Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Slaughter Has Ended...

It's that time of year again. The time of year where the dolphins of Japan can swim peacefully by Taiji without any threat of being corralled into the cove and brutally slaughtered. Just a few short days ago, the annual dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan came to an end after 6 months of killings. It is during this time that we as people need to speak out against the horrors that go into this slaughter every year. There is so much that needs to be looked at. On one level you have the whole cultural issue. The Japanese fisheries basically claim that the slaughter is part of the Japanese culture. The problem with that claim is as follows. Until the documentary, The Cove, was released, the vast majority of the Japanese population had no idea where their dolphin meat was coming from let alone how it was being obtained. For something to be a part of a people's culture, one would think that the people of that culture would have some kind of idea about the killing that is apparently such a major part of that culture. Facts are facts. Dolphin meat does not sell well at all, so with that being said, how big a part of the Japanese culture is eating dolphin meat? Apparently not that big, otherwise dolphin meat would not have to be labeled as other meats to get people to buy it.

If I learned anything from this year's slaughter it's this. The annual dolphin slaughter in Taiji has sadly a lot to do with dolphins in captivity. The fact is, as mentioned earlier, dolphin meat just is not that productive when it comes to making money. It does not sell. So what does sell then? The live dolphin sells. One dolphin can sell for several thousand dollars. The dolphins that are the best fit for captivity are selected and sold to dolphinariums around the world for a very, very pretty penny. That alone, to me is enough for the Japanese to want to continue this slaughter. It makes them an insane amount of money from selling dolphins into captivity. If no dolphinariums purchased the dolphins, then this slaughter wouldn't happen because the business would simply not be there and the fisherman would have to rely solely on sales from dolphin meat. Those sales would never be able to keep the business afloat.

So why don't the Japanese just let the dolphins not selected go free? The answer to that is quite simple and kind of terrible really. There is still some kind of profit to be made from a dead dolphin. It's nowhere near as big as a live dolphin, but it is profit nonetheless. Setting the dolphins free does nothing for the Japanese, but potentially cost them some money in gas used while trying to catch them. The bottom line with this is that the life of a dolphin is realistically worth less to these people than the amount of money spent trying to catch them, even if they manage to sell off some of that dolphins family members for a major profit. It is a sad, sad truth, but it is the truth nonetheless.

Personally, I call upon some of the world's largest aquariums and dolphinariums, yes I'm looking at you Sea World, to step up and try to do something about this. The amount of influence these places have on smaller facilities is massive! I am a realist. I know that there is always going to be a dolphin trade from the wild to captivity. As much as I may not like it, I know there is a very, very good chance that it will not end as the popularity of these animals continues to increase. What can end though is the support of these businesses that find it 100% acceptable to slaughter each and every dolphin that they cannot sell into captivity. Dolphins are incredibly intelligent. They know when something major, like being brought into captivity, has happened to them. They know when they see a family member getting a spear shoved into their spine. Enough emotional damage is done to an entire pod of dolphins when members are removed that the should not be forced to then swim through the blood of their loved ones as well before their time to die arrives. Again, I ask of Sea World and other large aquariums/dolphinariums to step up and at the very least end the support of these terrible slaughters.  

This in all likely hood will be my final blog of Operation Sadistic Truths in regards to the dolphin slaughter in Taiji. I will spare you from the horrific pictures of the killings again until my final blog of this campaign. Thank you all for reading these dolphin blogs. It is my first time putting my opinions out there on this slaughter and I hope that you were able to take something away from it all. Even if it just becoming aware of the slaughter itself. Again, thank you all for reading. Operation Sadistic Truths does not end here though. I will continue this campaign until March 12th.

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