With the publication of the (UK’s) Daily Mail article on the horrors of Taiji it has sparked an internal debate as to what it is we actually feel about the killers, the dolphins and the Japanese as a nation.
This is the article in full:
Well, with the exception of a few odd individuals, the general opinion is that killing and capturing dolphins for the entertainment industry is wrong. That is no surprise, we have been fed, from childhood, that dolphins are cute and smart and love playing the fool. Everybody loves “Flipper”, don’t they?
Here in the UK, we hold no cetacean captive for the mass entertainment market. So we head off to the US or Europe and indulge ourselves at the Shamu show or Loro Parque, and oooh and ahhh at the clever dolphins and their “tricks”. We do not give a second’s thought as to how they might have ended up there. We take our moment of self-indulgence and listen to the diatribe pouring out of the dolphinarium speakers and then instantly forget about it. We don’t not care about them, we just don’t even consider it. It is the high-light of the day for us. It never occurs to us to wonder what they do when we are gone…
So, this article, which includes pictures from the 6 days of horror in December 2012, is a timely wake-up call to those of us who don’t think about it. This slaughter and capture runs for months, every day from September to March/April and there is the very real potential of more death in the cove, and more traumatised dolphins forever stolen from everything they know. We rejoice in “Blue Cove” days, when for whatever reason no dolphins are caught. The fact that we didn’t directly make that happen, doesn’t matter, it is the fact that the killers have wasted their time and effort and return with no catch. Dolphins swam on their centuries-old migration routes free from human molestation. That is what we care about. That is our victory. There are no dolphins in the killing cove on a Blue Day. That is the “Good”.
The opposite of a “Blue Day”, is a “Red Day”, this is when the water of the cove runs red with the blood of slaughtered animals. Whole families are decimated, generations of culture, wisdom and tradition are wiped out. Fully-grown Pilot Whales (a type of dolphin, despite the name) are slaughtered as they carry the most flesh and their young are cruelly returned to the ocean. Completely dependent on their mothers for sustenance and the rest of the pod for security and protection, these babies are abandoned out at sea and die. There is no rescue for them. No other pod for them to join. This is Taiji, not Disneyland. They die, probably slowly but hopefully not. A quick merciful death is all we can hope for. That is the “Bad”.
“Red Days” always attract the most attention, it is the time when we share outrage and horror and knowledge about the terrible events in Taiji and work together to get more people aware of the dreadful events happening there.
The outrage and horror generated by the Daily Mail’s article is every bit as strong as that of a “Red Day”, but it is stained with some thing else….hatred towards the entire Japanese nation. That is the “Ugly”.
There is a common “belief” that the Japanese are a cruel nation. Merciless and ruthless.
English people say this. The same nation who gave the world concentration camps and apartheid.
American people say this. The same nation that devastated the Indian Nations and almost wiped out the entire Buffalo population.
The peoples of the Antipodes say this. The Australian Aboriginals and the Maoris are some of the most persecuted indiginous people on Earth.
My point is, the Japanese are no more cruel or merciless or ruthless than anyone else. We are all the same because we are all human. We all commit crimes against each other and the animals who share this planet with us.
But in our haste to show how much we care, we are running the risk of alienating ourselves even further from the very people we are trying to reach. Open the above link and you will see that the comments box is rife with hate-fuelled messages. People calling for another “bomb”, “we shouldn’t have stopped at Nagasaki”, “time for another Tsunami” etc etc. That is just as ugly as the slaughter for consumption and the capture for entertainment. You would wish mass death and destruction on such a scale to people who don’t even know about Taiji and the killing cove? The Japanese believe what they are told by the media, which is totally controlled by the State. The few Japanese who are becoming enlightened are actively protesting in the streets. NOT a common thing in respectful Japan. You want to wipe out Japan, and with it the animals you claim to care so much about? How counter-productive is that?
Not only that, but the Japanese are deeply resentful of such hate-filled remarks. It actually turns them away from looking at things from my perspective (that this must stop) to supporting the hunters and killers in Japan because they don’t want to be seen to be on the same side as anyone wishing their countrymen harm. Even more counter-production!
I am proud to say that the stolendolphins Face Book page has Japanese followers. Every day they visit, and although they never post they “like” my posts and actively support my endeavours. If I were to post that they should die, imagine the effect that would have on them. They are supporting ME! I am honoured by their presence as they are key in making this atrocity stop, and to lose them would be an enormous tragedy for me. My page is truly international and I am blessed with the presence of people from every corner of the globe.
For anyone who is still unsure of why I feel so strongly about hate posts and hate-incitement, I leave you to ponder this:
Just imagine how you would feel if the Japanese protested about slaughterhouses in the US.
Just imagine how you would feel if they demanded another 9/11.
Just imagine how you would feel if they demanded another Newtown massacre.