Friday, September 19, 2014

Petitions & News - 9/19 (Killing Cove Special & more)

POLL: Should the Dolphin Slaughter in Taiji Cove be stopped?

The controversial six-month dolphin hunting season began on Monday in the infamous town of Taiji, but bad weather would delay any killing, a local official told AFP. The annual catch, in which people from the southwestern town corral hundreds of dolphins into a secluded bay and butcher them, was thrust into the global spotlight in 2009 when it became the subject of the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove.
“The dolphin hunting season started today and will last until the end of February,” said an official of the Taiji fisheries association, adding the season for hunting pilot whales, which also begins today, will last until April. But bad weather on Monday meant there would be no hunting on the day, he said.
Environmental campaigners are already in situ to watch the hunt, the official said. Last season, activists from international environmental group Sea Shepherd, who call themselves “Cove Guardians”, streamed live footage of the dolphin capture.

US ambassador to Japan ‘deeply concerned’ about dolphin drive-hunting

Earlier this year, the slaughter sparked renewed global criticism after US ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy tweeted her concern at the “inhumaneness” of the hunt. Defenders say it is a tradition and point out that the animals it targets are not endangered, a position echoed by the Japanese government.
They say Western objections are hypocritical and ignore the vastly larger number of cows, pigs and sheep butchered to satisfy demand elsewhere. But critics of the practice say there is insufficient demand for the animals’ meat, which in any case contains dangerous levels of mercury.
They say the hunt is only profitable because of the high prices live dolphins can fetch when sold to aquariums and dolphin shows. On Sunday around 30 people marched in Tokyo to protest the hunt, which they say sullies Japan’s reputation abroad.
We invite you to vote FOR or AGAINST the stopping of the dolphin slaughter in Taiji Cove. Please vote and also leave your comments at the bottom of this page.

The Cove: Sign the Petition to Help Save Japan's Dolphins

about the petition

In The Cove, a team of activists and filmmakers infiltrate a heavily-guarded cove in Taiji, Japan. In this remote village they witness and document activities deliberately being hidden from the public: More than 20,000 dolphins and porpoises are being slaughtered each year and their meat, containing toxic levels of mercury, is being sold as food in Japan, often times labeled as whale meat. 

The majority of the world is not aware this is happening. The Taiji cove is blocked off from the public. Cameras are not allowed inside and the media does not cover the story. It's critical that we get the word out in Japan. Once the Japanese people know we believe they will demand change. 

Send a letter to President Obama, Vice President Biden and Kenichiro Sasae, Ambassador of Japan to the United States urging them to address this issue.
To: President Obama, Vice President Biden and Kenichiro Sasae, Ambassador of Japan to the United States
I recently heard about the documentary film The Cove and was alarmed to find out that more than 20,000 dolphins and porpoises are brutally killed each year off the coast of Japan. In addition, Japanese consumers are being sold dolphin meat, containing dangerously high levels of mercury, often labeled as whale meat. 

I ask that you urge the Japanese government to revoke permits that allow Japan's Fisheries Agency to continue this heinous, dangerous and illegal practice.

I also urge American leadership to ensure that the International Whaling Commission includes the proper management of dolphins and porpoises and a comprehensive plan to stop the slaughter of dolphins in Japan.

Your immediate action is needed. 

[Your Name Here]

The Taiji Dolphin Slaughter (with graphic videoclip!)

The dolphin drive hunt in Taiji, Japan has been at the center of animal activism for many years and now it has finally come to the center of science. The dolphin drive in Taiji involves the corralling of dolphins into a cove for slaughter or to be removed and then sold to representatives from marine parks. An estimated 22,000 small whales, dolphins, and porpoises are killed in these hunts each year.

Dr. Andy Butterworth of the University of Bristol and colleagues have published a paper in the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science analyzing the methods used by Taiji fishermen to kill the dolphins in the drive hunts. Through their analysis, the authors have revealed disturbing levels of physical trauma inflicted on the dolphins, and commented that these methods would not be acceptable under any international animal welfare standards.
The paper has compared the information provided by the Japanese government on the dolphin slaughter with video footage of the methodology and concludes that the current methodology leads to prolonged trauma and paralysis, which contradicts the information in the government report.

The publication of this paper has raised awareness of the dolphin slaughter within the scientific community and has elevated the issue to a peer reviewed scientific journal, raising the profile of the travesty in Taiji. This added pressure from the scientific community, which validates the efforts of so many advocacy efforts, could be what is needed to convince the Japanese government to end these hunts for good.
This article was written by Sara Young and published by

Fishermen in Japan began slaughtering hundreds of bottlenose dolphins early on Tuesday morning, campaigners said, despite mounting international calls for the animals to be spared.
Members of the marine conservation group Sea Shepherd who are monitoring the annual cull in Taiji, on Japan’s Pacific coast, said local fishermen had started killing an estimated 250 dolphins just before 7.30am.

The annual dolphin hunt in Taiji, Japan Photograph:
The animals were last week corralled in a cove in the town, which drew international attention in 2009 with the release of the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove.
More than 50 of the mammals, including a rare albino calf, were selected and removed from the pod for sale to aquariums and water parks. Together they are expected to fetch millions of dollars.
The rest are being slaughtered for their meat, a delicacy that most Japanese shun but which still forms part of the diet in Taiji and other whaling towns.
“These dolphins are wrangled and wrestled into the killing cove, where they’ve sustained multiple injuries. Dolphin killers deliberately run over the pod with skiffs, they wrestle them, man-handled them into captive nets before even being slaughtered,” Melissa Sehgal, a Sea Shepherd activist, told Reuters.
The methods used to capture and kill the dolphins have attracted widespread condemnation. Fishermen bang metal poles together beneath the water to confuse the animals’ hypersensitive sonar before herding them into shallow water, where they are left for up to several days before being taken to the cove to be slaughtered.
Hidden from view beneath tarpaulin covers, the fishermen drive metal rods into the dolphins’ spinal cords and leave them to die. “It takes up to 20 to 30 minutes for these dolphins to die, where they bleed out, suffocate or drown in the process of being dragged to the butcher house,” Sehgal said.
They are then taken by boat to a quayside warehouse to be cut up into slabs of meat.
“It is reprehensible that the Taiji dolphin hunters are killing dolphins for human consumption, because all dolphin meat is toxic – up to 5,000 times more toxic than allowed by the World Health Organisation,” The Cove’s director, Louie Psihoyos, told the Guardian.
“The hunters claim they are poor and need the meat to feed their families, but who would feed poison to their children and parents? The dolphin hunters make up to US$200,000 for each captive dolphin so they are anything but poor. They also claim they are family men, but they have just massacred a whole pod full of families.”
The Sea Shepherd activists in Taiji, who call themselves the Cove Guardians, said dozens of animals had been killed by mid-morning, adding that the sea has turned a deep shade of red. “Water of the cove continues to run red with the blood of innocent bottlenose dolphins who have been murdered,” they wrote.
In a rare public intervention by a US official, Washington’s ambassador to Tokyo, Caroline Kennedy, expressed “deep concern” over the dolphin hunt.
Kennedy tweeted on Saturday: “Deeply concerned by inhumaneness of drive hunt dolphin killing.” She said the US government opposed the practice.
In an open letter to the people of Taiji released Monday, the Japanese artist and peace campaigner Yoko Ono called for an end to the cull. “I understand how you must feel about the one-sidedness of the west to be angry at your traditional capture and slaughter of dolphins,” she wrote.
But, Ono added, the slaughter was harming Japan’s international reputation and gave countries such as China and Russia an excuse to “speak ill of Japan”. She wrote: “The future of Japan and its safety depends on many situations, but what you do with dolphins now can create a very bad relationship with the whole world.”
On Monday, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary defended the hunt. “I believe dolphin fishing is one of Japan’s traditional fishing industries and is carried out appropriately in accordance to the law,” Suga told reporters when asked about Kennedy’s comments.
“Furthermore, dolphins are not within the management of the International Whaling Commission and it is left to the respective nations to manage this resource.
“We will explain Japan’s position to the American side.”
Japanese officials point out that there is no international ban on killing bottlenose dolphins and that the animals are not endangered. Fishermen in Taiji, meanwhile, say the hunt provides a crucial source of income and helps maintain fish stocks in the area.
Taiji is regarded as the spiritual home of Japan’s coastal whaling industry. The first hunts took place in the early 1600s, according to the town’s whaling museum, but the industry went into decline after the introduction of a global ban on commercial whaling in 1986. Dolphins and other small cetaceans are not covered by the ban.
But activists questioned Taiji’s claims that dolphin hunting is an important part of the town’s history. “This claim of ‘Japanese tradition’ is nonsense,” said Ric O’Barry, a former dolphin trainer who is now director of Earth Island’s dolphin project. “The dolphin drive hunts, according to the town’s own written history, says a couple of drive hunts occurred in 1936 and 1944, but the current series of hunts only began in 1969.
O’Barry said fishermen were killing dolphins for profit under the guise of cultural tradition. “What is going on here?” he said. “The dolphin hunts are being used by the captivity industry to supply wild dolphins to aquariums in Japan, China, Dubai, and other aquariums all around the world.”
Between September and early spring, Japan is permitted to catch up to 20,000 small cetaceans, including pilot whales and porpoises. The meat from a single bottlenose fetches around 50,000 yen, but aquariums and water parks are prepared to pay much more for live specimens.
Sea Shepherd says 176 marine mammals have been killed so far this season, including bottlenose, spotted, striped and risso’s dolphins.
We invite you to vote FOR or AGAINST the stopping of the dolphin slaughter in Taiji Cove. Please vote and also leave your comments at the bottom of this page.

Raju the crying elephant faces life back in chains after cruel former owners launch legal battle to win him back

Raju, the elephant who wept after being released from chains is facing more misery - after his owners have launched a legal battle to win him back

The creature captured the hearts of people from around the world when he cried as he was freed from chains after 50 years

The creature captured the hearts of people from around the world when he cried as he was freed from chains after 50 years

  • The creature captured the hearts of people from around the world when he cried as he was freed from chains after 50 years
  • Now his former owners, who used him to beg, are trying to get him back
  • Raju's fate will be decided at a court hearing in Allahabad, on September 4

McDonald's Australia: Drop Pace, Support Cruelty-Free Egg Suppliers!

Tell ThinkGeek to Stop Selling Dead Animal Jewelry!

Put An End to Namibian Seal Clubbing!

Tell the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission to Direct WDFW to Rescind the Kill Order
Tell the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission to Direct WDFW to Rescind the Kill Order

Animals Must Be Removed From Quebec Fur Farm Today!
Animals Must Be Removed From Quebec Fur Farm Today!

10 Ways you can Fight Factory Farms
cow standing alone

Greek government : Enforce existing laws to save the Barrel Dogs
Greek government : Enforce existing laws to save the Barrel Dogs

Facebook: Don't Force Drag Performers to Use Their Birth Names!

For 10 Years, The Rescue Dogs Of 9/11 Didn’t Get The Recognition They Deserved. But This Moving Ceremony Changed That

The search and rescue dogs of 9/11 didn’t ask for rewards. They searched the rubble of Ground Zero tirelessly for weeks, saving hundreds of lives.
Ten years after the World Trade Center attack, the search and rescue dog community came together to honor these fearless canines with a ceremony at Liberty Park in New York City.
See the moving parade that paid them tribute in the video below.

Peru- Stop Killing Dolphins with Poison

Australia Brisbane Lions - Do Not Bring a Live Lion On Playing Field!

Stop Alligator Hunts in Protected Sanctuary

Tell Tyson Foods: Stop Feeding Antibiotics to Healthy Chickens!

Protect Endangered Animals From Pesticides!
Protect Endangered Animals From Pesticides!

Demand that the FDA Make Mandatory Restrictions on Antibiotic use in livestock

Punish Police Officer Who Shot Dog and Get Officers Training on Handling Animals

Pass National Law to Ban Convicted Animal Abusers from Owning or Caring for Animals For Life!

Stop Burning Horses to Make Them Prance!
Stop Burning Horses to Make Them Prance!

Shrine Circus: Stop Using Exotic Animals Nationwide!
Shrine Circus: Stop Using Exotic Animals Nationwide!

Demand justice for Daisy the cat killed by New York City Animal Control despite a rescuer's efforts

Indiana - Implement Stricter Laws that will Monitor and Ban Exotic Animal Ownership!

Fire City Workers Who Dumped Deceased Dogs In Trash Yard Rather than Crematorium!!

Stop Putting Wildlife In Danger in Africa's Oldest National Park Due to UK Oil Drilling!

Save Monarch Butterflies From Monsanto!

Don't Let Mining Companies Take Northern Europe's Last Wilderness!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Wine Revelry Weekend - Pgh Renaissance Festival

And what The King wants, the King gets! Therefore, attend thyself, to all the New 
Additions in The Kingdom to our Stages, Pathways and Marketplace! Huzzah!

FRANCO, MASTER HYPNOTIST: Amazing, Mesmerizing and Hysterical!

FLOURISH: Five Weekends Only! A Fire Juggling, Hand balancing, Acrobatic 
Stuntstress! Oh Yeah!

CHASTE TREASURE: A beautiful group of three ladies singing rich a cappella 

ISABELLA, CURSED IN STONE: Fondly known as the Living Statue, she is 
beautiful, elegant and subtle in her movements! Watch her carefully!

THE OWLCHEMIST QUEEN: This beautiful feathered creature has a heart of 
gold and wisdom to share with all the patrons of the kingdom


There are many reasons to return to the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival again and again as no two Festival days are ever alike, for we offer wondrous themes for each of our festive weekends.


August 23 & 24

“An Adventure to the Past!”
Come join us in a celebration of music and dance as we put out the royal welcome mat for King Henry and Queen Katherine’s arrival at the castle. Meet our new cast of villagers, enjoy our first-class entertainers and revisit old favorites. Take advantage of the “Buy-One-Get-One Free” offer this weekend only, available at participating Wendy’s Restaurants!

Children’s Weekend!

August 30, 31 & September 1

Prince, Princess & Pirate Party
Throughout this weekend dedicated to young lads and lasses, children ages 12 and under experience the Festival for free with a paying adult. Special activities including the Prince, Princess and Pirate Costume Contest, the Royal Quest, knighting ceremonies and photos with the King and Queen. Also, be sure to enjoy medieval rides and games of skill!

Wine Revelry!

September 6 & 7

“The Discovery of a good wine is increasingly better for mankind than the discovery of a new star” ~Leonardo Da Vinci. For this weekend dedicated to “The Nectar of the Gods” we intend to use it very well, indeed! Participate in the legendary Grape Stomp Competitions for prizes, as well as Free Sampling of some of the finest vintages from local Pennsylvania wineries.

Celtic Fling!

September 13 & 14

Military Appreciation Weekend!
Listen to the traditional sounds of Celtic musicians, Scottish pipe bands and madrigal singers throughout the Realm. Sing along with our Irish Troubadour as he performs popular ballads. Irish dancers and Bag Pipers will also be featured this weekend. Get ready to don ye kilts for the Men in Kilts Contest. Also, this weekend is our Military Appreciation! All military personnel receive a Buy-One-Get-One-Free Adult Ticket with Military I.D. plus their children, ages 12 and under, enter the realm free! Redeemable at Festival Box Office Only!

Pirate Invasion!

September 20 & 21

Argh Matey! Pirates have invaded the festival! Enjoy a weekend of rousing good tales and tunes of high-seas adventures, swash-buckling sword fights and a jolly good time! “Drink up me hearties, yo ho!”

Oktoberfest: A Final Huzzah!

September 27 & 28

“Willkommen”(a Hearty Welcome), as you join your Village Hosts King Henry and Queen Katherine in an Oktoberfest Celebration and a Farewell to the Festival Season. Tantalize your taste buds with Traditional German Favorites such as Bratwurst, Sauerkraut, and Chocolates! German Music, Dancing, Lederhosen and Tavern Wenches will delight one and all with a fun-filled taste of Bavaria. Come Eat, Drink, and Make Merry with us at the Castle!

For further information regarding our Special Themed Weekends
call Lori Hughes at (724) 872-1670

Site Map 2014

Photo Contest

2014 Photo Contest!
Rules and Regulations:
1. Your Photos must be taken at the Festival this season!
2. Must be color photos.
3. All digital entries must be 4×6 inches, 300 DPI resolution, print quality files.
4. Please include your name, address, and phone number in your email.
To submit your photos, please click the camera below!
If you wish, you may also mail your entries.
Mailed-in Entry Rules:
1. Must be at least 5×7 in size.
2. Must have a completed 3×5 index card with name, address, and phone number securely attached to the back. Do not staple.
3. Mail to:
2014 Photo Contest
C/O Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival
112 Renaissance Lane
West Newton, PA 15089
All Entries must be submitted by September 30, 2014