Friday, August 26, 2011

Something else to discuss

Since we're getting rid of Netflix at the end of the month, I finally forced myself to watch The Cove, which has been sitting in our queue for at least six months. I knew it would be hard for me to watch. Thankfully, the filmmakers minimized the bloodbath so the visual part wasn't as horrifying as it could have been and it didn't go on as long as I feared it would.

But it was still horrifying.

It was horrifying even though I already knew that dolphin roundups and slaughters were happening. But the magnitude of it, the sounds of the panicked dolphins, the blood in the water, the thrashing, the separation of moms from babies, the carelessness and machismo of the "fishermen," the lying and ignorance of the Japanese government and its representatives, the cover ups...if it doesn't make you angry, I'd have to question whether your heart is beating.

While we were in Mexico, I said "no" over and over again to swim-with-the-dolphin programs. Because I know that dolphins don't belong in captivity. But I still took my kids to a dolphin "show" at the local water park. And I still look back on the swim-with-the-dolphin program I did 14 years ago with regret.

My children will not see captive dolphins again, at least on my dime. Er, peso, as it were.

The best part about having kids, or ONE of the best parts about having kids, is the opportunity to present injustice to them. They soak it up. It inspires them to create change. My children do not see the world through rose colored glasses. They get the truth from me.

Their potential is limitless, as is their capacity to learn. And as we all know, kids understand justice. That "life isn't fair" doesn't ring true to them. It should be fair. It must be fair. But it's not. Especially if you're a dolphin who happens to migrate past the coast of Japan.

So, add "cetacions in captivity" to the list of stuff we discuss in the car and on our walks to school. Coal and oil vs. renewable energy, the ethics of buying CAFO meat, the effects of egg farming on egg farmers, human trafficking, genocide, child labor, big pharma, my kids hear it all.

They know that we vote with our dollars. They've heard "I vote with my dollars, and I can't vote for that" so many times they probably hear it in their sleep. And if I have anything to do with it, my kids will become activists for something that matters. They will change this world for the better some day. It might be through their art, maybe their words or their writing or their loud, loud voices. It might be through their children, but somehow my kids will make an impact.

My children will leave this place better than they found it.


Fulton said...

Amen, I'll have to watch it, although reluctantly. Have you heard of the TV Series called "Whale Wars"? It's a documentary of a fleet of ships called the "Sea Shepherds" that fight the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean. The first season they only made a small dent in their harvest (saving maybe 50 or so whales out of something huge like 800 or 1000 whales). This Summer they are airing season 4 and apparently the Japanese fleet caught no whales this year. They really are making a difference and are starting to protect other animals. I think I read on their site, with increased funding and more ships, they are starting to address the dolphin situation.

Really inspiring stuff.

Hillary said...

Yep, Scott and I watched whale wars for the first and second seasons, I think. Paul (that's his name, right?) from Sea Shepherd is actually featured in a few interviews in The Cove. I can imagine him out in the middle of the dolphin migration chasing the dolphins out to sea so they don't get caught by the Japanese "fishermen."

It's a tough thing to stop thinking about once you've watched the movie. I read on their blog that something like 24 dolphins who were being held in ocean pens were thrashed on the shore and died during the Japanese tsunami. You know that if they were free they would have swum to safety. It's just so ridiculous to hold them for our entertainment.