WARNING: This article contains graphic content in regards to the slaughtering of dolphins in Japan. It may be unsettling news to some, but it deserves more media attention than it is receiving.
Ever since humans could see dolphins curving up out of the water we have had an obsession with the animals. Their majestic and peaceful nature made them loveable and interesting even before all of the biology research done on them. Research has revealed that these marine creatures are some of the most impressively intelligent species known to man. Their social behavior, communal instinct, and extensive intellect has established a reputation as Einsteins of the ocean.
Cruel Methods of Slaughter
Dolphin hunting has been a popular pastime of multiple cultures including Japan, Peru, and the Solomon Islands. They mainly hunt down the creatures to use for their meat. The ones left alive and separated from their families are sent to dolphinariums. Most of the dolphins are simply killed for meat yielding a potential profit of around $600. When they are sold into captivity however, they can be worth up to $200,000.
The most traditional modern method of hunting dolphins is called dolphin drive hunting. Hunters track down herds of dolphins in the water and use boats to wrangle them into shallow areas. They release a net connected to boats that keep the dolphins from escaping into the deep sea. Once they are contained in the shoreline, hunters take spears and jab them into the animals until they stop moving. This is similar to the controversial method used on killer whales, which is elaborated on in this article.
A New “Civilized” Method
The cultures that still partake in dolphin hunting are constantly trying to rationalize the slaughter of these majestic animals. After protestors persisted for change, a few areas came up with a new killing method that would be supposedly by much more humane.
The new method entails the hunters entering the water with the dolphins wielding large metal rods. They have to swim up to the animals and impale the spinal cords with their weapons. Before doing this, they hook the animals up to boats after corralling them and drag their bodies to an area for execution. During this process some dolphins have difficulty breathing and many drown.
When you see this unsettling process on film, it is quite bothersome. The dolphins violently splash around the water while hunters continually stab into them trying to locate the spine. The new method was supposed to reduce the time of death but it still does a fair amount of mental damage. Have a look at this short documentary to see what happens. Warning, it contains graphic content!
All For What?
Clearly the slaughtering of dolphins hasn’t taken on many improvements in recent years, though the people that do it want you to think so. Even the guidelines for killing cattle in Japan would forbid the melancholy method.
Dolphin hunters also claim that the meat is an essential part of the culture’s survival. In reality, dolphin meat is often polluted with mercury and not notably healthy for the public. The Japanese people wouldn’t starve if harvesting dolphin meat was forbidden. The main reason they continue to hunt dolphins is for one thing: Profit!
Not every person in Japan is in support of this practice. As a matter of fact, there are many awareness groups that openly protest dolphin hunting in an effort to salvage the dignity and humanity of their reputation.
What do you think about the slaughtering of dolphins? Would you join a group to protest it? Share your thoughts with a comment below!
Image Credits: Elena Larina/BigStock.com