About My Blog.

Welcome! This is "Catatonic Digressions."
Most, if not all readers don't understand my blog's title. It's an old inside joke from a forum long gone. I was going to change it, but since it's been "confusing" for so long, I decided to leave it. Don't worry about what it means, the content of the blog is what is important.

Unfortunately, my blog isn't what I set out for it to be. A disturbed and manic online stalker and cyberbully has made it impossible for me to post about family, my son, life in my part of New York...so I stopped (for the most part), and I mostly reblog and repost what I feel is important, necessary or close to my heart. As for the stalking sociopath, she can go to hell for harassing me and my family since mid-2008. You can't scare me offline with a few lame threats and dozens of pages of defamation, abuse, depravity and libel. I'm bitchy like that. ;)
(Anyone who knows me knows I'm not actually a bitch, but let's allow this psychopath to think I'm a bitch to her blackened heart's content—it seems to make her feel she has some sort of control over me…and it does not.)

If you read a story and you feel moved in any way, comment. Comments are more than welcome.

Unlike those online who lie and hide behind fake photos and insanely fabricated stories, I'm a real person. I'm real and I don't pretend to be someone I'm not. After years of putting up with online abuse by manipulative, pathological liars, attention whores or narcissists, I've had it. Don't bother me with pathetic drama. I have no time for these types of people and their need to absorb others' time and attention.

Feel free to email me if you have a story or cause you would like shared, especially if it pertains to animal rights, liberation, veganism, animal welfare, health and well-being, geekery, Macs and computer dorkiness, music, lowbrow art, kitchy stuff, skateboards, the beach, swimming, diving, NYC, beading (it's my hobby), recipes (love to cook, especially if I made the recipe up myself!), VEGAN!, ALF, Sea Shepherd, Action for Animals, NIO, 269Life and/or anything you think I might enjoy or others might—you never know. It doesn't always have to be serious. Hilarious stories, local NY, funny videos or photos, photobombs (especially if they contain pets!)...I might be partially censored, but I'm not closed down!

Please, join Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and follow them and The Barbi Twins on Twitter and Facebook.

For the Oceans,

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Namibia's Shameful Secret

Namibia's Shameful Secret

June 4, 2012

Namibia's Shameful Secret

By Rosie Kunneke, Nikki Botha and Dinielle Stöckigt (Sea Shepherds from South Africa and Operation Desert Seal team members)

Sea Shepherd representatives with Namibian Ombudsman, John Walters (L)Sea Shepherd representatives with Namibian Ombudsman, John Walters (L)Every year it is the same heart-breaking story. Come June/July, the powers that be in Namibia give their blessing for the start of the cruelest seal cull in the world. Up to 90,000 seal pups are herded for cruel slaughter. The stress and confusion the club wielding men cause the colony of seals is beyond any decent person’s imagination. Yet, the worst is still to come. Young pups still trying to grow from their mother’s sweet milk are mercilessly hit over their heads and all over their bodies. Then, whether they are alive or dead, they are stabbed and slashed open with knives, mother’s milk running from their mouths and noses and their blood freely flowing from their writhing little bodies. Mothers call out to their dead and injured pups to no avail. The male seals, also called bulls, are then shot through the head with a gun. A bullet to their brain ends life for 6,000 – 7,000 of these males. Their agony is short lived compared to that of the babies in the colony. The permit holders who get the permits for slaughter from the government say it is for profit, however, the government claims it is population control because the seals consume too many fish, and that the seal fur industry provides employment.

The permits to cull the Cape Fur seal are issued by the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, headed by Bernard Esau. The Ministry claims that the killing is done for conservation purposes (i.e. a cull) whereas those fighting against this know it is a harvest due to the financial gain of the killing. Unfortunately the Namibian government fails to realize that increased fishing quotas might have something to do with their dwindling fish stocks, as opposed to the seals being used as convenient scapegoats by claiming that they’re eating all the fish.

The killing of these animals is a barbaric practice satisfying man’s greed and vanity. Bones are made into jewelry and skins are made into boots and other leather luxury goods. However, though the Namibian government claims that no part of the seal goes to waste, Namibia’s income from the seal industry is approximately $120,000(USD), while a single furrier named Hatem Yavuz laughs all the way to the bank with a derived income of $3.25 million (USD) from the sale of pelts. In 2008, the aforementioned furrier signed an exclusive contract with the Namibian Government for all the seal pelts. This contract is apparently valid until 2019. Yavuz resides in Australia and his processing plant is located in Turkey. According to Channel 7 in Australia, Yavuz controls 60% of the world’s seal pelt market. Since Turkey isn’t part of the EU (whose members imposed a ban on the import and export of seal products), pelts are shipped from Namibia to Turkey where they are processed and sold to countries such as China and Russia.
Cape Fur seals gathered at the Cape Cross ReserveCape Fur seals gathered at the Cape
Cross Reserve
Other than Hatem Yavuz, there are predominantly three white rights holders who benefitted financially from the seal slaughter, while less than 100 disenfranchised, indigenous Namibians are paid a pittance to do the traumatizing, dirty work of bludgeoning baby seals to death. This year it has been reported that the Ministry increased the killing rights from three to six  - much to the chagrin of the original three rights holders, who say there won't be enough product to satisfy the business needs of all the rights holders.

Over and above the increase in rights holders, this year’s slaughter might also see a larger quota. Esau has publicly proclaimed that the killing will commence this year, despite the fact that the Namibian Ombudsman, after meeting with stakeholders (including Sea Shepherd) last year, promised to investigate the legality of the slaughter and release his findings prior to the start of this season’s cull.

Namibia’s beaches are rotten with blood, sour with spilt milk and haunted by the ghosts of butchered animals. But they do their utmost to hide this from the millions of tourists that visit this African country annually. The killing is done in the early hours of the morning before the area is opened to tourists. Independent reports have illustrated that compassionate eco-tourism is 300-500 times more lucrative than the cruel business of seal killing.

Sea Shepherd dared to venture into the killing fields of Namibia in 2011, and the results of Operation Desert Seal exposed, to a much larger global audience, the ugly business that Namibia so badly wanted to hide. Namibia’s laws dictate that the filming of the seal clubbing is illegal. These ridiculous laws are seen as a desperate attempt to hide this heinous crime against nature.

Sea Shepherd will continue to fight and will not give up until the Cape Fur seals of Namibia can live unhindered in a country which is otherwise breath-taking.
Cape Fur seal with pup at the Cape Cross ReserveCape Fur seal with pup at the Cape
Cross Reserve

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