Monday, April 26, 2010

Dolphins and other cetaceans

Tomorrow scientists will be testifying before the House Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife about marine mammals in captivity. Lately there's been a lot of interest. There was the documentary The Cove, which for me was quite eye-opening. I had never realized how those dolphins came to the parks around the world. I guess I always believed that they had been injured in the wild and were saved by coming to the parks. I know that some are, but it can't be denied that the slaughter off the coast of Japan happens in part because of public demand to see the animals in parks.

I remember growing up reading stories where they were brilliant, being used for experiments, spies, and more. In the Dragons of Pern books, dolphins were people's companions--smart and helpful in establishing colonies. In Star Trek the whales were descendants of space faring cetaceans, smart and necessary to the survival of Earth.

I know that's all fiction, but it seemed so obvious to me that these animals were at least as smart as we were--if not smarter for returning to the oceans and not working themselves into stress-related death like we do.

It amazes me that there are people who see them only as a way to get money. These are beautiful creatures, smart and playful who have saved human lives in the wild. One of my happiest memories was seeing dolphins swimming off the coast from a vacation house when I was little. They were so graceful.

I'm not 100% sure what should be done about marine mammals in captivity. I do think that the trainers at Sea World have the best intentions and that they do bond with their trainers. I don't think that Sea World is evil. I do think that we need to re-evaluate our process. We need to look at whether we should keep smart mammals in captivity, whether it would be better to move them to viewable sea pens, or some other option. I'm not a marine biologist. But I do think that there is something wrong with a system that allows such atrocities as that cove off the coast of Japan.

Friday, April 23, 2010

All you need

All I need in life (other than some tea and food) is in that photo. Toby and books. I was sick today (there are a few bugs going around different circles--I'm hoping this is the 24 hour one) and I spent the day in bed, sleeping, with Toby keeping a watchful eye

Keen wandered near the bed at some point, I woke up enough to see him looking at me from the floor.

I should stay up to finish some work I didn't do earlier but the lure of sleep is calling to me. Toby has already gone back to the bed to curl up and purr.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Play Ball!

+ = WIN
After telling @Tribetalk about the PSAs that the Nationals are doing for Washington Humane Society (I was certain my beloved Cleveland Indians would want to join in the fun), I actually got a response back that their tweeter would be passing the story to their communications department. He also included a link to their blog, which led me to their Volunteer Challenge.

Essentially, if you want two free tickets to an Indians game, all you need to do is volunteer for four hours at one of their approved organizations. Seriously easy, right?

And what's even more awesome? They have a bunch of animal shelters and rescues on their list!

  • So if you're in Cleveland, go click to find an organization, volunteer and then cheer on the Tribe!
  • If you're in DC, make sure to buy tickets to one of the two Pups in the Park games, May 8 and August 29! You can purchase a $5 dog ticket along with your $20 human ticket and not only watch the game with your dog, but know that a portion of your ticket price is going to WHS!Also keep an eye out for those PSAs on the jumbo-tron.
  • Not in either of those areas? Let me know if your baseball team is doing any cool promotions that help out animals!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Cute April Fools

So I'm not a big April Fools person (funny how not liking surprises does that to a person), but I do usually enjoy Google's take on it.

This may be my favorite.

Google Translate for Animals

I wonder what Toby was saying this morning. Did "meow meow meow MROR!!!" mean "Do not wear that dress, do not wear that DRESS!!!!" (yes, I changed out of the dress, I realized it was too light for the wind today).

Maybe it was just "Play play play, don't leave!!!"