Empathy and Action

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Orca whales are also known as killer whales. They are top marine predators and will eat fish, sea lions, penguins or other whales.  They kill to eat. They don’t stockpile the fish. They are intelligent social animals capable of learning new hunting techniques, adapting them when necessary and working as a coherent group in order to hunt. Orca brain research shows that they have the ability to feel emotion. A recent TV programme showed various pods of orcas feeding a lone whale who was born with a twisted spine and deformed fins. There is no survival advantage to a pod to share their food with a weakened outsider. But they do. The behavior even points towards empathy.

I wonder what emotions the young orcas were feeling in Puget Sound in the late seventies when a whole generation of them were rounded up and captured for Seaworld? Fear, terror, trauma. Most of them died in captivity within a short time so it was effectively genocide. Since then, the number of orcas in Puget Sound are dwindling. There are now only 78 of of this genetically distinct species left. It’s been discovered that the main reason for this is hunger: the salmon-rich rivers that feed into the bay are dammed to allow humans to profit from the fish. What the orcas need is food, and clean, quieter waters.

If this bothers us, what can we do? Show empathy through action. Boycott Seaworld and the like, for a start. No paying customers, no profit, no show. Stop eating wild salmon, and eat only farmed salmon. Go lightly on the earth – go veggie. Say goodbye to sinusitis and go vegan! Sign this online petition – only 76 whales left now. http://bit.ly/2EVWrEn

Or check out a science-based initiative for global healing on http://bit.ly/2Gzly1i

Just let’s do something to call a halt before yet another species goes extinct.


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