You learn something new every day... unfortunately!
So I thought by now I was pretty aware of international animal cruelty, but a new documentary I saw last week really shocked me. The Cove, which is being launched in Australia next week, exposes the mass slaughter of Dolphins in a little Japanese town called Taiji.
"Mass dolphin slaughter?? What the!!" Yes, that's right, each year, starting on the 1st of September a whopping 23,000 terrified dolphins are herded into a secret cove. They are netted in, unable to escape and are slowly speared or stabbed to death!
And why haven't we heard of this before? Because the Japanese Government has gone to painstaking efforts to keep the slaughter a secret, even from it's own people. Dolphin meat is being labelled and sold as other types of seafood and the vast majority of Japanese citizens have no idea this is happening, or that they are eating it!
International dolphin expert and former trainer Richard O'Barry has gone to incredible efforts to expose this terrible secret. In creating The Cove he took an elite team of scientists, filmmakers and free-divers to Taiji. He hopes the international outrage The Cove will create will put a stop to this barbaric practice... HOPEFULLY before this September's slaughter begins.
So what can you do? Fortunately, as Australians we're in a unique position to help! Taiji just so happens to be the Sister-City of Broome in WA. By putting pressure on Broome to sever it's ties with Taiji we will expose the slaughter and shame Japan. The good news is that most Japanese people see dolphins the same way westerners do – as intelligent, graceful animals who should never be hurt or eaten – but whilst the slaughter remains a secret sadly it will continue.
[UPDATE: Some great news! After a flood of letters, Broome Councilors met over the weekend and decided to sever their ties with the Japanese town of Taiji.
We still have a couple of 2-for-1 passes to giveaway to see The Cove (opening this week)! If you want to score yourself a pass then please write to Broome to thank them for taking a stand against the dolphin slaughter in Japan and severing their ties with Taiji. Then leave a comment below to let us know you've written.
Broome Shire Council: firstname.lastname@example.org