Monday, January 7, 2019

It's Time to Enact the Rights of Nature

Material in blog from Saving Our Oceans
released in May 2019
Recent headlines forewarned that two more Southern Resident orcas appear to be dying of malnutrition. That will leave the pod ever closer to extinction with only 72 whales remaining. It’s way past time for this government, for every government in the world, to enact the “Rights of Nature.”

“Rights of Nature is the recognition and honoring that Nature has rights. It is the recognition that our ecosystems – including trees, oceans, animals, mountains – have rights just as human beings have rights. Rights of Nature is about balancing what is good for human beings against what is good for other species, what is good for the planet as a world. It is the holistic recognition that all life, all ecosystems on our planet are deeply intertwined” (

“It’s Likely There Aren’t More Than 411 Right Whales Left, New Estimate Finds.” Headlines like this are dismaying. According to WBUR News, “The calculation is based on a trove of statistical data, observations of individual animals and a wave of observed mortalities, with no newborn whales observed in the most recent calving season.” The cause of this decline appears to be the gear used by Maine lobstermen that entangles the whales.

Let’s not overlook the whale that washed ashore in eastern Indonesia with approximately 115 plastic cups, flip flops and plastic bags in its stomach.

The number of dead whales is increasing in most areas of the world. Even Scotland and Ireland had an “Unprecedented Number of Dead Whales” (Cuvier’s beaked whales) wash up on their shores. Scientists say that the 80 dead whales might actually indicate that up to 1,000 of the Cuvier’s beaked whales actually died. 

The Cuvier beaked whale is a deep diver, going as low as 9500 feet for up to two hours to hunt for food. This particular whale is very sensitive to loud sounds, and it’s speculated that anti-submarine sonar caused such intense pain to the whales that they surfaced too quickly. “Anti-submarine sonar isn’t used by Irish warships, but it is used by the U.S. Navy and by Britain’s navy,” Simon Berrow, a marine biologist said. Not surprisingly, neither group admits to being in the area using anti-submarine sonar.

For some reason, nearly 200 pilot whales died after stranding on a New Zealand beach. 149 died one day with another 50 the following day. Strandings apparently are a common phenomenon on New Zealand shores, according to “Up to 145 Pilot Whales Dead After Mass stranding on New Zealand Beach.” What causes these strandings? Pollution? Military sonar? Submarine activity? Warmer water?

 “Torture of Russian whale jail as 100 Orcas and Belugas captured in Pacific Bay,” a dismaying article in The Telegraph by Alex Luhn felt like a slap in the face. I thought the crime of capturing whales for aquariums was over. Apparently not when the Chinese are in the market.
In 2018, 100 orca and beluga whales were (and possibly still are) being illegally held in a bay near Nakhodka in Russia and were/are to be  sold to the Chinese for their booming ocean theme park industry in China. There are already over 60 marine parks in China, according to Alec Luhn of Moscow for The Telegraph (British paper).  The Chinese plan for at least a dozen more ocean parks.

Supposedly Russia is investigating this, but Russia is also believed to be the only country that exports orcas captured in the wild, according to Luhn.

Since the "jail" is quite small, this suggests that many of the captured orcas are babies. Other reports say the whales are being tortured. For every orca captured, however, at least another is killed in the process. Jailers don't seem to care since an orca can fetch up to $6 million dollars. This activity flies in the face of the 1982 moratorium against whaling: the only whaling allowed is for scientific purposes (that sounds quite lame) or for those with aboriginal "cultural" needs (another fairly lame sounding excuse taken advantage of by the Japanese who have killed over 1,000,000 whales and dolphins).

"Catching them at this tempo, we risk losing our entire orca population," according to Oganes Targulyan, a Greenpeace Russia research coordinator.

And now the Japanese are on the hunt again. Their past history of whaling does not inspire trust or confidence. But the Japanese are certainly not the only ones to decimate aquatic populations. Unsustainable fishing practices are now the bane of the oceans. Just this week a blue fine tuna, a threatened species, sold for $3,000,000 for sushi! As the world's population grows, the fish population diminishes.

In September of 2008 Ecuador became the first country in the world to recognize rights for nature in its constitution. Bolivia is in the process of implementing laws that also recognize certain rights for nature. More than two dozen communities in the U.S. have adopted laws that recognize the rights of nature. The first major municipality to do so was the City of Pittsburgh in 2010.

It’s time. It's past time.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Japan Defies the IWC and Resumes Commercial Whaling

Japan is dropping its membership in the International Whaling Commission (IWC), an international group composed of 89 member nations, and will resume commercial whaling in July, 2019.

Although hugely disappointing, the decision comes as no surprise. Japan attended the 2018 IWC meeting in Brazil with the intention of persuading member nations to vote to drop the moratorium on commercial whaling and to resume the cruel, barbaric practice. Japan's motion did not receive the required votes and was defeated.

Japan alone is responsible for the slaughter of over 1,000,000 whales, dolphins, and porpoises in the last 70 years. Whether this insane slaughter continues to this day, is difficult to ascertain due to limited publication of the facts. However, according to, the Japanese kill 20,000 dolphins, porpoises and small whales every year. The slaughter of dolphins occurs in the Taiji bay, which was made known to the world in the documentary film The Cove. Those cetaceans that aren’t slaughtered are sold to aquariums around the world. The going price for a dolphin is around $32,000 U.S.. When not conducting dolphin slaughtering events, “the fishermen also participate in harpoon hunts and small type coastal whaling for dolphins and pilot whales, as elsewhere in Japan, effectively ensuring that Japan’s dolphins are under almost year-round assault from these various hunting methods and seasons,” according to WDC in Action: “Dolphin Hunts – Focus on Taiji, Japan.” Some of these species are nearing extinction and cannot "come back."

The other galling issue with the Japanese sport of harpooning mammals, is that though they've been a member of the International Whaling Commission for years, they've still hunted whales during this time, often in waters set aside for whale sanctuaries. These animals have been slaughtered under the guise of "scientific research," a lame loophole in the moratorium that allows limited whale hunts. Last year alone Japan slaughtered over 300 minke whales, 120 of which were pregnant. It’s no secret that much of the meat from the slaughtered mammals is offered on restaurant menus even though few Japanese eat whale meat nowadays. 

Many whale species like the blue whales, fin whales and sei whales have not recovered from earlier decimation, contrary to what the Japanese say.  

Kate O’Connell, AWI marine wildlife consultant, summed it up nicely when she said, “This cruel and unnecessary industry is a relic of the past that has no place in modern society.” Yet Japanese officials claim that hunting and eating whales is part of their cultural heritage. This seems a bit far-fetched for a country that prides itself on its “massaged, beer-fed Kobi beef.” There are no samurais running about the Japanese countryside anymore. Whaling is an activity of the past that caused several species to become extinct. 

It appears, by all accounts, that this whaling decision is simply a matter of Japan "saving face." 

(Parts of this article are quoted from Saving Our Oceans, release date may 2019.)

Friday, December 7, 2018

Moonlight Mesa Announces New E-Book Releases

In a surprise move, Moonlight Mesa Associates publisher Becky Coffield announced  that two of the company's nonfiction titles will be released as e-books very soon.

Some Gave All, J.R. Sanders' nonfiction account of Old West Lawmen Who Died With Their Boots On, will likely be in e-book format in January. "Converting this book without losing its design is a challenge," Coffield said. "We positively do not want to lose the artwork and photos in the book. We've managed to get the file below 50MG, so it should work with Kindle, but the file is much too large for Smashwords, unfortunately."

Although Kindle claims the bulk of e-book sales, Smashwords is a distributor to ALL E-BOOKS - every brand imaginable.

"We've been thinking of doing this for quite some time. Thinking is the easy part; doing is the challenge."

Coffield's big push is to have the e-book available in January. "This is just a wonderful book," Coffield said. "But eliminating photos and such hurts. We eliminated photos in Casey Tibbs - Born to Ride because no e-book publisher could handle the size of the files back then. Hopefully they can do better now."

The other title Coffield is moving to electronic format is also undergoing a title change. The Old
Folks in the Boat will be available also in January, under a new ISBN and title: Rowing for Health. The original title will be kept as part of the subtitle.

"We made a mistake choosing the title for the book," Coffield admits. "We spent months - no, two years - throwing titles around. Seriously. I don't know how that happened as much time as we spent talking about titles."

Coffield feels that the book should be doing better than it is. "We didn't expect a barn-burner with a niche book, and we've sold copies every month, but I truly think the book should be selling better. We talked about just re-issuing it under a new title and a new ISBN, but the thought of having to change the cover and headers and the uploads, it just exhausted me. That's still a possibility, but I'd prefer not to go there - at least at this time," the publisher said.

The e-book title will be Rowing for Health. The subtitle will be Inspiration from The Old Folks in the Boat. Like Sanders' book, the number of photos in the electronic version of Rowing for Health could present a stumbling block.

Moonlight Mesa's 2018 top-selling nonfiction, A Beginner's Guide to Owning a Mule,  is not destined for e-book conversion - at least at this time. The publisher will, however, release an e-book for Saving Our Oceans at the same time as the trade-paperback. "I expect better e-book sales with that title," Coffield said. "I can't tell you why. I just do." Coffield plans to donate the money from sales to orca and ocean groups.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Moonlight Mesa Presents Deal of the Month for December


The award-winning historical nonfiction Some Gave All, by J.R. Sanders, is our December special.  Stoke up the fire and sit back and read about old west lawmen who died with their boots on!

Sanders does a masterful job of not only describing the horrific murders of the lawmen, but he also gives intriguing accounts of the criminals, the lawmen themselves, and the court proceedings that follow the crimes.

The book contains over 40 original tintypes and photos that enhance the accounts of the heroic men who died in the line of duty but, for whatever reason, failed to become the familiar household and Hollywood names most people have come to know.

This book normally retails for $19.95. It's available from Moonlight Mesa for $16.95 with FREE SHIPPING. Email us to place your order.


And it's not too late to order the Jere D. James western series! Due to popular demand the seven-book series will remain on special for another few weeks.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Moonlight Mesa Publisher Account "Disabled" on Facebook

"Being "disabled" on Facebook is probably a real gift and a good thing," Moonlight Mesa's CEO Becky Coffield said.

It appears as though when Coffield, who'd closed her original account due to exasperation with Facebutt (as she calls it), went to open a new account because of the change of website, the powers-that-be at Facebook demanded a photo to prove her authenticity.

"I guess I didn't appear authentic," Coffield said. "In reality, I really don't care. I think Facebook is a total waste of time - it eats up far more time than people realize. And, the fact is, I don't think we ever sold a single book due to our presence on social media. So I can concentrate on other marketing ideas and not get caught up in FB dramas, which I tended to do, sadly. Shortly after they asked for a photo to prove my personhood, I made the decision to once again close the account. So no loss there."

Early on Coffield "quit twitter," again finding it a waste of time. "Plus I found myself being very snarky at times and saying things I'd never ever say to a person's face. I was surprised at my snarkiness! I didn't like that at all."

Moonlight Mesa now has three blogs: this one,, and periodically they publisher blogs on the new WordPress website: 

Sometimes the blogs are the same, but that won't happen very often. "Now that I don't have to deal with social media, I can spend some time doing more productive promoting titles we've published on sites that actually sell books! Oh...maybe I'll have more time to ride my mule, too."

Submitted by Renee Witty