What it all comes down to is whether or not you care about the feelings of the dolphins and killer whales or you only care about your own gratification in watching intelligent sentient beings doing circus tricks in an unnatural environment.
Orlando - In a long-awaited decision in the OSHA versus SeaWorld case, Judge Ken Welsch has ruled that the park’s trainers should be protected by physical barriers or some other means providing the same level of safety, when working with killer whales.
The ruling, which was handed down almost two years after Dawn Brancheau was violently killed by the killer whale Tilikum, followed an appeal by SeaWorld over a $75,000 fine for a “willful” safety violation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), levied six months after Brancheau’s death in Aug. 2010.
Although Judge Welsch downgraded OSHA’s charge from “willfull” to “serious,” and dropped the fine to $12,000, he ultimately upheld the Administration’s findings and ruled that all trainers must be provided with a physical barrier (or one of equal protection) during performances.
The ruling is a massive blow to SeaWorld’s entertainment parks whose trainer-orca interaction has formed the basis of many of its shows. Furthermore, the almost 50-page ruling, offered some harsh analysis of SeaWorld’s behind-the scenes operations.
Last night, another Costa Rican ocean activist was attacked. The details of the attack (and three previous criminal attacks), cannot be published at this time. We are weak. We are losing. We need help. We don’t have enough power to handle the blowback. They might end up in jail. This is the two edged sword of exposure. This person is my friend. It makes me angry. It motivates me to call for more people to get involved.
The group brought together in CR after the Incopesca post, started comparing stories. It looks like they have each been physically assaulted or had property destroyed or their life threatened or all of the above at some recent time. These are regular people under extraordinary stress. They stood up for wildlife or against extradition. It is almost too dangerous for them to work in Costa Rica at this time. They need people in CR who can support them and grow. They need help from people outside of Costa Rica to spread awareness.
If you have any feelings toward the illegal whaling industry, dolphin killers, shark finners, or those that plunder the oceans in other ways, be very aware: violence has started against one of the key people saving our oceans in Costa Rica. Most of us sit safely at our computers, going to work, going to Starbucks, wondering what to do. Very few of us can influence what happens in Costa Rica or with their extradition request to Germany for Paul Watson.
If you do have friends in CR, we need their help. If you have special skills or connections, please use them. I can send you where you can help. I can be easily contacted through the Facebook group: The Taiji Dolphin Action Group.
I know there are a few people holding back, those with special connections or input…I heard about one in our circle who knew a retired pro-baseball player living in CR. If contacting your friends like this speaks to your heart, please do it. Paul needs as much help as he can get.
Another way is to simply call Sea Shepherd and donate to their budding Costa Rica Campaign. I am not a Sea Shepherd member, I just know that they are on the front line on this. It is their ass on the line. This current request by President Laura Chinchilla for extradition could mean Paul locked up in one of her jails, where prisoners are reportedly beaten to death and trial conditions are not far from being a Banana Republic (Please read this Costa Rica-US Dept. of State Document start from page 2).
If you have a contact, please start talking with him or her so that we can be prepared when and if Paul does actually get extradited. At this point I would be surprised if Paul Watson did not stand trial in Costa Rica.
Hold on tight. The next two and a half months, till the extradition is concluded in some way, are sure to be wild.
#FreePaulWatson or $upport @Greenpeace - You can't have both!
If you are one of the thousands worldwide supporting Sea Shepherd’s Captain Paul Watson, you will want to see this for yourself. I, myself, have known for some time that Greenpeace does not support Sea Shepherd but I had no idea that they would go to such lengths. They have gone from “We don’t want to get in the middle of those scary conflicts” to just plain evil.
Below is what Captain Watson posted on Facebook earlier today. I have also attached some links to the bottom of the page. See for yourself.
I have been wondering why there has not been a statement or even a word from the Green Party of Germany about my case. The Green Party in Germany represents 10% of the German people. They could help secure my release but they have chosen to say absolutely nothing.
We have the support of the Green Party in other nations like New Zealand, Australia, Canada ,etc. but not where it now matters most, in Germany.
I was a founding member of the Green Party of Canada and ran for Member of Parliament for the Greens in Vancouver Center twice. I was also the Green Party candidate for Mayor of Vancouver in 1996. I was the only Sierra Club national Board member in the United States to support Ralph Nader despite the heavy criticism it brought to me. I even once helped to host the visit of Petra Kelly of the German Green to Vancouver in 1986.
Thus it has been a mystery as to why the Green Party of Germany has been so quiet and so distant about my case here in Germany.
So I made some inquiries and what I have been told is very disappointing. Greenpeace Germany apparently has made it quite clear to the Green Party of Germany that they should not support my case. Greenpeace also will say nothing in my support despite my being a cofounder of the Greenpeace Foundation.
Apparently Greenpeace sees this as a opportunity to get rid of me. Now I`m not surprised that this is their position but I am surprised that the Green Party of Germany would concur.
I am grateful for the incredible support that I am getting from the German people and from people all around the world. In the end that is what is most important. I know I am not popular with government and large organizations. I tend to be ecologically correct instead of politically correct and I say and do many things that make many people angry.
However it would have been nice to have received support from a political movement that I have supported since it began.
To the Green Party of Australia, New Zealand and Canada I wish to say how much I appreciate your strong efforts on my behalf.
To the Green Party of Germany I can only say, where are you?
The corner of Peachtree St. and Andrew Young International Blvd (on the street next to the Westin Hotel - 210 Peachtree St. Atlanta, GA 30303)
WHEN: Saturday (5/26/12), from 8PM to 10PM WHERE: The corner of Peachtree St. and Andrew Young International Blvd (on the street next to the Westin Hotel - 210 Peachtree St. Atlanta, GA 30303) CONTACT INFO: 770-896-4909 - Feel free to text/call for help finding the location, directions, parking info, other questions. ADDITIONAL INFO: Fliers, signs, petitions will be provided.
Hey people, first off, I’d like to thank EVERYONE throughout the years that has ever participated in this campaign, attended a protest, gotten the word out or supported us on this issue. You are absolutely an essential component in making this industry history, and it cannot be expressed the level of gratefulness I feel personally when we come together on an issue and try to make change. It’s truly an amazing thing to experience.
It’s that time again, and the need for people fighting on behalf of these horses is URGENT right now. More than ever, tourists are visiting downtown Atlanta in droves. TONS of people have been riding the carriages. The amount of people getting on carriages is at an ultimate high (the highest I’ve ever seen before). When huge groups of tourists walk by the multiple carriages lined up by the sidewalk, there really needs to be alot of us holding signs, leafleting and telling people verbally why they shouldn’t ride the carriages. Otherwise, people will feel comfortable riding the carriages and they’ll get a disgusting amount of business. If you haven’t witnessed it yet yourself, it’s disgusting to see the amount of tourists that will pose in a picture next to a horse standing like a shackled statue, holding his/her head down, eyes staring at the ground, barely existing. Some people care, some don’t…which is why we’ll be there to educate the people who have hearts/minds, use footage to document the condition of the horses and report it, and make the people who won’t listen as uncomfortable as the horses they’re choosing to enslaving (or we’ll try to). It would also be great to have people who entertain the carriage drivers while they’re trying to make sales…this is actually a very easy task (since they talk a lot of shit).
If you are against torture, abuse, slavery, exploitation and killing for vanity, please think of these horses and join us this Saturday night, from 8PM to 10PM. We are the only force in Atlanta stopping people from riding carriages and protesting this cruel industry. That is why they (the horses) need YOU this Saturday!
We are in the process of increasing the amount of protests we organize. We will eventually make this a weekly protest. The only thing we are interested in is seeing this industry fail, and that takes consistency. It takes team work. It takes solidarity from other activists. ______________________________________________________ INFORMATION AND FACTS REGARDING THIS CAMPAIGN:
Things we have personally witnessed (and gotten footage of) since doing this campaign:
-Horses panting from heat exhaustion. -Horses working so hard they’re soaking wet from sweating in 30 degree weather. -Horses buckling at the knees, only to be pulled up by the reins and forced to carry more passengers seconds later. -In April, a horse was being forced to continue working while blood was streaming down his/her leg. We reported it to the police and the officer said they got multiple calls about this incident. -Horses tripping from exhaustion. -Carriage drivers pulling the reins back so hard some horses have actually slid forward from trying to stop. -Scars all over the bodies of these horses. -Malnourished horses with bones and ribs showing. -Horses with wounds on their bodies caused by the tight harness. -Almost every one of these horses has severely damaged, cracked hooves. -Swollen knees and joints. -Improper living conditions (both locations are a mud pit, not a lot of space, dirty water or no water to drink from at all, lack of shelter, etc).
1) Horses that pull carriages live about 4 years on average (before they are sent to slaughter) because they are forced to inhale exhaust fumes and suffer from severe arthritis. Horses that are provided the freedom to roam and good care and feed without the burden of working on busy streets live about 25-30 years.
2) The welfare of these noble animals is in the hands of the Atlanta Police force - they follow city Ordinance No. 2002-30. This leaves the welfare of the horses virtually unsupervised because the Atlanta Police Department isn’t trained in animal health. They also have no knowledge of the requirements mentioned in the city ordinance mentioned above.
3) These horses weigh about 2000 pounds. The ordinance states that they are not to pull more than 2 times their weight. When you figure that the carriage itself is about 1000+ pounds, the weight of the driver (about 200 pounds) and add in the tourists (usually 4 adults and several kids) - they are carrying more than the limit on a regular ride. We have seen up to 8 people on a carriage at a time.
4) These horses have to carry twice their weight up and down the hills around Centennial Park - no one is monitoring the hills they work, and there is no mention of terrain in the Ordinance mentioned above.
5) The Ordinance allows these horses to work 10 hour shifts, with breaks every hour. No one monitors the breaks, or the shift schedules
6) The Ordinance provides that the horses cannot work when it is hotter than 95 degrees fahrenheit or colder than 26 degrees fahrenheit. No one monitors these temperature variances. We have been out with the horses when it was hotter than 95 degrees and nothing is done.
7) These horses live in stalls in buildings downtown. They do not get to walk freely on grass unencumbered by the saddle and lead to a heavy carriage.