As my cruise ship approached the port we were about to dock at, I stood near the railing looking down into the beautiful water. Even from fifty feet up, I could see straight to the bottom of the crystal clear water. As my family and I headed towards the main door to exit the ship, the butterflies in my stomach grew more and more excited. Finally, we left the ship and were greeted by a large sign that read, “Welcome to the Bahamas!” Our first stop was to swim with the dolphins. We arrived at the aquarium and sat through a long video explaining how to act around the animals. As I finally stepped into my wet suit, I was able to see a few dolphins jumping up into the air and splashing back into the water. I jumped into the water as if I belonged there. As the dolphin popped his head out, I gave him a kiss right on the lips. I could not have been happier. Little did I know, that dolphin was not happy at all.
The beautiful, clear water in the cove suddenly turns to a deep red. At this moment, hundreds of dolphins are being slaughtered in Taiji, Japan. Every year in Taiji, 23,000 dolphins are murdered and hundreds more are sold into captivity. These intelligent animals are unable to fight for themselves to live and unfairly die every year. In Taiji, dolphin intelligence, society, and culture are the last thing on the minds of the fishermen. Dolphins are sold into captivity after being forced and trapped into a tiny cove (The Cove). The remaining dolphins are left in the cove overnight. While enclosed in this small area, the dolphin’s stress level rises as they hear their babies crying (The Cove). The animals are able to sense that something is seriously wrong. The next morning, the dolphins in the cove are stabbed with sharp spears until they bleed to death (The Cove). They are then hoisted onto a boat, sometimes while still alive, by a long hook that is shoved into their head or stomach. Some of the dolphins are even gutted while still alive. After the 23,000 murdered dolphins per year are falsely packaged and marked as expensive whale meat, they are sold at high prices to consumers who have no idea what they are really eating (The Cove).
As I watched “The Cove,” a documentary focusing on Japan’s dolphin hunting culture, I was astonished at the cruelty and heartlessness that the fishermen showed towards the poor animals. I could not believe that they laughed and shared stories about their lives as they shoved spears into the panicking dolphins. At some points, I was almost unable to look at the screen. The documentary was so powerful and emotional that it is almost unbearable to view. After I watched “The Cove,” I really got to thinking: If these fishermen are killing 23,000 dolphins a year, will there even be any dolphins left in ten years? twenty years? etc.
Over Millions of years, the world has experienced drastic changes. Just like the dinosaurs sixty-five million years ago, many other plants and animals have also become extinct. This cycle is expected to happen over thousands or millions of years, however, since the humans have come into existence, the rate at which certain plants and animals have become extinct has increased immensely (Pollock). The most common ways in which humans affect animals consists of: hunting, habitat destruction, and pollution (Kurpis).
By luring the dolphins into the lagoon, the town of Taiji is able to bring in millions of dollars a year to support them economically (The Cove). The Japanese government is fully aware of the dolphin killings and supports the fishermen in their efforts to lessen the dolphin population in the area (The Cove). The money they make from selling the dolphins into captivity financially supports not only the fishermen, but also the people in the town (The Cove). Taiji is able to keep its economic growth afloat mainly because of the selling of dolphins into captivity and the dolphin hunts (The Cove). The link...