There a lot of words I could use to describe this documentary, but I think ‘shocking’ sums it up pretty nicely. I can’t wrap my head around the idea of a human killing animals like that so mercilessly and without real cause. The fact that these dolphins are being slaughtered for really nothing other then because these people ‘feel’ that it is necessary. I’m also really surprised at the Japanese government’s lack of involvement or even awareness of the issue. It’s hard to believe thousands of dolphins, animals that many people connect with on a personal level, can be massacred with no one knowing about it or recognizing it. I think one of the most shocking topics bought up in this documentary was the mercury levels. This is a problem that was once an issue in Japan that lead to mental and physical disorders. And it is happening again (or could happen again if not corrected) today. Dolphin meat contains over 4,000 ppi of mercury when the legal limit is under .1 ppi. This meat is being packaged and sold as whale meat and being used in school lunches across their country. The fact that these fishermen don’t care about how the are effecting people is astounding. The fact that the government is ignoring this is astounding. It makes me think about all of the other issues that are swept under the rug. Not only in Japan, but in our own government.
On another note, in class today we talked about Beggar the dolphin. I grew up fairly close to where he use to live. He use to swim up a small river between houses with docks near oscar schere park which is less then five minutes away by car. When I was in middle school, we use to have class kayaking trips down that river where we happened upon him several times. There are signs when you reach a certain part of the river that say “Don’t feed Beggar.” I never got to feed him. There were a lot of reports over the years about him. He bit a few people, and there was even one man who tried to have him put down, saying he was a menace and terrorizing people. They had reports in the newspaper about Beggar when he passed away. He even made it on the local news hour. Its really sad how he died I suppose. People feed him out of a desire to connect with a wild animal, and I’m sure Beggar felt something similar. And it’s sad that that curiosity and our ignorance is what ultimately killed him.