Westerns, Whales and Oceans Welcome You

Get Ready to Ride with Moonlight Mesa’s Equine Best Sellers

equine_comm2It’s nearing the time to saddle up for those of you who’ve been housebound and frozen or flooded in all winter! The storm this week will, hopefully, be the last of winter’s blasts…until November anyway.

Since they’ve not been ridden much, if at all, you might want to take it easy the first time or two you mount up. Now a seasoned horse will pick up just like the last time you rode him, but those younger horses aren’t quite as reliable.

It so happens that we have two top-selling equine books to help you out! Lee Anderson’s Developing the Art of Equine Communication is an award-winning,  rock-steady seller for us. This book is fabulous. Why?

  1. It’s not written in a highfalutin’, know-it-all manner and attitude. Lee is down-to-earth and wholesome. You’ll understand every sentence he writes.
  2. Lee not only tells you about the problems your horse may be having, but he gives a great explanation WHY your horse is doing what it’s doing. I found this element in his book to be absolutely outstanding. Once you know WHY your horse is doing some fool thing, it takes a lot of the fear out of it for you. You’ll find yourself saying, “OH! So that’s why he does that!”
  3. Lee tells you clearly and simply how to fix the problem.

Developing the Art of Equine Communication has sold from England to Australia, and it’s available in all ebook formats too. And…we’re pleased to say that Lee is coming out with another sensational equine book: The View from My Saddle. We hope to have this title available in the fall.

Muley cover But…you have a mule? No worries. A Beginner’s Guide To Owning a Mule  was our best-selling book in 2018, and it’s off to a heck of a good start in 2019.

If you’re thinking at all of buying a mule, whether you’re an experienced horseman or not, you’ll want to read this gem. It’s well worth the $12.95 price and likely will save you a lot of frustration, heartache, and maybe even butt ache too.

If you buy either book from Moonlight Mesa in April or May, you’ll get free shipping! You’ll need to email us for this special, though. And we accept all credit cards!

These books would also make fine gifts for your family members for either Mother’s Day or Father’s Day!

Just click here to contact us! Make sure to include your name and shipping address in the email. A phone number would be good too in case we need to get hold of you.  Include your card number, date of expiration, CVV number, and the zip code where the billing for this card is sent. If you’re uncomfortable sending your credit card information online, just email us your phone number and we’ll call you for your information.

Get that saddle out and cleaned up. Curry that winter coat off your critter, and let’s get ready to ride!

 

The Kill Rate is Horrible – The Solution is Simple

By now many, maybe most, people have heard of the 1,100 savagely mutilated dolphins that drifted onto France’s coast. In fact, the La Rochelle University’s National Center for Scientific Research said the dolphin bodies showed extreme levels of mutilation.

 


dead dolphin

 

There is a very common-sense solution to the issue of over-fishing and killing everything in sight, and it will quickly solve the problem of the slaughter of marine mammals like these 1,100 mutilated mammals. But France isn’t the only country familiar with dead dolphins – world-wide the number of dead dolphins and other sea life is appalling: Peru, Great Britain, France, Mumbai, Japan, the United States…the list of countries allowing this to happen is shocking. This could easily be stopped.

 

French President Emmanuel Macron, who’s having perhaps a worse time of it than even President Trump, has a strong pro-ecology stance and his slogan, “Make the Planet Great Again,” is often repeated by him and his ecology minister. It appears as though Macron’s mantra isn’t terribly effective, however, and much like the riots that rocked Paris for weeks, the dolphin massacre is arousing the ire of French citizens. It takes a vicious, cruel heart not to be alarmed and saddened by the unnecessary death of so many beautiful, harmless creatures – unless, of course, you’re a Japanese dolphin hunter in Taiji Bay.

 

So, what’s causing the untimely death of these dolphins? (And this has been happening for years.) Simply put:  net fishing. What’s causing the rapidly diminishing number of fish worldwide? Net fishing. There is absolutely no reason or excuse for these fisheries. The oceans would never run out of fish if net fishing was outlawed and fishermen had to use hook and line. If you want to have sustainable fisheries, net fishing must be eliminated. If you want to stop raping the oceans of every creature imaginable, do away with net fishing. Want to stop destroying the ocean beds? Stop net fishing.

 

The problem with net fisheries is the nets catch any and all fish that are in the net’s reach, and these are monstrous nets, some stretching one to two miles long and 10 to 50 feet high. (They can be even longer.) Most of the fish and other creatures trapped in these nets die – few are thrown back alive. In the case of the dolphins, fishermen slice the dolphins to bits so they don’t have to cut their nets.

 

We wonder why we’re running out of fish. We wonder why sea species are becoming extinct. STOP NET FISHERIES! Yearly this fishery is killing millions of fish. Scientists predict that the current rates of fishing will drive the dolphin population to extinction – the fish too.

 

It Shouldn’t Take a Rocket Scientist…

00dca-orca2Bphoto“In response to its criticism of its treatment of killer whales, Sea World said it will build them a larger habitat. When asked for comment, killer whales said, “Hey, you know what’s a larger habitat? The ocean.”    Conan O’Brien.

It shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why orcas die in captivity at a relatively young age. It only takes people suffering from money-addiction to ignore the facts and not care one whit for the mammal they are tormenting and degrading.

According to National Geographic’s “Orcas don’t do well in captivity. Here’s why,” of the 70 orcas born in captivity around the world since 1977, 37 of them are dead. This number does not include the 30 that were stillborn or died in utero. Tragically, only a small handful of wild-caught orcas live past 30-years-of age. Not one captive born orca yet has lived that long. In the wild these mammals sometimes can live to 80 and beyond.

But this fact seems to escape the jailers – that they are cutting the animals’ lives short by about 50 years. It’s all about the money.

There’s plenty of evidence, and proof, that whales, dolphins, and porpoises are highly intelligent, social animals. Orcas are meant to swim great distances – often up to 40 miles a day – where they frequently dive to great depths to feed several times a day, every day. A super-sized swimming pool just doesn’t cut it. And even though some orcas are born into captivity, they are still genetically driven to do the same things that wild orcas do.

According to Naomi Rose, marine mammal scientist at the Animal Welfare Institute, “a primary indicator for whether a mammal will do well in captivity is how wide their range is in the wild. The broader their natural range, the less likely they are to thrive in confinement. This is the same reason some zoos have been phasing out elephant exhibits.”

An orca’s life in captivity could not have been devised to be more horrific. Orcas’ brains are highly developed when it comes to social intelligence, language (yes, language) and self-awareness. In the wild, they live most of their lives in tight-knit groups (pods). Often the males stay with their mothers for their entire lives. In captivity this social bond is ripped apart. In captivity they don’t have the opportunity to escape conflict with others or to engage in natural swimming behaviors. The animals are kept in captivity simply for people’s entertainment and other people’s bank accounts. This is wrong on so many fronts.

There’s hope that things are beginning to change, but certainly not fast enough. In 2017 California made it illegal to breed orcas. Shortly after this, Sea World announced it would be ending its captive orca breeding program. Unfortunately, a number of these animals are still kept for entertainment and continue to be treated like their personal lives have no value.

“At the federal level, Congressman Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California, has repeatedly introduced a bill to phase out captive orca displays across the U.S.” I urge people to support this effort, whether Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Socialist or Independent.

Hopefully, and it’s a wild hope, the whales remaining in captivity will be released (before they die prematurely) to a whale sanctuary project. Of course, Sea World opposes this effort, and considers the sanctuaries to be nothing but “sea cages,” as if their over-sized swimming pools were preferential. If the whales do not survive or make it in a whale sanctuary, at least they’ll have had a chance – more than Sea World can offer them.

(An even worse thought is these poor creatures being sold by Russia, who is currently holding 100 orcas and beluga whales in a “whale jail” for sale to the Chinese for their aquariums. Likely the freezing temperatures in Siberia will end up killing the mammals who are kept in tanks so small they can hardly move. It had been hoped that Vladimir Putin would have the mammals released, but this has not yet happened. It may be too late.)

Material from:

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Coffield, R.L. Saving Our Oceans. Wickenburg: Moonlight Mesa Associates, Inc. May 2019. Print

Daly, Natasha. “Orcas don’t do well in captivity. Here’s why.” National Geographic,  25, March, 2019, https://www.natgeo.com/animals/2019/03/orcas-captivity-welfare/

 

Grouping Westerns, Whales and Oceans Together is not Weird!

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Release date: May 2019

We are fervently hoping that Saving Our Oceans is close to the final editing stages. Due to our involvement with the annual mule ride we sponsor, we’re grossly behind schedule, but we  plan to pull some long days…and nights…very soon.

There are those who say that our new direction (grouping westerns, whales and oceans together)  isn’t going to work. That’s it’s weird. Makes no sense. I’m too busy to argue with them and will let time be the determiner of that. I admit that the new website (westernswhalesandoceans.com) isn’t yet exactly brimming with visitors and that we closed down our new blog temporarily due to lack of visitors, but our sales have picked up and are ahead of sales a year ago – thank goodness.

This decision to add “whales and oceans” to our “western culture” is not a business decision. It’s a moral decision. We are now part of the Ocean Foundation and have been formally accepted to the Plastic Pollution Coalition. We strongly support the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition and the Orca Conservancy. We also love westerns, but westerns are mostly a greatly romanticized history of the past. Whales and oceans are a predictor of the future, which looks pretty grim right now.

I won’t get on my soapbox about the immorality of mercilessly harpooning intelligent, social mammals at this time because I’ve been on that soapbox most of the winter.

As for our western situation…an amazing number of people have been asking if our popular, reclusive author Jere D. James is ever going to write another western. We didn’t hold out much hope for quite a spell, but it looks very promising that Jere will be making a return. Whew. We need that since we’ve decided to keep our main operations in Arizona. Despite our intense interest in orcas and oceans, westerns still rate pretty high with us and most of our readers.

Dwight resized
Dwight Beard – A Western Icon

 

 

A New Species of Orcas? Don’t tell the Whale Killers!

(Photo by J.P. Sylvestre/NOAA)

By now most orca-addicts know that the recent rare sighting of orcas in the subantarctic area of the ocean could signify a new species. Some have heard of this mysterious orca, but very few have ever seen one of these fabled mammals.

There are photos of these orcas that date back to 1955.  A few other photos surfaced in 2005 confirming that these orcas were still alive and hadn’t been made extinct by the Japanese whale slaughter in the southern ocean.

Although an actual orca, these whales do have a different appearance than the orcas most are familiar with. For starters, they’re smaller and have a more rounded head. Most interesting, however, is the very small eye patch they have (compared to the orca eye patch most are familiar with).

Scientists are currently studying bits of whale skin nipped off by darts fired from a crossbow. The dart does no “critical” damage to the whale, and both the dart and the skin can then be retrieved from the water. A genetic analysis will determine how this new orca compares to other killer whales. (I wonder why this is necessary.)

It’s been reported that these smaller orcas are often chased off by the larger ones when both are grabbing fish from fishermen’s nets. If these new whales don’t socialize or breed with the other orcas, that could account for their differing structure and size.

There likely won’t be many whale-watching trips to see these orcas, however, since they live in the 40-50 degree area of the southern ocean. This “Roaring 40s” area is the most violent, storm-prone area in the world since there are no land masses to break up the waves…or the weather. Maybe this distant, formidable habitat will enable them to stand a chance of survival now that they’ve been found!

Can we assure them the right to continue to live harpoon free?

Inhumane Whale Slaughter Increases

00dca-orca2BphotoImmoral. Inhumane. Inexcusable.  These may be the best words to describe the Japanese, Danes (Faroe Islands), Norwegians and  Icelanders who persist in slaughtering whales despite the IWC ban on such activity.

Even though whale meat is in sharp decline, and world opinion finds whale harpooning an act carried out by demonic, barbaric nations, Icelandic authorities, like Japanese authorities, are flexing their muscles and thumbing their noses at world opinion and the IWC’s ban on whaling.

Numerous scientific studies leave no doubt that whales are intelligent mammals who communicate with each other, navigate in ways modern military is unable to master, feel pain and anguish, and care for their young (far better than many people).

Icelandic whalers plans to kill 2000 whales over the next five-year-period, justifying such slaughter by insisting that the number of whales has increased to support a yearly kill of 209 fin whales and 217 minke whales every year until 2023.

This almost matches the gut-wrenching 900 orca whales slaughtered by Russia in a one-year period.

It’s difficult to say what drives the blood-lust of nations to allow the merciless slaughter of these gentle giants to continue. World opinion is souring on these nations and this act of cruelty. Even many citizens of the offending nations find the killing of whales to be immoral and reprehensible.

Whaling countries face warranted international condemnation.  Literally tens of thousands of whales have been killed since the whaling ban was put into effect.

(This topic is covered in more detail in the forth coming Saving Our Oceans.)

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Release date: May 2019

Publisher Announces 2018 Sales Report

2018 ended with a bang for Moonlight Mesa Associates, Inc.! Despite a summer of dismal sales (probably partially due to no one being in the office for three months) the year actually ended well. “November and December were terrific for sales,” Moonlight Mesa publisher  said. “Actually, almost unbelievable.”

Both the publisher and staff were shocked to see the final 2018 tally on book sales. There were some genuine surprises and some disappointments.

Muley cover          Moonlight Mesa’s top-selling book for 2018 was A Beginner’s Guide to Owning a Mule. This includes copies distributed by Ingram and sold by the publisher. If only Ingram sales are considered, however, Casey Tibbs – Born to Ride, squeezed out A Beginner’s Guide to Owning a Mule at the very tail end of the year, the Tibbs book outselling the mule 9780977459391.MAIN.book by only a few copies.

J.R. Sanders’ Some Gave All  came in third for sales by Ingram, and Lee Anderson’s Developing the Art of Equine Communication took fourth.

As for Kindle and other e-book sales, Casey Tibbs and Equine Communication had decent movement. Jere James probably outsold the other two titles, but Jere also has seven books available – plus they are fiction. Not all titles published by Moonlight Mesa are available as ebooks due to photos and file size.

The Old Folks in the Boat fared very poorly. “I knew it wouldn’t be a blockbuster,” 50dfc-oldfolksweb-jpegCoffield said, “but I am truly surprised at how poorly it did. I came within a hair of taking it out of circulation. Another year like this one, and I will.” In fact, the publisher canceled the scheduled book signing at the Seattle Boat Show.

Finally, Moonlight Mesa will no longer be carrying Paula Silici’s yummy western romance, A Way in the Wilderness.  The author has asked for her rights back, and due to Silici’s precarious health situation, Coffield agreed to return the author’s rights – except for a 10% publisher right to any movie rights.

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Release date: May 2019

The plan now is to get Saving Our Oceans completed and uploaded for printing. “We’re close, but there’s still a lot of work to do. It doesn’t help that our beloved cover designer is migrating to Ecuador,” Coffield said. “He insists there will be internet there, but it just won’t be the same.”

Next up will be Lee Anderson’s book, “The View from My Saddle”.  This is Anderson’s second title with Moonlight Mesa. Coffield insists the book will be ready to release in the fall.