Of Caymanians and turtles

Long before any other outsiders to these Islands came here, the great green turtle of the Caribbean Sea was here by the hundreds of millions.

But like all places, one of the things people took from the sea was millions of turtles at a time to make turtle soup and the meat and all other parts of the turtle was used.

The outsiders took so much from the places they lived until the poor turtle has become very much in danger. Now our little Turtle Farm that was doing so good when I was a taxi driver is now in danger.

This is because unwise leadership and outsiders want to control our turtle farm. I do not agree with the way the farm was changed to such a way to lose money. Park is park; farm is something different. For those of us that may not know now, the people of the Cayman Islands are known to be the turtle people. We are the real experts when it comes to turtles of the Cayman waters.

Our whole way of life is hand and hand with the green turtle. It is our national dish, regardless of who may want for our cultures and way of life to change to fit their wants.

Well let it be made very clear, we the people of the Cayman Islands do not want to change our way of life to other peoples’ ways that have messed up their own way of life and have made it to our Islands.

The turtles to us are like cattle of he deer is to the American people and I know all outsiders have a national dish in their own country. Well, leave the Caymanian people and our turtles alone! It is our way of life!

Now to the bad management of the place they call the Turtle Farm, you all need to be replaced. The park should be a park and the Turtle Farm should be separated from the park.

Our Turtle Farm should be only in the hands of our government and run by Caymanians only.

The park should be rented out to others that may want to rent it; to Caymanians first and staffed at least by 85 per cent Caymanians.

Too much waste, too much of others telling us what they think is best for us and many of us are being pushed down. Enough is enough!

Although I do not eat turtle meat myself, my family eats it and so do most people that live here and millions of tourists that come here.

Our Turtle Farm must increase in numbers of turtles. We must hatch more and pay proper attention to our Turtle Farm that we must make better.

To all outsiders that want to close down our farm, well close down your farms in your countries first.

Hello Mr. Johnny Come Lately, this is not like any of those places you have destroyed. What we really want is for all outsiders that have anything to do with Cayman to not try and impose your way of life on top of us.

In doing so, you destroy things on our Islands that are part of our culture. For example, our special road that was paved with blood, sweat and tears by all the people of these Islands long before the word investor was known.

Our turtles, our Islands, our culture, our special way of life and all the very special gifts God gave us on these Islands, generation after generation is all we Caymanians really have to be our home. Please do not rock the Caymanian boat and listen to our peoples’ advice.

To all that are trying to inject these great changes on us and do not have the approval of the people, be careful when it comes to pushing something we don’t want and know that it is not good for us.

Leave all that is in our waters alone; no outsiders taking from our seas anything any more.

Emile S. Levy

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2 COMMENTS

  1. I quite agree with Emile Levy. I am from the UK and lived for many years in the Cayman Islands. I met many Caymanians who introduced me to their turtle meat. They were very proud of their heritage. You are able to see turtles in the wild in Cayman because the Caymanians have encouraged and promoted their existence. I think it is a great insult to the Caymanian people to tell them they are wrong to eat their turtle meat. It is their heritage and the people who have signed the petition need to realise this and respect the Caymanians’ lifestyle!

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  2. I agree that the Turtle farm should continue to exist as long as the Cayman people wish it to. Comparisons with cows however are specious as cows and cow populations are easy to maintain and don’t have the difficulties of being a marine species. Cows and Deer are not C.I.T.E.S. species either. Note the places in the world where the National Dish is an endangered species there is no comparable example of a producing farm set up to satisfy the cultural desire to eat that particular species.

    I do take umbrage with the nationalistic tone of Mr. Levy’s essay. If he wishes the farm to be run by Caymanians only he’s gonna find it a bit difficult as there are no Caymanian Veterinarians with the necessary expertise in these animals, no Caymanian marine biologists with the expertise necessary to ensure this type of population stays healthy, no Caymanian Pathologists to run the various tests necessary to keep the meat safe or the turtle population healthy. Are there even any Caymanians qualified to maintain the very complicated water filtration system running? How many Caymanians are applying for the jobs at the Turtle farm now? When you get rid of the outsiders where are you going to get the staff from?

    I accept that my opinion may not be well received by some, but rest assured I have the best interest of Cayman and Caymanians at heart even though I am an outsider

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