Report from Taiji: December 10
The Cove at dawnNo matter how many times I witness a slaughter, I am always taken aback by the horror of it all. What is happening here is an act of callous malignity, and the fact that the townspeople and off-duty fisherman come to the Cove to watch us and our reaction to this obscenity is truly sickening.
The hunt today resulted in finding eight Risso’s dolphins, all of which were driven into the killing cove and immediately slaughtered. However, the murderers of Taiji decided to change things up a bit and instead of bringing the gutting barge to the mouth of the cove, the dolphins were taken straight to the butcher house and gutted inside. It seems that every kill brings a new tactic and it must be insanely frustrating to have to change your work style every single day. I know it’s frustrating for us trying to comprehend what exactly is happening in that cove and the restraint it takes to not show too much emotion in public is a task that requires great will power.
Witnessing mass murder is something I never dreamed I would experience, but here I am, in the thick of it. And though it may sound twisted, there’s no place I’d rather be because the dolphins desperately need our help. Some days I want to scream, some days I want to cry and some days I want to lash out and break anything I can get my hands on – but I don’t, and I remained composed. Each one of us is experiencing the same emotions and although we may not have the same feeling at the same time, it’s such a reassuring comfort to know that we have each other.
Everyone here seems to be amazed that we are five women, standing up against this atrocity. Today the coast guard asked me where the men were, thinking they were simply in one of our other lookouts. When I told him that it was just “us girls,” he was blown away and asked if he could take our picture. Two reporters from Tokyo spent the day with us and kept going back to the fact that we are all female. This is something that simply does not happen in a country like Japan where the women are not as vocal and independent. This dynamic is something that could take this campaign to a new level. Instead of being seen as “crazy,” which is one of the many names we are called by locals who don’t agree with us, we are seen as nurturing, caring and compassionate and I have found that more people are willing to have a conversation with us; whereas before, they simply wanted to tear us apart.
Our good standing with the police and coast guard are something of utmost value to this campaign and I feel that our relationship with them will play a major role in the willingness of the Japanese people to view Sea Shepherd Conservation Society with an open mind, versus immediate hostility. I am continually amazed by the kindness of some of the townspeople.
Here is your opportunity to become a Cove Guardian. To join us in Taiji (voluntarily, and completely at your own cost and risk), write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will get back to you, but please be patient. We cannot keep an eye on the Cove and answer e-mails at the same time. Contributions to Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to keep our official presence here are needed and welcome. These contributions cover the costs for transport, telephone, equipment, supplies, food, and lodging for the official Sea Shepherd representative. We will remain here through the end of March and will return for the next season in September 2011.
Thank you to the citizens of Japan who are weighing these issues and beginning to take a stand to solve them. Thank you to everyone who is on the frontlines of this war. This is a war to save ourselves from ourselves. Without your calling and writing Japanese embassies and your own governments, there will be no change. Keep it up! Every time dolphins are pushed into the Cove, let them have it. Every time there is blood in the water, let them have it. Make good consumer choices. Inform everyone you know about the tragedy here and how it is linked to the captive dolphin trade. All who patronize a dolphin show have blood on their hands.
For the dolphins,
|Driving a pod into the Cove
|Transfering bodies from the boat to the butcher house
Nicole, who will be assisting me through March 2011, will share her experiences while in Taiji on her blog.
Scott’s daughter, Elora Malama West, who assisted him in Taiji for three months, will continue her blog from home.