Monday 2 August 2010

A Serious Issue

I hardly ever talk about anything on my blog that isn't craft related.  I like keeping my blog fairly light-hearted and a little bit informative.  But today I watched a documentary that made me feel very uncomfortable indeed.  The film was called "The Cove".

The Cove is a documentary about a small fishing town in Japan called Taiji where every year they capture dolphins for sale to sea life amusement parks and then slaughter the remainder for sale as food.  Around 23,000 dolphins a year in Japan are killed.  The dolphins that are sold to amusement parks make the fishermen around $150,000 and those that are sold for meat make around $600.  It is the sale of dolphins to amusement parks that is driving and funding this trade, rather than the sale of meat. Despite the sale of dolphin meat being a side product of the sale of live dolphins, it has a large impact on the communities in which it is consumed.

The sale of dolphin and whale meat is causing health issues to humans as well as trauma to marine mammals.  As animals at the top of the marine food chain, dolphins and whales are filled with large amounts of the mercury that is pumped into the atmosphere and absorbed by the sea, every year.  When this meat is consumed over a prolonged period it can cause mercury poisoning

While I watched this film I felt uncomfortable and horrified not just because of the slaughter of these wonderful animals, for meat, but because I've been to marine amusement parks and laughed and applauded with the rest of the audience.  I've even recommended to other people that they go, as it such a great day out.  My only excuse is that I believed the myth that dolphins enjoy performing.  When I heard about dolphins getting ulcers because of the stress of living in captivity, I think I realised then that I would be telling as many people as possible about this issue. 

I'm ashamed of contributing to this industry and I know that shouting about it on my little blog, about craft, is really doing very little at all.  But, it makes me feel like I am doing a little bit towards getting the word out.  If someone else watches the film because I recommended it, then I think that will go some way to helping me get rid of the bitter taste in my mouth.  If you are even the slightest bit interested in dolphins or whales, or the risk of mercury poisoning caused by eating dolphin and whale meat, please visit this site, where they give you all the facts and ways of helping campaign. 

The film itself contains so many traumatic images and horrendous facts and figures, but when you see the images shown of dolphins in the wild you gain a little bit of hope.  You see that if left to their lives in the wild, we are still allowed as human beings to share it for a little while, because no matter what we do to them, dolphins still are curious and social creatures, who interact with us whenever possible.

Like I said earlier I don't like to get on my soapbox too often, but this film really moved me.  Please at least watch the trailer and visit the website.


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