Sunday, 25 July 2010

The Cove

This weekend me and The Big One sat down to watch The Cove.

Having heard a lot about it I admit I had been putting off seeing it as sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the amount of causes out there. Plus I hate being moved to the point of anger by a documented injustice and then being left with no idea what I can do to help change the situation. 

Anyway we watched it and it was incredibly powerful, tense, fascinating and utterly horrific. It provided an insight into a barbaric practice brought about by people's increasing desire to see aqua shows - performing dolphins.

The documentary explores the fact that dolphins are intelligent, self aware, sentient beings and we could have much to learn from them rather then keeping them captive to marvel at how high they can jump for a suspended ball at Seaworld.

Another motive behind the mass slaughter of dolphins is the fact that we are eating the ocean's population. We are devouring the world's unsustainable fish, if fish as one of the main sources of protein for humans is unavailable markets will try and supply us with alternatives. In Japan a lot of dolphin meat is being sold labeled as whale meat (another contentious subject). As it happens dolphin meat is dangerously high in mercury levels making it toxic to humans, but a fisherman will need to make his money and if his fishing levels are consistently getting lower (arguably) so may his morals.

As a pescatarian for nearly 22 years I started wondering about my own contribution to this issue. I do not eat meat exclusively for animal right's issues although I am very happy not be a part of the demand that results in a lot of animals leading a miserable factory farmed life for it to end in an inhumane death. I became a non meat eater at the age of 6 (precocious I know) having read about it on animal rights leaflets. I continued eating fish as it was a condition of my mother's while I was still growing and I admit I have continued because I love fish.

But now I don't know how comfortable I feel about still eating unsustainable fish now I am painfully aware of one of the many consequences. I know that I am one person and me stopping to eat fish will not suddenly boost the ocean's fish count but you can only take responsibility for yourself.

My fish intake is almost the only source of protein I have as I am not good at ensuring I include pulses, lentils and enough cheese in my diet, however my reasoning so far is that if I identify and only eat sustainable sources of fish then I am covering my protein and sleeping easy at night.

So that's my plan...that and writing to David Cameron, the Japanese ambassador and signing the official petition registering my disgust and demanding an end to the annual dolphin slaughter of over 20,000 dolphins in Taiji, Japan.

I don't go to dolphin shows, they make me sad. Now I think I would end up sobbing in public.

I cannot convey how disturbing the footage of how these intelligent and sensitive animals are savaged is. Their desperate cries will stay with me for a very long time.  It is traumatic but we cannot turn away from everything. This should be a relatively small issue to stop - it happens in a small, secluded cove in a tiny fishing village in Japan enabled solely by corruption and human desire to see performing captive dolphins.

As one of the main activists, Ric O'Barry says, “If we can’t stop that, if we can’t fix that, forget about the bigger issues. There’s no hope.” 

(I have somewhat simplified the arguments raised and discussed in the film so do watch it and form your own opinions).

"The dolphin's smile is nature's greatest deception. It creates the illusion that they actually like doing this job, like they actually volunteered for it. So the whole industry is based around this optical illusion"
- Ric O'Barry

1 comment:

Front Row Mode said...

Will watch the movie tonight lol


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