Activists Debate Politicians Over Dolphin Slaughter

Tension was in the air Tuesday at a meeting between animal rights activists and officials from Taji, Japan.

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!

Photo: NASA


William C
William Cabout a year ago

Thanks for caring.

W. C
W. Cabout a year ago

Thank you for the information.

nicola w.
Jane H6 years ago

The sickest thing is Japan using DONATED tsunami money to continue whale slaughter when they have warehouses of the stuff because not enough Japanese want to eat it !

AnnMarie S.
AnnMarie S7 years ago

yes please stop

Jacqueline Lavanchy

Something is definitely wrong with us humans, alas ! Besides, we don't need to eat meat to live, our ancestors ate fruits, grains and pulses and were in very good shape ! Let's go back to the roots ! The best way to prevent cruelty is to change one's life ! That's the most effective action we can do, and the one that is at our reach !

Bernadette P.
berny p7 years ago

The bottom line is that most Japanese don't eat dolphin, and don't like it....

They have reintroduce dolphins and whale tasting in schools has young people do not like it....

They want to kill the dolphins so the dolphins don't eat all the fish.
The Japanese over fish Tuna, Whales, and now killing dolphins

STOP buying japanese goods and TELL the vendor WHY it MAY help!!

Georgiaa P.
Georgiaa P.8 years ago

leave the dolphins and whales the fuck alone! what have they ever done 2 us! u wouldnt like it if people started slaughting u 4 no reason so y should they suffer!!! cheeky bitches!

Jonathan Y.
Jonathan Y8 years ago

Mr. McDaniel, I respectfully submit the Japanese officials in Taji are NOT right in equating dolphins to farm animals. To say they are is to buy into their malicious propaganda.

This is precisely the point we have to educate the Japanese middle class about, in order for there to be real change there: The overwhelming scientific consensus is that dolphins and other cetaceans are highly intelligent mammals almost equal to human beings in reasoning ability, in some species. We have to do this by sharing our research with the Japanese people, not dictating to them what they can or cannot do in their own waters. Then there will be a sea change in public opinion there.

If we can do that, it will be a major accomplishment. In the meantime, we should improve our treatment of our own domestic animals, whatever their intelligence (pigs are quite bright) and also encourage the Japanese to do so. We should NOT encourage any false equivalences, however.

Helene B.
Helene B8 years ago

I'm canadian and very ashamed of the seal butchering in my country but I'm also very sad of all animal cruelty happening from all nations of our world. When we have to sign petitions over petitions to stop the injustice and torture in the animal kingdom, I call it a nation in peril, a world without a soul.

Chris P.
Chris P8 years ago

I urge a ban on the killing of Dolphins.