Playground Activism

I have two children under five that frequent the local playgrounds here in North Texas. Any time I decide to leave the house with them I wear a t-shirt related to our cause. This week I had the pleasure of speaking to a young mother inquiring about my t-shirt. She wanted to know what exactly “The Cove Guardians” stood for. I decided to take the easy route with this; when people approach me I have started to ask them if they have seen The Cove. If they answer no, then it’s a good idea to direct them to the website to watch the film. This is exactly what I did with this mother. I wrote the website down on a sheet of paper, along with the Cyber whale warrior website and told her to go and watch the “award-winning movie” and then sent her on her way (if you are reading this, I enjoyed talking with you!).

I have found that many mothers are quite judgmental of other mothers. It often makes it extremely difficult to approach them and talk about anything at all. I have started to take the approach smiling and waving and see where that takes me. If someone has a positive response to that I move forward to talking. The usual chit-chat revolving around children often moves to other subjects quite rapidly. I have found that many mothers are interested in my involvement in the fight to end whaling and the events in Taiji. This week alone I have direct at least five moms to the Cove website.

My children are also a great tool for playground activism. They like to show their new friends my dolphin tattoo on my forearm. I will admit that many of the children they are showing are not exactly interested, but it certainly helps get a conversation going with the parent. My children are always the first to tell any child that will listen that animals belong in the wild. They often talk about zoo’s and aquariums taking animals away from their families. It makes me so proud and also makes me sad to know that other children believe that animals belong in cages (based off of responses I’ve had from children in the past). I hope more mothers start teaching their children that animals belong in the wild, where they can roam free and be with their families and NOT in a cage performing tricks for food. Both of my children love to talk about Sea Shepherd too. They enjoy telling people about the Captain and his boats, how they save the Whales and Dolphins and how we have a flag hanging in our kitchen (oh the things small people will tell anyone!). This is also a great way to talk to parents about Whale Wars. I have been able to convince a few mothers (and fathers!) to DVR the show and get back to me with their thoughts.

It’s not hard to get people involved. If I can do it, with two little ones running around, then you can too. Remember, it only takes a simple “re-tweet” to keep our cause going.