Today has been one of the hardest days I’ve endured at the cove thus far… Today was the first slaughter since December 20th, 18 days ago…
Of our nine strong team of Cove Guardians… this was the very first slaughter most of them had seen, excluding Libby and myself only. Today, 15 bottlenose dolphins were stolen from our seas, their bodies brutally hacked and sent off to supermarkets around Japan. Seven are now sentenced to life in prison… I mean, captivity.
For me, today felt like I was seeing the slaughter for the first time… all over again. Only this time I could predict and know what was going on, and I wasn’t so disorientated.
We all went up to the promontory first thing in the early hours, and had a clear view of the horizon. I was answering questions all about the slaughter for those who had been here for just a couple slaughter-free days… though it continued to feel like my first time experiencing it. It seems like a lifetime ago that I last saw those banger boats in formation out on the horizon, almost like years now.
The reality of it all came crashing into view as we all noticed a large pod of dolphins being herded by the bangers… then there was silence among us, as there always is. We watched with a painful stare, some were peering through the holes of binoculars, some through the lenses of their cameras… for some reason, it always feels a little less real this way. As the sun rose and began beating down on the large group of us at the promontory, Libby, Andy and myself decided to head straight to the Cove- as the dolphins were being herded toward the mouth of Taiji…
The agonising and traumatic wait at the Cove is one of the worst parts of the mornings here… when you know that they have dolphins, and you wait for them to come into sight for that final confirmation… of the nets sealing their fate.
Soon after the dolphins were in the Cove, I identified them as being Bottlenose Dolphins. A species that many sources often deny as being killed in Taiji…
I quickly made my way up Glenda’s Hill with Andy, to get a better look at the dolphins, and to gain footage of the horrors within the killing cove. Every time I walk up the many steep steps of that hill, there is always a sense of dread, and there is always silence… The one place in the world that I would love to never visit again, is the top of that hill. The absolute atrocities I have witnessed, as well as countless others, will no doubt haunt me forever. But, whenever there are dolphins in the killing cove, there is nowhere else I want to be- because I know that filming what goes on inside that cove is the key to helping to unlock the freedom of these animals. These horrors need to be shown to the world in order for them to become aware and help end this- and if that means that I have to bear witness to it in person in order to get this message out there- then that is what I will do. For that is the reason why I came here- to help tell the world what is going on… as well as creating ideas to end the slaughter for good.
I believe that today was almost the hardest day I’ve had up on Glenda’s Hill… and I think it was seeing those bottlenose dolphins that did it.
Anyone who has grown up on the coast of Australia has more than likely had many sightings or close encounters with a bottlenose dolphin… these are the species of dolphin that are iconic to my home country. Many divers, surfers, beach-goers and ocean lovers can tell you at least a few stories about these amazing creatures of our shores… they are a very well loved species of dolphin. Now that I think about it, most Australians develop a love and admiration for these animals by watching them in the wild only… by seeing them free and at peace. Seeing this species of dolphin immediately takes me back home, to the sandy beaches and the coral reefs… I closed my eyes this morning after the slaughter and had a distinct image of my countless hours that I used to spend on beautiful headlands and beaches back home, watching these amazing animals play and surf the waves. I pictured the times when dolphins would surround me whilst snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef… I opened my eyes once more and reality hit. I had to sit down immediately- my head was dizzy, I felt weak and powerless. I put my head in my hands and sobbed on top of that hill. At the same time having to listen to the jeers and laughter of the human beings who had just ripped apart an entire family of sentient beings…
Seeing these wild animals tortured, abused, harassed, injured and slaughtered tore my heart out- it was a complete outrage… When? When did this become something that people considered ok… When did it become something that people took pride in? Well, after seeing this today, it has given me a whole lot more fuel to fight this slaughter to the end… to its’ end.
I saw in an online article today a few quotes from the Mayor of Taiji:
“We will pass down the history of our ancestors to the next generation, preserve it. We have a strong sense of pride about this. So we are not going to change our plans for the town based on the criticism of foreigners.” Mayor Kazutaka Sangen
Well I have something to say about this, and something to say to the Mayor.
I guarantee that this slaughter will end.
Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow… but it will. If you will not heed to the pleading calls of millions of ‘foreigners’ then we will have to play it your way. I will see to it that the members of your ‘next generation’ see this slaughter for what it is. I will stand up for those in Taiji who are against this slaughter. I will show you that this is something that many of the locals in Taiji and its’ surrounding villages do NOT take pride in any longer… I am starting a movement- tomorrow- which I have been creating and developing for a few weeks now. I will knock on the door of every person in this area if I have to- but I will see to it that you gain the truth from your locals… that you see that it is not just the foreigners who want this to end. I make these promises, and until this slaughter ends I intend to keep them.
Enough is enough. It has got to stop.
Below is a video I found recently and I am including in memory of the 15 dolphins that were brutally slaughtered at the hands of mankind this morning on January 7th, 2011.
Below is the footage from today’s slaughter..
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On the path to protect,