Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Spirit Animal/Kinship with Dolphins & The Cove

In many cultures, there is such a thing as a "spirit animal." You may not believe in it, but I certainly do. I also have many friends that have their own spirit animals that they feel an immense kinship with. For me, it is dolphins. Yes, I believe with & feel deep down in all of my heart that my spirit animal is a dolphin. Ever since I was very little, I have loved these amazing, beautiful creatures of the sea. I even collect dolphin figurines & stuffed animals, and have a dolphin tattoo on my right arm. My most favorite thing about the dolphin? The looks on their faces, due to the "smile" of their mouthline. Also, if you look closely into their eyes, you can see what they are feeling. Whether they are happy, sad, scared, etc. I love all kinds of dolphins, but I'd say my favorite is probably the bottlenose dolphin. There's just something about them that draw me in!
Seriously, how cute is that!?

Dolphins are among the most intelligent animals, and there are almost forty species of dolphin in 17 different genera. They are social animals, living in pods of up to a dozen individuals, and can talk to each other, using a variety of clicks and whistle-like sounds. They can form strong bonds with the others in their pods, yet, they can also be interchangeable. They also love to play, enjoying riding waves, and playing with seaweed & play fighting with other dolphins. Dolphins occasionally leap above the water surface, and sometimes perform acrobatic figures, but we're not exactly sure why they do that. Possibilities include locating schools of fish by looking at above-water signs like feeding birds, communicating with other dolphins, or dislodging parasites on their skin.

As much as dolphins are beautiful to look at & enjoy, they are also threatened by humans. Dolphins don't have very many natural enemies, but humans tend to be their largest. Pesticides, heavy metals, plastics, and other industrial/agricultural pollutants that do not rapidly disintegrate in the environment are problems. Also common are injuries or deaths due to collisions with boats, especially their propellers. There is also the practice of over fishing that immensely diminishes their numbers, as well as harpoon & dolphin hunts. One of these, the Taiji dolphin hunt in Japan, is one of the worst that I have ever heard of/seen. They literally force pods of dolphins into this hidden cove and SLAUGHTER thousands of them, and then sell their meat for food in Japan and other parts of Asia. For someone with a kinship to these wonderful creatures, it was VERY hard for me to watch the movie "The Cove," which brings this practice to light. This synopsis of the movie, taken from their website,, says: Academy Award® Winner for Best Documentary of 2009, THE COVE follows an elite team of activists, filmmakers and freedivers as they embark on a covert mission to penetrate a remote and hidden cove in Taiji, Japan, shining a light on a dark and deadly secret. Utilizing state-of-the-art techniques, including hidden microphones and cameras in fake rocks, the team uncovers how this small seaside village serves as a horrifying microcosm of massive ecological crimes happening worldwide. The result is a provocative mix of investigative journalism, eco-adventure and arresting imagery, adding up to an unforgettable story that has inspired audiences worldwide to action.

Now, I have watched "The Cove," and let me tell you, it took everything I had to get through this movie. Within the first 10 minutes of the film, I was crying, which continued throughout the movie, and at the worst part in the movie, I literally had a panic attack, and had to pause the film, in order to compose myself so I could watch the rest of it. Yes, I felt like I was right there with those dolphins, hearing the cries of those helpless animals, and not being able to do anything to stop it. This film is very educational, and immediately after it finished (and I was able to move about without crying), I went online to and signed up to help spread the word on how to STOP this awful practice & also put in a donation to help. That was the most that I felt I could do, since I couldn't actually travel to Japan and try to stop it there. Also, as much as I'd like to go there, I have sworn off the dolphin shows at SeaWorld. I can't imagine seeing my kin cooped up in those pools, and doing tricks for the amusement of thousands.

Now, if you would like to donate to the cause or even just look into this for yourself, you can go to the above website & get information. Also, if you don't feel like you can make a donation through them, you could go to a friend of mine's website, where she is making two different kinds of dolphin plush, and in her own words: Starting today, every plush Dolphin you buy, 10% of the proceeds will go to Save Japan Dolphins. Since they cost $10 plus shipping, $1 from each plush will go to help end the slaughter of Dolphins in Taiji. The dolphin plush are very cute & well made (I have one myself) and I would highly recommend them to anyone that loves dolphins as much as I do!
One of the plush dolphins she makes!

Until next time, take care & stay safe!

Later gators,


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