Animal Cruelty in Any Country is Wrong

I feel as though sometimes people take the voice of activists and environmentalists to be one with a prejudice tone. I was thinking about that idea today and I am not sure why someone would think that, but I do hear it a lot. There are accusations that if you are vocal about your feelings against whaling and dolphin killings that you are spreading a racist message towards Japan and their traditions. This could not be further from the truth. If you look at the town of Taiji, Japan where the film The Cove was filmed to document the killing of thousands of dolphins, you will find that only a handful of people (when compared to the entire country of Japan) are actually involved in killing those animals. Others are of course involved in the capturing of the dolphins that they feel represent the perfect “Flipper” and therefore will spend the rest of their lives in captivity. But even with that industry, it is only a few individuals and they do not speak for the rest of the Japanese people. The majority of people in Japan do not know that a cove exists in Taiji and that a mass slaughter of dolphins occurs there. The fight to stop the killings in the Cove is not an attack on a culture, but one on animal cruelty. Dolphins do not need to be rounded up by men banging loudly against their boats in order to trap the animals within nets and stone walls. They do not need to be stabbed to death. They do not need to swim in the blood of their families while trying desperately to get away before the fisherman can silence them too. They do not need to be ripped from a life of freedom in the ocean and placed in holding boxes, airplanes and then concrete tanks. They do not need to spend the rest of their sad lives begging for dead fish, performing tricks, pulling oblivious tourists around in circles and suffering from the stress that goes hand in hand with life in a marine park. This is not an issue of tradition or culture. Sometimes I think that certain individuals who have a stake in an industry that is being criticized will try to excuse their actions by claiming its “tradition”. Traditions don’t justify bad behavior. The same can be said about shark finning, bear bile farming, and even the factory farms in the United States. I do not care what country it happens in. Animals cruelty is animal cruelty. And no speech about culture and tradition will ever make that okay in my eyes.

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Categories: Animal Welfare, Dolphins, Marine Wildlife, Oceans, Whales | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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