Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Kindness


"A man walked along a beach covered with thousands of starfish that had washed up during a storm. Now they lay drying in the sun. A little girl was picking the fish up one by one and tossing them into the sea. He said to her "Why bother? There are too many, and you won't make much a difference." She picked up another star and tossed it into the water, turned to the man, and said, "I made a difference to that one."

How often do you personally help strangers? How often do you help a person you have never met before who can do nothing for you... This doesn’t only relate to humans by the way but all living beings. The other day I noticed a ladybird drowning in my bathtub. I saw her struggling against the water, bobbing along into the drain. Part of me wondered if it was too late to do anything but I decided to carry her out anyway, and dried her off by gently blowing on her wings. To some this may have seemed pointless. Why save an insignificant bug, that can never repay you? One that can never say thank you…But to me it wasn’t a stupid act at all. I think part of being human is having compassion for others. We have the ability to see importance in all living things, big and small.  

Every creature on our planet has a purpose. Even the irritating mosquito, who plagues us in our sleep, bites us and gives us malaria has a reason for existence. Malaria probably being the main one. Though hugely controversial and no doubt some will disagree, Malaria is one of many diseases required by nature to keep humans at a reasonable ‘level’, But like smallpox, we have defeated it. Beaten it with out ‘intelligence’. Hence why we are now ‘thriving’.  I would never wish this death on anyone, but I can understand why nature created the little mosquito.

But humans are not the only animal to help others altruistically. I’ve seen and read amazing stories about dolphins protecting surfers from sharks, dogs rescuing their owners from ponds and cows saving people from snakes….amazing acts of genuine kindness. Check this out- http://listverse.com/2010/03/14/top-10-cases-of-animals-saving-humans/ But why do some choose to ignore that. Choose to place animals into a category. The unworthy category. Stupid animals, living under the stars, not knowing what day of the week it is and struggling to survive.

 As mentioned in my previous post, dolphins are incredibly intellectual, and sensitive. I saw a heartbreaking clip yesterday, of Winter, the dolphin who is being showcased to the world in ‘Winters Tale’. Winter lost her tail, and was ‘rescued’ by Clearwater Aquarium, whom I fully believe did have good intentions. Originally. Now she is being exploited as this video shows-


According to the facebook group ‘Save the Blood Dolphins’ Winter had 6400 visitors just this past weekend. For an animal whose first encounter with people would have been when she was rescued from a crab trap, she is now being thrust into the public eye. Yellled at by people who want her to ‘move for them’ and ‘do something’ for their entertainment. This has gone from a rescue mission to cruelty. And I question whether it would have been kinder to put her to sleep then keep her in captivity for ever.

We can make differences. We can help strangers around us, whether it be a little old granny or a tiny ant they still deserve kindness. The little girl picking up the starfish has more knowledge of this world than the elderly man, and he would have seen more than five decades of life than her. Never forget about kindness.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Vivre pour les Dauphins


 Dolphins. The people of the ocean. I learnt an interesting fact the other day, its not the size of your brain that indicates intelligence or blue whales and elephants would be ruling the planet. But the ratio between its size and your body. The smaller the ratio the ‘more intelligent’.  In relation to our body our brains are pretty big, therefore we have the ability to see things a little more deeply than other animals. Of course this is all speculation and I am a firm believer that animals have far more ‘intelligence’ than people give them credit for, and until we can have meaniful dicussions with them we will never know. But for arguments sake, the brain:body ratio equals more intelligence. Dolphins have a similar ratio to us. Marine biologists have discovered they have a hugely complex language, are able to reason with one another and even have names. Through squeaks they can call back their children, they ‘discipline’ their young by pressing them against the ground, and their offspring even return to visit once they’ve ‘flown the nest’. They are just like us.
But people have no problem treating them with complete utter contempt. We lock them up in tiny tanks, murder then for their poisoned meat. And sink their bodies with concrete to hide evidence of their death. Today I learned that this  and the practise of tying them with ropes to concrete blocks goes on in France. And here’s the proof-


A basic translation; French fishermen sometimes accidentally catch dolphins in their nets. Rather than trying to free them, or admitting that they have caught them-and informing the correct people- They tie them to concrete and let them sink to the bottom of the ocean. All evidence disappeared. However they didn’t predict that some sea loving divers would stumble across a graveyard of dead dolphins. Photos have been taken, it’s made the news. And it is now spreading around social media sites.  

What will it take for some people to have compassion towards other living beings? Its stories like this one that shocks me, but it’s another one off my ignorance list. I am aware. And I will try and stop it.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Sharks

Imagine; your limbs are cut off, you're then thrown into an alien land and left to die. Alone. surrouded by creatures you've never seen before. And you can't even scream.

This is what happens to tens of millions of sharks every year. All for a bowl of soup.
A tasteless, but devasting meal.

Whale sharks are amazing creatures, and incredibly mysterious. We know little about their lives, yet have no problem stopping them from living.


This one has such a large circulation system that it will stay alive for another 30 minutes....bleeding, burning in the sun, then after all that it will suffocate.What will it take for people to understand the horrendous sufferings animals go through everyday just for our personal gain? The worst thing about the shark finning industry is that the rest of the shark is not used. Shark carcasses take up too much space on the boat, so there are cast away. Throw off the boat, where they then suffocate, or are eaten alive. 
Sharks feel pain. The same pain you feel when you stub a toe, or fall over. Except you've never felt the pain of having your arms cut off. Unimaginable, horrific pain. And they can't even tell us it hurts. 
Sharks as a species have been on the planet for 450 million years. They've seen the dinosaurs come and go, they've seen humans take over the world. I wonder what they would say to us if we could communicate. Probably 'You'll be gone soon enough, just like T-rex thought he was the boss, you do too and mother nature hates it'. The extinction of sharks is unthinkable but increasingly a reality. Being the apex predator makes them vital to maintain the oceans ecosytem.  Vital of cause means absolutely necessary, 100% essential. The same way our lungs, heart and brain is vital for our existence. Without my heart I cannot survive, with our sharks we cannot survive. 
The shark fin trade needs to stop immediatly. Its cruel, barbarric and humans should have advanced far beyond this now.