Opinion

Dolphin massacre raises awareness

Is a massacre of helpless animals still considered a holocaust? For years now an over whelming number of dolphins have been slaughtered in various places around the globe. The small village of Taiji, Japan is one of the hot spots for these brutal killings.

This animal brutality was brought to light publicly in the Oscar winning documentary The Cove which was released in 2010. The documentary shows live footage of vast numbers of dolphins being slaughtered in a cove that they were forced into by Japanese fisherman. The fisherman stick long metal poles into the waters around the cove and proceed to bang them together repeatedly, until the dolphins sonar can no longer take it and they flee in the direction of the ‘killing area’.

This massacre takes place yearly beginning on Sept. 1 and more than 20,000 dolphins are killed each time.

Dolphins are the most human-like species out there because they sense and feel pain and fear as humans do. When they are crowded in this small cove area with one another they scratch each other out of fear. Many of the post-slaughter corpses can be seen with multiple scratches on them.

After the slaughter the dolphin meat is packaged and labeled untruthfully as whale meat, then sold to schools for lunches and supermarkets. Many Japanese children have become violently ill because of this; dolphin meat contains high levels of mercury. Expecting mothers have even given birth to still or deformed babies. The Japanese people have no idea what they are eating!

During the violent hackings the Japanese fishermen pick a select few to auction off to American ‘abusement parks’ such as Discovery Cove and Sea World, which are both right here in our very own country. The dolphins are sold for up to a $500,000. When there’s a demand for something the need has to be fulfilled!

The main dolphin activist, Ric O’Barry originally worked for Miami Seaquarium. He captured and trained dolphins. Dolphins are not automatic breathers; every breath for them is a conscience effort. Many dolphins actually commit suicide when they are unhappy by simply holding their breath. This happened when his main dolphin Kathy died in his arms. It was then that he realized it was cruel and inhumane to capture these creatures and make them perform so he became an activist.

It’s important for college students like ourselves to know what’s going on in the world around us, especially when its aftermath happens so close to home. There are many things that can be done from right here. Take the pledge to not buy a ticket to a dolphin show, tell zoos and aquariums to stop aiding the dolphin killing, sign petitions and write letters to world leaders to end the slaughter, and donate. Some colleges even have something called ‘Cove Clubs’ that raise awareness about these massacres.

For more information go to Savejapandolphins.org

-Martina Machese