09 November 2011

'Demi and the Dolphins': an inspiring animal advocacy book written by a homeschooler

Demi and the Dolphins: A Lesson in Ecology is an inspiring story written by Alyssa Harrell about the dangers of fishing nets. Homeschooled since the third grade, Harrell spent nine months writing the book for an assignment in ecology when she was only 10 years old.

Demi and the Dolphins follows a woman, Demi, on a tuna fishing boat who ignores sealife welfare laws, such as netting to catch the fish. Netting for fish, as it is explained in the story, can trap dolphins, causing them to panic and drown. Demi believes that netting is the best technique, and decides to disregard the fact that dolphins can die from her nets.

Unbeknownst to Demi, there is an undercover cop on her boat, who stops her while she’s using the net. At one point, during a fight with the undercover, Demi falls overboard and sinks into the sea. There, she meets the Poseidon, the God of the Sea, who turns her into a dolphin. Being a dolphin and seeing through the animal’s eyes helps Demi grow a deep affection for dolphins and realize that they are beautiful creatures. Poseidon then shows her the future of Earth, full of pollution and death of marine life. The images stun Demi, who wonders how the horrors could happen, but realizes she is helping to cause the tragic future, and decides to put an end to her netting days.

“One person can make a difference,” says Harrell, who is now 17-years-old. “Lots of people can make a change.”

Purchase this touching tale (and support the work of an incredible young woman) at Amazon.com.

Julia is a student who has a passion for veganism, animal welfare, and religious studies.

Photo credit: Demi and the Dolphins