There’s nothing you can do to prepare yourself to witness slaughter on a mass scale.
Returning for my third season here in Taiji, Japan yesterday showed me just that.
Arriving yesterday afternoon, the news that I was greeted with instantly made me sick to my stomach- over 100 Pilot Whales had been captured within the cove that morning, waiting to be slaughtered.
I travelled into Taiji yesterday afternoon for the first time since last season. This time, the first stop was the new ‘Police Box’ where all new activists must report for questioning upon their arrival in the town. When I had left last year, the police station at the cove was newly being built… This year, the police presence has grown immensely!
After talking with the police, I wanted to head straight to the Cove.
The sight that greeted us was one of pure heartbreak. Huddled together and confused, the huge pod of Pilot Whales were barely moving, except for the occasional spy-hop or tail slap. Some members of the pod were enormous and of old age, some were newborn calves; still sporting ‘birth rings’ along their bodies. We remained at the cove for hours until the sun had set. Ever present these days, the police had set up powerful lights which shone out over the whole beach overnight..
After a very restless sleep, we awoke this morning and set out for the cove at 5am. After what would have been a night of absolute terror for these sentient beings, we arrived at the cove to find that the pod had hardly moved at all, still clutching onto each other, huddled up and giving comfort in the form of physical touch. Their stress levels were noticeably increasing, however, with every hour that passed…
They began herding some of the pod into the killing cove- the pod put up quite a valiant struggle against the nets, boats, sounds, engines, propellors and men that were trying so desperately to end their lives… The dolphin killers selected some of the largest pilot whales from the pod and dragged them by a rope harnessed around their tail fluke, into the killing cove. The next time that they emerged, they were lifeless and tied to the side of boats- headed for the butcherhouse.
What teared away at my insides most today was seeing innocence in its’ purest form be greeted with such atrocious acts of indifference and cruelty. This morning, one of the young calves became trapped in a net, and was very visibly struggling to free itself, while its’ mother looked on close by. This went on for a long time, while the dolphin killers stood merely metres away- too busy and transfixed on their money-generating slaughter to even acknowledge the calf, let alone free it. After a while, the calf vanished- it had drowned in the net, with its’ mother by its’ side… helpless.
In my opinion, the development of human indifference has been the most dangerous thing that has ever occurred on this planet. When we’re children, we are taught right from wrong. In school, we are constantly urged to show respect for others, compassion and kindness. We know when we are doing the wrong thing, we know when our words or actions hurt another- we have been instructed how to live a life of peace from an early age.
But, somewhere along the path of growing up, we lose all of this kindness and compassion- we become indifferent and apathetic to the problems in this world, always leaving it for another to take responsibility.
We are ALL responsible for what goes on in this world, and it is up to every single one of us to make the conscious change to live a compassionate life and to stand up for those without a voice. For if we do not do so quickly, there may not be many more generations to teach this compassion to. This is YOUR time to stand up, have your voice counted and do something that will change the world.
Just consider; what kind of a world do you want your kids and grandkids to see? What kind of legacy would YOU like to leave behind?
At the end of the day, 15 Pilot Whales were killed during the slaughter, including the calf that drowned. The remaining 80-90 whales are still currently within the cove, awaiting their fate tomorrow morning…
We will be updating live from the cove in the morning- you can keep updated on the official Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians’ Facebook Page. Or follow #tweet4taiji on Twitter!
I’ll be updating this blog as well as my Facebook every day whilst I’m here in Taiji! A huge thank you to those of you who have already sent such kind words of support, I really do appreciate it and it helps to get through the days here knowing that we have such a strong network of support worldwide!