It has been a tough weekend for the Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians and the rest of us who are involved in trying to stop this cruel drive hunt in Taiji Cove. The day before yesterday the hunters drove a pod of pilot whales and a pod of bottlenose dolphins into the Cove and netted them in. The cetaceans do not jump to freedom as yet although we are hopeful that they will learn to. it would only take one and the rest would follow. The problem is that there are juveniles and babies with the pods and the mothers would never leave them. Their social structures are as close as ours. If a dolphin/whale is injured at sea or during a hunt, the rest of the pod will slow down to accommodate them and they would not sacrifice an injured one by jumping nets and leave one behind.
These poor innocent and totally honourable animals are suffering because of the worst side of human nature. To be honest, I do not know how these hunters do their job. I cannot identify with them at all. It makes them seem like they are of a different species so marked is their difference from my mindset. I want to stress that this is not representative of all of the Japanese people. Some brave individuals organized a protest in Tokyo recently on 24th November amidst a torrent of abuse from the nationalists who insist that this drive is tradition and that those who oppose it should get out of Japan. I went to the London Protest on 23rd November and a Japanese lady addressed the Japanese Embassy via megaphone to ensure that the officials therein understood why a crowd with ant Taiji banners had gathered outside in the street. The one dressed as a dolphin might have given them a clue.
Anyway the terrified pods were kept in the Cove overnight. The Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians stayed up all night with them on a vigil. Yesterday the killing boats went in and slaughtered all of the pilot whales except for four juveniles. Now juveniles are still dependent on their mother for survival. Having been at the scene and being forced to watch the slaughter of their family, these 4 traumatised pilot whales were sent back out to sea to fend for themselves. This would not have been an act of charity from the hunters. They were obviously not meaty enough to attract a profit. The fact that they killed the mother and left them as defenceless orphans should tell you that. Also Sea Shepherd Guardians have seen instances in the past where the fishermen have tried to release these captives and the latter are really terrified so the hunters give them a helping hand by bashing them with the boats so that they go out to sea. Nice work if you can get it and if you have no heart and no conscience or are a psychopath.
The bottlenose dolphins are “lucky” to survive for at least another 24 hours after the pilot whales. They are left in the Cove with no food for a second night. They will either be slaughtered in a painful, totally inhumane way or the trainers will select some and they will be taken to the pens or to a resort to be force fed dead fish in exchange for tricks to entertain us humans.
The thing to note is that this drive hunt is not tradition. The ancestors hunted whales and used every part of them and hunted just sufficiently to gather resources to survive. They also honoured and respected the ocean life. They would not have put them through this relentless drive hunting and torture. This is about money and greed. This is about enslaving wild dolphins to perform tricks for their dead fish supper. Tell me where tradition comes into that? If you go to a dolphin show or an aquarium, you are funding and giving tacit consent to this practice. The dolphins are not born into captivity so know nothing else. They are snatched in a brutal way from their familes and home. They probably watched their family being slaughtered and even had no choice but to swim in their family members’ blood.
The bright sparks of Taiji have even come up with the idea of making it a kind of tourist attraction. They think that they can attract people to swim in the Cove with dolphins and small whales. Those animals would be put back into the Cove, the place that they remember with terror because they were driven into there and witnessed the murder of their family there and expected to swim with humans. That is what I call psychological warfare.
The Japanese want to host the 2020 Olympics. I have a 2020 vision too. That the Taiji Cove hunt will have been a thing of the past for a few years then and that the Cove will be a beautiful place to visit as the fishermen and Japanese Government realised that people worldwide love the cetaceans and that if Taiji became a slaughter free cove that people would visit to see free dolphins and whales. The town’s income would come from tourism. If the Japanese Government think that it is better to carry on with their so called “tradition” then they are being very shortsighted as we will continue to fight for the cetaceans, to be the voices of the voiceless. We will also say that Japan should not host the 2020 Olympics if this has not stopped.
The other factor is that people gave money to the Tsunami Disaster Fund in good faithand that it was supposed to be used for the reconstruction of homes for those affected. Well, it seems that some people who needed help have not been helped yet and that a considerable amount of money has been redirected to the whaling industry and the security companies who guard this enterprise. The March 2011 earthquake-triggered tsunami killed nearly 19,000 people in one of Japan’s worst peace-time disasters, and left it grappling with a nuclear emergency at Fukushima. There are still more than 300,000 people living in temporary homes, as they cannot affordto rebuild or because radiation levels around the nuclear plant make it unsafe to do so. Politicians from the devastated northeast regularly highlight the slow pace of reconstruction and the lack of leadership from Tokyo. An official from Fukushima prefecture has stated that peoples’ needs in the vicinity of the crippled nuclear facility are not being met. 329,000 people are still living in temporary homes nearly 19 months later.(au.news.yahoo.com/…/japan–tsunami-gives-lessons-on-disast… – Australia) In December 2011 the government admitted around 2.3 billion yen from the fund was being used to boost security around the whale hunt. Why do they need to boost security? People oppose it. Why do people oppose it? Well I think you know the answer to that.
A very recent poll is reported in ” Japan Today” 28th November 2012 edition
1,200 people questioned for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), 26.8% said the country should continue its hunt against 18.5% who opposed it. The remainder expressed no opinion.
Japan hunts whales using a loophole in a global moratorium. It kills the mammals for “scientific research” even though the meat is later sold openly in shops and restaurants.
Tokyo says the whale hunt is deeply embedded in Japanese culture and wants to resume commercial whaling.
So there are about 54% who did not participate. It is part of Japanese culture to be silent. Lots of people in Japan are not even complaining about money from the Tsunami Rescue fund being redirected. Plus if you take a look at Youtube and watch the abuse and intimidation that was directed against the Japanese protestors against the dolphin hunt and Whaling for Research by the hardline nationalist pro-hunt you could understand why a survey carried out a few days later in Tokyo might not have elicited the true public opinion. The Japanese need to feel safe to express their own views. When they see that they have worlwide public support and that we are watching it all unfold, hopefully they will feel safer.
What about me, am I just someone who is ahgainst all things Japanese? Certainly not. There is so much that is excellent about Japan. I am doing a three day course this weekend to become a Reiki master in the Mikao Usui tradition and to be able to teach others how to share Reiki. So no, I am not anti Japanese. I am anti the sector who execute, fund and prop up the Taiji Drive Hunt as I consider it to be inhumane to an almost human sector of ocean life.
Just to let you know what happened. This is no fairytale so I cannot give you a happy ending. Dolphin trainers came to Taiji in the early hours of Dec 4th. They selected 9 bottlenose dolphins to be taken for a life of captivity to be trained for a marine park. The rest of their pod/family were slaughtered brutally and the Cove turned red.
and that is Offishal (I know they are mammals. Just my silly jokes. They keep me sane )