When I first began watching The Cove documentary, my immediate instinct was to mistrust Ric O’Barry, who seemed to me to be kind of paranoid and very extreme in his views on the capture of dolphins, despite being a talented communicator. He struck me as overly emotional and disrespectful, although after watching most of the documentary I believe I can understand why.
I think the issue of the capture and training of dolphins was blown out of proportion, although I don’t feel qualified to have a very strong opinion about it until I’ve done a lot more research. I definitely believe that no dolphin deserves to be neglected or abused. If humanity is to enjoy them, they should do so with the utmost care and respect, as they should do for all animals. However, I think it is extreme to assume that every dolphin in captivity is miserable and that there is no situation where captivity is beneficial (dolphin rescue and rehabilitation, for example.)
One thing I do completely agree with Mr. O’Barry on is that the slaughter of dolphins and the sale of their meat is completely unacceptable. I could not believe that dolphins were being killed in the cruelest of ways, sold for only a few hundred dollars’ profit, and distributed to the unsuspecting public. There is no way to defend the act of consciously poisoning consumers who may not even have a clue that they are ingesting mercury-riddled dolphin.
So, in conclusion, while I initially mistrusted the words of Ric O’Barry and still do not agree with him completely, The Cove has opened my eyes to problems that I do believe need to be fixed. I may be suspicious of some of what I hear, but the documentary made me concerned about what is going on with the dolphins, so I would say it succeeded in making its point.