Wednesday, March 10, 2010

"The Cove" Wins Oscar

"The Cove" is an American film documenting the annual killing of dolphins in a cove near the Japanese village of Taiji. On Sunday night it was awarded an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

I just watched the documentary last Wednesday and I cried so much that my eyes were swollen the next day.

Every September, the fishermen would trap the dolphins in the bay. The dolphins that are not sold to aquariums and oceanariums are stabbed to death until the whole sea turns red. They could have just set the dolphins free but instead they massacred the poor creatures and sold their meat as whale meat.

Sea red with dolphin blood

Even though the dolphin meat contains high levels of mercury, they are given to the local school and served to schoolchildren for lunch. These people are without a conscience.

Those dolphins who ended up in the aquariums and oceanariums did not fare any better. We are under the impression that the dolphins are happy because of their smiling faces. In actual fact dolphins in captivity are very miserable. We know this from the man behind this exposé, Ric O'Barry.

He was the one who captured and trained the five wild dolphins who played the role of Flipper in the hit television series of the 1960s. The turning point came for him when one of the dolphins committed suicide in his arms.

Unlike humans, dolphins must make a conscious effort to breathe. The dolphin who committed suicide swam into his arms, looked at him then she voluntarily closed her blowhole, suffocated and just sank to the bottom of the pool.

When he realized the suffering inflicted on performing dolphins and dolphins in captivity he made it his lifelong mission to free as many dolphins as he can and to be an advocate for dolphins.

I will never visit any zoo, aquarium or oceanarium again.

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