The peaceful movement at Standing Rock is important to all of us, for many reasons…the respect and preservation of our native indigenous cultures and the protection and honoring of our environment. We are all one. When we harm the earth, we harm ourselves. When we hurt each other, we hurt ourselves. The human rights violations taking place in the name of corporate companies and oil conglomerates are horrifying. We need to put an end to this. Land is being stolen from homeowners. Tribal treaties are being violated. People are being illegally seized, arrested, and charged for peacefully protesting. Environmental protection laws are being side stepped.
You can follow the link below to watch a benefit concert with the water protectors, some of the tribal members, Dave Matthews Band, Tim Reynolds, Graham Nash, Neko Case, Ledisi, Lakota Thunder, and other artists. Please look at the site for opportunities to sign petitions, take action, make donations, make phone calls, and come together to support. It’s crucial that we change our energy system to sustainable energy sources. It’s crucial that we stand together and defend our rights, the rights of our brothers and sisters, and take care of our environment. To do this, we must stop the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Could You Live In A Bathtub For A Month? How About For 45 Years?
March 5, 2016
Danielle Daals from New Zealand is spending the month (February 14-March 13, 2016) living in a bathtub outside of Miami Seaquarium in protest of their inhumane and cruel treatment of Lolita, an orca who has been held by Seaquarium since 1970. Her protest demands Lolita’s safe and immediate release back into the wild. Maia and I met her today. She’s flown here from New Zealand, missing her family for a month to stand up for Lolita. And she’s humble, peaceful, and passionate-a true activist.
Most of us complain when we have to sleep on the couch for a few days, or can’t watch our favorite TV show. Imagine being a four-year-old orca ambushed and surrounded by speed boats and nets–killing some of your family, and capturing others. Imagine children torn from their mothers. Then imagine being separated and sent around the world and sold into slavery (for $6,000)…where you would live out your days in a small tank, forced to do tricks all day, instead of living in the vast ocean with your family and friends.
Lolita has lived at the Miami Seaquarium since 1970. She’s a 20-foot orca, weighing 7,000 pounds. The tank she spends her days in is the smallest orca tank in the U.S., and it reportedly violates Animal Welfare Act’s minimum size requirements. There’s also no protection for her from the elements. In the wild, she’d be able to find herself shelter from the hot sun. Not in her tank. Beyond that, she has no orca companions. Hugo, her former orca friend committed suicide by bashing his head against the tank wall repeatedly. If there’s no way out…
Releasing Lolita would be gradual, helping her to adapt to the wild again. There has been such an outcry from the public for Miami Seaquarium to stop what they’re doing and free her. Yet, I was there today with Maia and it’s business as usual. I wanted to storm in and demand that she be freed at once, use my arms like a giant crane and lift her out of the tank and into the ocean myself. It makes you feel desperate-desperately sad. How crazy and cruel have we made this world?
Danielle’s Live Like Lolita challenge continues for one more week. Peaceful protesters are invited to join her and friends to make a stand for this great orca. Next Saturday there will be a quiet vigil to end her month-long protest (see Facebook for updates: https://www.facebook.com/events/1043153049082413/ )
I read somewhere recently that writing letters to the editor to publications large and small is actually a great way to approach advocacy. So, this is one of my goals for this year… In the meantime, apart from my every day hope to walk lightly through eating a vegan diet and increasing my awareness, I take action through online efforts. I’m sharing some of my efforts below. What do you hope to achieve, and have you found any new ways to approach advocacy in every day life?
Social media has made it easier. I’m following several nature and wildlife conservancy and advocacy organizations on Facebook. They share direct links to petitions and offer information to increase awareness. Signing the petitions works. These are some of my favorites:
Save Americas Wolves
Defenders of Wildlife