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Leviathan: An ethical imperative 

Say NO to U.S. support for the resumption of commercial whaling

click to enlarge PHOTO BY LARRY WAN
  • PHOTO BY LARRY WAN
- LEVIATHAN:  Up from the deep - massive, sleek - moving in undulating patterns - bespeaking eons - of evolution to perfection - for fluid sinuous - Being - in a world vast and echoing - Through silver-blue - light offerings - she rises - meeting waves cresting - wind driving white horses - cloud spirits convening - in a rush to return - being called home - The lonely heart beats - calling to her side - Others - a song long remembered - reverberates - through viscous blue walls - eating the miles - to the ends of the earth - A chant of the ages - tribal and rich - telling stories - ancestral memories passed - of a people - a time - when the oceans sang - sweet and abundant - The tribe has dispersed - spirits are broken - the waters were red - filled with screams - and dying songs - falling on deaf ears - of a murderous - unknowing invader - She sings to her family - songs of redemption - calls to the oceans - carry her home - fulfilling - a life’s imperative - a species swan song - forgiveness in death - They are but a whisper - in a world going silent - a vast beauty - desecrated - raped and diminished - an ageless visage - still of unimaginable beauty - fading into the distance - Must you go? - —Mandy Davis -
  • LEVIATHAN: Up from the deep massive, sleek moving in undulating patterns bespeaking eons of evolution to perfection for fluid sinuous Being in a world vast and echoing Through silver-blue light offerings she rises meeting waves cresting wind driving white horses cloud spirits convening in a rush to return being called home The lonely heart beats calling to her side Others a song long remembered reverberates through viscous blue walls eating the miles to the ends of the earth A chant of the ages tribal and rich telling stories ancestral memories passed of a people a time when the oceans sang sweet and abundant The tribe has dispersed spirits are broken the waters were red filled with screams and dying songs falling on deaf ears of a murderous unknowing invader She sings to her family songs of redemption calls to the oceans carry her home fulfilling a life’s imperative a species swan song forgiveness in death They are but a whisper in a world going silent a vast beauty desecrated raped and diminished an ageless visage still of unimaginable beauty fading into the distance Must you go?

    —Mandy Davis

Few issues in this country cross political and class boundaries to receive overwhelming consensus, capturing hearts and minds across the board. The protection of whales is one such issue, an issue that has united people across the political spectrum to protest the Obama administration’s support of an International Whaling Commission draft agreement to again legalize commercial whaling. President Obama is on the verge of breaking a promise to support the worldwide moratorium on whaling, raising criticism from people all throughout the country, people from all walks of life.

Why is reaction so deep, so vehement? The answers are myriad, but the core reasons are simple. We have found, after centuries of slaughtering whales throughout the world, driving them close to extinction, that these creatures are not only essential for the health of oceans, but are key to our humanity: the measure of how we perceive and interact compassionately with the natural world. We have found that whales are not just creatures to perceive as “stocks” —populations to be controlled and “managed” for our use—but a highly intelligent, sentient race that has lived harmoniously within their world for eons. They have lived in harmony with their environment, something we, as the apex land animal, have not learned to do.

 The ethical imperative of saving the whales is undeniable and should not be lost in the science of species management; should not be pandered by a government ready to sell out to greedy poachers, and should not be gambled in the game where the tradition card is played to trump a losing hand. No matter how healthy a small group of scientists finds a whale population, the question is this: healthy compared to what? If we are talking about historic health, we know their current populations are miniscule compared to those prior to the 18th century. Can the whales survive given their numbers and the coming changes to their food sources and habitats? Can science in any way justify the killing of whales now or in the future? Of course not.

Are we as a nation inclined to compromise with poachers and terrorists? No! So why are we giving in to the demands of three nations who have thumbed their noses at the moratorium on whaling for 25 years and have poached whales that should have the chance to recover from centuries of being terrorized?

 Are the demands of nations who claim it is their traditional “right” to murder whales more important than the continued existence of a species that is struggling to survive, whose offspring are emaciated and growing fewer by the year? If tradition does not serve the Earth, then it is no longer viable.

It is time to stand our ground and realize our right as citizens of a nation who claims the democratic process works. It is time to recognize our connection to the Earth and take responsibility for the lives of our fellow creatures. It is time for us to Save The Whales Again !

Say NO to U.S. support for the resumption of commercial whaling. Join your friends and neighbors, at 10 a.m. on May 23rd at Morro Rock. We will, along with hundreds of others in coastal communities throughout the state, along with city councils, county supervisors, and state and federal elected officials representing millions, shout a unanimous NO WAY OBAMA, and he will hear us. This is your chance to make a difference.

Mandy Davis is the SLO County coordinator of Save The Whales Again Day. Send comments via the editor at econnolly@neewtimesslo.com.

 

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