Empire State Building to Light Up for the Dolphins

By Ric O’Barry
Campaign Director
Dolphin Project

Tomorrow, Friday, Dec. 9th, the Empire State Building in New York will be lit up in red to raise awareness about the plight of dolphins being slaughtered in Taiji, Japan.

I will be there with The Cove Director Louie Psihoyos, Cove Producer Fisher Stevens, and actor/comedian John Leguizamo.

This whole idea was hatched by Leilani Munter, our racecar driver volunteer who was at the Cove earlier this year as a monitor for Save Japan Dolphins.  She convinced the owners of the Empire State Building to host a special lighting ceremony to remind people about the plight of dolphins in Japan.  Leilani will be joining us in New York.

We need to let the people of Japan know what is happening in Taiji and other remote ports of Japan, where the government Japan Fisheries Agency issues permits to kill dolphins for meat – meat that is highly contaminated with mercury and other pollutants.

Before the people of Japan can stop their government from supporting this annual slaughter, they need to know about it.

And what better way than to light up the iconic Empire State Building in New York, the “World’s Most Famous Office Building”, in red lights?

Watch for it!

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About Ric O'Barry

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Ric O’Barry, Dolphin Project Founder & Director has worked on both sides of the captive dolphin issue, making him an invaluable asset in the efforts to end exploitation. He worked for 10 years within the dolphin captivity industry, and has spent the past 40 working against it.

In the 1960s, O’Barry was employed by the Miami Seaquarium, where he captured and trained dolphins, including the five dolphins who played the role of Flipper in the popular American TV-series of the same name. He also trained Hugo, the first orca kept in captivity east of the Mississippi. When Kathy, the dolphin who played Flipper most of the time, died in his arms, O’Barry realized that capturing dolphins and training them to perform silly tricks is simply wrong.

From that moment on, O’Barry knew what he must do with his life. On the first Earth Day, 1970, he launched a searing campaign against the multi-billion dollar dolphin captivity industry and has been going at it ever since.

Over the past 40 years, Ric O’Barry has rescued and rehabilitated dolphins in many countries around the world, including Haiti, Colombia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Brazil, the Bahamas Islands and the United States. He is a leading voice in the fight to end brutal dolphin hunts in Japan, the Solomon Islands, the Faroe Islands, and wherever else they occur.

O’Barry has been recognized by many national and international entities for his dedicated efforts, such as being voted Huffington Post’s 2010 Most Influential Green Game Changer, and being listed on O Magazine’s 2010 Power List – Men We Admire for his “Power of Passion.” O’Barry received an Environmental Achievement Award, presented by the United States Committee for the United Nations Environmental Program. He has done countless interviews with such prestigious news programs as Larry King Live, Anderson Cooper 360, the Mike Huckabee Show, and the Oprah Winfrey Show.

His book Behind the Dolphin Smile was published in 1989; a second book, To Free A Dolphin was published in September 2000. Both of them are about his work and dedication. He is the star of the Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove and the Animal Planet television series Blood Dolphin$.

Author: Ric O'Barry
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