A wise old Japanese man recently told me , “Human is king of the land. Whale and dolphin are king of the sea. We must work to promote peace between our kingdoms”.
Today, a hand-full of men are once again waging war against a defenseless kingdom.
This morning we witnessed what happens to the “fortunate” dolphins who are not slaughtered by the hunters of Taiji. We saw trainers, mostly women selecting specimens to be taken out of their natural environment and into captivity for the remainder of their lives. Until yesterday morning, these creatures had spent that last few YEARS in the open ocean, unencumbered by barriers in a limitless three-dimensional space where they could swim for miles and miles. They grew up around their friends and family members, feeding, playing, starting families, living life.
But today, those families are being ripped apart where brothers and sisters are separated, parents from children, mothers from fathers. The trainers seem oblivious to the notion that they are devastating these close social bonds. As they cart away the captives, they are seen pouring water onto them as if they are somehow helping them. The trainers are often smiling, laughing, maybe even believing that what they are doing is good for the dolphins. But these wild animals have no interest in having names or living in swimming pools and they will only perform tricks for us if they know their food supply depends on it.
This heinous act continues because people pay money to marine parks (and because Japan allows the mis-labeling of food products). People around the world visit live-animal shows because they don’t know the truth about where these animals come from and how they’re captured. It’s your job to spread the word about the truth! Not just to your friends, but to people standing in live at entertainment aquariums. Even those that utilize “captive breeding programs” are culpable for keeping this industry alive — almost as much as the people who give them money. The people of Japan have allowed Taiji’s fishermen to get away with murder. We saw it today. We saw it last week. We see it every year. It may take generations to win the war that could save our oceans, but within our lifetimes we can at least win this battle against the dolphin hunters.
It’s not enough to set an example by not participating… we all must work to shut this industry down today!