is now on an indefinite hold. I’d also planned to chart all whale sitings while en route with photos and stats.

FINALLY: I’ll be posting a photo soon of  Tippy Canoe, my new “rowing canoe.” Because my skiff is so darn heavy, it’s almost impossible for us to set it on deck on our boat. But Tippy Canoe only weighs about 65 pounds (and that’s even with the carved, varnished row wings and shoe done by my husband.) The boat is quick to respond and super light so it FLYS. My skiff kind of crawled, but I loved it. Still do. Heavier than heck, though.

Where Are the Whales?

People are hungry to see the orcas!

Despite being situated in the Salish Sea for the past six months, it’s been difficult to keep track of the whales this year! I thought that since I was an official docent at the Friday Harbor Whale Museum, I’d be more up-to-date…this has not happened. Reports from the Center for Whale Research, however, have been super informative, but being in the right place at the right time to actually see a whale is infrequent.

However, that being said, there are still whales around! In fact, we were excited to see a small pod of orcas pass by the Anacortes Ferry terminal yesterday when we returned from an outing to Friday Harbor. Unfortunately, whale watching boats were NOT keep the required distance from the whales. Bottom line: People are hungry to see the orcas! A small pod swam along and you’d have thought that a miracle had occurred by the reaction of the onlookers…and perhaps it was a miracle.

There have been a number of sightings of the Biggs Transient Orcas, but the Southern Resident Pod (the northwest fave) has been a bit more secretive. J-pod has recent been seen in the area, but K and L pods have pretty much stayed on the west side of Vancouver Island. Smart move, really: more fish and fewer boaters there by far. What pod was seen by the ferry terminal, I have no idea. I love the whales and worry greatly about their well-being, but I do not have the wherewithal to memorize their dorsal fins, saddles, scars or other markings to recognize individuals.

However, both my husband and I were thrilled upon seeing two orcas just a short distance north of the Columbia River Bar as we headed north from Astoria, Oregon. In fact, I even forgot how majorly queasy I was felling when I sighted the two. The next day we saw a small group, probably Minkes, about three miles off the Washington shoreline north of West Port. I wasn’t seasick that day…the ocean was like a lake, and the whales were happily spouting as they likely gobbled silver salmon which seemed to be plentiful in the area judging by the number of fishing vessels. Honestly, we’d never seen so many whales in our sojourns up and down the west coast. It made me feel hopeful for these amazing fellow mammals.

We’ve now been in the Northwest for six months and on our newest vessel for three months. The rains have started…that means a lot of boaters have retired their boats for the year and anchorages will be far less busy. This could also very likely mean that more whales will be around. Perhaps we’ll get lucky more often!

I encourage you to join the Center for Whale Research located in Friday Harbor, Washington. It is also a 501c3, so your donations and membership are tax deductible, and you can be kept completely up-to-date on the whales. Also, check out the Friday Harbor Whale Museum gift shop for unique gifts. This is one way to support the only whale museum in the United States!

Time to Call it Quits?

It’s time for a new adventure, and I want to go home.

It seems like ages ago we moved to Arizona – actually it’s now been 16 years. I’ve enjoyed it here in many ways…but I don’t think I’ve ever really been happy-happy here. 

What do I like about Arizona? 

1. Winter weather here can’t be beat. Maybe Florida’s, come to think about it. 

2. Our properties have been large enough that I’ve had chickens, horses, mules and dogs during this period. (I had the same in Oregon though.)

3.  I started a small, traditional publishing company and published a number of award-winning titles and terrific westerns.         

 J.R. Sanders’ two books, Some Gave All and The Littlest Wrangler, both won awards;   

Lee Anderson’s equine books, Developing the Art of Equine Communication and The  View from My Old Saddle, were both award winners;                                                                                    

Rusty Richards biography of Casey Tibbs  has been a best-selling title and won an award;    

Historian Robert Walton’s civil war book, Dawn Drums,  won a total of 5 awards;   

Three of my own publications have won awards: Life Was a Cabaret, Sam’s Desert Adventure, and Northern Escape.                                                      

There were other books that often out-sold the award-winners, such as Jere D. James Jake Silver Series.

During this time I also learned some hard lessons: 

  1.  Insufficient funds for marketing pretty much killed me.
  2.  Often I worked far harder at personally selling authors’ books than some of them did.
  3.  Selling books is the hardest part of the whole publishing business.

We are now at a crossroads, and some of our frustration may indeed be due to Covid, but perhaps most is just due to the fact that my husband and I can no longer ignore that we are fish out of water in the desert, something we’ve both known for a long time but never discussed much. So, we’ve listed our home for sale, even though we just moved to this new location a year ago. Since our mules are now gone, we’ve come to realize even more that we don’t “fit in” here (our license plates even say “We Row”) and we never have been very good members of the cowboy-horse culture here in Wickenburg. We tried, but…

Moving is not easy, but I came to the conclusion that going back to the northwest is what we needed to do after I read an article that asked readers to think of where they’d been most happy in their life…and if they weren’t there now, why weren’t they? As retirees, we don’t have jobs that hold us down; our children are both approaching 40 and are well-established here, so no kids to fuss over. My husband is particularly not happy, and neither is my dog Holly (a Chesapeake Bay Retriever). We instantly realized that where we’ve been our happiest is in coastal environments: Newport Oregon, Wrangell Alaska, and cruising on our sailboat decades ago. I know the winter weather will be a shocker…but we lived in the northwest for decades before we moved and it never seemed to bother us then. I miss snow-shoeing, Nordic skiing, ice skating, the beautiful smell and sight of fir trees, and fall and spring weather (you don’t get much where we now are). We’re homesick.

So what do I do about Moonlight Mesa Associates, Inc., my little S-Corporation? I think it’s time I dissolved my corporation and became a sole-proprietor again. I’ll certainly keep an account with the printing company so authors can still get their books and the books will still be available online or with vendors, but I just feel like throwing in the towel, going back to free-lance writing, getting my Marine Naturalist Certification, and focusing on sea life, whales in particular – especially orcas. I might even become a radical about plastic pollution and protecting our oceans, and saving our wild salmon! I can spend more time on JUST ONE THING. That would be fun. What I’m doing now no longer is.

I’ll keep my website…I think…maybe. And I’ll be blogging less about books, and more about LIFE. I’m ready. It’s time for a new adventure, and I want to go home.

Time for an About-Face for Shirking

The main interest I’ve (we’ve) maintained throughout all the covid stress and election drama has been a continual attention to the health of the ocean, nature, and especially whales. There are some bright spots here:

I declare I do think some people have minds like traps…something gets in it and it doesn’t go away. Once again I’ve been caught.

Here’s some facts I’ve been called on:

In September I declared I would row 500 miles before the end of the year. Didn’t quite get there – actually I was a long way from 500 miles. Try 189. Well, the spirit was willing but the flesh was weak! Besides, the north ramp at Lake Pleasant was closed and that is the BEST, most scenic area for rowing, kayaking, and swimming.

And I’ve been asked where JOT has disappeared to and what’s going on with it…It’s been so long since I’ve talked about JOT (Just One Thing) that I’m embarrassed to say I’ve done little to nothing in recent months. I think the pandemic wore me out. I was too busy reading Fox News and the New York Times email articles to pay attention to much else.

For those with short memories, JOT (Just One Thing) is a grassroots alliance encouraging people to forego one single-use plastic item to help with plastic pollution and wastage. There are a number of people who have signed up to participate in the JOT movement, however, but I’ve failed to do much communication since I failed to keep their email addresses. Again…likely a pandemic fault. However, JOT is alive and well and will be energized again…Care to join? Send me your name and I’ll add you to our list. No fees or dues or donations ever. Just a commitment on your part to yourself.

The main interest I’ve (we’ve) maintained throughout all the covid stress and election drama has been a continual attention to the health of the ocean, nature, and especially whales. There are some bright spots here:

A new pod of Blue Whales has been discovered in the Indian Ocean. In addition, Blue Whales are once again being detected in the Georgia Island area (north of Antarctica) after 50-years of absence. These whales were hunted almost to the very brink of extinction by money-driven cretins. (Please don’t tell the Japanese or the Norwegians since they have a penchant for slaughtering whales.)

And, there have been numerous sightings of the northwest’s Southern Resident pod of orcas this fall and winter…likely this is because there are far fewer boaters plowing through the waters disturbing them.

So…I’m seriously back to work even though I don’t plan to publish anything this year. Despite having become a bit of a hermit, I aim to live with gratitude and enthusiasm. No more shirking, procrastinating, and negativity. I’m tired of that.

 Besides promoting JOT and trying to sell books, I’ll  be blogging about the NRDC and their successes in sustaining the environment (like helping defeat the Pebble  mine in Bristol Bay), along with the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition and their efforts to revive wild salmon stocks (yes, more bridges are now being torn down), as well as other marine and nature organizations issues (like closing Marine World and getting those poor whales out of swimming pools!). I’ll be heading to Washington State in February for a month of resuscitation. I know I’ll come back fired up – and probably be yearning to move north…again. 

Check out Saving Our Oceans or any of our other scintillating titles!

Major Changes to Publishing House

Three primary areas have become the publisher’s center of attention: The Ocean; Whales; and the Rights of Nature.

Becky on her mule, Reba Peru.

It’s become apparent to many of Moonlight Mesa’s blog followers and customers, that the publishing house is no longer the same company that used to avidly only promote western books and authors. “There is no question that we’re on a different path,” admitted publisher Becky Coffield. “The change is a difficult, time-consuming, uphill struggle, and one we’ve been trying to win using emotional appeal – not tactics. It hasn’t been as easy as I thought it’d be. Somehow that’s got to change.”

It’s tempting to say that the biggest cause of struggle is Moonlight Mesa’s rural location – being housed on the borderline of a dinky seasonal community and a small cowboy town. This hurts, but it’s not the only issue. Not being a coastal state, Arizonans generally tend to be indifferent to the issues that Moonlight Mesa’s publisher finds to be a priority. “This is to be expected, I suppose. Arizona has issues and problems of its own to deal with that are troublesome: drought and potential water shortage; rapid growth due to a massive influx of newcomers; and border issues to name a few. Expected, but disappointing,” Coffield said.

So, what is the pubisher’s focus? Three primary areas have become the publisher’s center of attention: the Ocean; Whales; and The Rights of Nature. That is, of course, a simplification, but it generally sums it up.  Coffield is also a supporter of NRDC, CELDEF, and GARN.*

For starters, as chairperson of the JUST ONE THING Alliance, Coffield decided to house the small, grass-roots movement on Moonlight Mesa’s website as its own domain. (www.justonething.life) She has also recently added Moonlight Mesa’s publication, Saving Our Oceans. (www.saving-our-oceans.com) as a domain on the website.

“Though the addition of these two domains to Moonlight Mesa’s website does not in any way help book sales or the company, the fact is it’s a step in going where I have to go,” Coffield said.

Coffield became an ocean/whale devotee after spending six years blue-water sailing on a Cal 2-34, traveling around 25,000 miles, then living on the Oregon Coast for many years. Originally from the Northwest, Coffield has spent years boating in the San Juan Islands and traveling the Inside Passage to the Broughton Islands and S.E. Alaska. “I’ve had fantastic whale encounters in S.E. Alaska,” Coffield recalled. “And, of course, a person can’t help but love the Southern Resident Pod that hangs out in the San Juans.” Coffield is currently endeavoring to complete a Marine Naturalist Certification.

It’s become apparent to all who know the publisher that she (and her husband) are  fish out of water living in Arizona – The big question is “for how much longer?” She’s choosing not say at this time –

Meanwhile, look for the saving-our-oceans.blog in the very near future.

*CELDEF: Community Environmental Defense Fund

NRDC – Nature Resource Defense Council

GARN – Global Alliance for Rights of Nature

Blog submitted by Renee Witty

Where Are the Whales? Where are the Salmon?

It’s painfully simple: between dams, climate change,  an over abundance of seals, and the fishing industry, there are basically no Chinook Salmon this year for the Southern Resident Pod of Orcas.

1d0cc-orca2bphoto   The highly-loved Southern Resident Pod of Orcas apparently may not be calling the Salish Sea (specifically the Puget Sound area) home anymore it seems. Their lack of prompt appearance last summer couldn’t be denied and caused some consternation. The whales showed up late and left quickly, spending most of their time on the outer coast of Vancouver Island. Instead, transient orcas from the northern reaches of the Inside Passage were more often seen. The transient pod dines more on seals which are plentiful in the area.

So what gives? It’s painfully simple: between dams, climate change,  an over abundance of seals, and the fishing industry, there are basically no Chinook Salmon this year, and Chinook are the Southern Resident Pod’s main, preferred, and greatly needed food.

If one wants to play the blame game, point first to the Lower Snake River dams  and Governor Inslee’s inability, and unwillingness, to take affirmative action in removing these dams despite that action being the most voted on as high priority by concerned citizens. The Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition, spearheaded by Joseph Bogaard, puts the removal of dams as an extremely high priority for saving wild salmon runs.

Indeed, even Oregon’s Bonneville Dam is a disaster for the salmon runs, which use to number in the thousands. Allowing a bit of extra water spill to “cool” the river doesn’t cut it.

Besides blaming the dams, there is no doubt that climate change has taken its toll on the Chinook, and no matter how one feels about it, climate change can no longer be denied. The Fraser River is very low (due to water withdrawal for agriculture) and it’s now too warm. The test fishery didn’t catch any Chinook in May, and only three in June. Hundreds used to be caught.

Finally, and not often considered, is the massive number of fish (including salmon) that seals and sea lions eat. Since these pinnipeds became “protected” some years ago, their numbers have exploded, and they all have healthy appetites.

3167e-SOOpc2B2Bjpeg

Of course there is the never-ending issue of plastic and chemical pollution and sewage spills that can sicken and kill all aquatic life, including whales.

Do not overlook the impact of sport and commercial fishing ventures. Ship strikes and a plethora of boaters may also be contributing factors to the whales’ demise.

The Southern Resident Pod has lived in the Puget Sound area for thousands of years. Their numbers diminished greatly decades ago, however, because of the rampant brutal  capture and sale of these magnificent creatures by uncaring, greedy, self-serving owners of  aquatic parks that tragically decimated their numbers. (Obviously, they did not believe in the Rights of Nature.) Few captured whales live beyond 30 years of age due to abuse and the stress of being held captive in a swimming pool. In their natural habitat these whales can live as long as 90 years.

One can only hope, and pray, that these much-loved whales, in their quest for food, will avoid the rapacious Japanese and Norwegian whale hunters.

dead whales copy
Wanton slaughter of whales

Whale Captivity is Criminal

PHOTO-Type-D-killer-whales-showing-their-blunt-heads-and-tiny-eyepatches-in-2011-Credit-J.P.-Sylvestre-South-Georgia-1125x534-Landscape-1000x477    There is simply one reason why the United States of America permits orcas to be treated in the most inhumane, cruel, despicable way. Of course, money is the reason.

For starters, it’s important to remember that whales are mammals. They are like us in that respect. Whales, chimpanzees and humans are placental carriers – that is each carries its unborn young in a placental sack.  It’s believed that whales, sloths, bats and humans share a common ancestor, which is a topic for a blog from a geneticist, I suppose. My concern is why we allow mammals, whales in particular, to be treated worse than the criminally insane.

No other nation, with possibly the exception of China, now allows orcas and belugas to be captured in the wild and held in swimming pools solely for personal enrichment and human entertainment. Only the United States allows this criminal behavior of imprisonment to continue – specifically Sea World and their “Shamu” shows.

Finally, word recently escaped about how cruelly the whales are treated in captivity, often being deprived of food if they fail to do as ordered. Almost every whale in captivity has died decades before its time. Out of sheer frustration and boredom, the orcas bang their heads against the sides of the pool. Their teeth are ground to nubs from grinding and chewing on cement. They deeply mourn the loss of their pod. But the show goes on.

Orcas are extremely intelligent. They have language skills and communicate with each other. They have very strong familial ties and are highly social animals. They also have a sense of self. They mentally KNOW they exist. Fortunately, the capture of whales has been outlawed in most all countries – with the exception of renegades in Russia who illegally imprisoned orcas and beluga whales last winter for sale to China. Under Putin’s direction the whales were released. Orcas also are no longer allowed to be bred in captivity since the offspring die. When the babies die, the mothers grieve for long periods of time.

Orcas are designed by nature to swim a hundred miles a day, give or take, and dive to deep depths in pursuit of food. Yet knowing this and all the inhumane treatment the whales endure in captivity, Sea World continues to hold them as prisoners in swimming pools not much bigger than the whales themselves. There’s absolutely no heart, humanity, or morality here – it’s clearly about the money earned by the captivity.

Unfortunately, we have a president who is not particularly environmentally friendly. With a stroke of his pen I think he could end the captivity of orcas and order  them to be released to ocean sanctuaries now ready to help them return to their natural habitat, just as Putin did. Perhaps Sea World executives are big supporters of Trump?

Sea World says it will stop their whale shows by the end of 2019. That remains to be seen. Perhaps they plan on imprisoning more dolphins (perhaps the smartest animal in the ocean and possibly smarter than humans) and porpoises to display. Or how about another walrus?

The captivity and imprisonment of any wild animal is cruel beyond measure. It must be stopped, just as the imprisonment and captivity of people in this country was stopped.

Whales, dolphins, chimpanzees, people – we are all mammals. We share DNA and a common ancestor. Possibly humans are the smartest living “creature” on the planet, but that’s debatable as the dolphin is a contender for first place when it comes to intelligence, and orcas are members of the dolphin family. Unfortunately, we have the dishonor of being the cruelest creature on the planet.

Enacting a Rights of Nature would put an end to this wild animal captivity nonsense. We don’t own these animals – we share the world with them.

To read more about the exploitation and massacre of whales and orcas read Saving Our Oceans, by R.L. Coffield.

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