The town of Taji has been heavily criticized for its annual dolphin hunts, and has been the subject of international focus ever since the release of the documentary “The Cove”, which won an Oscar.
Taji politicians have dug in their heels, maintaining that hunting dolphins – and whales – are important parts of Japan’s history and identity.
Activists from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, as well as other foreign animal rights groups, have been vocal in their criticism of Japan’s continued slaughter of marine mammals. This week, Taji officials invited animal rights groups to a meeting to discuss the hunts.
Japanese media described the meeting as tense, and it seems unlikely that anything productive will come of the meeting. Activists had to submit their questions for the officials over a week in advance so the politicians could prepare answers to give to them the day of the meeting.
The star of The Cove, Ric O’Barry, boycotted the meeting. He protested outside against the closed nature of the meeting – it was not open to the public – and against the fact that questions had to be approved by a moderator.
One of the main lines of reasoning that Japanese politicians and fishermen use to discredit foreigners who campaign against dolphin hunting is the inherent hypocrisy of working against the slaughter of one animal while condoning the slaughter of another. “[They] called the stance of the dolphin activists hypocritical, saying hunting dolphins for food was no different than killing cows or pigs.”
On this point, the Japanese are right. We cannot be effective advocates for any animals if we continue to eat some of them. If we want to show a united, cohesive, and logical support for animals like dolphins, we must abhor the slaughter of all animals.
Slaughtering dolphins is just as wrong as slaughtering cows, chickens, pigs, horses, dogs, cats, rats, elephants, rhinos, etc. If we hope to change the paradigm of human-animal interaction, veganism is the method by which we can do it. Go vegan, boycott all industries that profit from animal exploitation, acknowledge the sentience and right to live of all animals.
TAKE ACTION: Save Japan’s dolphins!