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One of our readers wrote and told us that the story about Cathy, the dolphin who played Flipper, committing suicide in her trainer's arms made her cry. There were lots of sniffles in the theater during that part of the movie "The Cove" --- during lots of parts, actually. So, I wanted to add this comment just for her and let her know that, at least for now, it's safe to go back in the water!

 

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Back to the Cove

By: Karen J. Allen
Co-Publisher, On the Gay Horizon
 

The movie “The Cove” opened on July 31st. I remember that because it’s my birthday. That’s less than two months ago, but it seems that it has been a very significant couple of months for the dolphins near Taiji, Japan.

Ric O’Barry, the man who trained Flipper and then went on to become an international activist working to stop the killing of dolphins and advocating the end of keeping them in captivity, returned to Taiji on September 1st, the beginning of the dolphin hunting season. From his blog….

‘Today is September 1st, the first day of the dolphin slaughter season in Japan.
But when I arrived today by bus from Kansai Airport with media representatives
from all over the world, the notorious Cove from the movie was empty. There
were no dolphin killers in sight.
 
So today is a very good day for dolphins!’
   Read the rest.

Over the past few weeks, there has been more and more media coverage, including the Japanese media, which had never before broadcast anything about what was happening to the dolphins. Even more important, the Japanese people have been learning about the mercury-laced dolphin meat being passed off to them as whale meat and they are even more conscious of food safety issues than we are.  Nothing is more effective than hitting an industry where it hurts the most --- its bank account.

While it would be premature to believe that the dolphin slaughter in Taiji is finally over, on September 10th, the Taiji City Council announced that it will release captured dolphins that are not selected for sale to aquariums and amusement parks.

Ric O’Barry’s response to this news…

“The world is watching. We call on the Japanese Fisheries Minister and the Taiji
Town Council to make the non-slaughter policy permanent, and revoke all
permits allowing capture and slaughter. Stopping the slaughter and sale of
dolphins would be a major victory for the people of Japan who risk eating
mercury-laced dolphin meat, and of course the millions of people who have seen
The Cove.”
    Read the rest.

A major victory, I guess! But, it’s just a start. Horrendous abuses are still happening all over the planet --- including really close to home in some of our favorite aquariums and water parks. Nevertheless, this is a huge step forward. Now, we just have to do what we can to keep it moving forward.

Oh, on a personal note, the day the original newsletter issue about “The Cove” came out, I immediately got an email telling me just exactly where I could take my recycling. I’m happy to report that, once again, I’m a good little recycler. Doing what I could to support “The Cove”, supporting an aquarium that does not keep dolphins in captivity and even something as simple as recycling, all seemed even more important today as I was leaning on the railing at the Charleston Battery. I stood there for about a half an hour watching a couple of dolphins. Wild. Beautiful. Playful. Flying through the water. Connected to each other and to their environment.

And free.  Joyful and free --- “in a world full of wonder”....

 

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It's nice to have some good news for a change, huh? One way to keep that going and make a positive impact, not only on marine life and the environment, but also on our own health, is to make good choices when we purchase and consume seafood. Unfortunately, it's not always easy to know just which choices are the right ones. Here are some resources that you may find helpful:

Seafood Selector Chart- Best Choices, Alternate "Okay" Choices and those to Avoid.

Sushi Selector Chart- Best Choices, Alternate "Okay" Choices and those to Avoid.

Leave Behind Card- print these out and leave behind when you eat out showing your support of those restaurants that contribute to the sustainability of our oceans and our own health.

 

 

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Killer Salt?

Fit in a Year - Week 25

By: Ann-Marie Giglio
Co-Publisher, On the Gay Horizon
 

Well, in a word, YES.

We only need about 500mg (a 1/4 teaspoon) a day to keep our fluids balanced, and our muscles twitching properly.  The American Heart Association recommends eating less than 2300 mg per day--that's about a teaspoonful.

Anyone surprised?

Many health experts consider high dietary sodium levels to be one of the nation's top health threats. Dr. Stephen Havas, adjunct professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, says that reducing the sodium content of packaged and restaurant foods by half would save at least 150,000 lives per year.

According to the American Heart Association, at least 70% of the sodium in the average American diet is coming from the food itself, not from a salt shaker. When American meals are prepared in food factories instead of family kitchens, salt is used in liberal and sometimes dangerous proportions. In a report released in March, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimated that more than 130 million Americans are consuming too much salt and putting themselves at risk for serious illnesses.

Ever grab a quick meal at Chili's or Denny's or Olive Garden or Red Lobster?

Perhaps the “Guiltless Chicken Sandwich” on the menu at Chili’s restaurant?  Although it only has 490 calories and 8 grams of fat, it also has a whopping 2,720 milligrams of salt, which is more than is recommended for an entire day.   So much for guiltless...

Just so you don't think I'm picking on Chili's, Red Lobster, Denny's, and Olive Garden serve food that has four days worth of sodium in a single meal.

"As a physician, I have grave concerns about these sodium levels, and grave concerns about an elderly person or someone with hypertension eating even one such meal," Havas said. "The body can have a hard time getting rid of that much salt, potentially leading to fluid retention and accumulation in the lungs. Consuming that much sodium can have severe consequences."

Remember our lesson on label reading?  Well, pull it up and re-read it.  You are going to need to look at sodium content, because if you're not eating out, and not salting your food at the table, you may still be getting way too much salt from the packaged and processed foods in your pantry.  Canned vegetables, boxes of crackers, cereal--if you start looking for it, I guarantee you will be shocked where you find it.

In this country, it's a major source of flavor--especially on what I call dead food.  Salt is a very sharp, strong flavor, and often it completely masks any other flavors in our food.  So it can be very difficult for people to stop using it.  Foods will seem bland.  Actually, it takes a week or two for your palate to adjust.  Taste buds that haven't been needed for years will have to re-acquaint themselves with the subtle flavors of fruits and vegetables and even other spices.  The same holds true for sugar.  It is a strong, sharp flavor, hence its dominance--and prevalence.

So, this is all to say, watch your sodium intake.  Read the labels.  Buy unsalted.  And don't be surprised if you have trouble at first.   Just try to eat as close to clean (unprocessed) as possible, and give it time.

You're worth it.

 

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