It would be easy to hate the hunters in Taiji. It would be easy to hate the Japanese as a race. It would be easy to condemn them to the slaughter in the same way that they kill the dolphins who are doomed to swim in Japanese waters. When you view pictures of slaughter, it is easy to let emotions get the better of you.
But, is that really the way of the activist/defender? Is it right to end violence with violence? Are we not then just dominating in the same way as those whose actions we oppose and deplore?
Every day I read people’s reactions to the atrocity that occurs within Japanese waters. Every day there is rightful indignation, horror, shock, pervasive grief and anger. Every day there are posts demanding that “we” bomb Japan, hire a sniper to pick off the hunters, blow up the boats with the hunters on board and many other words of hatred. “We” openly wish for another tsunami to destroy Taiji and desire another earthquake. I have read that the killing cove at Taiji should be destroyed and sealed up. Is that how far we have come that we must destroy and obliterate that which we cannot tolerate?
Is it any wonder that the Western world is regarded as an aggressor?
Our words of hatred are, I think, a knee-jerk reaction to not only the obvious abject cruelty that we witness but the utter helplessness and crippling frustration that we feel. But, those words of hate (whatever emotion spawned them) can, and are, taken literally by those who see no wrong in that which we feel so strongly about. Our words of hate, once uttered can never be unsaid.
The killing of any animal for consumption is wrong, and it is wrong for 1 very simple reason. There is no humane way to kill any animal en masse, be they a human animal or the tiniest of mice. We are biologically designed to eat meat, we have only to look at our teeth to know that. But we are also seemingly predisposed to treat our future meals with disdain and disrespect. Anyone who has seen the footage from Japan or stood in Taiji and watched the horror unfold firsthand, cannot deny that the dolphins are treated with contempt and a complete disregard for their lives and welfare. It does not matter if you support the hunters or if you are opposed to them, the facts remain the same. The hunters and the slaughtermen do not care.
They do not care that “we” wish a natural disaster would strike them; for they know we cannot control nature.
They do not care that we know what they do is not cultural or traditional; for they know that if they carry on for long enough, it WILL be a tradition.
They do not care that they animals they slaughter are more akin to humans than they will ever be able to comprehend; for they are deafened by propaganda and blinded by greed.
They do not care “we” wish them dead; for they have sons and brothers who would be honoured to defend the family “tradition”.
There is no price that they can pay that will ever atone for the loss of life in the cove, and the far-reaching effects of the decimated pod that might have escaped the hunters sights. The effects are yet to be fully documented, but it is abundantly clear that not only the slaughtered dolphins die.
I do not wish them dead. Death is merciful. I wish them: the burdens of guilt coupled with longevity. To look in the mirror for the rest of their long lives and feel guilt, to look out onto the ocean and feel shame and to look upon their children and feel sorrow that, one day, they will know what their fathers did, and know that it was wrong.