Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Cove

We've been talking a lot about The Cove in my classes, since we're coming up on Japan in a couple days. We watched a little bit of it in my Anthropology of the Ocean class. For those you don't know about it, it exploits the dolphin fishing in a town called Taiji in Japan, specifically in an area called The Cove. The video includes the main activist, Ric O'Barry, who was one of the dolphin trainers in Flipper, along with several other activists he gathered in his mission. They all are trying to get people to become aware of the slaughter that has occurred in this area from September to March, killing 23,000 each year. He's opposed by a few local fisherman and the government in Taiji because it brings a huge profit for their town. So it's very hard to take pictures or videos of what's happening in this area. Finally, (spoiler alert) they manage to smuggle high def cameras that are hidden in rocks and place them throughout the cove. Then they capture this incredible and horrible footage of what happens in The Cove. I won't describe it, since it's pretty awful. Then at the end of the video, Ric goes into an IWC (International Whaling Commission) meeting, with a television strapped to his chest, playing the footage they gathered. I heard that The Cove was destroyed in the tsunami, but they just relocated the slaughter to a different area. It still occurs today, but now people are more aware of what's going on.

The movie was very well done and I might have found a new inspiration in Ric O'Barry. However, it brings a lot of questions to my mind. As soon as the students saw this they gasped and were really upset by the killings. And maybe this isn't logical for me to think, but it made me really mad at everyone around me. How hypocritical is it to say that the killing of these animals is wrong, but all other animals is perfectly acceptable? Is it because these animals are mammals, or because of their intellectual ability? To me, it felt the exact same as watching documentaries about the slaughter of cows and chickens. And cows are mammals. Is it just that they are "dumb" or that it's accepted to eat that kind of meat in America? Or maybe dolphins are prettier? I just can't understand it. To me, all animals are equal, and just because one is smarter or better looking, doesn't make it superior to another. I definitely think that this dolphin hunting needs to gain attention of the public, but it's ignorant to think that the same kind of treatment to animals isn't occurring in our country, right under our noses. It's ignorant to think that this town in Japan is cruel and barbaric, when similar practices happen to other animals all over the world. It's ignorant to get so worked up over something and then talk about what you bought in the last port. I think that this world is just filled with ignorant people, who like to pretend that these horrible things aren't happening all around us, or just don't care.


  1. Wow, well put and so profound! I am so proud of you! Rarely have I read anything that presents this paradox and hypocrisy in a better light!

  2. I'm surprised your profs don't discuss the similarity in cruelty to animals all over the world. Seems this would be a great opportunity to discuss this.