"Save the Whales" and Be Healthy?

>> Thursday, May 6, 2010

{{w|Bottlenose Dolphin}} - Tursiops truncatus ...Image via Wikipedia
The Cove is a crucially-important documentary that will hopefully surface on your must-watch list. This is an exposé on the massive killing, nay, slaughtering of dolphins that happens on a regular basis in one small Japanese town. When considering the intelligence, compassion, and empathy shown by these creatures, it's unimaginable that people would actively hunt and kill them by the thousands, but there's a health-damaging result of hunting them as well.

Dolphins are relatively near the top of the oceanic food chain, and due to our pollution of the world, all the little bits of toxic waste that's eaten up by the smaller fish tend to collect in their bodies, much like they do with ours when we eat mercury-laden foods. Pretend for a moment that instead of avoiding high-mercury tuna, for example, you ate it for every single meal of the day. That's the level of consumption we're talking about.

The people of Japan - even the people of and near Taiji, where this all happens - for the most part have or had no idea that they were eating mercury-laden dolphin. The business operating the regular slaughter of these animals had even contracted with governments to feed this meat to schoolchildren. This all takes place with the knowledge that dolphin meat is so rich with mercury it is outright dangerous.

This is the same story that has been told a hundred times, with only the places and names changing. It's the story of Profit First, and the kind of story it is is a tragedy. Consider the American food system and realize how it's no safer what with the chemical additives, or artificial, oil-based foodlike substances that are produced here. We're feeding it to our children because we can save money, and because the producers of such substances can make money - a lot of it. Rob Smart said this in a much more eloquent way in his article at the Huffington Post. "The big question on my mind is how man rationalizes poisoning other men with the food they grow, harvest and hunt?" We have to stop thinking about money, and put each others' lives first.

Go watch The Cove, and then tell someone about it. Go learn about the evils of the way we produce our food, and then go do something about it.

This link is part of Fight Back Friday on The Food Renegade.

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Local Nourishment,  May 8, 2010 at 11:30 AM  

I had two problems with "The Cove." First, it was presented in a way that insists dolphins are of superior intelligence to humans, and that just annoys me. Second, the filmmakers even go so far as to describe a dolphin culling town that was shut down before it was all picked up and moved to Taiji. If dolphin meat is that profitable, what makes anyone think the industry will not just pick up and move on to another location when Taiji is closed?

More must be done. The "farming" of dolphins for the purpose of food must be made unprofitable. The market needs to dry up FIRST. We can do very little to encourage the Japanese government to not feed dolphin to children in their school system. It's a change that must come from within.

All in all, yes, it's a sad story, and totally preventable. Americans can help in ways outlined in the film. But when you take away the "dolphins are better than us" angle, it becomes just another story of government-permitted unsafe food. And that is a story from our own shores.

My Site (click to edit),  May 10, 2010 at 8:25 AM  

What was it that gave you the feeling they presented dolphins as superior intelligence? I didn't get that feeling; I felt they were saying they're danged smart and more than worthy of not being hunted.

More definitely must be done! I think on an individual level, we don't have a lot of control - but I can testify that I'll never go to SeaWorld or other such dolphinarium again. I wonder if zoos count, though?

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