The March 10 article ” ‘Cove’ Oscar won’t end Taiji dolphin kill” mentions Japan’s outrage over the activist documentary film that describes the town of Taiji, Wakayama, as having a “very big secret” — the annual killing of 20,000 dolphins near its shores.
Through foreign eyes this may seem inhumane and intolerantly cruel, but from the viewpoint of the town’s inhabitants, the film was a documented mockery of their old fishing tradition. The trailer for “The Cove” alone can have a huge influence on audiences. I feel that it depicts the Japanese negatively. Words on the screen between scenes make the fishermen seem like cruel, heartless savages.
In my opinion, “The Cove” gives a very narrow viewpoint of Taiji’s dolphin fishing industry. We should not forget that dolphins were fished long ago for food and survival. To ban the town’s long tradition would not only hurt the town’s fishing industry economically but also brand the city as bloodthirsty. I am not nationalistic — I possess dual U.S.-Japan citizenship — but I feel that the dolphin activists are being hypocritical.
If dolphin killing is banned, why shouldn’t the slaughters of cows and pigs be banned as well? Dolphin fishing has been brought to the attention of the Western world, yet the cruelty in slaughterhouses is just as bad and heartless. If we realize this, then even the United States has a “big secret.” The carcasses of pigs and cattle are processed every day in alarming numbers. If we are so concerned for the dolphins’ well-being and safety, we might as well all become vegetarians.
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