Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Hey all,

I've been home from Japan for over a week now. I haven't been blogging regularly simply because I've been so busy with work and trying to return to a normal life. It has been quite an adjustment. The first few days back on Vancouver Island felt surreal. I have returned home a different person than when I left for Japan.

                                           My Last Morning at The Cove - Dolphin Free Day

 
My experience as a Cove Guardian was extremely rewarding and I feel that I was able to participate in a campaign that is making a significent difference for the dolphins. Of course we were not able to physically save the dolphins that have been slaughtered this year, but we are looking to end this hunt to save the dolphins migrating past Japan in the future. The group of Cove Guardians that I spent my days with are a dedicated and selfless group of individuals looking to make necessary improvements in regards to environmental and animal rights issues.

                                           Cove Guardians On My Last Day

I'd like to personally thank each and every individual who helped make this trip a reality for me. Here is a list of everyone who contributed to my Taiji initiative. Whether you helped out with funds, positivity, fundraisers, or simply offered moral support, you were all a part of the effort to save the dolphins .You are all wonderful and the dolphins thank you!
A Huge thank you to Andi Beaumont, Alissa Deck, Adam Deck, Kevin Park, Stephanie Guthrie, Bob Timmons, Prad, Derek Howlett, Ryan Hughes, Freelee & Harley, Megan Rivard, Deborah Sheehan, Angela Dawn Geddies, Marley, Brooke, Tara, Julia Ganswind, Glenn Gaetz, Joanne Chang, Kerrie Sheehan Racicot, Scott West, Elora Malama, Rex Ray, Darrell Erhart, Pat Newson, Andrea Barisan, The crew at Zen Zero, Magenta, Rose Vasile, Ted Carr, Donna Bodi Jack & family, Ian, The crew at 30bananasaday, The crew at Thriftys, Edward Huffman, Jaap koops, Cheryl Snyder, Sarah Bergstrom, Chuck Carlson, Lisa Crist, Josh Freya, Kara Dell, Lynn Hughes Stevenson, Florence Etienne, Cynthia Jones, D Gill, Bev Brewis, Laurice Dee, Corwin Fox, Bee Wolf Ray, Jack & Peggy, and everyone who came out to our events and/or helped organize.
I'd like to say a very special thank you to Terry Lenore of Euroscape spa (http://www.euroscapespa.com/) for your astounding generousity. Terry not only sponsored me with a flight to Japan, but I am now also an employee of Terry's.
Thank you to everyone who offered support for my dream to help save the dolphins!!!

You can visit my youtube channel to watch the last video log that I created in Taiji, Japan. I will be returning next year, and every year that follows until we see an end to the slaughter of dolphins in Japan.


For The Oceans,
Tarah

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Night For The Oceans

Hey all,

On the 19th of November I returned to Vancouver, B.C. The following evening an event was planned as a fundraiser for Sea Shepherd. It was organized by Antoine Lum and was a great success! It was held in downtown Vancouver, at a building aptly named Century House. It boasted old fashioned decor and architecture from over 100 years ago.

                                                   Century House
A few friends and myself helped with preparation work prior to the event. We helped set up, only to find out that the Sea Shepherd merchandise represenatives had been denied entry at the U.S/Canadian border. Luckily they made it to the event just in time, short a few items.

The evening started promptly at 7pm with lively music, drinks, and numerous Sea Shepherd supporters. "A Night For The Oceans" sported a large silent auction featuring great vegan items found locally and internationally, a Sea Shepherd merchandise table, complimentary Lush gift bags, and delicious veg h'ordeuvres. Next came speeches made by myself, Alex Earl, and Chuck Swift. It was an honour to speak beside such wonderful environmental crusaders. I spoke about the Cove Guardian campaign, hoping to inspire others to take the trek to Taiji. Many supporters and wellwishers came my way after speaking, congratulating me on my speech, and wishing to learn more about becoming a Cove Guardian. If I was able to inspire at least one individual, the evening was a success!

                                                Friends and me

Antoine created a wonderful evening in support of our oceans. His speech was presented well and everyone agreed that he did a great service for SSCS. The evening ended off with club-like music and almost every silent auction item had a buyer. After having some great discussion and passing out silent auction wins, I left along with some great Vancouver activists.

All in all, "A Night For The Oceans" was a great welcome home.

For The Oceans,
Tarah

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Words Cannot Describe...

Hey all,

Words cannot describe the thoughts racing through my mind today...The atrocities witnessed on this day are causing my blood to boil. If any trace of respect for these disgusting men remaind in me, it has now been removed. For those of you who believe that I should try to understand and work with these murderers, you really do not have a concept of the deranged actions that these killers are capable of. If you have not witnessed the horrors of Taiji in person, please refrain from criticizing our tactics. This is not a matter of who's tactics work best. This is a matter of saving dolphins from a horrific fate.

The dolphin molesters drove a pod of around 40 dolphins into the Cove today. The dolphins fought. We are seeing the dolphins fight for their lives harder each time another pod is driven in. They drove them straight into the killing cove as we have seen the past few time. Shortly after, the trainers arrived for their sorting process. They hauled off 9 babies to the Whale Museum. It sickens me to think of what these babies have to endure. This is when the situation started to feel strange.

Libby and I headed up to Wonderland to view the activity at the gutting barge. We spotted one skiff approaching the barge to unload dolphins. We were not able count the number of dolphins. Another skiff approached, entirely empty. They started to maneuver the tarps, and one skiff attached itself to the side of the barge. Instantly we realized that this was not normal behavoir. We watched and captured footage of the dolphins being ripped open, their entrails thrown to the side. There was one key difference about gutting barge activity today. The dolphins were not dead. We watched as more than one dolphin moved, clearly alive, on the barge.
                                            First Trace of blood


No other skiffs approached from the Cove. We were on guard. Where were the other 20 or so dolphins? Not long after, we viewed the boat returning from the Whale Museum after dropping off the 9 babies. The boat was not empty. Two live dolphins laid on foam pads and were quickly covered when the killers realized that we were watching. We were shocked. Were they loading live dolphins onto the gutting barge? Yes indeed. The sound that followed is one that I will never forget. The live dolphins, surrounded by gutted bodies, started to flail as they realized that they were next in line. The sounds of the dolphin struggle as they were slaughtered followed.

                                         Slaughtering Live Dolphins

It is not enough for these molesters to simply slaughter dolphins. They do not kill the dolphins in the killing cove. They paralyze these beautiful creatures and stick a wooden plug below their blow hole to cease blood flow. The dolphins either drown as they are being dragged to the gutting barge, or are gutted alive. Not only this. The dolphin molesters now feel the need to destroy our rock dolphin created on the beach. That's all right. We shall keep fighting for the dolphins and will continue to create rock dolphins.

                                        Rock Dolphin
For The Oceans,
Tarah

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Fruitarian's Guide To Saving Our Oceans

Hey all,

Our hopes from yesterday came true! This morning we witnessed another unsuccessful hunting day for the dolphin molesters. A cheer went up as they came in empty handed. The dolphins will live another day.

Since today was such a great day, I thought I'd lighten my blog up a little. Many have asked about my eating practices. For those of you who are not aware; I'm a raw fruitarian. This means that I only consume raw, fresh, ripe, and idealy organic fruits and vegetables. In a land where vegans supposedly "starve", you may be wondering how I survive in Taiji, Japan. It is actually proven quite easy.

I am a part of a wonderful community, http://www.30bananasaday.com/. This website provides support, mentoring, research, and  motivation for this lifestyle. Living this lifestyle in Japan has proven to be very enjoyable. Japan is home to a wide variety of delicious fruit perfectly suited to a fruitarian. I have delighted in many varieties of juicy mandarin oranges, rich fuyu and hachiya persimmons, large concorde grapes, sweet pears, delicious mangos, and creamy bananas. I also brought fresh dates from Canada. Japan is a fruitarian's dream! Each day, based on the guidelines from "The 80/10/10 Diet" by Dr. Douglas Graham and 30bananasaday, I consume over 3000 calories of sweet juicy fruit. This provides me with optimal nutrition and energy for the mental and physical exhaustion that I have experienced while being a Cove Guardian. I also buy fruit in bulk to allow for proper ripening and to make sure that I have enough on hand for our busy schedule.

                                         Fruit Fuel for 2-3 days!


Being involved in direct action campaigns while eating this way does not have to be difficult. Bananas, dates, pears, and oranges a quite easy to travel with. I plan to maintain my fruitarian diet while heading to Antarctica to save whales. Will this be difficult? I cannot promise that it will be entirely easy, but I enjoy a challenge! Dates will be my staple food. I will rotate between medjool, bahri, and kalawi dates and bring along frozen fruit for smoothies and the like. This lifestyle is one of abundance. It is composed of adequate sleep, fresh fruit, exercise, sunshine, and a zest for life! I can't imagine living any other way after receiving the numerous benefits that fruit bring.

There are many tastes, textures, and smells involved with a fruity lifestyle. The varieties of fruit on our earth are virtually endless! There are 1000's of different types of fruits ranging in taste from vanilla pudding and chocolate to fresh baked pumpkin pie! Hope this answers all of your questions!

For The Oceans,
Tarah

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dolphin-Free Cove

Hey all,

I have wonderful news to report from yesterday. The weather was beautiful, usually the perfect hunting weather for the dolphin molesters. The seas were on our side, though. With the sun shining the molesters headed out in their banger boats to prey on the innocent creatures of our oceans. They stayed out searching for around three hours before filing into port, tails tucked between their legs. The dolphins eluded the molesters with the help of white caps yesterday morning.

While the stood guard at the Cove, Scott was interviewed by a local reporter. The interview was lively, including good discussion and debate. You can view it on my youtube channel here: http://www.youtube.com/user/CoveGuardian?feature=mhum
There are still two parts to upload from the interview, but each one takes quite a long time, so I will likely have them up this afternoon.

                                          Current Cove Guardians

Let us hope that today will yield the same results for the dolphins.

For The Oceans,
Tarah

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Taiji

Hello all,

I have more bloody news to report today. This morning the hunter boats had left port in search of dolphins. By 8:30 they had found a small pod of what looked like Bottlenose dolphins and drove them into the Cove. The reason I mention the species of dolphin is because Japan claims that they do not slaughter bottlenose dolphins. This is a blatant lie. They chose two dolphins for the slave trade and wasted no time in slaughtering the rest. This may seem monotonous, day after day, but we must remember that each of these dolphins are caring, loving creatures who do not deserve this fate.

It is very important that each time they start a dolphin drive you send in your letters, e-mails, and make phone calls! Each time they take dolphins for captivity contact your local Japanese Embassy. Each time the molesters slaughter dolphins, be sure to tell the Japanese Government how you feel. We provide you with updates on the current situation, but it is the actions of individuals like you that create change within the Japanese Government.

The dolphins are counting on us! They need your phone calls, letters, faxes, and e-mails. Not only this, but they need us here in Taiji. We are in need of more Cove Guardians. I understand that it is at your own risk and expense, but if you are able to come please do so! When there was 15 of us here we were able to capture footage from every angle, and the team comradery was excellent. We are now dwindling in numbers. If you can come yourself, or simply have the cash available to fund another Cove Guardian's trip, we need your support! This campaign cannot happen without both Cove Guardians and constant bombardment of the Embassies.

Please don't hesitate to contact Scott at inform-us@seashepherd.org if you woud like more information. The dolphins need us now more than ever.

For The Oceans,
Tarah

Racism

Hey all,

This morning we headed into Taiji at 5:45am. The weather was starting to look trecherous, and we were hoping that the dolphin molesters would not leave port. By 6:30 it was obvious that this was not going to be a hunting day in Taiji. The visibality out in the sea was next to none. There were whitecaps in the ocean; imparing the molester's ability to spot dolphins, and the wind had picked up considerably. The dolphins rejoiced in life today!

I'd like to say a word to those who believe that this is a racist campaign. Many are under the impression that Sea Shepherd is Anti-Japanese, that we aim to boycott the country as a whole. This is not the case. We are simply against the cruel and inhumane slaughter of the ocean's cetaceans. Speaking for myself, I am an animal rights activist and abhor cruel treatment of any animal in our world. Just as we disagree with cetacean slaughter in Japan, we also campaign against the seal slaughter in Canada, the slaughter of Pilot Whales in the Faroes, and finning of sharks in China. There is no racism here. We will protest any nation that is home to cruel treatment of ocean life. We have a love for these creatures and aim to protect them.

Our encounters with Japanese people within the town of Kii-Katsuura and Taiji Town have been largely positive. Through my travels to our hotel, out to restaurants, and on the train I have experienced very pleasent conversations with most Japanese individuals. Just today some of us Cove Guardians had a positive conversation about the dolphin slaughter with two young women from Tokyo. We enjoy the company of Japanese people.

What we simply cannot understand is why the Japanese Government and the people of Japan allow 26 dolphin molesting thugs to shame an entire nation. It is time for the Jpanese people to take a stand against this cruel and barbaric slaughter of dolphins.

For The Oceans,
Tarah

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Blood

Hello all,

Today a few of us Cove Guardians headed into Taiji early to see what the dolphin molesters were up to. They set out at 6am, and we viewed them on the horizon in no time with a pod of dolphins. I noticed while looking through my binoculars that these dolphins moved a little differently. It's quite easy to spot bottlenose dolphins now, as they jump quite high and have a distinctive swimming pattern. I knew instinctively that these were Pilot Whales. Usually we are not concerned with the species of dolphins. They are all equal. Unfortunately though, Pilot Whales are usually slaughtered within the hour as the molesters have no interest in sending any off to captivity.

It was not long before the dolphins were driven in and due to their insatiable greed, 4-5 banger boats stayed out to sea in search of more dolphins. They did manage to find another pod but very fortunately for the dolphins, they escaped. The dolphin molesters had to settle with 14 Pilot Whales. Being my first time watching Pilot Whales in the wild, I was captured by their beauty and majesty. I wished with every ounce of my being that they would live. They did not.
                                   
Birds- a dead giveaway for the dolphins. The birds flock & dive when the dolphins run from the banger boats. The birds believe that the dolphins are speeding towards a new food source.

The slaughter went as usual. The entire process happens so quickly now that I am barely able to understand in my mind what has happened before it is over. Drive. Nets. Selection (Or not). Tarps. Slaughter. Blood. Transfer. Gutting. Blood. Transfer. Blood. Butcher. It is as if these are not sentient creatures but rather an item passing through a conveyor belt on a production line. I must keep my mind disconnected. I feel as if I've come to the end of my rope. What is wrong with humanity today?

We arrived back at the hotel and I took a much needed nap this afternoon. We witnessed some horrific footage that will be displayed on the Sea Shepherd website (http://www.seashepherd.org/dolphins/cove-guardian-reports) tomorrow. Big Gunns caught the last three Pilot Whales on tape, tied to the side of the boats kicking and screaming after watching their family slaughtered. Please take the time out to watch the video. We must stop this atrocity.

Ps: My video editing program refuses to complete projects! I'm working on the problem and will hopefully have new video posted on the youtube channel soon. Thank you for your patience.

For The Oceans,
Tarah

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Day Of Rest For The Dolphins

Hey all,

Yesterday morning we set out for Taiji after learning from other Cove Guardians that the molesters had gone out in search of prey. We did not spend much time in Taiji. Nature worked in favour of the dolphins yesterday morning. The sky looked ready to storm, and it did not disappoint! Rolling thunder sounded out over the quiet town followed by flashing lightning. Not long after, the showers started to pour down. We knew that the molesters could not search for dolphins in this weather.

The molester boats started to file in, defeated by mother nature. It was another day for celebration in Taiji. The group of us headed over to "Tea & Toasta" for literally just that. We spent some quality time together, relaxing and soaking up the energy of the storm.

I have more wonderful news to report from yesterday! Our fellow Cove Guardian, Rosie was just accepted for this year's Antarctic campaign "No Compromise"! She will be heading to Hobart to join the crew in only a few short days. We are very proud of Rosie. She is a dedicated animal activist and works tirelessly for the betterment of animals and our ocean. The crew will be lucky to have her. She is a wonderful activist filled with love, and she deserves this opportunity! Way to go Rosie!

I'll leave off here. We can only hope that another storm will roll in this morning. Hopefully mother nature is on our side.

For The Oceans,
Tarah

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Keep The Pressure!

Hey all,

Unfortunately, I do not have pleasant news to report. This morning began in a similar fashion as yesterday. The molester's had left port in search of dolphins by the time we arrived in Taiji. We headed for the Cove and immediately saw the banger boats on the horizon. It was not a good sign. They had found dolphins early this morning and were working on driving them towards their death.

We immediately set to work. Swim Far! Swim Fast! Swim Deep! We were hoping that the dolphins would fight. They did not let us down. To date, we have not witnessed as strong a fight as we watched this morning. From the moment we saw the pod of dolphins near the banger boats it was evident that they were going to prove a difficult catch for the molesters.  We realized early on that the pod being driven in consisted of 10-15 pilot whales. They were magnificent creatures and fought the dolphin molesters for over four hours before being driven into the cove. Our hearts sank as we came to terms with their fate.

The molesters wasted no time as they drove the dolphins straight into the killing cove. We prepared for an immediate slaughter. It's quite disturbing to watch how efficient these killers are. The dolphins were slaughtered, gutted, transfered and butchered in under an hour. I did not have enough time to even register the events of the morning. As it stands, I still have trouble believing the actions that took place inside the cove this morning.

It is very important that we keep the pressure on the Japanese government. We may be here in the thick of the action, but our job is to report to the masses the happenings in Taiji. You are the activists completing all of the ground work! We must continue to call the Japanese Embassy and Consulates around the world. Your phone calls, letters, faxes, and e-mails are making a significent difference. The change that we need in Taiji starts inside the Japanese Government. Please continue to call or write any time to let them know exactly how you feel about the Taiji dolphin slaughter. Here are some numbers that you may find helpful.

Japanese Embassy, Washington D.C.: (202) 238-6700
Japanese Embassy, London, United Kingdom: +44 (0)20 7465 6500
Japanese Embassy, Ottawa, Canada: +1 613 241 8541
Japanese Embassy, Canberra, Australia: +61 (0)2 6273 3244
Japanese Embassy, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 (0)12 452 1500
Japanese Embassy, Dublin, Ireland: +353 (0)1 202 8300
Japanese Embassy, Wellington, New Zealand: +64 (0)4 473 1540

For The Oceans,
Tarah

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hello all,

I have joyous news to report this evening. Today we witnessed a battle. The dolphin molesters are becoming too greedy. Their boats were out in search of victims to fuel their brutality this morning upon our arrival at the cove. It was not long before another dolphin drive began. But today the story ends a little differently. The dolphins fought for four hours, their lives at stake, until at last outsmarting these barbaric fools and escaping out into the ocean. I'd like to believe that our persistant visualization techniques aided in their escape. There was cause for celebration in Taiji today. Unfortunately we also had to say goodbye to many Cove Guardians today. Ryan (my partner), David, Louanna, and their two children left Taiji.
                                         
                                           Ryan & I - Goodbye at The Cove

Having the day free to do as we please, I decided to take a walk around Kii-Katsuura. It is not often that we find time for ourselves amidst the blood, death, and despair in Taiji. I strolled around the harbour letting my mind take rest from the constant activity. But Japan will not let one forget for long. As I was touring the Kii harbour, I happened upon a fleet of whale watching boats. The boats are contoured in the shapes of whales and dolphins, bearing childish paint and designs. There was a giant hoard of tourists awaiting their tour of Kii and Taiji, hoping to view some ocean life. I had not mentioned this, but yesterday as we were filming the horrific footage of dolphins being sliced open on the gutting barge; a whale watching boat sailed on by carrying a group of entirely oblivious tourists.

As I was sitting at the harbour watching the whale and dolphin boats leave port I pondered over humanity. Why is it that we choose to stay blind to the slaughter of our oceans? Why do we waste our time and money on materialistic pursuits while innocent lives are being taken? I know of many individuals who refuse to watch the gruesome footage because they prefer to keep their blinders on.Well, I say lets empower ourselves with the knowledge needed to create positive change. Can we not simply abandon our lives full of meaningless garb such as fancy cars, clothing, and television to pursue a life full of meaning, protecting those who cannot defend themselves? This is a path of selflessness and I encourage each and every one of you to take a walk with us.

"People, the power is in your hands; To chase out corruption; To heal this beautiful land."
-Mishka

For The Oceans,
Tarah

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Shame

Hello all,

Today, as predicted by the molester's previous actions marked the slaughter of 40 dolphins here in Taiji, Japan. The day went as usual with the 15 of us Cove Guardians spread out among the many lookouts. The coninuous pattern that we're seeing is as follows:
-Dolphin molesters bring trainers to cove for selection process.
-Selection process. This can be as quick as 30 minutes or take up to 5 hours.
-Transportation of dolphins to captive pens in the Taiji harbour.
-Placement of tarps and black cloak of death in the killing cove.
-Slaughter of dolphins.
-Preparation of and placement of gutting barge near Tsunami hill.
-Transportation of dead dolphins to gutting barge.
-Gutting process.
-Transfer of gutted dolphins to butchering area in harbour.

This situation occurs each day after dolphins are driven into the Cove. Most days this process is completed by 1pm. It's chilling to witness the molester's efficiency at slaughtering and butchering one of the most beautiful creatures of our seas. Today, although many were slaughtered and 8 were sent to a life of captivity, the killers set approximately 50 dolphins free. If they are making an attempt to appeal to us it is not working.

We hear quite a bit about the cultural aspect of this slaughter here in Taiji. These "fishermen" simply want to preserve the tradition of their ancestors. I urge you to not buy into this. The slaughter of dolphins in Taiji started only 40 short years ago. The killing of dolphins is not a tradition, and the majority of younger hunters are not in agreement with the ethics and are forced into this position by the elders. You'll notice that tradition is often accompanied by pride. If one felt proud of their actions, showing their cultural to the world, would they not stride confidently and show their work in plain sight?

It has become very clear to us that this "tradition" is cloaked in shame. These molesters take every precaution to make sure that their dirty deeds go unseen. Unfortunately for them, we seem to outsmart them at every turn. This hunt has become a hassle for the molesters. One can imagine them cursing under their breath as they perform lengthy tasks to prevent our cameras from catching unsightly footage. They have gone so far as to cover their molestation entirely with tarps and barracade any areas in plain sight of the killing cove. The molesters have even placed barbwire and nets to prevent us from shooting in high vantage points. Their latest ploy is to maneuver their boats back and forth to push the blood back into the killing cove. Does this sound like a proud tradition to you?

To us, their actions speak loudly of embarrassment and shame. The police and townspeople are now starting to show these same emotions, and rightly so. They should be ashamed. The slaughter of dolphins has no place in this world.

For The Oceans,
Tarah

Monday, November 8, 2010

Greed

Hey all,

We saw today just how greedy these dolphin molesters are. We headed to the Cove this morning at 6:30 to meet with everyone and discuss our options. It was perfect weather for a hunt. The banger boats had gone out, and it was not long before we saw them driving in a large pod of dolphins. Let me just recap on the other day. These brutal killers set 60 dolphins free, only to set back out to sea to ruin the lives of another pod of dolphins. Their thirst for blood is insatiable.

While we were at the Cove standing guard, we heard Elora call you backup. Her and Scott were at the top of the hill, and suddenly became surrounded by fishermen. They were there to net the area where we covered the gruesome footage of the gutting barge not so long ago. Everyone headed up the hill to make sure everything was ok. It was a long drawn out camera war between the fishermen and guardians. We refused to move. They set up the nets, which really provided more decoration than anything. They are becoming agitated. Who knows what the unpredictable Sea Shepherds will do next.

We caught on film the dolphin drive- dolphins swimming for their lives. This time though, the dolphins headed towards the harbour. We believe it is likely that the dolphins were speaking to their fellow kind, the 60 or so captured in small pens in the harbour awaiting their life of slavery. The molesters set up the nets and simply left the dolphins there to become stressed and scared over night. Meanwhile some of us headed back to the hotel while the rest set watch over the harbour and at the Cove.

The molesters and trainers started emptying the captive dolphin pens, transferring the dolphins onto trucks. The guardians filming could see the dolphin's struggle. They were emptying the pens for today's selection. We shall witness the fate this early morning. Also, the area at the public beach that was only a buoy line before if now a net line. They're not taking any chances.

For The Oceans,
Tarah

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sea Shepherd Eats Corn At Whale Festival

Hey all,

You may be wondering about the title of this post, but I assure you that I will explain.

Today in Taiji marked the annual "Whale(ing)" festival. Not only can you honour the whales through slaughter, but you can also try free samples of whale meat. Now that's tradition.

We arrived in town early this morning, around 7am to check if the dolphin molesters had left port in their banger boats. They did not. The Cove Guardians had a day off. We headed into town around 10am, after breakfast, to attend the whale(ing) festival. We strode through town in our SSCS gear, and upon arrival were swamped by the media and police. Our every move was caught on film. We watched the festivities on stage which included a dancing dragon and a giant stuffed dolphin joined by Taiji children. If one did not know of the dolphin slaughter it would seem as if the children of Taiji loved dolphins. The biggest interest of the media was to find out what it is we were going to eat at the festival. They were serving roasted corn on the cob, and the cameras proceeded to catch lengthy footage of the Sea Shepherd crew consuming corn. Hence the title. We joked that the headline news for the day would be "Sea Shepherd Eats Corn at Whale Festival". It was a whale of a time.

Ryan, "Big Gunns", Dave, and myself decided to head out of town to do some sightseeing. We drove to the Nachi waterfall to visit the temples and waterfall. The drive was stunngingly beautiful. The area around Taiji is mountainous and covered with trees. We enjoyed our afternoon with an invigorating hike through the forest to sacred areas, visiting the largest waterfall in Japan, and viewing some of the oldest temples. It was nice to see beauty in nature after the horrors of the previous days.

Some pictures from the day:    Dolphin on stage with Taiji children

                                                             Bamboo Forest

                                                           Stairway to Nachi Waterfall

                                                      Ryan and I at Nachi Temple

For The Oceans,
Tarah

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Testing The Waters

Hello all,

I didn't have an ounce of energy left last night to write this blog post, so i'm sending it to you this morning.

Yesterday was a very intense day at The Cove. Ryan and I started off guarding the area around the Cove in the early morning. We watched the sun rise, and soon saw boats full of trainers come around the corner. We knew they were going to select more for the live dolphin trade. Rex has full video footage and pictures of the process of selecting dolphins. The trainers literally wrestle the dolphins, until they can lift them into slings which they hang from the side of the boats. http://www.23skidoo.org/. There was a media crew from Osaka filming the entire time.

The activity started to liven up when we saw dolphins swimming on the public side of the beach. We had originally thought that the buoy line seperating the dolphin area and the beach was a net. Not so. I ran to get my wetsuit, hoping to film the dolphins underwater. As soon as I emerged doning wetsuit and snorkle gear, the police, coast guard, fishermen, and media surrounded me. It was as if they all appeared out of nowhere. I was immediately questioned and told that there was no swimming allowed in the public beach area. After a long drawn out arguement with the local authorities and a translator, I decided that it was safe to go to in the water. I asked repeatedly if I would be arrested, as I was simply exercising my right as a tourist to swim in a public area, but they continued to dance around the question.  I was manhandled by the police as I tried to enter the water. One police officer continued to put his hands on me. I was told it was dangerous to enter the water. Apparently if I were to swim the fishermen  would try to stop me. After approaching me, and possibly harming me I would be charged with obstruction of their business, landing me 2-3 years in prison. As it turns out, this was all a farce. It is infact legal to swim in a public area, and the fishermen currently working could not have cared less about my swimming with the dolphins.

    Media and police circus after emerging from the water. I was told that they simply offered me a "Caution" and took back their earlier statements of arrest.

I was able to get underwater sound of the dolphins. Little did I know that while I was swimming in the cove, trainers were forcing their family members into a life of slavery. The music of the dolphins was quite sad. I will post video and sound footage on my Youtube channel.

Not long after my swimming stunt, the fishermen spent some time in the Cove. We had no idea what they were up to. They started to take the nets down, and bring the banger boats around. We realized that they were going to free the remaining dolphins. We were of course excited for those set free, but after 56 taken for a life of enslavement, it is a little difficult to feel happiness. At this time we also did not know about the dirty work in the killing Cove.

We got word from those in Cove Park that there was blood in the killing cove, and lots of it. We saw the gutting barge moving out of range of everyone's view. Ryan and I rushed up to a high lookout point with Rupert only to witness the horrors of the Gutting barge. We saw at least 26 dolphins slit open, laying in their own blood while the arrogant dolphin molesters lunched beside the dolphin's entrails. It was a disgusting scene which we caught on tape. We watched the dolphins being transferred and took photographs. I will have better photos when my film is developed.


After a long day of witness we debriefed in the hotel lobby. A large group of us went to dinner in Shingu to try and forget the horrors of the day. We work here to support one another through these tough times.

There is a youtube slideshow on the top of this blog, but if you can't access it that way you can view my videos through this link:

For The Oceans,
Tarah

Friday, November 5, 2010

Cove Guardian Updates!

Hey all,

If you'd like to have more consistent updates, you can check out my Facebook page. I am able to write updates a couple of times per day. There are also many more pictures there.
http://www.facebook.com/Joplasia

For The Oceans,
Tarah

Life Of Enslavement

Hey all,

Today we had a very early start, leaving the hotel at 4:15am to travel to the Cove area and set up before the arrivial of the dolphin molesters. We met up with everyone at The Cove and split off into groups to survey the area. There are 12 wonderfully passionate activists here right now. I went with Elora and Scott to watch over the harbour, viewing the captive dolphin pens, boats leaving the harbour, and the area of the cove in the distance. We had an excellent vantage point to see all the actions of the day. We stood guard in quite an obvious position, taking no precaution to hide our movements, yet we were still not seen.

At around 6:30am the dolphin molesters and dolphin "trainers" left in 4 boats under cover of darkness. One of these boats was using one light and the others sneaked through the night to committ their dirty deeds. In Japan it is illegal to operate a boat without any lighting, but clearly the dolphin killers have no regard for the law which they expect us to abide by. The morning was drawn out as we watched the boats continuously travel to and leave the cove with numerous dolphins. By noon they had transfered 36 dolphins to the dolphin captivity pens to await their life of enslavement. They also took one juvenile dolphin to the Taiji Whale Museum to live out its life in a tiny tank for the amusement of others.

We realized around this time that we had severely underestimated the number of dolphins held captive at the cove. Originally we had thought the number to be around 40-60. Today after the transfer of so many dolphins, we were able to estimate around 100 still left in the Cove. The dolphins went through a stressful morning of watching their family stolen from them, and then were left in different nets to spend another night in fear. We were left pondering the actions of the molesters. There are two species of dolphin in the cove at the moment, seperated from one another.

We will arrive at the Cove tomorrow at 4am ready for action. There are around 45 dolphins in the captive dolphin pens as I write this post. They are worth a huge amount of money for these killers. I believe that they are waiting for intervention. We hope that they will set the other dolphins free tomorrow, but we cannot be sure.

For the Oceans,
Tarah

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Blood Dolphins

Hello all,

I arrived in Osaka yesterday after a long but safe flight. My partner Ryan is able to join us here in Taiji for the first week or so that I will be here. It was an exhausting trip into Japan from Vancouver, and after our arrival we boarded three different trains for a 4 hour trip into Kii-Katsuura. Neither of us got much sleep but knew that it would be worth it upon our arrival and meeting with other Cove Guardians. The group is a wonderfully passionate mix of individuals from all over the world.

Scott had mentioned to us that today would likely have perfect weather for the dolphin slayers. Ryan and I woke with the rest of the group this morning, knowing that we would not want to miss a chance to help at The Cove. What a day it turned out to be. I will refrain from using the word "Fishermen" to describe these brutal killers. This is in no way "fishing", so I'll be using whatever description I feel fits best.

We drove into Taiji from Kii-Katsuura this morning, with Scott pointing out key spots along the way. We ended up atop a high landmark to view the dolphin hunting boats. We knew they would be hunting today. The seas were calm and the sun shone brilliantly. It would have been a beautiful day if not for the tragedy we expected to occur.

It almost looked as if the banger boats would come to port empty handed, but at 9:30 we started to see a formation on the horizon. The boats were in the driving pattern. They drove the dolphins from far out at sea to the cove area taking around 45 minutes. Each one of us was visualizing the dolphins swimming far, fast, and deep. The number of dolphins dwindled as they swam in fear from the wall of sound, some managed to escape. We estimated 40-60 dolphins at the end of the chilling scene.


                             Dolphin hunting - banger boats driving dolphins in on the horizon.



                               The banger Boats driving dolphins into The Cove

Now sit 40-60 dolphins in the cove in Taiji, Japan. They are stressed, terrified, and continue to swim fast in a small circle. Words cannot describe the feelings that course through us while having to watch these events unfold. It is an emotional rollercoaster. We can only hope that one day this barbaric slaughter will cease to exist. Tomorrow though, we may have to bare witness to their death. Let us pray that this will not happen!


                                   Dolphins in The Cove from a high vantage point.

                               Stressed and scared dolphins within the nets.


For The Oceans,
Tarah

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Artwork For Sale!!!!

Here are the pictures of the current works of art for sale. We need a serious miracle here! Please contact me if you are interested in purchasing one of these pieces, and I will send them out tomorrow!
Here goes:

This original artwork piece is absolutely stunning. This picture does not do it justice. The paint is irridescent, and is an original created by a lovely animal activist and close friend of mine. It was created to portray Neptune, god of the sea protecting the dolphins and shining with love. Notice the dolphins in the bottom left corner and the heart on his cheek. The size is 24" by 36".  The price is $1800, and well worth it but we are willing to negotiate.

                                                   


This next piece is a print (32 of 495) of a lovely area on Vancouver Island called Union Bay. The title is "Union Bay, Circa 1917". It portrays a time in the not-so-distant past. It was created by Bill Maximick, a well known and prestigious local artist. The size is 21" by 30". $300

This is an original artwork piece by a native man named Terrence Young. His goal is to bridge the gap between all peoples and creatures in nature. This is a wonderful framed piece. The title is "Unity Prayers". The size is 18" by 15". The frame is wooden. $150.


The next piece of artwork is a print of a picture taken in Cuba. It's a wonderful picture and is framed and matted. It was created by a local woman and also friend of mine. The size is 18" by 14". $125.


This one is a funky little piece of artwork. It's small, at 4.5" by 4.5" but fabulous! It was created by a local artist and is acrylic on recycled wood. It is tilted "Magic Cloak". $25.

Please let me know if any of you are interested in purchasing any of these art pieces. We can discuss prices and/or size, or any other questions you may have.

For The Oceans,
Tarah

Artwork Items for Sale!

Hello all,

I have artwork items for sale...But first, lets recap on last night....
Last night my partner and I held another fundraising event titled "An Evening For The Dolphins". It was a beautiful night filled with love, music, friends, and delicious food. We started out the evening by setting up in  the newly renovated room at Zen zero. We gathered chairs, tables, a stage riser, decorations, and auction items. The auction items were ready to be bid on by 6:30pm. People started to filter in shortly after we opened, and by 7pm wonderful music by Jack and Peggy filled the space.

The event for the dolphins was another great success. We are coming closer to our goal of Ryan joining us activists in Taiji, Japan. We sold 25 out of the 30 auction items last night. Local businesses had donated items of all prices; ranging from water bottles, gift certificates, and clothing to art work, books, and woodworks. The music was also a success. Many great local artists took time out of their busy schedules to join us at the event. I want to thank Jack, Peggy, Bee Wolf Ray, Jeff Butterworth, and Corwin Fox. Your music touched each and every one of us. Thank you for your amazing support and beautiful rhythms.

This being said, we have not reached the final goal of two Canadian activists traveling to Taiji. We are so close! We are hoping for a miracle. I believe that miracles can happen. I am set to leave in two days time. Monday morning I will travel to Vancouver and I will board the plane for Taiji on Tuesday. Ryan feels a pull to Taiji. He wants to make a difference, to save lives. He is deeply passionate about animal rights issues and would love to help the dolphins. He needs $2500. This is not a large amount of money. I'm using visualization and positive thought to envision him in Taiji with us! We are looking for him to take the same flight as myself. It is the first flight listed here:

http://www.delta.com/booking/findFlights.do#top

I will be placing the last few auction items, beautiful pieces of art for those interested in some last support! I have 5 art works worth $25, $125, $150, $500, and $1800. I will be posting the pictures of these items this afternoon. Please keep your eye out. If we sell these pieces of art, Ryan will be able to join the crew in Taiji and we will add one more activist to the cause.

For The Oceans,
Tarah

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Two Activists Are Better Than One

Hello all,

I am deeply worried about the dolphins currently in the killing cove. I am envisioning them escaping, as futile as it may seem to some. Like Elora, I very much believe in the force of visualization and positive thoughts. This being the case, I have been hoping for others to join us in Taiji as fellow Cove Guardians. We need more people. Rex has been mentioning on facebook that they are working tirelessly to get the word out to the world. We cannot stress this enough: If you have the opportunity to come to Taiji, please do so!

I'd like to report some wonderful news in this time of dispair. My partner Ryan has been given the opportunity to travel to Taiji to act as a Cove Guardian. He has a lull in his work which is allowing him the time to spend protecting the dolphins. Ryan and I traveled together earlier this year to volunteer with Sea Shepherd in the Galapagos. He is a hard worker and never voices complaints. He was as shocked as I when viewing "The Cove" and would like to help in any way he can. The only obstacle standing in Ryan's path is finances. I have almost raised the full amount for my trip to Taiji in only 1 1/2 months, and have finalized my travel arrangements. I am still in need of more funds, but the future is looking bright. Two activists are better than one, and I'd love for Ryan to join us in the fight to save the dolphins of our oceans!

We are looking forward to the next fundraising event this upcoming Friday evening. We have been working very hard to make media contact, get donations for silent auction items, and raise awareness for the dolphins. Ryan has been extremely supportive and is now very excited at the prospect of directly helping the dolphins in Taiji. I know I have asked a lot of you wonderful individuals, and your support has been fabulous. But hear my call again, if anyone knows of a possible sponsor, or someone who would like to support this initiative please direct them here. I leave in one week from today and It'd be great to have another activist traveling with me.

Here is a glimpse of Ryan and I with the Sea Shepherd crew in the Galapagos Islands:


                                           Ryan and I at the Bake Sale for The Dolphins


For The Oceans,
Tarah

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Taiji Draws Near

Hello all,

The time for me to travel to Taiji draws near. I booked my flight earlier this week and will be departing from Vancouver on November 2nd. I will arrive in Osaka the next day and make my way to Kii-Katsuura via train. There has been much preparation and planning to do! I have spent quite a bit of time fundraising and the support has been phenomenal as you all know.

I have just recently purchased a Flip Ultra HD video camera with a zoom lens and underwater casing. I will also be taking along my Minolta X370 manual film photography camera with a telephoto lens and tripod. I am currently looking for a sponsor for diving equipment and/or simply a wet or dry suit. I have been pounding the pavement to connect with local business owners in my town in search of sponsors and donors. The local businesses have been very receptive, and the only item I'm left searching for is underwater gear. Please contact me if you have any leads!

I am holding another event for the dolphins this upcoming Friday. It is titled "An Evening For The Dolphins". There is a page on Facebook for those interested in viewing the event. http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=135217373197145&ref=ts
This event will also be held at the wonderful raw food restaurant; Zen Zero. The evening will feature 5 wonderful local musicians playing from 6:30-9:30pm. The subject of the music will be our planet earth. I will be presenting a speech about my initiatives and passion. There will also be a large silent auction with many items that were donated from local stores and caring individuals. It is amazing to see the passion and love from others in support of my trip and saving the dolphins. The event will have another write up and picture in the local paper: The Comox Valley Record. It will also be announced on our local radio stations, and hopefully on CBC Radio 1.

As I make final preparations for the excursion to Taiji, Japan I feel excitement love for the beautiful creatures that I am looking to help save. I will not lend my thoughts to fear, anger, or hate. I have a vision, to see the dolphins swim freely in our oceans without pain or fear of death. I will be keeping thoughts of peace and love for the dolphins in my heart.

 Thank you to all that have contacted me with your plans to travel to Taiji also. We will take a stand for the dolphins and show that we will not back down until the killing stops. See you in Taiji!

Any last support, positive comments, donations, and/or thoughts of love are welcome!

For The Oceans,
Tarah

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bake Sale A Huge Success!

Hey everyone,

As promised, I have updates from the Bake Sale For The Dolphins!!
I headed to Zen Zero around 11 am after work to set up everything in preparation for the sale.
People started bringing in their donated dishes for the sale, and everything was ready to go by 1pm! We set everything out to eat and had an amazing response. In total, there were around 15 individuals who donated vegan baked and raw treats. Also, the day was sunny and beautiful, perfect weather! Here's a sample of some of the treats enjoyed by all:
Macaroons
Chocolate Pie
Cookies & Cream cupcakes
Chocolate Ganache Cake
Apple Pie
GingerBread Cookies
Lemon Squares
Banana Crater Cake
Truffles
Cinnamon Buns

The majority of these items were organic and gluten free, and of course all vegan. There was also a large number of raw goodies. I want to shout out a huge thank you to everyone who stopped by, donated money, donated treats, and helped sell. I especially want to thank Ryan, my partner for his amazing effort and care throughout this journey to travel to Taiji. He has been wonderfully supportive and helpful in every way possible.

The Bake Sale lasted 3 1/2 hours, just in time to start setting up for the screening of The Cove. The crowd was very receptive. Many came out in response to the story in the Newspaper earlier in the week. It was a huge success! We had some individuals come to see The Cove and learn about the dolpin slaughter for the first time. It was a very busy day and more than worth the effort. You can check out the story in the local newspaper here:
http://www.bclocalnews.com/vancouver_island_north/comoxvalleyrecord/news/104807349.html

Thanks to all who participated!

Here are some pictures from the sale.

                                                        Ryan & Myself

                                                       A few of the treats on display


     Some bought goodies (Choc.Ganache, cupcake, walnut & choc. cookie, cinnamon bun, gingerbread)

                                         Towards the end of the day: Everything sold so quickly!


For The Oceans,
Tarah

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Bake Sale For The Dolphins!

Hey all,

This will be a brief post, but I'll provide updates later on today.

Today is the long awaited Bake Sale For The Dolphins! I've gathered 11 wonderful individuals to help me bake vegan and raw goodies for the bake sale today. There will be plenty of food to go around. I spent 5 hours preparing and baking last night in preparation for the sale. The goodies that I baked are:
Cookies & Cream Cupcakes
Double Chocolate Caramel Muffins
Banana Chocolate Chip Crater Cake

The baking was a success, and I can't wait to see how the day turns out! I'm also doing a screening of "The Cove" at 5pm, after the bake sale has finished. There was a story placed in the largest local newspaper this past Wednesday, so there should be a good turn out! I'm hoping to inspire others to help save the dolphins in Taiji.

Here is the link to the newspaper story for those interested in viewing:
http://www.bclocalnews.com/vancouver_island_north/comoxvalleyrecord/news/104807349.html

I'll let you all know how it turns out! Wish me luck!

For the Oceans,
Tarah

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Cove

Hello all,

My heart goes out to those in Taiji at this moment. Last night before heading to bed I read the most recent update in Taiji. I was shocked. They slaughtered 14 dolphins! I could feel the tears coming as my body turned cold. I know by now to expect these things, but I am never prepared for my reaction to the killings. Like Scott said there is cause for optimism here, as 6 young dolphins were spared, but I can't help but wonder how these "fishermen" can kill so ruthlessly.

I think about those at the cove often. My hope is that we can make a significent difference with our positive influence at the killing site. My departure to Taiji draws near. In less than three weeks I will be boarding a plane to Osaka, making my way to assist Scott and Elora. I will be staying for a duration of 19 days in Taiji. I would absolutely love to assist longer, but my job (at which i've only been employed just over a month) has given me no more than three weeks off. I still believe that my presence there will make a difference!

I'd like to mention another topic in this post, and that is my fundraising efforts. Please understand that I do not wish to detract from the seriousness of this post. That being said, I'm much closer to helping end this slaughter than when I began the journey. Just this morning I attended the first bake sale to raise funds for my trip. It was very generously organized by a wonderful local high school student who cares deeply for the dolphins. It was very successful, raising $140 in just over an hour! Thank you Quinn for your efforts! It is likely that she will be hosting another bake sale "To Save The Dolphins" this upcoming Friday. I commend you for your help!

I'll leave off with thanking everyone again for your generousity. You are all responsible for helping me end this barbaric slaughter. Each and every one of us can make a difference, even if we cannot travel to Taiji. I wish you all the best, and offer my support during this sad time.

For the Oceans,
Tarah

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Emotions

Hello all,
I tried uploading my second video log, but it would not work. I'm trying to work out the kinks! Sorry! For now, please visit my youtube channel where you can view my newest video & subscribe if you have a spare moment. Thanks!
Here is the link to my youtube channel:
http://www.youtube.com/user/CoveGuardian?feature=mhum

Also, please check out Zen Zero's blog about my upcoming bake sale fundraiser here:
http://zenzero.ca/2010/10/save-the-dolphins-fundraiser/

For the Oceans,
Tarah

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Video Log & Youtube Channel

Hello all,

I recorded my first video log and have posted it on my youtube channel. Please watch the video and subscribe to my channel if you have a chance. http://www.youtube.com/user/CoveGuardian?feature=mhum

video

For The Oceans,
Tarah

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thank You!

Hey all,

I have started my youtube channel and I will have videos posted and a link for everyone to view in a few days. Excuse me for not writing daily, I work 6-7 days per week, so I am very busy!

I'd like to thank all the amazing support that I've received. For those of you who do not know, I had made the decision to travel to Taiji only two short weeks ago. What has happened within these two weeks is nothing short of a miracle. I have received numerous donations from many individuals who I have never met. Because of the generous support of many, I have received donations exceeding $450 in just two weeks! You have all made a difference!

Just yesterday I spread posters around my city, and dropped off a couple of donation boxes to environmentally conscious stores. I've been busy planning a vegan bake sale, and the feedback has been phenomenal! I now have 6 wonderful individuals donating vegan and raw dessert dishes, and two of those individuals are each holding another bake sale fundraiser for the Taiji effort!

On top of this I have been very pleased to read all of the kind comments and messages from you! Your support to help me save the dolphins has been wonderful. I'd like to thank everyone who has posted a comment, donated, given positive thoughts, and followed my blog.

The purpose of this post is to thank each and every one of you. Without your passion and commitment to the dolphins, none of this would be possible. It is because of you that I will be able to help the dolphins with direct action initiatives. So, thank you to each and every person who has shown generousity, no matter how small. One person can make a difference!

For the Oceans,
Tarah

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fundraising

Hello all,

I'd like to address the subject of raising funds for the dolphins in Taiji.

I created this blog a little over 1 week ago when I realized that it was imperative to have more passionate activists in Taiji. Being an advocate of direct action myself, I knew that my skills would be an asset to the Sea Shepherd team in Taiji, helping to save the lives of dolphins. Sea Shepherd sent out a call to action. They required the assistance of activists around the world. This is one campaign where money will not necessarily rule over all else. Numbers of passionate individuals are the catalyst in regards to saving lives here. If I believed that my money would be best spent by directly donating to SSCS, than this is the action that I would take. Of course I am a monthly donor and have volunteered previously, but I realize that more is needed now.

In this past week I have received over $100 in donations, many from individuals that I have never spoken with. I am very grateful to these wonderful, caring people. I have also received one sponsor and many positive comments and kind words. I would like to thank you all for your support. Your genorousity will greatly assist me in saving these beautiful creatures.

I think it is important to mention here that this blog is not about "sending Tarah to Japan". My blogging is for the purpose of  raising funds and inspiring others to save the dolphins. I'm not looking to vacation in Japan. I'm here with a goal of maintaining the positive presence in Taiji to end the slaughter of dolphins. Your donations, even if only a few dollars, go a long way. I am venturing out into other fund raising methods, and today will be creating my first video log on youtube. I will be placing donation boxes around my city, creating business cards, and will be hosting a large vegan bake sale and screening of The Cove in around 4 weeks time. I will be busy planning for the event, but have already had much positive feedback and many individuals offering to help. This is what i'm looking to end...



I'll end off here with a great quote originally posted by Samantha Whitcraft of Oceanic Defense.
"One whisper, when added to thousands of others, becomes a ROAR!"

For the Oceans,
Tarah

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Love

I'd like to start today's post with another quote that I read recently.

"Love is an element which though physically unseen is as real as air or water. It is an acting, living, moving force...it moves in waves and currents like those of the ocean."
-Prentice Mulford

There's a scenario that I encounter often within all animal rights activism. Hate, depression, sadness, anger and "burn out" are quite common. Of course it is entirely normal and justified to feel these emotions when presented with photographs and/or videos of animals living in abhorrent conditions or being ruthlessly slaughtered. But it is our love for these creatures that births our passion, and this we must remember. I truly believe that to focus solely on the negative only contributes to the problem at hand. There are plenty of negative emotions at play, felt by the fishermen, authoritites, Japanese Government, and the dolphins themselves. Why focus on anger and death? To hold onto these emotions is to create further situations where they will be felt.

Currently, you may think that the circumstances in Taiji will play out as a movie with the ending previously decided. I ask you to challenge this belief. There is nothing set in stone. These whales and dolphins need not die. Do you believe that your thoughts and emotions hold weight? Now might be the time to consider this a possibility. What is the reasoning for your passion? Do you advocate for the oceans because of your love of dolphins and whales, and your desire for them to swim freely, living a life of enjoyment? I urge you to focus on the love you feel for these animals. Yes, you may spend your time seething in anger due to the ruthless killing, but only you can control your thoughts. You can also choose to believe that there must remain some shred of decency within these men. You can choose to imagine these wonderful beings swimming freely in an ocean not harmed by man. These are the thoughts I hold in my mind when I think of Taiji.

And one day the whales and dolphins of our oceans will sing "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!
-MLK Jr.

For the Oceans,
Tarah

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bloodshed

It deeply saddens me to have to report of the first bloodshed in Taiji. Last night (morning in Taiji) 15 pilot whales were taken into the killing cove and slaughtered. Read the full story here: http://www.seashepherd.org/news-and-media/news-100921-1.html
This tragedy simply reinforces my will to go to Taiji. The dolphins need us, now more than ever. These fishermen are cold-blooded killers. They care not for the blood they spill and it is quite evident that some are starting understand the impact of their actions. Why else would they hide their procedures? The greater the number of activists in japan, the better. The world must see what is happening and use their power to end it.

My heart goes out to the 15 pilot whales who died in the cove last night. They will remain in my thoughts each day until my arrival in Taiji.

I'd like to address the reasons that some may find it difficult to travel to Taiji.
-I believe that work, or one's day job could be the deciding factor as of whether or not to go. I have recently started a new job. Only one month into working with them, I will have to explain that I will be leaving to go to Japan. I will outline exactly what it is that I will be doing, why I must go, and ask for their understanding.
-Money. This is perhaps the easiest obstacle to overcome. As you know, since deciding on this venture I have started raising money. I began with literally no funds available for this trip. Now, thanks to many wonderful individuals, I have received donations and one sponsor. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it. You must believe that money, or a lack of it, will not stand in your way.
-Family. If your family has trouble understanding, try your best to explain why it is you feel so passionate about this issue. Sit them down and play "The Cove". If your family truly cares for you, they will want what is best. Scott West is a great example of this.

Any other obstacles that you can conjure up, you can also overcome. How badly do you want to save lives?

For the Ocean,
Tarah

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Courage

I'd like to start my post today with an inspirational quote I found yesterday while at work.

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear".

I feel that this quote is very important when deciding whether one would like to travel to Taiji to help the dolphins. Of course there are risks. But we must look beyond ourselves at  the larger picture. In the past, 23,000 dolphins have been caught in one season. Many of these dolphins are sold to marine parks for unnecessary human entertainment. The rest of these dolphins are brutally and again, unnecessarily slaughtered for what some like to call "food".

It is certainly smart to act cautious when making a decision such as this, but we should not let fear stand between us as a barrier when given the opportunity to save lives. This blog is about my journey to Taiji, the trials and tribulations that I will encounter while raising funds, staying positive, and while arriving in Japan and dealing with the authorities there. But even though this is an account of my experiences, I would like to encourage others to take the leap and join me in Taiji.

A tool that I find effective is to place our own lives on the same level as theirs. We are not more important, nor less, but equal. Their lives are just as important as ours, and we must care for them as we do ourselves.

                                                                   (Steve Bloom)

For the Dolphins,
Tarah

Friday, September 17, 2010

I Have a Dream

Hello fellow ocean lovers,
As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive."

 My dream is not all that different than the one of MLK Jr. I dream of witnessing the end of oppression, exploitation, and unjustified slaughter of our oceans. 

This being my first blog post here, I will explain my cause. I've been an ocean activist for 3 years since learning of the positive change brought about by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. During these 3 years I have spent my time advocating for all animals and ocean life. Earlier this year I had the amazing opportunity of volunteering for Sea Shepherd in the Galapagos. My partner and I spent 3 weeks in the Galapagos Islands, working  with
Alex Cornelissen. We worked on operation Zunisweep and "big rod, small brain". Haha. Title courtesy of Alex. The time has come again for me to travel the distance to assist in saving ocean wildlife. 

The dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan resumed this year in the beginning of September. For those of you who are not familiar with the issue of dolphins in Japan, please visit http://www.thecovemovie.com/.  For those of you who are familiar with the issue, you'll know that no dolphins have been killed this year. This is due to the positive presence that Sea Shepherd continues to maintain in Taiji. Maintaining this presence is absolutely vital for survival of these serene, musical creatures. There has been a call to action. I must answer this call.

Through a series of events, I have come to see that I must travel to Japan. The responsibility of saving dolphins in Taiji is not one that I take lightly. I have felt a yearning to participate in this campaign since viewing "The Cove" some time ago. The dolphins will live as long as the cameras are rolling and pictures are taken. When the dedicated activists in Japan disappear, so does the only lifeline that these dolphins are holding on to. 

I must answer the call to action. I'm willing to risk my own safety to protect these beautiful creatures. But I cannot do this alone. I require the generosity and support of others to make this possible. 

I have a dream. A dream to one day witness the dolphins swimming freely without fear of slaughter. 

Will you help me?