How To Create Social Change By Choosing Where to Spend Your Money in Travel

One of the things that I find so amazing in this world is how easy we can make a difference with a simple thought change and “recognizing our value in how we communicate with the world.”

One of my favorite quotes is by Einstein: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”.  These words echo in my mind as a constant reminder that there is always a way to solve a problem, we just need to find out the barrier that is stopping us from figuring it out.  Sometimes its just as simple as walking away from the problem for awhile until we can see the answer.

As I have mentioned in a previous blog post “7 Reasons To Make a Conscious Choice To See Dolphins and Whales In The Wild”, I am a keen fan of dolphins and whales and all cetaceans in general.  They represent such joy, freedom and lightness of spirit and have shown us their sentience and intelligence.  However, right now as I type this, they are being bullied, threatened and murdered in a place called Taiji, Japan.  It is difficult for me to even talk about because I get so emotional.  Yet, it needs to be talked about.  They are known as some of the most beloved creatures on the planet saving human lives for as long as humans have been telling stories. The ancient Greeks loved dolphins and called them philomousoi, music lovers, because they thought that dolphins danced when they heard music.

Yet here we are today in 2018, where these beautiful singing mammals are corralled and brutally slaughtered, leaving the babies to become an intelligence insulting sideshow for us humans.  One may say, “well, its part of their culture…”  I might say, sure, it was once culturally acceptable for doctors to promote cigarette smoking.  Look at how well that turned out!

Considering the times that we live in and the daily assaults that all marine life are going through at this period of time on earth including the barrage of plastic, trash and contaminants, it’s a miracle that we have any life left in the ocean.  The world is global now.  We can no longer sit in our little bubble and pretend that things going on around us are not happening.  The time is now to act.

The internet may have a dark side of “fake news”, but it also has a light side of real, tender and breathtaking stories of major change and conscious transformations.  I believe that we are living in an INCREDIBLE TIME for making conscious changes and change is happening faster than it ever has before.  Realizing this advantage as a travel influencer, I have taken it upon myself to write this blog for the sake of my beloved water creatures.

Dolphins and Whales need our help!  They have a gift, the gift of song and sound like no other on the planet.  We still do not know the vastness of gifts they offer to the oceans and the earth as a holistic organism.  It is clear that they are sentient and loving beings, much like humans, although probably (and very likely) much deeper than we are.

What is happening in Taiji is NOT OK.  They are corralled and slaughtered, leaving the babies behind (who often cry for weeks after the slaughter of their families) so that they can put them into a horror of a dolphin show.

These videos are very difficult to watch.  However, sometimes we need context of the reality going on so that we can grasp the problem.

The video below is in stark contrast to the above. Japan appears to have a very mindful culture, but how can it continue to hurt dolphins?

The real truth of the matter, is

  1. We don’t need meat or fish to survive as humans, and currently it is very TOXIC to even consume any marine life
  2. We don’t need to watch dolphin shows, as they offer no reality to the truth of who they are
  3. We CAN make a difference by not supporting this

How can we make a difference you ask?

For starters, as consumers, we can CHOOSE NOT TO take vacations in Japan until they stop their hunts.  We can tweet, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit and use a whole lot of hashtags especially speaking to Japanese travel groups, Japanese embassies, and Japanese leaders regarding your feelings about this.

I’ve been using the #dearjapan hashtag and letting them know I will not support any travel to their country until this practice is permanently stopped and the coves are blue again.

One thing I have noticed in this consumer driven world –  companies that don’t make money cannot survive.  It reminds me of this quote from one of my favorite movies of the 80’s “Trading Places” by Eddie Murphy’s character. “Yeah. You know, it occurs to me that the best way you hurt rich people is by turning them into poor people.”

If we are NOT feeding the tourism market in Japan and as well in the Faroe Islands, where they also slaughter dolphins, WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.  Not only by not choosing to make it a travel destination, but using social media to let them know why!  It’s a double whammy for Japan, because if we are not visiting, we are also not seeing their dolphin shows.  This kind of pressure works and has worked in multiple scenarios with other social problems in recent times.

Look at the #metoo movement!  It was ok for so many years to treat women in the Western world, particularly in Hollywood, as sexual objects to be mistreated behind the scenes.  Now, all of this terrible sexual assault behavior is getting exposed!  Imagine how many careers this is affecting in Hollywood alone! However, the entire movement is making a difference for women everywhere.

During the Dakota Access Pipeline standoff, many people divested out of big banks into local credit unions who were not invested in the pipeline #nodapl.  This all happened in a very short period of time.  I know this hurt the banks and its still hurting them. The best way for us as consumers to make a difference is to VOTE WITH OUR WALLET!  The beauty of this, is that you don’t even have to be a citizen of the country involved to have a say! You just have to choose whether you want to spend money on anything they have to offer.  It’s that simple.

It can happen for dolphins in Taiji and in the Faroe Islands too.  It just takes consistency and of course, doing everything we can to drain money and interest from anything that causes harm to dolphins and whales.

I want to make it clear that we are living in such an amazing time on the planet.  For the first time in years, I feel like I can make a real difference in this world. Social media has given us the opportunity to all be BROADCASTERS.  No longer is it just mainstream crappy media giving us their dogma of the day.  We can get news from multiple sources and from people who are living directly at the source of where the news is coming from.  I follow many different travel bloggers and see an immense amount of social change going on.  We are not here to just sit and let the world just fall to pieces.

Even the Dalai Lama knows that we need to do a little more than just pray.  I am all for prayers and one day soon will write a blog about the power of prayer.  However, for now, I know it is the combination of both prayer and action that makes a difference and YOU CAN DO IT.


Make a difference for dolphins and spread the word about Taiji. Talk to your friends about it.  Use your broadcasting ability to make a difference!

Here’s a list of popular hashtags   

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Suzanne Daley