Open letter of a spiritual marine activist

Open letter of a spiritual marine activist

IMG_0059Back in 2012 I was invited by a friend to attend a protest against the hunting of dolphins in front of the Japanese Embassy in London.

As I have always loved dolphins and not being aware of what it was about, I went along with a pair of friends. This innocuous invitation changed my life forever.

Rewind a few decades and you would have found me fighting injustice to humans or animals, on the streets of my natal Paris.  My first protest was when I was 16 years old. I marched with the miners of North France to protest against the closures of the mines.

Perhaps it was in my blood?  It is a well-known fact that the French enjoy a bit of a protest or a strike and once upon a time they even had a revolution with heads rolling, extreme protesting!

Since that first protest, many more followed ranging from against racism, fur, production of Foie Gras, bull fighting, fox hunting, badger culling, whaling etc.

My experience is that protests make waves of awareness, if not changing things at the top (governments), and educating people (or you would hope so). So when I realised what was going on with the dolphins in Japan, I thought protesting was a good thing but, a new approach might be tried to reach the dolphins.

Mermaids 4 Cetaceans was born on 7th September 2012, and with the help of social media, many people who believe in animal communication, animal healing, healing, conservation, spirituality, sentience of animals etc. joined in from all over the world to try to communicate with the dolphins to warn them about the dangers of the boats, and to Think Blue!

Many members of Mermaids 4 Cetaceans are also grass root activists and belong to other marine organisations.

Every year from 2012 up to now, we followed and reported on the events in the infamous cove, day after day for 6 months of the year, year after year.

During that time, we did visualisations and animal communication, animal healing to the dolphins trapped in the cove, spiritual work, encouraged people to “Think Blue” etc. and it became clear that something was blocking some of our efforts on the more mundane and materialistic plane.

Events from the cove are reported by many marine pages and activists all around the world during any given season. So far so good!
However, it became apparent that the language used to report events was aimed (consciously or not) at stirring feelings and emotions towards a very dark place.
People started to feel depressed, to feel powerless and angry.
Tempers flared up and bad juju was wished upon the Japanese people, even incitement to violence; death wishes too, aimed at Japanese people and other negative and harmful thoughts.

Nothing was done to prevent people from expressing their anger, racism, xenophobia and as time progressed during a season, the comments on pages became more virulent.

Although, following a season is heart-breaking as indeed one feels so powerless when dolphins are caught and killed or taken into captivity. And yes, anger and frustration will rise to the surface, negative emotions need to be released safely and certainly not on social media.

Thoughts can generate energies, and what we project generates an intent and a result. Basic quantum jumping.

People who let their darker side out in the open in written form, create walls of negative energies which sometimes spread like fire.

In-fighting between marine groups both online and on the ground (at protests) was unfortunately, something which had to be put up with during each hunting season. And of course, activists against each other instead of being united is something that has plagued the marine movement all over the world and not only concerning dolphins and whales.

Anyway, all the negativity encountered each season left many of us working harder on the spiritual plane and depleted us of energy, resulting in some of us teetering on the edge of losing our sanity and health in the process.

We then created a guide to detachment to help people with their emotional stability along with their feelings.
Compassionate fatigue is a real threat to health (emotional, physical and spiritual) of people fighting on behalf of the animals and, if one is not careful, serious health problems can arise.

Personally, I started to see some activists going down with serious health problems (and a few of them with heart problems…coincidence?), and some even did not make it and passed on. Continuing their missions from the other side of the veil. Some activists became depressed and were contemplating the unthinkable as they could not see the joy in life anymore; as bad news upon bad news besieged them in regards to the dolphins, but also other animals across the world.

It is very easy to feel powerless, useless, when following a season. Social media shares gory and pitiful images, heart breaking reports and before we know it, we are submerged in a sea of bloody pictures, anger, despair, fury, and anything we can think of. Meanwhile, the boats continue to go out, and nothing changed since 2009 when the documentary ‘The Cove’ appeared, telling the story of the hunting of dolphins in Taiji.

Before the documentary, the hunting of dolphins around Taiji started in 1969 (approximately) and no one was there reporting anything about the hunt.

I think it is great that we now know about Taiji and the hunting of dolphins. However, what we need to know is that the hunting of dolphins in Japan is not against their law, it is all legal.
Another aspect of the hunting of dolphins in Japan is the captivity of dolphins.
Again, it is not illegal to display dolphins in dolphinariums and aquariums around Japan.

Although JAZA (Japanese Associations of Zoos and Aquariums), has banned the purchase of dolphins coming from Taiji, this ban has had very little impact and dolphins continue to be sold in the Middle East and Far East and domestic markets in Japan (aquariums/dolphinariums not affiliated with JAZA) and other countries.

One cannot talk about Taiji without talking about activism, right?
This is the core of the whole movement, the Blue Cove days, the Red Cove days, the Black Cove days or Green cove days…all reported and documented by activists on the ground.

Having Japanese activists on the ground in Taiji is fundamental to the cause and has a twofold impact:
a) It educates their countrymen and women about what is happening on their own doorstep, the hunting of dolphins for food and fertilizer.
b) It also educates people about the captivity of cetaceans and seeing these creatures in dolphinariums and aquariums.

 

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However, having Westerners present in and around Taiji may be what makes things a little more complicated.

Let’s give you a fictional example to see the other side of the proverbial coin.

Although, with my fictional example, we are going to look at animals that are not wild and are not used for entertainment. Nevertheless, they are sentient creatures and suffer tremendously too.

The fundamental principle of activism is however, identical.

As you know I am French, and I have been fighting against the production of Foie Gras since I was 18 years old. Having seen on a school trip to the Dordogne region, how the animals are tortured for a delicatessen was something that traumatized me for life.

Now imagine a bunch of Japanese people (or any nationalities for that matter but, since we are talking about Japan let’s stick to the Japanese), coming and taking photos in front of a few Foie Gras co-operative farms, for 6 months of the year.

Imagine all these people, who do not speak French, reporting in front of the co-operative, wearing their t-shirts from animal organisations, denouncing the production of Foie Gras on social media everywhere etc.
How do you think the local French Foie Gras farmers are going to react?

Knowing the French as I do, I can guarantee you that they will be very angry, they will try to intimidate the activists in as many ways as possible and not very gentle I must say.

The French will say that what they do is not illegal (and it is to my dismay; 37 years fighting to stop this vile industry) and they will continue doing what they are doing because in their mind, it is a tradition.

They will argue that the demand for such products is very strong and that the Japanese activists should look at their own country as they are eating animals such as whales and dolphins.

The Japanese activists will say that it is not the same to eat whales or dolphins as to eat foie Gras, that not many people eat them in Japan and that they do not torture geese/ducks to produce Foie Gras.
(As you can see, the same rhetoric that the Japanese said about the Westerners eating cows and pigs will be used in my fictional scenario).

Eventually, the French will pass a law to prevent activists going near the Foie Gras co-operatives and the local gendarmes will be on hand to harass and even arrest the Japanese activists for trespassing.
It rings a bell, doesn’t it?

But, more importantly, after pressure year in and year out, what will be the possible result of my fictional scenario?

The Japanese people will have gone to protest to the French Embassy in their country, they will have created awareness. All good!

May be in the process, some people would have ditched eating Foie Gras and would have not bought duvets and pillows made of geese/ducks feathers…very good!

But, millions of animals will continue to be tortured to produce foie Gras…because foie Gras is exported abroad. This is the harsh reality.

But, what the Japanese activists in my fictional scenario could do, is to make sure the products are not on sale in their country. There they have the power and the law of supply and demand on their side.

Certainly here in the UK, the late Roger Moore was successful in stopping the sale of Foie Gras in Selfridges in London and to mobilise people to join in in the fight. A small victory but nevertheless, a sign that people do have the power in their choice of food and can boycott a product such as Foie Gras on compassionate grounds.

Now, translate my fictional scenario to Taiji and you can perhaps sense what is needed to be done.
We activists from the West need to fight in our own backyards.

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Education is the primarily tool in the activist toolbox, for people to understand that entertainment provided by sentient creatures is the most pernicious form of cruelty as it is made for people to think it comes from a place of love, it is not. It comes from a place of ego and exploitation for money and greed.

None of the dolphinariums are sanctuaries to rehabilitate marine life, although some tried to convince people that they are doing a great job in rescuing and rehabilitating animals.

Marine conservationism starts in the ocean, to protect species in their home against the threats they encounter. In the case of dolphins and whales, fishing nets, boats, poaching etc. This is where these multi-million businesses need to be if they were serious about conservation as they claim. Action would certainly speak louder than words in this instance.

There are plenty of dolphinariums in the world to protest in front of and lots of work to do to lobby our own governments to stop acquiring dolphins from the wild and the grotesque reproduction in captivity.

Recently, the French government has ruled against the reproduction of cetaceans in captivity. French activists have been putting pressure for years and certainly these results are encouraging.

Here it was not my fictional Japanese activists who made headway with the French government, but the French activists themselves…and I am convinced that the same can apply with the Japanese activists in their fight against the captivity of cetaceans in Japan.

We can support our fellow Japanese activists in their fight and share on social media what is happening in their country with their protests, marches etc. Solidarity, as we are all interconnected J

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Now coming to the most soul searching part of this letter.

I never thought after all these years protesting, standing in front of the Japanese Embassy that I would come to the conclusion that this form of activism has had very little if not, no impact at all on the Japanese government.

More often than not, there are economic implications between the country targeted and our own country.

Here the UK government raised its opposition against the hunting of dolphins and whales with little impact. No sanctions, no talks at all with Japan concerning this, as far as I know.

If anything, marches through the streets of London are good to raise the awareness of the captivity of cetaceans, for tourists, and people to find out about this cruel practice.  Marches are an effective form of protest and can indeed educate people. Mermaids 4 Cetaceans will certainly attend the march in London, on Japan Dolphins day (1st September).

But, protests in front of the Japanese Embassy on the other hand, have lost their power, as at least a minimum of 3 protests are taking place during a 6 months period. The Japanese staff at the Embassy are well aware of what is happening in Japan, after all activists have descended on the Embassy for at least 6 or 7 years continuously!

And again, it is worth remembering that there is nothing illegal in what they are doing so unless the law is changed in Japan, we are barking up the wrong tree!

During my five years fighting for the dolphins and trying to help, I have realised that the most difficult battle of all is against my own species…we are all interconnected but, it seems that some interconnections are not strong and the awakening of our species as the custodians of this planet is still in the making.

The fundamental principle of recognising animals as sentient beings is an alien concept to many humans and their leaders in countries all over the world. Until humans realise that what they do to animals they do it to themselves, we will always have battles to fight.

Besides, I came to realise that there are around 300.000 dolphins killed by fishing nets or bycatch each year. Around 100.000 cetaceans are killed each year too because of pollution.
Yet, activists are not in front of our respective fishery authorities to demand changes to the law, to prosecute the culprits of shoddy fishing practices and so on.

Some marine organisations lobby governments, but the practices continue. We need to fight on that front as the numbers of dolphins and other marine creatures killed by bycatch are enormous and totally heart-breaking.

And what about the problem of plastic ingestion in the oceans? All the marine life eating our plastic rubbish and suffering the horrendous consequences of our irresponsible attitude and behaviour…another even bigger battle we could take to our respective governments, supermarkets etc.

Also, I have come to the conclusion that spending 6 months of the year being heartbroken and looking every morning at what has happened in a fishing town in Japan is perhaps not the best way to fight on behalf of the dolphins.

It achieves very little on the ground, and people continue to visit dolphinariums and aquariums around the world.

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Personally, I have decided that this season (after months of soul searching), I am going to work more with the dolphins around Taiji and elsewhere.

I am going back to my roots, of spiritual or sacred activism, to communicate with the dolphins without the chattering of the external world, to try to reach these complex and intelligent creatures to warn them about the boats and the dangers they will face.

Now that 2 other species of dolphins (namely rough toothed dolphins and melon headed whales) have been added on the list of species for the upcoming season, I think more than ever working on the animal communication side is essential in trying to reach these unfortunate creatures.

And with spiritual work, staying grounded and in a place of love and harmony is what is required to achieve goals.

Mermaids 4 Cetaceans will therefore not follow the season this year, and will concentrate on working with the dolphins on the telepathic level. Thinking Blue will be part of our daily routine too, but we will not be reporting the events from the cove.

We will post about the visualisations we will do and of course, we will encourage as many activists to join us in our collective efforts.

Together we can send intent and we can focus on the positive, helping the dolphins on the ethereal level. Hopefully our message will reach the dolphins themselves.
We know it has in the past.

We are not given up, we are continuing to fight for the dolphins, but in a new direction on the material plane and a step up on the spiritual plane.

Oephebia
Founder and spiritual marine Activist at Mermaids 4 Cetaceans.org

Valentine’s day…a day for love and self-love too!

Valentine’s day…a day for love and self-love too!

. valentines-dayArtist unknown

Valentine’s day is celebrated on 14th February each year and is a day to celebrate love for lovers all around the planet, and for men to be a bit more romantic too 😉

The origins of Valentine’s day are a bit muddled in time, and was probably a take on the Lupercalia celebrated by the Romans. Whilst the romanticism of it all is linked to a monk, St Valentin and his tragic love for the daughter of his jailor.

Truth or fiction, nobody really knows but the tradition to send a Valentine’s card has started in the 18th century in England!

Whilst it is great to have a day for romance (and 364 more), it is also great to be open to receive love if we are single, by simply allowing ourselves to love ourselves.

What? I hear you say,  self-love, is it not a bit narcissistic?
Not quite, like with healing, one has to heal their own wounds to be able to give healing to others, love is the same.
If we do not accept and love the person we are, how can we love unconditionally others?

Love is selfless, love is acceptance, love is balance and harmony. Love does not know control, love does not know emotional blackmail, love does not know boundaries of race, creed, religion, sexual orientation ….love is simply pure, strong and a soul contract.
Animals are capable of unconditional love and they can teach us so much about true love!

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A good way to bring self-love and acceptance is to meditate , to train your mind to accept you as an unique human being, an unique person who can make a difference in our world, who can make others happy and who deserve happiness. Simple!

Another way, is to buy a rose quartz (polished) as this crystal is linked to the heart chakra and unconditional love, and do a small visualisation.

Please note that your crystal will need to be cleansed.
There are different methods, but the simplest is to put your crystal under running water and to ask your crystal for its help on an area of life where you need improvement or guidance.With rose quartz it will be self-love and love.

Visualisation
is a simple technique which allows you to project in your mind the results you would like to see.

When you have done a scan of your body, put your rose quartz crystal in your bra, near your heart.
Obviously for tritons, put your crystal on your heart covered by your hand.

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Now you are going to imagine a waterfall somewhere in nature.
Listen to the sound of the water, feel the warmth of the sun on your skin, hear the sounds of the birds and the animals around you, feel the vibrancy of nature, its power and its love.

As you approach the waterfall, you start to feel your heart chakra expanding, you start to feel relaxed and all the worries and tension of the last weeks or months have vanished.

You feel compelled to be underneath the waterfall for the water to cleanse and purify you. You are now feeling the myriad of water droplets on your skin, some of the droplets are pink, some are green, and they form a mist around you. The smell of flowers near the waterfall feels stronger, your body feels totally relaxed and you just enjoy the most invigorating and cleansing shower you ever had.

You feel that your heart chakra is totally opened and you feel unconditional love. Nothing else exists in your world now, just you, the waterfall, nature and feeling alive, happy and relaxed.

Take notice of beings, elementals or animals who may be present by the waterfall. If you feel and see them, ask them questions about love and wait for their answers (remember visualisations are safe so, do not be afraid).

When you have received the answers and thanked the beings/elementals/animals for their wisdom, enjoy a bit more the waterfall.

When you feel cleansed and simply happy, in your own time, open your eyes.
Drink a little water and remember to rebalance your energies (see visualisation)

**Please note that whilst some of you may have experienced feelings of love, happiness, others may have experienced some emotional outbursts and shed tears….which is good as it is a release mechanism and healing.**

Whatever you experienced in the waterfall, just release it all and simply feel your body alive and vibrant.

You can do this small visualisation as often as you like and even when taking a shower 🙂

Also keep your rose quartz in your pocket, your handbag, underneath your pillow, in your bra (for us mermaids) and often touch it and when you do, remember the sensations you had with your visualisation.
A bit of a top up on the go!

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Happy Valentine’s day ❤

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Spirituality and Activism

Spirituality and Activism

Here at Mermaids 4 Cetaceans, we have a mix of merpeople who are grass root activists (some belong to other marine organisations), we have light-workers, shamans, healers etc and we have people who simply love animals and want to help.
Combine the grass root activism with a strong spiritual background and you get a spiritual activist.

Meet Lizette, one of our mermaids, who has written a little blog about her activism both on the grass-root and spiritual front.

 

animal-rights-activists-lizetteWhen I say I’m a spiritual activist, some people may raise their eyebrows!
Grass root activism is something people understand, but spiritual activism? Really?

Yes one can combine the two!
As far as I’m concerned it works even better, because your spiritualism gives you the tool to help you cope with the difficult situations your grass-root activism leads you on.

 

dolphinarium2Picture courtesy of FreeSpirit

As a grass-root activist, every Sunday morning regardless of the weather or what is happening in my life, I stand with my friends in front of the Dolphinarium in Harderwijk/Netherlands, and we give flyers to the visitors, to educate them on the captivity of cetaceans.

 

15080433067_02d5956a5e_oOften from where we stand, we can hear the dolphins and other animals screaming and crying.
When I hear that my stomach hurts, my heart starts to pump harder and my whole being would love to yell to let the dolphins and other animals go. That captivity is wrong and no living creatures should experience that. It is a heartbreaking experience.
 

beyond-2However, armed with my spirituality and strong beliefs that one can change the reality, I am able to deal with these feelings.

For example, I used breathing techniques (slow breath in and out) and when I feel in a neutral space, I am able to send messages to the dolphins inside the dolphinarium, telling them that we are here for them and that we are fighting for them.

Since dolphins are very highly-sensitive spirituals beings, I know they can pick up my vibes and understand them.

It also works the other way around, when my energies are low or when I do not feel my best, they pick that up too and send me messages to hold on and stay strong. They tell me that changes are coming soon and that they are very glad for me being there for them. It always gives me goosebumps when contacts are made between the dolphins and me 🙂

 

zette-picI don’t know whether I could have done this weekly flyering without being spiritual, without my sensitivity.

A relaxed mind helps you cope with it all. It also keeps me going in the long haul.
Some people said that they are too sensitive for doing what I do and that they could never deal with that. We are all different, but I have turned things around and I have let my sensitivity and spirituality work for me. I try not to get angry, stay calm, be polite and always think about the reason why I do things like I do. The main reason is that the dolphins inside or outside a dolphinarium need me!

 

pagan-altar-1034856To keep my energies high I meditate regularly, join ceremonies at Mermaids 4 Cetaceans, listen to relaxing music and stay positive all the time.
I read a lot (to get myself educated) about meditating, healing, energy fields, healthy living, totems, dolphins etc…   I walk with my doggies and stay down-to-earth in everything I do.

How I meditate and do the ceremonies is something I will write about in a next blog.
Hope you will tune in again for that.

Love and light.

Lizette

Water ceremony in support of Standing Rock

Water ceremony in support of Standing Rock

Many native tribes are united to protect water at the moment.

The Standing rock Sioux tribe is at the centre of the movement to stop pipelines on their sacred land.

As we all know, water is life, without it, no life on earth, simple.

We are going to do a collective water ceremony on 11.11 which is a very potent combination of number. It is also day of remembrance for all our fallen earthlings who fought for freedom.

The first part of the ceremony (the preparation) is on 10.11
The ceremony itself will be the following day.

Let’s unite together energetically with the natives and with all earthlings.
One world, one tribe united to protect the elixir of life and mother earth!

Full Moon in Aries visualisation

Full Moon in Aries visualisation

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Tonight we have a strong and powerful full Moon in Aries 🙂

In order to do this visualisation, it is best to sit quietly where you won’t be disturbed (mobile on silent or off and placed in another room away from the area you are meditating in if possible).

Start by checking on your body as per our visualisation guide.

When you feel centred and calm, just gaze at the picture of a rotten boat.
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Then close your eyes and imagine that you are standing in Taiji by the cove.

The cove is blue, the water is sparkling, and all the fishing nets have gone. The signs to tell people to keep out are gone too. The air is clean, the sun is shining, and you can hear the sound of the waves gently crushing on the sand. Everything is balanced and serene.

You start to walk towards the town centre, observe the houses, you notice that the factories where they use to dispose of dolphins have been replaced by shops selling crafts relating to dolphins and the sea, and by whales and dolphins watching businesses.

You continue your walk and then you arrive to a small place. There is a fishing boat, slowly decaying.

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A group of school children in their uniforms are observing the boat. You stop and listen to their teacher. The teacher tells a story to the children of times when the town of Taiji used to hunt and kill dolphins.

The teacher also explained that baby dolphins used to be separated from their mothers by people and many babies were taken to prisons to dance for people.

Some of the children start to cry and are horrified, other are shaking their heads as they are baffled that this had be done to their friends (many of these children have been on a boat to see the dolphins swimming freely) whilst others ask more and more questions to the teacher.

times-on-sunday-23-12-2012-copyArticle courtesy of the Times On Sunday 2012

Then the teacher explained that the world grew tired of the hunting of dolphins and more and more people in Japan started to be unhappy about the hunt.

More and more people around the world were exposing the trade until one day, the people involved in it all decided to stop as less and less dolphins were caught, more and more dolphins were fighting back and less and less people were interested to see dolphins perform in aquatic circuses.

The people involved grew tired as they were getting older and whilst some retired, others decided to take people on boats to watch the whales and dolphins, in an ethical way. Others decided to protect and conserve and started to talk to their people.

Changes had truly started.

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As you continue to hear the explanations from the teacher, you notice a clock with a date underneath.

Imagine seeing a date, a year or an indication of time when the hunt of dolphins will stop in our reality, in Taiji.
Be reasonable, change on this scale won’t happen overnight…..choose your time or year wisely.

After a last glimpse at the clock, you decide to walk back to the cove.

You sit by its shore and whilst listening to the waves, feel the sun on your face.

Send love to all the victims of this genocide (orcas, dolphins and pilot whales) and all the prisoners who are hold in the sea pens in Taiji, but also in dolphinariums, aquariums and tourist resorts all over the world.

Many nations used to do whaling or used to hunt and many nations have changed.
Change is inevitable and part of humankind’s evolution.

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When you are ready, just gently redirect your intention onto your body, imagine roots growing down from your feet and deep into the earth. Feel that your body is energised and that you are grounded. Then wiggle your feet, shake your arms and body and in your own time open your eyes.

Drink a bit of water to re-energised you (water is healing).

Spend 5 minutes to just sit quietly reflecting about your visualisation, before resuming your activity of the day.

You may want to keep a journal of your visualisations and put down some of your thoughts, feeling and emotions.

Thank you for doing this visualisation today ♥

 

 

THINK BLUE bracelets

THINK BLUE bracelets

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As the season of hunting dolphins in Taiji has started, many people are doing something to try to warn the dolphins about the boats.

Some people do  visualisations to connect directly with the collective consciousness of the dolphins.

Other people, simply try to “Think Blue” in order to shift reality (quantum jumping).

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Thoughts produce energies, good or bad, and if many people think the same thing at a particular time for a prolonged period, reality will shift.
Think it and you will be it 🙂

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To help you to concentrate on the colour blue, we have created a range of bracelets with the words “Think Blue” and semi-precious stones (Blue Sodalite, Lapis Lazuli and Blue Aventurine).

These bracelets are available on Etsy.

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Healing to Tilikum

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As many of us know, the star of the film Blackfish, is slowly dying of lung disease in his tiny pool.

Seaworld announced on 8th March, that Tilikum was dying and that his body was not responding to antibiotics.

After that, SeaWorld went silent on Tilly’s health, instead concentrating on other amazing news which incidently, will not change the lives of the orcas in their bath tubs.

Then an update on 19th March was released. After pressure from people asking about Tilly, SeaWorld wrote updates on 9th April and 18th April on their website.

We are continuing to send healing to Tilly and to light candles for him.

Lung disease is painful and Tilikum’s quality of life is probably severely impaired. It raises questions about the care he is receiving from the vets.

If anyone had  the opportunity to watch Horizon: Should we close our Zoos? on BBC2 (UK) last Sunday (17th April 2016), the blatant lies told to the investigating jouralist by the chief vet at SeaWorld regarding orcas in their care, was enough to raise one’s blood pressure!

The sentience of animals is something that science has finally begun to recognise in recent years, so why on earth do we continue to see sentient beings behind bars?

Why do we ignore the true heart connection instead of an instant gratification of the ego?

Until we, as the dominant species on this planet, start to recognise animals as creatures with emotions, recognise that their freedom is as important to them as ours to us. Until we work on the ground to truly protect the environment and its creatures, many animals will lead a miserable life for the entertainment of earth’s less enlighten species: ours (sadly).