Our MyChainReaction story is of a movement, our service is to peacefully educate people, globally, about :
the nature of, and rights for whales, dolphins and orcas,
the hunting and killing of dolphins that takes place
why captivity is not right
From a tweet/post/protest/radio broadcast/article written, to a new member joining, to a celebrity or politician joining the movement, to a change in laws, to freedom for captive dolphins and or closure of a dolphin show (circus), to an organisation such as an airline ending their association with the captivity business, to the end of hunts and the protection of these animals so that their numbers can return and those species threatened / some who are close to extinction be saved, and they can just be, living safe, free and happy in their home, the ocean. The aim is education, but who knows where knowledge and understanding may lead.
We believe that social media can be used as a powerful tool for good. Every single one of our group is united in our vision and we will not give up. We are working to a chain reaction model. We each inform at least one person a day of the Taiji hunts and some days, with a retweet from a celebrity, we can reach millions.
The chain started with Mandy Van Der Walt from Johannesburg, S. Africa, who is the creator of the group Women of the World United Against Taiji. She runs the group with 2 other ladies. Sue Prince-lles who is in the UK and handles all Twitter accounts as well as our Locations File, with our members locations, so the ladies can contact those near them from the group and get together when doing events or even handing out fliers. Angela Rupar is in the USA, FL. She designed, hosts and manages the website and all print collateral. She also does morning updates on the Facebook group page as the drive hunts are going on.
Taiji, is a prefecture in Japan that is famous for the movie The Cove.
Every year from September – March, each morning Taiji fishermen head out to hunt dolphins and small whales in Taiji, Japan. The largest supplier of dolphins to marine parks and swim with dolphin facilities worldwide.
Once a pod is spotted the men bang on their boats with metal rods creating a wall of sound that disorients the dolphins and they drive them into the Cove where nets await.
Once inside the cove the dolphins are trapped and begin spy hopping.
They are scared and confused awaiting their fate. Dolphins have complex emotions and social structure and this is extremely stressful for them, some die from exhaustion, some have even committed suicide as they have to consciously take breaths. Angel an Albino dolphin who is currently being held in the Japan Whale Museum was just a baby last year when her own mother committed suicide due to the stress after being driven into the cove.
The “beautiful ones” are put aside, while their family is slaughtered in front of them. Metal rods are driven into their backs to sever their spinal cords, they don’t die right away.
Mothers and babies are ripped apart during this and babies are often dumped back out to sea alone to fend for themselves, crying for their mothers, usually dying of starvation
The water in the cove turns red with the blood of innocent dolphins with each slaughter even now, the US is trying to import a dolphin born in captivity by 2 wild dolphins who were caught in a drive.
The following day the selection process begins for the ones that survive the capture, their life will be captivity in a chlorinated pool doing tricks for food.
Once trainers have selected their choices, the dolphins are shipped to marine parks and swim with dolphin facilities all over the world. A large portion of these dolphins are staying in Japan but also going to China and South Korea and many other places around the world. Please see this document on our website: http://www.wowvstaiji.com/img/mmir-complete-09jul2013.pdf
Ceta-base, has some documentation from last years drive on their website, where some of these dolphins wound up.
Science shows that dolphins and whales all contain Organochlorines such as PCBs, Dioxins, PBDEs and many other persistent organic pollutants. The amount of pollutants are well above the allowable limits for consumption and can cause serious health issues. Yet the Japanese government continues to say it’s safe to consume and sells it in local grocery stores. When asked, most Japanese people have no idea where this meat comes from, that is loaded with mercury or even about the drive hunts themselves.
In recent years is the existence in some whale and dolphin species of special brain cells known as spindle cells or Von Economo neurones.
Spindle cells are thought to be responsible for ‘rapid intuitive choice in complex social situations’ and are associated with emotions such as empathy. Until relatively recently it was believed that these special brain cells were only found in the brains of humans and some primates. Research now shows that spindle cells are present in the brains of the following whale and dolphin species: (www.USwhales.org)
Bottlenose dolphins and Risso’s dolphins
Science has also shown the part of a cetacean brain responsible for emotions and memory formation is more complex than humans. They are self aware, they experience emotions, engage themselves in some degree of abstract, conceptual thought, choose their actions, learn by observing, understand the structure of their environment, learn what works and what doesn’t by solving problems. They also create new solutions to problems. In short captivity is the cruelest thing you can do to these sentient beings.
Mandy’s idea for the group was to create a place where women could go to get support. It is a place where ladies can share their ideas, their fears, their sadness, their victories and their defeats. Everything they have experienced on this journey educating people about the captivity of cetaceans and the dolphin drives.
For years captive facilities have capitalized on using dolphins, whales and other live animal acts to entertain the masses, while so many people remain unaware of where these mammals and other animals come from and how they suffer in captivity. Our goal at WOW vs. Taiji is purely based on education which involves teaching young and old not to support captive facilities and the reasons why.
In the wild, dolphin calves will consume milk from their mother for 1-2 years, sometimes longer. They will be introduced to fish and squid around 4-6 months of age. The fat in the milk helps them to grow very quickly. After being fully weaned, the males will leave the pod and either create their own pod or join another one. The female offspring may live in the same pod as their mother for their entire life. If they do leave, they will be within a very close proximity.much like humans do, including taking care of their young, sick or injured pod members.
In order to train these cetaceans for captivity, food deprivation is used. They are fed dead frozen fish, some with medication. They are artificially inseminated, most too young. In the wild female dolphins sexual maturity age can range from 5 to 13. For males it is often much later with the range being from 9 to 14 years of age. Mature female dolphins generally give birth every 2-4 years. The ones bred in captivity have never been around a pod where they are taught over years to care for babies by the matriarchs of the pod. Some are rejected by the mothers, most do not survive captivity.
Captive dolphins in a facility often come from different regions and populations. Dolphins in captivity are often forced to live with other species that may have trouble communicating with one another, and may not get on with one another, including species that would never meet in the wild. (Source: us.whales.org/)
Since the inception of Women of the World United Against Taiji in December 2014 – the group has grown to over 7,000 members and the website that launched February 19, 2015 has reached 136 countries so far. We are a diverse group of women from all over the world, coming together for a common cause to end captivity and the drive hunts.
Mandy and Angela have been on an international Radio show called Foster’s Animal World 3 times this year. The group participates and supports the efforts of other groups like Sea Shepherd and Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project. We create and sign petitions, we participate in tweet storms and different events for dolphins and whales. We design and provide collateral for members to print and use in their efforts. We stay up to date with current reports and findings and provide that information to our members, via the group and website. We also go out into the community to speak to people one-on-one. We are a peaceful, respectful group who embrace all who have the same passion and mission. ~ Changing hearts, one mind at a time through education. Once people stop supporting captivity the drive hunts will end.
Visit our web site at www.wowvstaiji.com, we have a Kids Section as well as an Eco-Tours section, both providing alternatives to the captive marine park and swim with dolphin facilities. Our website is packed full of information for anyone to use and share.
Ladies can join our Facebook Group at www.facebook.com/groups/women.against.Taiji and anyone can join us on Twitter at twitter.com/WOWvsTaiji
We are planning for our chain reaction to grow, more numbers of people helping to spread the word and stop captivity, which will stop hunting, which will help protect these beautiful beings’ lives and their freedom.
Thank you so much!
Various videos are available on the website www.WOWvsTaiji.com