After watching The Cove I was immediately compelled to do something. To get the word out. It’s that good! So here’s my attempt to help out…
Animal rights are not usually something I spend a lot of time on. It’s not that I don’t think we should treat animals respectfully or that that animal rights campaigns are not a worthy cause; it’s just that I think if I am going to spend my energy, time or money on an injustice, I would prefer for it to be one that affects humans. However, the sensitive and compelling story this film tells about the plight of the dolphins in Taiji, Japan has certainly made me reconsider this stand point.
I love dolphins, whales, mammals of the sea. It all started after my first trip to SeaWorld when I was 11. It was amazing to see these wonderful animals and humans play together so happily. How wrong that sounds now, after watching The Cove; a film that explicitly explains how dolphins are not happy in captivity. In fact they are so stressed out that the trainers feed them antibiotics with their food to stop them getting ulcers.
This is what The Cove does so expertly; it seeks to peel back the glossy veneer of the smiling dolphin, doing tricks and flips, and reveal the true horrors of a conscience being that is exploited and trapped. It does so through the protagonist, Ric O’Barry; a man that spent 10 years building up the dolphin performance industry on the television series, Flipper, only to realize it was all a grave mistake. He has spent the last 35 years trying to undo this wrong.
Ric O’Barry calls on the documentary film-makers to bring to light the shocking and senseless slaughter of dolphins the in the small side town of Taiji. They are killing 23,000 dolphins a year. Yet this task is one that is clothed in danger as the town’s police, fishermen and mayor seek to cover it up. What follows is an intensely entertaining, yet sad, journey of Ric O’Barry and the documentary team’s efforts to capture evidence to show the world. Along the way they highlight the various reasons why the dolphin slaughter is not only pointless and cruel, but also how it fits into a larger conspiracy of government secrecy.
I could continue to tell you all the facts and shocking truths that this films brings to light but I think that it is important that you discover it for yourself. One thing that did stand out, which perhaps makes this injustice all the more shocking, is that there is a strong case to say that dolphins are self-aware. We already know they are the second-most intelligent mammal on the plant, but this documentary really makes you think about these creatures as more than just animals, but as equals.