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Deep Blue Plate Special

the cove
Each year in Taiji, Japan the local fisherman lure wild dolphins to a secluded cove with the promise of cheap Colorado timeshares. But it's really a torture chamber from which none escape, though a lucky few, the ones with a presumably purty mouth, get sold to zoos or amusement parks. The rest are sliced and diced in ways so unspeakably horrid that the result can only be an Oscar-winning movie. In this case, 2009's The Cove.

Needless to say, the official Japanese response to the film was to lapse into a mammoth snit. "Someone's killing Flipper? Not us. Never heard of dolphins. Dolphins you say? Swim in the ocean and stuff? How peculiar. More dolphin sushi?"

To be honest, the Japanese don't hold dolphins in the same high culinary regard as Westerners do baby cows and sheep, who willingly sacrifice themselves to ritual murder so that we'll never go hungry for veal or lamb chops again. No, the Japanese see these cetaceans as giant swimming rats, indolently cruising the oceans and gobbling up all the sea life that nature has, until then anyway, safely stored away in the Japanese people's personal off-shore larder. So the slaughter of dolphins every year isn't so much a harvest as it is an extermination, albeit with knives and wooden stakes rather than a big can of Raid. But then there's always the added bonus of selling the mercury-laden body-parts to nearby schools. So, win-win, right?

There's no doubt that the American meat industry also deserves a wide-screen inspection at what transpires on the killing-floor but that's not going to happen soon as (1) most god-fearing 'Mericans prefer a blissful lack of specificity about the composition of the comestibles currently sliding down their gullets... except for the price and (2) the protein industry has been busy writing laws restricting photographic access to their businesses, the so-called "ag-gag" laws, and then have their best pet congressman pass them. That's democracy.

The effect of the movie has been, sadly, minimal as the slaughter continues, and I'm not referring to the Denver Broncos. People, including these fisherman, are simply willing to overlook the big biological picture when their livelihood is at stake, not unlike a BP CEO. This cartoon, and this rant, will contribute little to the furthered existence of these magnificent creatures but I'll take the satisfaction of cleaner toes from standing on this soapbox.


end rant

45 Days: The Life and Death of a Broiler Chicken

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