I recently watched a documentary, The Cove (which also happened to be the Academy Award winner for the Best Documentary of 2010), about dolphin slaughtering and captivity in Japan. The combination of horrific facts about how many dolphins are killed per year and seeing the actual slaughterings was heartbreaking to watch. What is even more disturbing was the fact that the Japanese government was covering up the mislabeling of the whale meat sold in the markets. Since dolphins are higher up on the food chain, they contain higher levels of mercury poisoning, and the general public had no idea that the food they thought was safe was actually highly poisonous, causing many birth defects and damage to the central nervous system and kidneys.
It baffled me that such dire information could be kept from such a large general public as Japan. At the same time, it made me very grateful to those who exposed the health issue and needlessness of dolphin killing. The activists risked going to jail or even worse, death, by trying to uncover all the facts. Those courageous individuals are the type of people that I look at for inspiration. I admire the fact that they are living their lives trying to make the world a better, more organic place, without succumbing to societal pressure to get a “”real,”” higher paying job. It's often the people who make less who make the largest contributions to society.
The documentary made me ponder ways in which I can be a better person. Animal rights isn't the only issue that needs to be addressed. I did sign the petition on The Cove webpage to help save the lives of hundreds of dolphins, and I also browsed at some of the other issues on the Take Part website. As one of my favorite quotes goes, “”Be the change you wish to see in the world.”” – Gandhi
The Cove was very eye-opening for me, and I'm very glad I watched it. It was on my Netflix queue for a few months, and I kept putting off watching it because I never felt in the mood to watch something I knew was going to be so soberingly serious. I guess I was clinging to the “”ignorance is bliss”” idea. But, I finally sat down and watched the documentary in its entirety, even during the parts when I felt so sad, bitter and angry and wanted to turn it off.
No one can force you to do anything, you have to want to do something on your own, and that is the only way someone can make an impact. I feel that education
is most fundamental in evoking people to care
and want to make
a difference. Although I surely wasn't happy by the time the film ended, I was happy I was informed about the situation. And what I do with that information is in my hands now…
(The picture on the left is a cove in Taijii, Japan where hundreds of dolphins are lured into and trapped by nets to be slaughtered for their meat.)