Thursday, December 15, 2011

Taiji Take Two: So absolutely tired.

The summery of our week so far: 5 days, 4 slaughters, 2 species, 7 captures, and about 50 dead dolphins.

So, needless to say, I am exhausted. In fact, the whole town of Taiji is tired for one reason or another. Halfway through the day, myself and the Cove Guardians are about 100% drained from the stress of watching a slaughter and capture, trying to figure out what goes on behind the scenes, and attempting to capture footage that will inspire people to do more to help end this. Then we have to spend the rest of the day sorting through footage (I typically take a minimum of 1,000 pictures on a slaughter day) trying to come up with an accurate dolphin count, and reporting to the world the tragedy that we've witnessed and the dolphins have endured. We're (or at least I am) tired from waking up before the sun every morning, running around town, and hiking up Takababe. I'm tired of the senseless and unnecessary slaughter of some of the smartest and most social animals on Earth; animals who possess their own culture, a culture that understands sustainability and does not involve enslaving other species or coming onto land and inhumanely chasing down and murdering entire family units. I'm tired of the continued imprisonment of these animals, in unnatural environments, in the name of bad education and twisted entertainment that teaches children nothing about the natural lives of dolphins, only that it is ok to exploit them. I'm tired of people still buying tickets to dolphin shows despite being taught this information. I'm tired of meeting so many amazing people, only to have to turn around say goodbye. I'm tired of this whole situation, and yet I will never turn my back on it.

We're not the only tired ones though. The police are, I'm sure, exhausted from working 24 hour long shifts which are spent following us around town, making sure we're acting within Japanese law, and keeping everyone in Taiji safe. I imagine they are tired of being in Taiji altogether, and would much rather be at home with their families. Hopefully they're at least getting paid very well for this.

The fishermen must be tired of this situation as well. They now have to cover up their every move, which at least doubles the amount of work they do in a day. They're probably tired of not finding as many dolphins as they used to, as well, but that's because most of them have already been killed. I think they're probably pretty tired of the criticism, too. Same goes with the dolphin trainers, the meat buyers, etc., etc.

The dolphins are especially tired. Tired of running, tired of being hunted down in their own ocean, tired from the stress of watching their family die,  and tired of being starved, imprisoned, and forced to do unnatural behaviors in captivity. They're tired of watching their pen mates suffer, like Jiyu, a dolphin who was completely mentally unable to handle the stress of it all, and in the end was killed by the same fishermen who killed his family.

Someone, somewhere, is tired of pumping so much money into all the extra police and coast guard detail, and cover up expenses.

The citizens of Japan who consume dolphin meat are probably tired, because mercury poisoning often increases fatigue. Since dolphins have such high levels of mercury and other toxins, if you consume it, you can expect to have mercury poisoning.

Sorry, but despite our exhaustion and your own, we're not going anywhere. What's happening here in Taiji (and so many other places in the world) is wrong and we will continue to fight for the dolphins until you realize why we are fighting so hard and decide to change for the better, or until the last dolphin of Japan takes its final breath. Until then, we will be here.

peering under the tarps, watching the distribution of the dolphin meat

a skiff carrying towing a newly purchased captive dolphin exits the killing cove and passes by a banger boat.

dazed and confused, two Risso's dolphins attempt to cope with the days events, as well as their new confiment
Seven or eight Risso's dolphins lost their lives in the cove today, while another three were sentenced to a life in prison for a crime they did not commit. I watched the process from beginning to end - from the dolphins swimming in the ocean, to being dumped into sea pens, confused at the unfamiliar concept of walls and boundaries, to the meat being distributed to disgusting, unsanitary warehouses in Taiji. Unbelievable how some people don't get the connection.

Official Save Japan Dolphin report on this to come tomorrow...


  1. I just want to say thank you so much for being so compassionate and selfless to be the eyes and ears and heart for all of us that cannot and are not able to be in such position. We all are fighting the battle in some kind of way, those of us thst want all this to end, whether it be in spirit, monetarily or otherwise. Please keep up the good work, th,, Passion and the fight. Thank you so much. Ginger Austin, Charlotte, North Carolina

  2. Do not feel alone cause we cry with u..wait in anticipation for all ur postings/blogs etc!!We feel ur pain and appreciate that u are there going through this hell!!!:( thank you

  3. Thank-you Heather Hill for your great blog update! Your stamina, heroism, and determination to be a voice for the dolphins and to bear witness to their plight is so appreciated by all of us sitting at our computers waiting for you updates. RIP to all that were lost in that bloody cove this week. I still have no words for those poor souls imprisoned, after watching their entire families murdered. The blood of thousands of dolphins is on the hands of those "fisherman". That will never be forgotten.

  4. Thank you Heather and everyone out there fighting for these magnificent, funny, social , intelligent MAMMALS! WHY it continues year after year I still can't fathom but with people like you fighting for those dolphins lives, and rights once in captivity, I can rest-pardon the pun-assured that the awareness will once again get around the world. It will end one day-hopefully before all those guys have been killed off completely but in the meantime thanks again, for everything....

  5. Thank You Heather for your magnificent report.We send you strength,love, determination and good health, watching these slaughters day in and out do take a toll on you. We anxiously wait for you blogs, messages so that we may share and bring awareness to the world. We will keep fighting this battle along with all the other activists that are on the ground in Taiji. Thank you once again.