“The Cove” was the first documentary I watched that related to issues around animal rights and animal welfare. It was horrifying. For those of you who don’t know, “The Cove” exposes the annual dolphin drive that takes place in the small Japanese fishing village of Taiji. Migrating dolphins are herded into the cove where they’re netted and brutally killed. A few of the best looking ones are captured and sold to aquariums, while the rest end up as meat in the supermarket. It’s brutal, cruel, and the terrifying thing is that most people are completely unaware that this kind of thing is going on.
Yesterday, a group of us met in Pitt Street Mall, Sydney, to mark Japans Dolphins Day, and try to raise awareness about the annual slaughter that takes place in Taiji. We handed out information, we raised banners, and we gathered signatures for a petition aimed at Broome Council, the sister city to Taiji, asking them to put pressure on their Japanese counterparts to end the dolphin drive.
For me, the important thing is to spread the word and raise awareness. People don’t want to see dolphins suffer. We need to bring these atrocious practices out of the shadows and firmly into the spotlight where everyone can witness the horrors these creatures are being forced to endure. We also need to help educate people about what they can do to boycott the Taiji dolphin drive:
- Never buy a ticket to see a dolphin show. Apart from the obvious fact that dolphins do not belong in captivity and should never be forced to perform for human entertainment, if we stop the demand for dolphins in aquariums then there are going to be less fishermen in the oceans herding dolphins and trying to capture them to live in tanks.
- Sign petitions and demand a stop to this brutal trade. People power is an extraordinary thing. If enough of us speak up about this kind of cruelty then we can influence change for the better.
- Spread the word. So many people have no idea that things like the Taiji dolphin drive even happen. There’s a misguided notion that dolphins in aquariums are rescued and performing for their own pleasure. This is simply not true. The likes of SeaWorld are money-driven corporations that are focussed on profit, not welfare. The Taiji dolphin drive works to capture the best looking dolphins to put them in aquariums for human entertainment.
The annual dolphin drive will start again on the 1st of September and the cove will run red once more. I don’t know what kind of world we’re living in where it’s acceptable behaviour to slaughter these majestic creatures for the sake of human gain. Some people call it fishing. I call it a massacre.
I encourage everyone to stand up against this awful trade. Dolphins belong in the oceans where they can be wild and free, not stuck in tiny pens performing tricks, and certainly not on someone’s plate for dinner. It’s time to stop the slaughter.
Further information about the Taiji dolphin drive can be found at these links: