I just watched the documentary “The Cove” last night. For those of you who don’t know about it, it’s a film about a group of people who try to stop the killing of dolphins in Japan. For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1313104/.
As a vegetarian Hindu, I’m all about saving dolphins from inhumane treatment and murder. But even then, this video just kept feeling weird to me. These men were making a cover operation (and sometimes it seemed the covert part of the job was what was making this exciting for them) to travel to Japan to save innocent dolphins; they challenged local authorities; they feel the local fishermen are evil; they crash conferences with videos and audio recordings and they really succeed at making it seem as if these Japanese fishermen are really the worst people in the world. And then there’s a line, which is meant to be something that really highlights how these Japanese are so misguided, that mentions how the Japanese are silly for claiming this is just a cultural misunderstanding. “You eat cows, we eat dolphins,” those silly Japanese claim.
But…that line caught something that I was thinking for the first half of the film already. These men and a one woman diver were going crying out about being humane; they bemoaned the evil treatment of separated baby dolphins from their parents as the parents went to slaughter; they cried as the waters turned red from dolphin blood; they held each other watching a dolphin writhe and jump in pain as it made final attempts at escape. And I wondered, have you been to a slaughter house? Why are you so surprised that you are not waking head-way through these Japanese people when you really have no moral high ground to stand on? These men catch wild dolphins – at least those dolphins had a chance of not being caught; in the U.S. and elsewhere millions upon millions of cows are bred in cattle FARMS!!! just for your consumption! They don’t even have a chance of have a free or natural existence. They probably a kill a few thousand dolphins every year; for you burgers and fries or the steaks you eat at fancy restaurants ask for the killing of millions of cattle. You’re surprised that the Japanese don’t listen that these fishermen can be so cruel; let me ask you. Have you heard of PETA’s campaign about the cruel treatment of cattle in America? Have you seen there videos? They make videos like yours every year – they may not be sexy covert ops but still. And after knowing about it for all these years and after watching those videos, did you change your lifestyle? Are you vegetarian or have you at least given up beef? So hard to change your own lifestyles, so easy to demand others to change – isn’t it? I agree that those dolphins should be saved. I gawk at the shock and sudden wave of humanity that is shown in the video when I know they probably had some Kobe beef during they stay in Japan.
People in the United States who eat meat should have to see the factories that produce their food. They should be forced to visit there before they purchase. Of course, chances are they’d get used it and then continue eating because at the end of the day changing social norms is not a simple thing and not a thing anybody likes to do. People will more likely look away then have to address the facts. It’s the very basic, maybe intrinsic, opposition to lifestyle-change that is freezing our society on two of our major issues – Global Climate Change (Global Warming) and our Economy.