The first time I watched The Cove was on a cheerful summer afternoon from my tiny laptop screen. As with any animal rights and welfare documentary I felt the tug of compassion alongside the revulsion at the capabilities of my own species; the depths that we have allowed the societies of our world sink to.
Every year thousands of dolphins are captured in Taiji, Japan between September and March. They are sold or slaughtered. Almost every dolphin in parks and aquariums around the world are flown in from this cove. These dolphins produce massive profits that allow the continuation of this aberration.
Those not chosen for exploitative entertainment are hacked and stabbed while thrashing to save their family members. These beings are sold to the Japanese people under the guise of whale meat labels, allowing an even higher profit margin for this blood rich industry.
As evidence is found of the frighteningly high levels of heavy metals (ie. Mercury at such high levels as to cause brain damage in youths) within these meats my thoughts stray to the consciousness of the government officials who allow public consumption. Having this consumption compulsory within public schools only sickens their actions.
And then again with any information one is given it tends to slowly fade away as life moves on. Every now and then my mind would flick back to those images; the dolphins squealing in pain across the calm waters, the impassive expressions of the fishermen, the absolute indifference of the government officials. And I would feel that little tug.
But as a westerner, a privileged westerner at that, who am I to judge?
Who am I to think I could possibly change the way a society on the other side of the world behaves?
Why even try when I can comfortably be here and not worry my little head about what other people do with their lives?
And then, the most important question – Who am I if I can just stand idly by and not take a stand?
What am I if I don’t do all that I can to change what is happening, something so sinister and so overtly wrong that the deniability is non-existent?
When silence is the only response to an accusation of guilt, there is no question.
After all, this is MY world too.
I can change what I see as wrong.
I can do my part and take the stand.
I can bear witness and inform.
I will go. I will stand. I will watch. I will film.
And I will not allow the continuation of slaughter.
In 2011 I will stand on the shores of The Killing Cove. I will look into the eyes of the fishermen, the politicians, the people, and I will challenge them to take the stand for what is right. To show them they too can have the courage to stand against the powers that be, that change begins with one person with that passion strong enough to surpass simple fear.
September 2011. I will be there. Where will you be?
- Adrian, Cove Guardian 2011