Have you seen The Cove? I've heard from a lot of my omni friends that once they see it, they're totally disgusted by the brutal slaughter of those innocent animals, and that they just want to hug and/or save all the dolphins. However, none of them ever make the connection with other animals. I'm pretty sure I've told everyone I know that they need to see Earthlings, but from what I've heard (or rather, from what I haven't heard) none of them have seen the whole thing. Really, all they're interested in doing is saving the dolphins.
Except they're not saving them at all. When you go to zoos, circuses and places like Sea World, you're supporting - nay, FUNDING - the exploitation of animals. Animals that were meant to be in the wild. Animals that were taken from their homes in the wild. Animals that really really don't want to be living in a bathtub.
But Steph, you say, I don't go to the zoo or the circus and after seeing what goes on with the dolphins, I'd never even think about going to Sea World. I'm doing all I can for my finned friends, right? Wrong.
If you're buying any animal products, whether it's factory farmed or organic, free-range, grass-fed, humane, walked-itself-to-the-slaughter-house-cause-it-was-so-damn-happy-to-die-for-you, you're contributing to the greatest contributor for global warming. Thought biking to work made you green? Not if you're still eating animals. A vegan in a hummer has a smaller carbon footprint than a meat-eater on a bike, because the meat industry puts out more greenhouse gas emissions than all of transportation combined. That's not from some crazy vegan organization, that's from the UN, and they advocate transitioning to a vegan, plant-strong diet to help slow down climate change. How does that affect the dolphins? Well, if you're putting out more emissions with your cheeseburger than with your car, then you're responsible for more greenhouse gases being put out into the atmosphere, like CO2 and methane. Greenhouse gases trap some of the heat from sunlight instead of having it come down and go out through the atmosphere back into space. Of course, our atmosphere would trap some heat anyways, but the greenhouse gases exemplify this effect, hence the name greenhouse gases.
More greenhouse gases -> more solar radiation being trapped in our atmosphere -> more heating of our planet -> rise in temperature of the oceans -> change in salinity and acidity of the ocean
Did you know that when you combine water with carbon dioxide with water you create an acid? Did you know that happens in the atmosphere? Did you know that falls down to the earth as acid rain, and can cause damage to soil, forests, aquatic life and even buildings. Some of this would happen even if we all went veg and stopped driving and grew our own food and lived as nudists in trees or whatever, because of natural processes like when lightening strikes and volcanic eruptions and, you know, breathing or "respiration," but Mother Nature sure didn't plan on us adding to it, or else all this stuff wouldn't be happening.
Even the tiniest change in the pH of water in our oceans (and streams, rivers, lakes and whatnot, because everything is connected. Remember that) can throw off the whole ecosystem. Because of global warming, the oceans are getting hotter and the pH is changing. This is doing some major damage to coral reefs. Coral reefs are like the rain forests of the sea, thanks to their high biodiversity (though they are unlike rain forests as rain forests are carbon sinks, as in they absorb a great deal of carbon dioxide, but coral reefs are not). Remember when I said everything is connected? (You better! It was in this paragraph, for crying out loud) Well, when you kill off one species, you end up throwing off the whole ecosystem. It's a delicate balance, and if you eliminate (or add in) something, it throws everything off.
We've all seen that chart, or at least something similar to it, right? If a portion of the cycle is taken out, then the group below it may grow out of control, and the population of the one above it may start to decline. If it's gradual and natural, then the ecosystems can adapt to find balance. However, if it, it being climate change, is happening as quickly as it is now, the ecosystems don't have the opportunity to fix themselves and are on the path to total destruction. Add overfishing to that and we've really got a problem.
How does this relate to our dear dolphins? Well, if they don't have food because their food doesn't have food (and their food doesn't have food, and so on and so forth), then they'll, you know, die too. They might also get caught in fishing nets, especially tuna nets. Doesn't it seem sick and cruel to kill animals for food, and then kill innocent animals that most people wouldn't dream of eating in the process? Or maybe that's just me.
It's not just about the animals, though. Even if you eat plants and only plants, you still might be contributing to environmental destruction. Since this post is getting pretty long winded (did you expect anything less from me? ;) ) I'll save that for another post, more specifically the post I told you about on honey and bees, if I remember correctly.
Can you guess what the next post is going to be about? I don't mean bees and honey or dolphins, I mean what connects the two.
Have you seen The Cove or Earthlings? I want to do a post on all the documentaries I've seen, because I love them all so much. Have you seen any you think I should see?
What have you done to save the dolphins? Are you for saving the environment, or do you have bigger fish to fry?*
*Pun intended ;) IMO, saving the environment is the single most important thing we can do. Going vegan (not junk-food eat-Oreos-and-tofu-all-day vegan, but the kind I'll talk about in the bee post) is the best thing you can do for the health of the environment, the animals, and people. It's okay if you don't agree with me. Just know that there are a number of people who do, and whose opinions are backed up by science and stuff. But that's just me.
Fun things to check out, some of which are kind of unrelated but not really, because like I said, everything is connected. Every single decision you make has an effect on everything else in the whole world. Don't for a second think you're insignificant:
Earthlings <- You can watch the whole thing online! I've seen the whole movie and the trailer a few times and I still cry every time. Open yourself to change. Don't be afraid. Change is inevitable, so resisting it is only going to make it harder. You'll only wish you had made the change sooner. It takes nothing away from a human to be kind to an animal.
FLOW: For The Love of Water <- What got me into documentaries and, you know, caring about stuff. Actually that's only partially true. I saw Meet Your Meat, which got me caring about animals. FLOW got me thinking about things other than the animals that used to be on my plate.
Confessions of an Eco-Terrorist <- I still have yet to see this, but the trailer really gets me going. It may or may not have something to do with my choice in what I want to do with my life. Again, more on that later.
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society <- If I could choose my dream job, it would be volunteering for them. Seriously. Possibly more on that at some point, like if I do an "About Me" post. Would you guys be interested in that?
Warming oceans cause largest movement of marine species in two million years
The ocean is totally screwed <- In brackets there should be "As long as we keep doing what we're doing"