Report from Taiji: January 20
Banger boats and skiffs drive dolphins into
the CoveThere’s never much of a respite from the killings that happen in this little fishing village called Taiji. While yesterday we were fortunate that the killers came back empty-handed, today, neither the dolphins, nor us, were fortunate at all.
Approximately five Risso’s dolphins were savagely torn from life on this planet. While that is not a mass slaughter numerically speaking, it is slaughter nonetheless. Even if a single dolphin were murdered, it would be a heartbreaking tragedy that I would fail to understand.
I’ve never been able to grasp the thinking of my own species, and I often wonder what it is that makes some of us passionate about animal rights and some of us not at all care about the welfare of animals. I am baffled as to how a human being can sever a dolphin's spinal cord, club a baby seal, skin a cat alive for its fur, or even take the life of another human without necessity. Cruelty is a concept that I do not understand and do not find a need for. Humans are the cruelest of all species; not only to creatures that we feel are beneath us, but to other humans as well.
Cove Guardians Nao and Libby watch Risso's dolphins being driven into the killing cove.
Photo: Nicole McLachlanWe call our race superior because of things we’ve accomplished and granted, and although indeed we have accomplished an impressive amount, look at what we’ve destroyed in the process. Look at what we continue to knowingly destroy for the sake of progress. We are mutilating this planet and even though we realize this fact, we still won’t stop ourselves…why? Why are there so few people in this world that genuinely care about our planet, and furthermore, why do those people get so much flak from others and get labeled with such terms as ‘tree-huggers’? I’ve encountered people that enjoy making fun of those of us who care about the planet, and for some, not recycling and not caring about animal welfare is almost a matter of pride for them. It is such insensitive people who will be the downfall of this world as we know it. But to all of my fellow animal rights activists out there, I ask for you to continue this fight with me and many others who care, there is hope, especially in numbers. Continue to stand for what you believe in despite what others say and continue to be passionate enough to act. We are making a difference.
Spread the word. Raise awareness. Speak out.
Dolphin Base: From the United States, dial 81-0735-59-3514 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com. 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,
Banger boats file into the Taiji harbor to retrieve the skiffs for the slaughter
Nicole, who will be assisting me during the next three months, will share her experiences while in Taiji on her blog.