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January 14, 2011

Report from Taiji: January 14

A banger boat transfers dolphin bodies to the slaughterhouseA banger boat transfers dolphin bodies to the slaughterhouseBlood spilled out from the Cove in Taiji once again today. Six Risso’s dolphins lost their lives and another four were taken to serve as pawns in the game of human greed. I simply cannot comprehend why exactly we feel that it’s our so-called right to slaughter wild animals. Time and again, the Cove Guardians are asked why we focus on the dolphins when cows and pigs are brutally slaughtered in the United States. I cannot answer for anyone but me, but I feel that most of the guardians would agree when I say that I do not believe in the slaughter of any animal. However, I have always had a strong passion for dolphins in particular and this is the battle I have chosen to fight. But the biggest difference is that dolphins are wild animals of limited numbers, while cows and pigs are not, they are mass-produced for human consumption.

Being an activist is firstly a choice, and secondly a lifestyle. All animals hold a special place in my heart, but dolphins and whales are my ultimate love and I have made an active choice to fight for their welfare. Choosing to live the lifestyle of an activist has cost me dearly in certain aspects of my life. I have been alienated from family members, given up my career, and put everything on the line to stand up for what I believe in; when you’re passionate about something, you have to give it your all. If you don’t live for something, you’ll die for nothing, and I’ve witnessed firsthand, and not just here in Taiji, that anything can be torn from you in an instant and that life can cease in a heartbeat. Life is too precious and too short to live in a manner that does not suit you.

Tim and Nicole work with the hydrophone at the CoveTim and Nicole work with the hydrophone at the CoveExperiencing death on a near daily basis since we’ve been here in Taiji, has forced each and every Cove Guardian to prioritize their lives and decide which direction they want to go, which path they want to walk, and what type of person they want to be. There is no going back to normal life after spending time at the Cove. Things that plagued our minds two months ago now seem so incredibly petty and insignificant. When the dolphin killing season ends in March and I head back home to Seattle, I know for a fact that my life will never be the same. I am incredibly grateful for this experience and I know that the Cove is a place that will remain with me for the rest of my days.

Spread the word. Raise awareness. Speak out.

Dolphin Base: From the United States, dial 81-0735-59-3514 or send email to info@dolphinbase.co.jp

Here is your opportunity to become a Cove Guardian.  To join us in Taiji (voluntarily, and completely at your own cost and risk), write to us at coveguardian@seashepherd.org.  We will get back to you, but please be patient.  We cannot keep an eye on the Cove and answer e-mails at the same time.  Contributions to Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to keep our official presence here are needed and welcome.  These contributions cover the costs for transport, telephone, equipment, supplies, food, and lodging for the official Sea Shepherd representative.  We will remain here through the end of March and will return for the next season in September 2011.

Thank you to the citizens of Japan who are weighing these issues and beginning to take a stand to solve them.  Thank you to everyone who is on the frontlines of this war.  This is a war to save ourselves from ourselves.  Without your calling and writing Japanese embassies and your own governments, there will be no change.  Keep it up! Every time dolphins are pushed into the Cove, let them have it.  Every time there is blood in the water, let them have it.  Make good consumer choices.  Inform everyone you know about the tragedy here and how it is linked to the captive dolphin trade.  All who patronize a dolphin show have blood on their hands.

For the dolphins,

Libby Katsinis

Taiji locals hang out at the Cove to watch the Cove GuardiansTaiji locals hang out at the Cove to watch the Cove Guardians Barricades block all viewpoints of the killing coveBarricades block all viewpoints of the killing cove

Nicole, who will be assisting me during the next three months, will share her experiences while in Taiji on her blog.


 
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