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Nov 13, 2009
I love when Care2 helps inspire new activists. We recently received a touching package from New Zealand that helped reinforce why all of us at Care2 do what we do. The package contained the following letter:

Dear the lovely people at Care2.com,

We are Room 2 at St Mary's School in a small town called Milton, New Zealand. We are a class of 18, 6-7 year old children. We have taken a huge interest in helping to free the dolphins from captivity. We took the liberty of signing our own petition and writing some valuable reasons about why we think dolphins do not deserve to be kept cooped up in captivity.

We know we have only 19 signatures, however, we wanted to do all we could in order to make a change in any dolphin's life.

We hope you like our letters and photos of our art work that we have done in support of this cause.

We hope we have helped to make some kind of change for the dolphins.

Free the dolphins! They are too precious!

Yours sincerely,

Room 2 at St Mary's School, Milton

With the cover letter was a package of individual, handwritten letters from all of the
kids with reasons why they wanted dolphins freed, along with their photos. Their NZ school children w dolphinresponses are adorable. But what inspires me the most is that each personal letter is filled with care and compassion: "It can hurt the dolphins and it's not enough room for the babies," writes one.  "They are friendly and they have friends in the ocean," says another. "It's like hurting God's pets," another letter says. Letter after letter, all implore people to get the dolphins out of captivity.

The petition, letters and photos now adorn a wall at Care2’s headquarters in California.

We wrote to the kids' teacher,  Luchia Hermens. Miss Hermens found out about the plight of the dolphins through Care2's Facebook group and was inspired to bring the message of saving the dolphins into her classroom (I've previously written about Care2's work to save dolphins).

"I asked the children if they were interested in learning more about the dolphins and asked them if they would like to help get the dolphins out of captivity and they really wanted to. We looked at your website and we researched lots more about dolphins and saving them and the children became very concerned and wanted to do as much as they could," Miss Hermens explained. "They wanted to help save their lives, and they did not want the dolphins being hurt and we want their babies to be happy and survive with their mother and have enough room to live, play, and learn."

In addition to writing letters, the children created dolphins in an art project. One of the farmers in the Milton area had extra vinyl, so Miss Hermens drew outlines of dolphins. The children used ripped up magazine pages to make a collage on each of the dolphins; the result is three adorable dolphins that now decorate Miss Hermens' classroom.

Miss Hermens used this as a starting point for further research; the students did an assembly presentation with the information they discovered about the dolphins and continue to do artwork and writing about these magnificent creatures.

Best of all, the children in this very small town in New Zealand are learning how to be stewards of the earth and its inhabitants -- and we hope they'll grow up to be activists for dolphins on Care2! Thanks to Miss Hermens for getting them started on this path and for sharing their story with us.  Miss Hermens class


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Posted: Nov 13, 2009 4:08pm
Aug 17, 2009

Care2 had a staff outing last weekend to see The Cove, a new documentary that sheds light on the atrocious dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan. It's an issue that Care2 members have taken action on before; just this year, Care2's partner Blue Voice hand-delivered more than 5,000 letters from Care2 members, demanding that the slaughter be stopped, to the Japanese delegate to the International Whaling Commission at their meeting in Portugal. And we've collected more than 150,000 signatures on other petitions against Japan's dolphin killing.

The Cove shows how Ric O'Barry and Louis Psihoyos secretly document Japanese fishermen corralling unsuspecting dolphins into a small cove in Taiji that's hidden from public view. The fishermen separate out the best specimens to be sold to dolphinariums -- and cruelly slaughter the other 23,000 for meat, which is then sold across fish markets in Japan, often labeled as “whale meat.”  And few people in Japan know it's happening -- or that the meat they're eating contains toxic levels of mercury.

The Cove is a documentary with the suspense and thrill of an Oceans 11 style “Special Ops” team. The New York Times has described it as, “unfolds like a spy thriller...one of the most audacious and perilous operations in the history of the conservation movement."  O'Barry was once the dolphin trainer for the 1960s TV series Flipper .  After spending years with dolphins, he realized how terrible human captivity is for these intelligent creatures, and became one of the world's leading dolphin activists. Psihoyos is a top nature photographer and founder of the Oceanic Preservation Society. The rest of the team is made up of underwater sound and camera experts, special effects artists, marine explorers, adrenaline junkies and  world-class free divers. 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.




Watching the team in action is enough to make anyone want to be a dolphin activist -- and that's where Care2 comes in. We partnered with the production company, Take Part, to develop a petition targeting President Obama, Vice President Biden and Japanese Ambassador to the United States Ichiro Fujisaki, asking them to address the dolphin slaughter in Japan. The petition is also available in Japanese for Japanese citizens to sign and send letters to the Prime Minister and Minister of Health. At the end of The Cove, there's a message urging people to take action, either on their web-enabled mobile phones with the mobile version of the PetitionSite or by visiting a URL with a link to the action. And it's been a success so far -- already, more than 20,000 people have signed the petition.

We also created widgets in both English and Japanese that contain all of the signers to the action and more information on The Cove. You can paste the widget on your Facebook or MySpace profiles or your blog and encourage your friends to take action, too. You'll get the opportunity to grab the widget code after you've signed the petition.

If you haven't seen The Cove yet, I urge you to do so -- and bring friends with you so they feel the same drive to become an activist for our planet that you do. The film is a provocative mix of investigative  journalism, eco-adventure and arresting imagery that adds up to an urgent plea for hope. 

This is a movie that will make a difference and shut down the dolphin slaughter – but only if we all take action, sign the petition, and make our voices heard.

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Posted: Aug 17, 2009 5:30pm

 

 
 
Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of Care2.com or its affiliates.

Author

Randy Paynter
, 1
Hillsborough, CA, USA
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