Bah Bah Blackfish

The documentary “Blackfish” tells the story of a killer whale called Tilikum. Tilikum was captured in the wild as a baby and brought into captivity to be trained as an entertainment whale for a place called Sealand. When he killed one of his trainers, he was sold to Sea World and the death was kept quiet…until he killed two more people.

The story of his capture and the way his behavior deteriorated after being in captivity for so long reminded me of the dolphins in The Cove. Orca whales, like dolphins, are highly emotional and social creatures, who are much more intelligent than we might ever be able to realize. They are self aware and create emotional connections with the beings around them. The only difference between dolphins and killer whales is you don’t exactly hear about dolphins killing their trainers. When these intelligent yet wild creatures are locked up, their mental states are pushed to extremes. In The Cove, the captive dolphins would act depressed, and some would even commit suicide. In Blackfish, the whales also get depressed, but their aggressive nature is also forced to come out. The whales in Sea World are whales that have been separated from their families and forced to live with stranger whales who have different customs and behaviors, endure abusive treatment in order to be trained properly, and live in environments so small that it causes the males’ dorsal fins to collapse. So, of course, the killer whale is going to eventually snap and live up to his name. I found it interesting the natural versus unnatural sides of this documentary. How the amusement park tells countless lies to convince people that the way their whales are is perfectly normal and the same as in the wild. How killer whales have never actually killed a human being in the wild. How orca to orca aggression is rare in the wild, and how when the mother whale’s baby was taken from her she began to act completely different and made sounds that humans have never heard because they’re sounds meant to travel over a great distance.

This documentary gave me a lot to think about and informed me a lot about orcas. I used to think they were these vicious creatures for no reason (I’ve heard that they kill their own babies?) but really it’s human interference that has made them act out. I’m appalled that Tilikum is still in captivity and is still being forced to perform, despite the human lives he’s taken and the depressed behavior he exhibits.

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Mysterious Disappearance of Colonies

The Vanishing of Bees was a great documentary that talked about the mysterious disappearing of honeybees across the world.

Honey Bee

I thought this was a great documentary to watch and learned a lot of new things. This documentary was the first time that I heard of Colony Collapse Disorder. I literally thought that when bees vanished, it was just that they flew off somewhere and took their queen with. I had no idea that it was disappearance without any trace or evidence of the colony itself. Pretty fascinating in my opinion. It’s comparable to let’s say, the 1587 Croatoan Colony of Roanoke Island. This Colony, like the bees, mysteriously disappeared. I’m comparing the two loosely as humans and bees have nothing in common (besides the obvious). The reason why I brought up the colony, is because like the bees, nobody knows what happened and there is no trace.

Despite the fact that honeybees are being abducted, they do manage to get a lot done. As the documentary states: Honeybees are built for pollination. They fly from flower to flower and pollinate naturally. Without honeybees, we would be without man fruits and vegetables. Earlier on in the movie, one person said how they were built for pollination. They have hairs to pick up the pollen. They have little built in scratchers on their legs to scrape off pollen from their antennas. Their antennas are use to feel, smell, and “see” in a way. I took it upon myself to find a nice breakdown of their anatomy. Beehindlegdiagram

So where the pollen basket is, is where the bee collects pollen, as shown below.

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Overall, honey bees are very important – not only to us but to the world. Humans aren’t the only to rely and depend on them, other animals that eat plants and fruits can thank the honey bees as well. I really do wonder where they flew off to.

the endangered bees

Before watching the documentary I had a chance to go to a bee farm near Sarasota. And the owner there talked to me about Colony Collapse Disorder and it really shocked me. He showed me his two bee hives that he lost due to CCD. Beside parasites there are also other causes that scientist are investigating. And I think not many people in the USA understand the important of bees to us. Bees are technically our foods source, without bees we will lost many fruits, plants that are important to us.
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Along with CCD bees also run into other threats from human such as deforestation, pesticide and industrialism just to name a few.
The number of bees has been decreased dramatically in the recents years. And if you watched Interstellar you can kind of see what would happen to us when bees disappeared. In the movie, for who didn’t see it, the only food human has left is corn, that’s it. Everything else has died, and if the bees disappear right now. Eventually we going to be like them, like in the movie, only corn to eat

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My Diet

I live in an urbanized corner of Malaysia, where foods weren’t always local or fresh from the farm as one could find in the countryside. Processed foods abound in supermarkets, mall food stores, and corner stalls, and the natural foods are found in morning markets, night markets and street markets. My diet in Malaysia was a mix of natural and processed sustenance, typically consisted from white rice from the supermarket, to fresh vegetables bought from a mobile lorry market.

But in the States, my life is fueled by foods from Walmart. In recent weeks, my diet has changed for the worst. Due to the load of school obligations, convenience becomes a friend. So in any given week in the autumn of this semester, I’d bring home a few bags of instant pasta, some chips, some eggs, and some fizzy drinks. This way I could instantly administer pleasure in times of stress, pressure or just classic lassitude. Back at home, food was prepared, and washing done by someone else.

I do agree with the popular perspective that it is out of convenience that people source their calories from Walmart or Burger King. In a world that’s ever developing, there is a need to save time as there is a need for economy to grow. The ubiquity of convenience food fulfills just that need, so that there would be more time for ambitions, profit-making and whatnot. And after all the hard work, convenient food is just there to save energy from washing, cooking, and washing again.

As summer break nears and this spring semester ends, and my days would be opened up as wide as a blue summer sky, I’m planning to reinvent my eating habits, geared towards a healthier diet. But even then, it is quite unlikely that I’ll be consuming fresh from the farm crops.

Blackfish

Background of this film is ‘Sea World’ that is very popular in United States. Especially, a Killer Whale show is most popular thing. One day, Tilikum attacked and killed a trainer during the show. In this film, people can think how they are suffering from people. They caught, stuck in a small pool (tank), got an injection and got harsh training. They cannot be happy with these. I disagree with that kind of show because it is animal abuse. Killer whale has a good image like they are smart marine animal. They can know and feel everything. How can that show be happiness to people and animals? I think that is just for people and I cannot understand that how can that abusive performances give inspire and pleasure to people. I am pretty sure they do not want to be in an aquarium. They have their own home (world, ocean) like we all have our home. And, swimming around to look for some food is their instinct. Eating food (feeding) from people can be a moil. Moreover, whales live in a big group. They probably miss their family. I think we have to forbid hunting, eating and training whale. This film makes me think about those problems again. I want to people to think how are they going to feel when someone tries to put they in a cage, feed and train.

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Black Fish

I didn’t expect that this movie “Black fish” make me concentrate on it. But it just made me so concentrated into this movie. I think it is much better than “the cove” that we watched.

I could think about lots of things when I watching this movie. This movie is not only telling us about death of trainer, showing us what kind of disaster can happen, when human’s selfishness against  a law of nature. I felt scary about that. and I think those business man who just looking for more profit, should watch and realize.
I also become curios about a killer whale. And I check about them. the name of this whale kind a make people think it’s a whale killing people, but wild killer whale’s well known as one of none harmful sea animal to humankind. But killer whale is also one of top strongest predator in food chain under the sea. I heard that shark is not even match to those killer whales.

From just those information, I can imagine that how it can be really dangerous, if we lock those killer whales in small tank and stress them to get lot of money from them. Because even in human life if kind people get mad, they can be more dangerous than people who they are always being aggressive.

A More Healthy Way of Life

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In class we have been discussing the nature of food genetics. This has been an eye opener as to what food I personally ingest and how to make a change.

In high school I did a study because I was curious as to how many carbs, sugars, fats etc. I consumed a day. I can not remember the exact results but I do remember that I was appalled at how much unnecessary things I was allowing into my body on a daily basis.

A little background:

My mom is a teacher and my dad was a professional musician. Before they split up, there would be nights that my dad had to work around dinner time till midnight. There would be nights my mom could prepare a meal and pick us up from school and drop me off at dance and a million other tasks before dinner rolled around and my dad had to leave. Because of this we had a thing called pizza tuesdays. Another was “fend for yourself” night. After church every sunday my grandparents would come over and bring fried chicken and mashed potatoes and all the trimmings to a southern meal. All in all my family ate out a lot and my body essentially became addicted to the processed and fried and sugary foods. I would eat a whole bag of Doritos in one sitting! WHAT?! I became very over weight and that was not ok. Alot of things happened from that time till now. However, taking a look at how I eat now is just as scary to be honest.

Though there are limited choices that can be made about food here on campus I try to eat healthy. However, after eating salads and soups and trying to stay away from chips and cookies, my body would start craving it. I would get almost a longing to have something not green (not that hammonds vegetables are green). I snowballed in a backwards spiral eating frozen burritos and packaged protein bars. I just didn’t have time to sit down and eat proper food so outtakes processed garbage was supposedly the better choice. After being in this class and seeing the difference I could make to my diet  and health is remarkable.

Having given the opportunity to live off campus next year I am happy to say that I have been looking up recipes for a healthier life style. I have a bit of a backyard so I might even try to plant some fresh herbs and vegetables.

It’s scary going to a restuarant and ordering something. You have no idea what the food might actually be, how it’s being prepared, or what you’re actually putting into your body. Once the whole McDonalds news struck about the chicken nuggets I couldn’t believe I had ever eaten those before. Sadly though, that news didn’t stop me from going back to have some more. I feel like it’s a neurological thing. The fact that your body doesn’t crave the food but your mind leads you to believe that you can’t possibly live without it. It’s an interesting thing to dive into.

I hope everyone has a wonderful summer!

Missing Bees and the Loss of Food Biodiversity

I’ll start right off, I’m terrified of bees. Always have been, and probably always will be. I’m not biased against bees, though, I’m scared of anything with more than four legs, but bees have always held a special place in my fearful heart due to their stingers and loud buzzing. Despite this, I am really worried about the disappearance of bees, and am now even more so after having watched The Vanishing of the Bees documentary.

Bees as a community are really fascinating. Each bee has a different job, and they are all very dedicated workers. In a more psychological sense, I’ve always found bees to be very interesting, as they have such a strong devotion to their Queen Bee and the jobs that they do. Some bees guard the hive while others venture off to pollinate and collect nectar. Bees can teach us a lot about efficiency and business (here’s an article I read a while back about that subject, if anyone’s interested: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-wisdom-bees/201005/what-would-bee-do-in-todays-workplace )

Anyway, while I was aware of the bee disappearance, I had no idea bees were vanishing at such an alarming rate. Colony Collapse Disorder has really puzzling symptoms that I can’t make any sense of. It isn’t necessarily that the bees are dying, but that the bees just disappear without a trace. No dead bees. That’s crazy. Maybe they’re being abducted by aliens.

But the issue is so immense that we’re forced to ship bees overseas in order to ensure that our food is pollinated. I had no idea there could be such a shortage of bees that we would have to borrow some from Australia. As someone who tends to see bees as scary pests, it seemed impossible to me that they’re weren’t enough of them, but it’s abundantly clear to me now that something needs to be done about it. Scientists still don’t seem to have a clear cut answer as to why the bees have disappeared without a trace, but at least they’ve managed to narrow it down and rule out a lot of potential causes.

What was interesting was how connected the issue with bees is to what we were discussing in our last two classes about food biodiversity. Part of the reason our food industry is becoming so toxic is because of the use of pesticides and the business of monoculture, and these things are also harming bee populations. The chemicals in pesticides can cause viruses in bees, and monoculture doesn’t allow enough year-round diversity for bee populations to survive in one place. Without bees, our fruits and vegetables can’t grow, which leads farmers to use more chemical solutions, which harms the bees, and the cycle could go on and on.

Theoretically, we could probably fix this if we stop monocultures, remove the use of pesticides, discourage over consumption, eat locally, plant flowers, and keep a beehive in everyone’s back yard. It would be a huge shift, to eliminate farms that mass produce one kind of product and thereby destroy year-round convienence, but there doesn’t seem to be any other sure-fire way of protecting the bees and our entire food source. However, I think some of these things are manageable. If you have a backyard or a balcony, keep a little garden. A friend of mine used to have a beehive in her backyard (and of course I was scared to go to her house because of this), but I think it would be possible to convince people to keep bees in that way, and it would be a big help.

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Image Source

The Cove

We saw a documentary that analyzes and questions dolphin-hunting practices in Japan in class. The content of this documentary was people went to Japan to film dolphin hunting. Hunting scenes were real shock. Water changed red when people killed dolphins on the boat. The waster was not ruddy. It was real red that I can see the line between regular water and bloody water. They looks they do not have sense of guilty. How can people kill animals like that? Dolphins are very smart animal. So, there are many place where has a dolphin shows. I think dolphin show is not good idea too. And also they eat them. I never heard about it before. I just knew that some people eat whale meats. I am sure dolphins know and can feel everything and they are suffering from people. We have to take care of them and stop bothering weak animals.

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GMO food

GMOs food is genetically modified organism food. GMOs are living organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering. This relatively new science creates unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacteria and viral genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods. Nowadays, we can see many kinds of GMOs in markets and many people enjoy them. Moreover, they did not have enough information about them. For consumers, it can be difficult to stay up-to-date on food ingredients that are at-risk of being genetically modified, as the list of at-risk agricultural ingredients is frequently changing. After reading some articles about GMOs, I think original foods are better than GMOs. So, I want to share 10 reasons to avoid GMOs for you.

There are reasons why we have to avoid GMOs

1. GMOs are unhealthy

2. GMOs contaminate –forever

3. GMOs increase herbicide use

4. Genetic engineering creates dangerous side effects

5. Government oversight is dangerously lax

6. The biotech industry uses “tobacco science” to claim product safety

7. Independent research and reporting is attached and suppressed

8. GMOs harm the environment

9. GMOs do not increase yields, and work against feeding a hungry world

10. By avoiding GMOs, you contribute to the coming tipping point of consumer rejection, forcing them out of our food supply

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