Dear Ladies and Gentlemen & Honoured dignitaries of Japan,
I write to express extreme distress, anger and sadness at the annual dolphin slaughter and capture still being carried out in the Japanese town of Taiji. These dolphin drives are brutally cruel, completely unnecessary and have no place in the 21st century.
Japan is an advanced and otherwise beautiful country. It has the history and the capability to become the world leaders in marine conservation. It is unfortunate that the reputation of an entire nation is being tarnished by the work of a handful of people.
Dolphins are not fish, they are mammals. Dolphins breathe air. They have feelings. They have emotions. They have self-awareness. They are social, complex, intelligent beings. Even the nursing mothers and babies “iruka” are slaughtered with no mercy or they are stolen for a life of misery confined to small pools in aquariums. In the world of civilized nations, no wild animals are being eradicated like the dolphins are being slaughtered in Japan.
I understand that cultural food issues are complex, some people eat cows, pigs, chickens, some eat bunnies, dogs and cats, insects, etc. Yet the number of people who enjoy eating dolphin meat is dwindling, especially as people become aware of the issues of mercury toxicity.
The Japanese Government has the power to stop the hunts and I humbly ask you to appeal your representatives and work towards a move to end the annual slaughter.
Taiji could be a mecca for tourism if the dolphin slaughter stops. Dolphin and whale watching tours prove to be lucrative tourism activities elsewhere. Hopefully the thirteen fishing boats could replace their banging pipes and spears with binoculars, cameras, and other souvenirs of a joyous experience on your shores.
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