So, definitely not nutrition-related. But, thought I would share anyhow. Ever since learning about the atrocities of dolphin-hunting, I have been trying to cohesively put my thoughts together…this is where it took me.
Bang, Bang, Bang go the mallets on the underwater metal rods. Bang, Bang, Bang. This is how it starts. Every. Single. Day. From September until March, every year, this is the sound that can be heard out in the ocean, just a few miles off of a little cove in Taiji, Japan.
This is not only cacophonous to human ears, but, to dolphin “ears,” this is the sound of death, and it is LOUD. This sound, made by the hunters on their motor boats stops a dolphin cold in their morning swim, during their romp around the waters with their family; and what happens in the subsequent minutes thereafter can only be described as cold-blooded murder. Why? For money. Dirty money.
Dolphins typically swim in their family pods. These pods can be small, four to eight dolphins, but more likely they are large, with more than 100 dolphins, depending on the species. Japanese hunters go out early in the morning, in search of such a family. Sometimes these families of dolphins are close to the harbor, only a couple of miles out; sometimes, they are found out past the horizon, more than ten miles out.
When the hunters spot a family they surround it on all sides and begin banging on the metal rods that break the surface of the ocean, creating a wall of sound. The dolphins, petrified of this sound, as it is deafening to their sensitive hearing, swim away from it, to what they hope is safety. In reality they swim towards shallow water, to a cove, where their fates will soon be sealed; both literally, and figuratively.
As they are driven in, they fatigue, they hyperventilate, they may even drown. It is as though they have been forced to run a marathon at top speed the whole way, without a moment to catch their breath. In the process they may lose some of their family members to death. The lucky ones escape; but this does not happen often. For, if they are discovered, the hunters will go back for them.
Upon their arrival to the shallow waters, nets are placed at the mouth, escape is not possible. Most species are slaughtered immediately, brutally, and without mercy. However, on rare occasions, if they are the “right” species, the bottlenose dolphins (most often), then a handful may be chosen for a life in captivity; a life in a concrete tank, or worse, in travelling dolphin shows. The rest of the family, after swimming small circles around each other, terrified, for a few hours, and sometimes overnight, starving, bewildered, not comprehending why this is happening, are too brutally murdered, without mercy.
Why does this happen? MONEY. Lots of it. A trained beautiful bottlenose dolphin is worth more than $50,000 for aquariums, dolphinariums, and other marine-animal themed parks.
Another “theorized” reason this happens is for human consumption, just like consuming cow or chicken. In Japan, humans eat dolphin meat. However, it is known, and has been known for some time that dolphin meat contains excessively high levels of mercury, and those who eat it, may develop mercury poisoning.
The last reason this happens is human-overconsumption of seafood. Humans take fish and other seafood from the oceans, without a care, depriving the ocean’s wildlife from their food source, and then when there is a shortage of seafood, humans “blame” the wildlife itself. It is the dolphin’s fault that there is not enough fish in the ocean!
All of these reasons are based on greed and glut.
Humans, who are supposed to be the friends, the stewards, the protectors of this world, our only world, and its inhabitants, are rapidly bringing the world’s species to their extinction. Humans are extinguishing future generations of these wild amazing, beautiful creatures. Certain dolphin species are at risk for extinction because of humans. Many other animals in the world are similarly on the brink because of what we, as humans, have done.
And for what? Money, status, power?
While this happens to dolphins in a few places around the world such as the Solomon Islands, certain European countries, Taiji is one of the largest dolphin-catch outfitters, and one of the most powerful. They claim this is tradition, it is law; yet, in the past couple of years, they do their killing under tarps and then they hide the deceased from view.
These atrocities against gentle, innocent, and free-living dolphins, a global commons that no country own, need to stop. These atrocities need to stop NOW, before there are no dolphins left,.
We need to protect our planet and its wildlife before we exterminate a whole species. If these actions were done to humans (and they arguably are all over the world), we would call this terrorism, genocide, there would be outcry among the nations. But, because these are animals, albeit sentient animals who think, feel, make decisions, recognize themselves, have names for their loved ones, and show pain, it is too oft ignored.
I call upon the International Whaling commission to protect dolphins, along with the other cetaceans that they already protect. I call upon the governments of sovereign nations to prohibit this villainous slaughter and captivity. I call upon all people to boycott animal shows, dolphinariums, seaquariums, and aquariums, and to tell these killers, no more. These are NOT your dolphins. These are the world’s dolphins, global property, and it is time you STOP unilaterally deciding their fate.