It’s been really helpful for me to watch this documentary, because it keeps raising some questions in my mind that sometimes I want to put on hold and forget about. I feel like the issue of dolphin slaughter in Taiji really speaks about much broader and at the same time more personal questions. The idea of killing anything for the sake of having something for oneself, or proving something to others, is a bothersome one. I’m thinking more and more that killing is not justified in any case, or for any reason. Many of us agree on that point concerning people, but we often don’t think that for animals. But how much is it really different? I understand that we as humans can relate to one another more, and we can accept each other as equals for the most part, but often we see people relating to animals just the same, or even much more than to other humans. And even though some people cannot understand each other, cannot relate and maybe cannot even see each other as equals, we still generally do not justify killing people. So, why can we justify killing in one sense, and not in the other?
For many years now, and especially since I came to the United States, which happened 3 and something years ago, I’ve been exposed to thinking about eating meat. When I lived my life in Belarus there seemed never be a question that it’s okay to kill animals in order to get food. I do remember seeing my dad cutting a chicken’s head off, and I don’t think I loved that experience too much, even though I do not think of it as a particularly dramatic one either. I also understand that this was the way to get food, and I had to eat, so I didn’t question it. However, when I came to the US and saw how much availability of different foods other than animal meat there is in the world, I started to think, why do I need to eat meat?
Of course, one may say if we stop killing animals, there will be too many of them on the Earth. But animals kill each other as well, so if we leave them alone and live our lives without touching them, they will be just doing their thing, regulating their populations, and evolving into higher species. It comes back to the question from the beginning of the semester about whether we should be part of the ecosystem. If yes, then it should be perfectly justified to kill other animals for food, or for other reasons, kill each other for survival, be wild, just as other animals are in ecosystems. But if we could detach ourselves gradually, we could let the nature and the ecosystems develop on its own without being disturbed by humans. And it seems like that’s what we are doing slowly.
I guess everything happens gradually, and we are learning things step by step. We are getting less cruel, more caring, first to ourselves, then to animals, and maybe to everything that surrounds us. Rick O’Barry is a perfect example. He was the one who started the whole thing with dolphins, yet he learnt that what was happening was not right, and now he is helping to turn things around. And even if it’s not happening fast, we also are learning from him, so the chain keeps going anyway, and eventually things maybe are not so bad as we think sometimes. I mean, if we think back 100 years ago, people were 100 times less caring about the environment, animals, each other. We are changing all the time, and this process can go only faster if we share the change with each other.