Thursday, 10 March 2011

Cruelty, Plain and Simple

No matter how hard i try, i just can't seem to wrap my head about the senseless cruelty displayed by a handful of fishermen in Taiji, Japan. Images of their annual dolphin slaughter haunt me in my sleep. I can't get this barbaric practice out of my head.

Each year from September to March these fishermen make their living capturing and killing hundreds of dolphins. They use a method, called drive fishing, where they intercept pods of dolphins on their migratory routes. The dolphins are surrounded by boats that drive them into a cove using a wall of sound to disorient and confuse them.

Once they are herded into this cove they are sealed in with nets. Dolphin trainers from around the world choose the animals they want for their shows and theme parks. The ones that aren't chosen are then slaughtered in exceptionally cruel ways, often suffering for many minutes before dying. The dolphins are so terrified that, in a lot of cases, they throw themselves onto the jagged rocks in desperation to get away. The waters in this killing cove turn bright red with all the innocent blood spilled.

These fishermen try very hard to cover up these killings, going so far as to cover the cove in tarps to keep people from seeing. But people have seen, people around the world know what is going on and they continue to spread the word.

The dolphin meat is sold in grocery stores, often disguised as other fish and whale meats. It is laced with mercury and other contaminates and is making people sick. A fact that these fishermen, and the Japanese government choose to ignore. Slowly, more and more Japanese people are becoming aware of what is happening in Taiji, although most Japanese are blissfully unaware that this is taking place in their waters.

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