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World Whale Day falls on the third Sunday of every February, but we think whales deserve to be celebrated year-round. That’s why we at Apple State Vinegar donate 1% of our sales to organizations that support the health of marine wildlife. That’s also why on February 1 and 2, we will give 100% of all online sales to SeaDoc Society, SR3, and Puget Soundkeeper (three amazing groups working on-the-ground in the Pacific Northwest to protect the seas we all love so much) — so stock up on all your apple cider vinegar/digestive health products on these two days!

Whales are the largest animals on earth and extremely diverse, ranging from the Kogia sima (a mere 600 lbs) to the blue whale, which can stretch the length of a full-size basketball court. They’re mammals just like we are, breathing air, giving birth and nurturing live young, form friendships, communicate through song, and even play with one another. They’re also the top of the ocean food chain, which makes them especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change and human industry. Over 1000 whales a year are still killed due to commercial whaling. Collisions with ships, pollution, and entanglement hurt and kill even more. Warming oceans affect the habitats and foods that whales rely on to survive.

The health of the whale population is a good indicator for the health of the overall ocean ecosystem. The work that these three organizations are doing are essential in protecting the health and safety of these marine giants. Here in Washington State, we are particularly connected to the Southern Resident killer whales, an extended family of three pods that travel in the Salish Sea. Orcas have complex emotional lives and are extremely intelligent, yet they are suffering as the effects of human over-development hit the Puget Sound region.

“The southern residents are struggling to survive amid waters influenced by more than 6 million people, between Vancouver and Seattle, with pollution, habitat degradation and fishery declines. The plight of the southern residents has become grimly familiar as they slide toward extinction, with three more deaths just last summer. Telling was the sad journey of J35, or Tahlequah, traveling more than 1,000 miles for at least 17 days, clinging to her dead calf, which lived only one half-hour” (The Seattle Times, which has a great collection of resources and information called Hostile Waters if you’re interested in finding out more).

So what can you do to help protect these magnificent creatures to whom we owe clean water and a healthy habitat? You can dedicate your time and skills by volunteering with the three aforementioned organizations, donate money to support their campaigns, or use your voice in local politics to advocate for environmentally-friendly policies.

How will you celebrate World Whale Day this year? Use #WorldWhaleDay to join a global community of environmental stewards and find inspiration for protecting the whales.

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