The Cove

When you think about dolphins, what is the first image that comes into mind? For me, it was an image of a dolphin flying up from a water and doing some cool tricks at a show in an aquarium / zoo. Recently, after getting exposed to more shows like Animal Planet & National Geographic (thank you Astro!) I see dolphins swimming happily through the waters of the ocean...that changed after watching "The Cove".

"The Cove" is a documentary expose directed by National Geographic photographer Louie Psihoyos about dolphins being hunted en masse in a particular cove in Taiji, Japan. Apparently, not many people knew about this horrific practice, so they (the film crew) set up hidden cameras and equipment illegally at the cove to uncover the killings...o.O"

Of course, the movie doesn't start off by delving into those footage...rather, we were given a background (sort of) about how they came about this cove, what other whaling activists were doing prior to the movie and the actual process of them setting up the cameras. It is very interesting to note that some of the film crew involved are special effects experts in the film industry and they have created seriously ingenious ways of hiding the cameras along the cove. There is also a brief appearance by some popular actors-turned-activists in the film...see if you can spot them ;)

I have to say though, that although the film is very educational about dolphin and whale hunting I can't help but feel it's very one-sided in the sense that they're trying to push everything on the Japanese about the killings and what not. In return, the Japanese are saying that it's a very traditional culture and has been practiced for quite some time now. I suppose, in retrospect, dolphins are to the Japanese what normal fish and cattle are to the other nationalities who consume them. Coming from a race that has a reputation for 'weird' foods by the Western standards, it's easy to see where the Japanese stand as well as what the film is advocating.

Don't get me wrong...I don't think that killing dolphins mercilessly in droves every year is good, but there is also another side to that story (which the film makers didn't show...naturally). To me, I see it as a documentary that talks about the food industry...much as it is about dolphins and whales, I can't help but also think about countless other animals that are slaughtered and killed for food every year to meet the demands of - you guessed it right - people. Us. You and me included. And yet, we don't even bat our eyes at the enormous number of cattle, pigs, chickens, sheep, fish, etc that are killed for the food industry. They are animals too, no? And yet, we consume them just like any other bulk (myself included). How is that much different from dolphins being killed for their meat in Japan? Is it because it is the norm in other countries to consume other 'normal' kinds of animals that we overlook their suffering too? 

And yet, I still do find myself longing for meat dishes almost every day...I have to admit, I'm no vegetarian! But yes, "The Cove" is a very hard-hitting documentary about the dolphins being killed in droves over the years. The footage of the killings itself is not long, but is enough to make you think hard about the consequences of supply and demand. And who do we blame for that? Not just the Japanese, but the human RACE as a whole...
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