not my usual type of post

This is definitely not the type of thing I normally post about. I’ll get back to that later today.

This post is about something that has upset me deeply and which I cannot get off my mind since I watched 60 Minutes last night. They had a segment about the dolphin slaugher in Taiji in Japan.

I hadn’t planned on watching it, I didn’t want to watch it. I even tried to change channels. But then I told myself that closing my eyes and ignoring something would not make it go away, and would not help make the world a better place.

I’m an animal lover. I’m not a vegetarian though I should be. I just hate cruelty in any form. I believe that humans are omnivores, we eat meat, but that we should treat the animals we eat with compassion. They give our lives so we can eat, they deserve to be killed in a human and respectful manner. I hate killing for sport or fun or just for the sake of it.

The program last night has given me nightmares – although watching re-runs in the back of my mind all day isn’t a nightmare technically.

The Japanese herd these poor dolphins into a small cove during dolphin hunting season and then slaughter them. They say its tradition – but are power boats and the huge numbers dolphins they kill the same tradition thats been going on for centuries? Why would a tradition continue once the meat is toxic and unsafe to eat? They’re no longer killing dolphins to feed the people. What really got to me is that they select the ‘pretty’ ones to sell to marine parks around the world for mega bucks and kill the rest.

And how do they kill them now? They ram a steel rod into the dolphin, give it a bit of a poke and jiggle around inside, then plug the hole by pounding in a wooden plug so the blood won’t flow and colour the water with their shame. The dolphins die slowly from internal bleeding. There was footage of them doing this and you could see the dolphins seizing as they died slowly.

I’ll never be able to un-see that.

If its all so great and cultural, why are the fisherman hiding it? Why do they need to do it at night behind tarps, and why do they need to stop the blood from turning the water red?

I feel absolutely sickened.

Luc Besson, director of The Big Blue (one of my all time favourite films) and now my hero, has made a documentary/film about Taiji called The Cove. I haven’t seen it and I’m not sure I’ll be able to. Its bad enough having watched a sliver of an excerpt…

I couldn’t find the 60 Minutes story online but here’s CNN coverage.

This seems the sameto me as the dolphin slaughter in Denmark where dolphins are slaughtered yearly in a tradition where boys become men by butchering defenseless, trapped dolphins.

Only difference seems to be the Japanese are making millions from selling captured dolphins while the Danish are just using it as a right of passage.

Society no longer needs this type of “tradition” to eat, so why does it continue? Surely man has progressed beyond such barbaric ways and some cultural traditions are better in history books and not expanded on with the advantages of new technology.

I mean, we no longer traipse down to the coloseum and nibble on peanuts while watching Christians being fed to lions and that was a pretty strong tradition for a while…


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