Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The COVE Response

The Cove was by far one of the saddest film I have seen. I couldn't imagine how bad slaughtering could get any worse among those innocent dolphins. This movie was definitely filmed to inform people about the killing of about 23,000 dolphins each year and to stop and change the Japanese fishing practices at the cove. It was also filmed to educate viewers the high risk of mercury poisoning from dolphin meat. Knowing this I would think maybe killing dolphins should stop if the risk of mercury poisoning could cause severe brain damage or maybe even death. So why kill so many dolphins or even kill them at all? I mean i understand that it helps create jobs for the people and that this so called job brings food and a roof over these "fisher men's" heads and their families as well. But honestly their are other ways they could bring food and shelter to their families without having to captivate and slaughter so many dolphins. We have a huge variety of fishes out in the ocean that we could catch/kill and are way healthier to eat other than dolphins. But then again maybe there isn't other jobs these fishermen's can work for. One of the things that got me thinking was the way this movie was filmed. The movie only captured the killing of dolphins and the behavior acted upon the dolphins at the cove but it didn't really address what would happen to the small city of Taiji if the slaughter of dolphins were to stop. Will the city survive if they were to stop doing this? The film was only addressing one point and doesn't sway an opinion, it just open our eyes to a situation. Yes one could argue that it that America has no right to be messing in other peoples business cause then it would cause other problems, and this i agree with. But now that the Japanes people outside of Taiji know whast happening at the cove, I'm pretty sure they would eventually take this matter in their owns hands and try and stop/protest against the slaughtering of these dolphins.

A Documentary Devoid of Legitimacy

                After watching The Cove I have decided that it's hard to find a person who makes an emotional appeal without sounding a little silly. Ric O'Barry, being the one making the appeal, tries to bring to light that dolphins are suffering all around the world for various reasons. The two main points covered in the film was first that dolphins needs to be removed from capitivity, saying these animals are unhappy in these conditions. The second part of the film is a series of repeated clips covering the fishing industry of Japan and their harvesting of Dolphins. With these two points many good points were raised, but I still feel that several things were said that bring the viability of Ric O'Barry's argument into question.
                For a long time now man has kept many animals in captivity by many different means and purposes including protecting endangered species. A lot of people agree that captivity is a bad thing for animals of a certain nature, and they should all be released to their death. But I for one feel that the selective programs that many zoos have spent many years and money on has done great work to keep several endangered animals from extinction. Ric O'Barry, former dolphin trainer now activist, made a very strong emotional appeal in this video that ended with his favorite dolphin committing suicide in his arms. This act being the one that proves his argument that dolphins are not happy in captivity. Now this is something that stuck with me. After everything that is mentioned, his dolphin "committed suicide?" I don't understand how this could possibly be known by Ric O'Barry. Since we can't really communicate with the dolphins, how can he really know the dolphin was sad? How do we know that it killed itself in his arms? Are we supposed to take his word on something that sounds so silly simply because he is Ric O'Barry? I for one don't buy this entire thing, and to be honest the video lost a lot of its weight for me when the suicide was mentioned.
                The second part of the video covers Japan's harvesting of dolphins for food and other various things. There is no way to disprove its happening, we have video of it and it's a known industry in Japan. Now it may just be a cultural thing, but I myself frown upon the idea of hunting dolphins. And I would go on a limb to say that I am not alone in this sentiment on dolphin hunting. But I also feel this was a poorly organized argument made in the video. For starters they have video from one infraction, that's it. Then they take this same, shirt bit, and repeat it many times while trying to make the argument. Then if this wasn't one sided enough we get interviews from only people who obviously are opposed to it, specifically people who don't live in the village in which this occurs. What benefit would we really have if we stopped the hunting of dolphins. Sure the population would increase with natural breeding, but there are people who would suffer. The hunting of this non-endangered animal brings a very large amount of jobs to Taiji. Taking this away would ensure a lot of hungry mouths. Are we do focused on saving this one animal that we don't care to save our fellow man? On top of everything else, once I did some further research on the topic I find that there are several lawsuits now against Ric O'Barry for inaccuracy of the film. Claims that Hideki Moronuki, the assistant chief of the whaling division at Japan's Fisheries Agency, were false. Tetsuya Endō is suing Ric O'Berry what was is said to be misleading edits of his comments in the film which has damaged his reputation. And I would like to end this reply with the statement that this is one of the most artificial videos, devoid of legitimate facts, I have ever had the displeasure of watching (besides any film made by Michael Moore). 

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Cove Response

I can see why the documentary The Cove got a lot of attention when it was released, and was considered controversial. The film is made by people who really care about a cause and will go to the extreme lengths we see in the film to expose the horrors of dolphin slaughter. To accomplish this, an elite team is put together to capture footage of what happens in the small cove in Taiji, Japan.

    I do agree with the message the film has. Even though I was prepared for the rhetoric, I still felt captivated and moved by this film. The filmmakers make a very strong case, building up their argument with pathos, ethos and logos. It was expertly put together, making you feel sympathy for the dolphins and giving you an adrenaline rush not unlike watching an action movie when the team does their reconnaissance in the middle of the night. The film packs a powerful emotional punch. People feel for the cute dolphins that are like humans on so many levels. Its aim was to point out the secret slaughter and to motivate the world to speak out about this issue. In this respect, it had great success.

    Though dolphin abuse and slaughter is a main topic in this film, an other central theme is the government agenda and the amount of transparency governments have with the public. I think these themes are important because they tie in with corruption, propaganda and government transparency that we have been talking about in class. The thing that disgusted me most about this issue was, after the way in which the dolphins were being killed, how the Japanese government tried to cover it up. 

     I can understand that they don’t want outsiders meddling in what they do in their country, and that they get angry when westerners lecture them. But how many Japanese would approve of  this massacre, and of their children eating toxic meat in their school lunches? Also, these dolphins do not belong exclusively to Japan, but to the whole world, and at the moment the Taiji fishermen and Japanese government are doing a great job of killing as many as possible. The fact that this is all taking place in a park is appalling. On the National parks of Japan website states that their “National Parks are places where superb natural wonders are protected and bequeathed to future generations”. Um, really? The hypocrisy in this statement is evident after seeing what is happening in Taiji.
    It is sad that the Japanese media doesn’t cover this more, and that not many Japanese people seem to know about this slaughter, yet the rest of the world condemns them and not their government or the small number of fisherman and trainers. Most of all, I think that it is just sad that the Japanese government either cannot see (though it seems so blatantly obvious) or simply doesn’t care that it is depriving its next generations of dolphins.

Our Finned Friends

I can honestly say I was not deeply moved by The Cove. It’s not that I particularly agree with the mass slaughter of our underwater allies, but unnecessary mass killings like this are happening all over the world with different creatures. However, in no way is it right to inhumanely kill an animal. Especially if that animal is toxic, and it’s intent is to be sold as different higher quality meat for human consumption. This is not only deceiving, but the Japanese are ultimately killing themselves, for what, money?
            These fishing companies are no different from bigwig cigarette corporations. They are only trying to make a buck and put food on the table like any other person in this twisted world. The only difference is that consumers of tobacco know what they are getting themselves into, while the consumers of dolphins for the most part, have no idea they are eating mercury dolphin. Nor do they know that their dolphins are far passed the safe human mercury consumption limit. Who knows, maybe the Japanese think they are getting some sort of superpowers from eating radioactive contaminated meat.
            I found it pretty funny and Ironic that the Japanese spokesman guy ended up having mercury poisoning, after being such a strong advocate for dolphin fishing, I almost rotfl’d, kidding. But this does bring to light that most of these Japanese advocates weren’t even aware of the horrible long term effects they could be causing to themselves, their children, and every other fish consumer. There is a large majority of Japanese people that are already suffering from the effects of radioactive contaminants from their reactors, and the atom bomb of course, but they really aren’t making it better for themselves by passing off toxic meat to their children.
            I can agree that the killing of any animal should be regulated, but in no way should it be ended.  Animals killing other animals are what keeps the world in balance.  A smart man did once bring about the topic of survival of the fittest. The Japanese however, have a tendency of taking things to the extreme. Killing 23,000 dolphins a year is too much, especially if they aren’t even safe to eat.
            Rick O’berry did a fantastic job with the making of this film. He’s a lot like the filmmaker Jason Russel, except O’berry can keep his clothes on in public. On another note, Rick only brought about the negative, shocking information about dolphin killings, which is the meat and potatoes for an effective rhetoric. He obviously caught the Japanese Fisheries Agency with their pants down, and was able to use his findings to swing the public’s opinion of what goes on in the fish processing industry. The International Whaling Commission was clearly being manipulated by the Japanese Fisheries Agency. It was just fantastic how O’berry showed the IWC how Taiji was being served as a horrifying microcosm of massive ecological crimes.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Ethos Creamed Filled Doughnuts!

After watching the documentary “The Cove,” I felt a lot of mixed emotions. Even as I write response after having the class discussion about this controversial issue, I still feel mixed about the film. From the start of the movie to the end of it, I was filled to the brim of one-sided facts and arguments. It is safe to say that this film was aimed right at the throat of its enemy and trying to obtain its goal, ending captivity and having regulation reform with the IWC. 
            Do I like dolphins? Yes, I love them. Back in the day when a video game console only busted out 16 bits, I played vigorously a game called Echo The Dolphin! Swimming through an almost never ending campaign of bloodthirsty sharks and other deadly atrocities I had a connection with the dolphin I was controlling. I felt remorse for the dolphin that had lost his family to unforgiving alien race that needed the sea full of delicious fish and mammals. It felt unjust that within one scene an entire pod of dolphins along with many other members of the marine biology were captured and herded to space.
            In the same way, it’s hard not to feel remorse over capturing dolphins and sending members of those pods to different places around the world, while the rest of the pod is sent to its end. But within every inch of myself watching this documentary screamed at me. The lathered thick scenes of ethos covered guilt, all the personal testimonies of the heroic adventures who defiantly stood against the criminal empire and its acts of villainy. The scientific filled facts of mercury poisoned meat, and to the negligence of Japan’s representative to the IWC. Who portrayed as a secret Illuminati member posed to strike the destruction of whales and dolphins alike. All of it, all of its magic did not work on me. I was turned off with the slam of another culture that has its own laws and way of doing things differently.
             Does that make me heartless for not being swooned over by the scenes of dolphins swimming freely with a beautiful original song “Dolphins And People?” to accompany the scene? Or when it came to the scene of the woman crying because a dolphin was dying? No, it doesn't. Fishing, and hunting has never been a pretty sight. Cleaning a moose is probably one of the most disgusting things I have witnessed next to of course my mom giving birth to my younger sister. I couldn't imagine dolphins and whales being any different. While working in a tender filled with halibut, I reeked for hours and sometimes a day as I was stained in halibut blood and slime. Do I still eat moose and halibut…yes and quite of it too.
             This film is no different than the way that Fox News operates. Fox news is notorious for utilizing fear as a way of telling news while proclaiming the network as “Fair and balanced.”  This way of filming and broadcasting is like having a dinner full of desert with not a lot of meat or protein (founded facts with an unbiased input). By filling your diet up with ethos-covered doughnuts and not filling up with a hearty logos meal, someone can in essence debate and make a subject into anything. I am more than sure someone could make a documentary about how Hitler was the greatest man to have ever lived and stopping him and his vision for the Third Reich was the greatest tragedy this planet ever faced.
            Another example of this kind of filming is the Kony 2012 YouTube clip. Another delicious creamy ethos doughnut filled inside and outside with even more delicious ethos. Without presenting all the facts, just the ones that paint a beautiful effort by using emotions rather than cold stone facts. The Kony 2012 campaign brought the cultural reaction to a decline as more people questioned past the ethos doughnut. How Fox News and other news agency are still around gets me but, what the cove should have done instead of making an amazing sound track (which I bought) and scenes strictly made to target your heart and other emotional responses is given me a chance to see to be presented with both sides views and perspectives. The pros and cons, a simple list of what is going on. I don't need a movie to tell me that dolphins are cute and it’s sad when they are harvested. I am more than capable understanding that most cute animals are probably really sad to witness being harvested.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


          I will start by saying that I loved this piece of rhetoric more than any other we've had to write about. I consider myself a little bit of a hippie. I'm not going to go and tie myself to a tree or walk into a room full of politicians with a TV showing illegally documented footage of dolphin killings, but I do pay homage to the characters with the balls big enough to do so. I will admit that the author of this video was very biased and did not show any part of the other side of the story. However, I still feel that no matter how you could spin this into the favor of the Taiji population it is wrong and stirred a lot of anger inside of me. At the end of the film there is a number to text to find out what you can do to stop the madness and I had already text this number before I had even walked out of the classroom door.
          The food chain is a natural process and essential for survival among all species. The dolphins must eat fish and we, at least to be healthy, need to eat the cows and the chickens and other species that roam the earth. The way we do such a thing is the problem and I do not agree with the way these dolphins are being slaughtered in cold blood. I also have just as much of a problem with the way the cows and chickens are slaughtered in the USA. Terrifying these animals into a cove by loud noises, capturing them, and then brutally stabbing them until they die is not OK, humane, right, or any other positive spin on things it plain and blatantly wrong. Who is to say that these animals are not self aware like the video claims? After my research I must say there is more evidence that points to them being so than not. We may not be able to prove that they are, but we will never be able to prove that they are not. As long as species go, dolphins are one of the more intelligent and as the highest authority on the food chain we should have respect for the creatures that feed our families, especially if we are aware of a higher intelligence in such an animal. Not only could we be brutally murdering a creature that could provide so much insight into the development of a species but eventually we are going to start running out of dolphins and that will be even more devastating to our planet than finding a more humane way to obtain the meat to feed our families.
            Beyond the dolphins slaying there is also the issue of the people living in and eating the meat of this country. What type of idiot seriously thinks its OK to feed poisoned meet to a vast population of people?! Not only are they harming themselves and others but they are helping promote the birth of deformed children. I just cant fathom so many people and members of the government being aware of this risk and still trying to cover it up for the benefit of low production cost. I respect others cultures, I really do. I believe deeply in equality and freedom for every individual, like the saying goes, I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. However there is a point where things are just wrong and this production of dolphins has reached that point. Not only should it be evident in the footage of this video, but there is hard evidence proving that even the people committing the crime know it is exactly that, a crime. Why else would people go to such a length to hide it from the community? Why would so many people be trying to cover it up if they truly believed there was nothing wrong with the practice? They would not it is as simple as that, they would not.
             I may not be able to give my life to a cause. I feel bound by my socialization to follow a path of "success" in the nations definition and obtain my college degree, but I will also not turn my head completely. My name is on the list of people who have signed to urge the stopping of such a crime in The Cove.

The Cove Response

           We truly are funny creatures, we seem to be the only ones that wouldn’t take advantage of our intelligence and slaughter any animal lower on the food chain for food. The Japanese fisherman that kill these dolphins every year are only doing their job to provide for their family and who’s to say that this isn’t their tradition in that part of Japan. You can’t exactly say that it isn’t that part of Japans culture, he didn’t go into any detail about if it actually is their culture he decided to go to Tokyo, which I am pretty sure is not the same thing as Taiji, Japan. It’s comparing apples to oranges as far as culture goes. To be fair though these mammals are one of the smarter species of animals on the planet.
            Dolphins are smarter creatures than your average cow or fish that we usually eat on a day to day basis, but does that mean that we can’t kill some to provide some food if needed. These dolphins are killed in the most gruesome way I have seen; of course I have never been to a slaughterhouse before either. I believe the people in Taiji should take measures to kill these animals at least humanely and hopefully in less numbers. I believe that as the dominant species on this planet we have some choice in whether we can kill animals or not. We need to try and make it in a way so that the animal is used fully and not wasted. It is the same principal that should apply to every animal that is killed for our use, kill it as quickly as possible and don’t waste anything. After seeing this movie I can go back now and think about SeaWorld and my view on it.
            I have in fact been to Sea World approximately 4 to 5 times in my lifetime 4 times to the one in California and once to the one in Florida. Looking back at it now I still don’t feel to sympathetic to those dolphins and all those animals that are kept in captivity. They are treated humanely I believe they are one of the better places that dolphins can be in captivity. They receive attention every day and are loved on by hundreds of people; perhaps this may not be what is good for them or what they do want, but it is the best life they are going to get for there circumstances. I have also seen dolphins down in Mexico near Cancun and I can say that they don’t nearly have as good of facilities as SeaWorld when it comes to taking care of dolphins. It is just a horseshoe pier with netting hanging down to keep them in; it doesn’t exactly sound too cozy.
            Humans are the dominant species on this planet and we have a natural right to some things, but we also have an obligation to do things responsibly. Do we have the right to stab dolphins repeatedly till they flop around to death and turn the water blood red, I believe not. We do however have the responsibility to supply food and survive, but to do it in a humane and honorable manner.

The Cove

The cove was a very extremist video.  There was a lot of effort put into it to show how dolphins were being treated in Taiji.  It was very over the top and it was blown way out of proportion than it should have been.  The main guy could have done the video differently to show how he felt about the dolphins in Taiji.  I think he had a good cause for it but he took it way too far.  It is sad to see dolphins being rounded up in a small area and taking away by dolphin trainers.  It is also very sad to see the left over dolphins being rounded up in another small cove and being killed.  He showed these things to provoke an emotion response out of people.  He did a good job showing the video in a way that will probably have a big emotional response out of a lot of people.  I think he felt that if he made the video as sad as possible that he will gain the most support from other people.  There were a lot of high definition cameras at a lot of angles to show how the dolphins killed.  Most of the video was him gathering people and equipment to show what is going on in the Taiji cove.  I don't think it was necessary for him to show how he got the footage from the cove.  I also don't think it was necessary for him to have a lot of people and equipment to do so.  He could have done it with only just a couple of cameras and only a couple of people.  There was no need to go all out.  He was also acting on a cause that wasn't even in his country.  He was interfering in affairs of a foreign country.  I don't think he has the right to interfere with a foreign country.  If what people were doing in Taiji was a threat to the world, he would have a good reason to interfere but it's not.  He just has a really big affection for dolphins and took it too far to show how one place is being cruel to dolphins.  There are probably other countries that do whaling or maybe something similar with dolphins but he never talks about those countries.  He puts too much effort into one place.  If he wanted to show cruelty of dolphins, he could have gone to other places in the world to show it too.  I don't think dolphins are going extinct.  If dolphins were going extinct he would have a better argument.  He didn't do a very good job explaining if the dolphin population of the world was being affected by the dolphin killings in Taiji.  The only fact he provided was that about 23,000 dolphins are killed in that cove a year.  That is a a big number but it could be a false number.  I don't see how he could know that if he isn't allowed in a restricted area.  He had a hard enough time just getting footage of the cove.  There is no way he is there all year counting  dolphins.  He had the big number to have an emotional effect on people even if it isn't true.  I think he put way too much effort into one cove.  If he wanted to show cruelty of dolphins, he could have done so on a world wide scale.

Dolphin Flick

Honestly, when I first walked into watching this documentary I thought to myself, "great another tree-hugging, save the earth, make me feel bad about eating meat" kind of documentary. However, I must admit this documentary made an impression on me. I have always like dolphins. I grew up watching Flipper. Flipper shaped my view of dolphins. Overall, I think they are probably the most human-friendly mammals in existence. They say dogs are "man's best friend" but I think dolphins are a close second. I am a dolphin fan and I am certainly not talking about the NFL football team. I probably would not go as far as Ric Barry in saying that dolphins should not be in captivity of any sort because I think they are taken well care of in Sea World and other places where strict regulations are in place. Personally, I have been to Cozymel twice and I purposely did not "ride the dolphins" because number 1 it was too expensive and number 2 I don't think the dolphins were well taken care of. Therefore, I am agreement with Ric Barry in that many captivity situations are not good for dolphins but I am not willing to go so far to say that all captivity situations are bad for dolphins. However, I do think the coup de gras is the Taiji situation. After watching the footage I think the evidence is irrefutable that animal cruelty is definitely going on. I watched with my own eyes dolphins being rounded up for the slaughter. I think it is wrong. It is one thing to capture a dolphin for captivity but it is quite another to brutally slaughter one. This is where I believe Ric Barry presented his strongest argument in that dolphin meat is high in mercury and highly toxic. Honestly, I think this is the best thing he has going for him. According to his argument, Japanese fisherman were passing toxic dolphin meat off as other kind of meat like whale. If Japanese fisherman are brutally slaughtering dolphins and passing off their meat as something else then this is clearly wrong. I don't care if this is part of their culture and they have been doing it for hundreds of years. It is wrong! I think there are ethical values of right and wrong that transcend culture and deceiving people for a profit is wrong in any culture at any time. There is no sport and no honor in rounding up dolphins into shallow water just to spear them to death in some sort of "turkey shoot." It is cowardly and it is wrong. Admittedly, I agree that I must take Ric Barry at face value in terms of the whole mercury toxicity thing. At the same time I think he presented some convincing arguments with the two Japanese officials coming forward saying they don't want their kids eating dolphin meat. At this point the burden of proof is on the Japanese government and the Japanese people. They must convince me that this brutal and cowardly slaughter of dolphins is necessary and admittedly at this point I am not convinced.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


The Cove

For real this was probably the saddest movie I ever seen. Before watching this i knew nothing about dolphins other than the lived in the ocean, swam, performed tricks, and had a football team in Miami. What I found irritating the most was how the Japanese people were so aggressive about not letting them film anything or take pictures and trying to keep what they were doing a secret. This movie made me feel bad for going to sea world thats for sure, I didn't know that dolphins get depressed and stressed out doing that they seem happy, I don't remember they guys name but i salute him. He said he spent ten years building the business of training dolphins and the last 35 trying to destroy it.  The fact that he went through all the hassle of acquiring a team of people to catch what the Japanese people were doing to the dolphins was outstanding. Getting trained deep sea divers, camera men, prop makers, and people down for the cause was awesome to watch. Seeing the final outcome of the footage though mad me upset, like how these people could just harm these dolphins for no reason at all, killing them just to kill them, making them suffer for absolutely no reason at all and felling zero guilt. This video gave me a different outlook on dolphins because it was all true and all in front of my eyes. Seeing the reaction on everyones face when they guy walked into that conference with a tv strapped to him showing the actual footage of what was happening to these dolphins was needed, you can tell that they had no idea this was going on and that they were disgusted with it. In my opinion everything this guy did was right, he felt a connection with these dolphins and showed that they are affectionate and very smart and have feelings as well. All he wanted to do was save them and shed light on what was really happening and try and put a stop to it for good. When it comes to putting a stop to sea world i fell that it can never happen, sea world is up there with things like disney land and universal studios. Sea world has such a popular fan base and following that it wouldn't shut down, it makes so much money and there is always going to be people who travel to places just to visit sea world and see the animals perform.
- Bryce Musgrove

The Over Exaggerated Cove

In the documentary The Cove, the scenes of dolphins being slaughtered was very disturbing to say the least. It would be hard to think that anyone could watch this film and not be moved. However after about 30 minutes or so of watching the same thing over and over again, and hearing the same information about mercury the feeling of being manipulated began to grow. It is common practice in film making to reuse the same footage, but this seemed to be over done in The Cove. The film over all had some interesting facts that are believable but the over barring scenes of blood and dolphins flipping in the water might have had the effect of making one wonder if in fact was it as bad as the film made it out to be. By breaking up the slaughter scenes and putting a lot of preparation scenes in the middle made it look like these were happening many different days, when in fact it was more than likely a one day happening. This can be assumed by knowing that there were multiple cameras that most likely with that quality of production could only store a day or two. If it happened over days and weeks like the film wants you to believe the figures quoted could be believed. But if dolphins are like any other animals and fish they are not continually coming into the Cove area. Once the dolphins that live in that habitat are killed it would be a while before more would replace them. Unlike waling were the ships followed the group the Cove would have a limit to how many would come close to it. Putting the exaggerations of the film aside it is defiantly a concern for all compassionate people to want to put a stop to this needless slaughter even though only one species of dolphin in endangered and it is in New Zealand, the Maui’s dolphin. However it is doubtful that much will get done when the world watches nations killing their own people to genocide and do nothing. As history has taught us "the only thing we learn from history is that we do not learn from history", people will go about doing the same thing over and over again expecting deferent results. A prime example is the part in the movie where the Japanese have already experienced the results of mercy poising and are doing it again. How could anyone with children allow food that would harm their children to be served in their schools. But there was an incident in an American school recently that had a child bring a lunch to school with salad and other healthy foods, and an FDA agent in the school took the lunch away from the kid and made him eat the lunch the school was serving, a Big Mac and fries, that is not a whole lot better. When the dolphin becomes endangered then maybe someone will notice.

The Cove Documentary

While watching the documentary film The Cove I learned that on average 23,000 dolphins are slaughtered each year in Taiji, Japan.  I am very supportive of whale and dolphin conservation myself so seeing these amazing creatures being inhumanely slaughtered is very disturbing.  The producers use facts and visuals to get peoples emotions going and to raise awareness about these shady activities that are going on in Taiji. Richard O’ Barry describes Taiji, Japan as a little town with a big secret.  O’Barry spent the first ten years of his career as a marine mammal specialist capturing dolphins for the entertainment world.  He has now spent the last thirty-eight years fighting the entertainment world he had created.  I have experienced dolphin entertainment first hand.  I have swam with them and fed them.  It was an enjoyable experience and I always thought that they loved to do this.  I never realized all the anxiety it can cause them and just how depressed dolphins in captivity can be.
            I agree with O’ Barry wanting to stop the killing of dolphins.  After seeing footage of Japanese fishermen killing the dolphins I couldn’t believe the cruelty. The directors and producers knew how to get peoples emotional support for this film. The fishermen start by sticking long metal poles into the water and continuously hit them with hammers causing a very loud frightening noise for the dolphins.  They chase the dolphins into a cove where nets trap them and more fishermen in smaller boats harpoon them and the dolphins flip around until they bleed out and sink to the bottom.  From there they are tied up to a boat and dragged to shore.  Dolphin meat is considered one of the lowest class meats in Japan.  When asked about eating dolphin’s most Japanese people had no idea that others were eating dolphin meat.  Dolphin meat isn’t even labeled as dolphin meat in stores.  Most fisheries try to sell it as high-grade whale meat.  So the Japanese people are being lied to about the seafood they are consuming. Dolphin meat also has very high levels of mercury in it, from all of the fish they consume. Dolphin meat was being distributed throughout Japanese schools.  With all the high levels of mercury in the meat, children can become deformed and have many health problems from mercury poisoning.
            O’ Barry uses lots of logical reasoning also when it comes to shutting down these dolphin slaughtering companies.  For instance, Japanese fishermen do not put a limit on how many dolphins they can catch.  They take as many as they possibly can get.  This could be catastrophic to the dolphin population of the world.  They also capture dolphins to send all over the world to be trained.  Most of the time the dolphins are kept in small tanks and trained for hours until they become so stressed out that many of them die.  Ric O’Barry is determined to release the dolphins and I agree with him.  I don’t agree with all of the methods he has used.  I also believe that the Japanese government has been trying to cover up their dolphin operation, if it were exposed they would immediately be shut down.  So they unfairly have arrested O’Barry, while some of his methods are a little eccentric his heart is in the right place and I believe in his cause and agree with shutting down these fisheries and taking dolphins out of their natural habitat for entertainment purposes.               

Ric O'Barry - The Cove Documentary

I personally have been to Sea World numerous times and never actually thought about dolphins being depressed due to the fact like Ric O’Barry stated, they always look happy, doing amazing tricks, having smiles on their faces. I respect Ric O’Barry and his activism especially due to the fact that he once was the one helping take dolphins out of their habitat and training them for movies like one of the star dolphins who played Flipper in the Flipper television series, Kathy. O’Barry witnessed Kathy “committing suicide”, ending her life by no longer taking the conscious effort to breath. That event alone is what started Ric O’Barry on his marine activism and him having once worked with them shows he has a true, real, compassion for these creatures. Although the documentary has to do with the dolphin drive hunting that goes on in Taiji, Japan, Ric O’Barry also is an activist against captive dolphins.

 Every year 23,000 dolphins he claims are killed in Japan, that’s astonishing and according to his research if the fishing industries keep fishing all marine life like they are now, supplies will only last the next forty years. Not only is the hunting of dolphins depleting the population but it is also poisoning the people of Japan and whoever else eats dolphin meat. Dolphin meat has enormously high amounts of mercury causing mercury poisoning over time if consumed. Before this documentary, a lot of the Japanese people were not aware they were even eating dolphin because it was sold as other type of higher grade whale meat. Ric O’Barry’s concerns not only have to do with dolphins but also humans, which I thought was a very good point to recognize about the documentary.

 The documentary was very moving and had some amazing facts that I did not know before I watched it.  It was set up very biased against the dolphin hunters in Japan but we have to keep in mind the whole point of the documentary was to get out the message Ric O’Barry wanted to get out to the public which is, hunting and capturing dolphins shouldn’t be allowed or at least not in the numbers of dolphin killings it is. In Japan and across the world hunting against bigger whales has been brought to light and has rules and laws set in place for going about it, so Ric O’Barry claims why shouldn’t dolphins, since they are a whale as well.

Why I do think that each country should pay attention to their own and not get involved with other countries affairs, this topic is very different.  The species and populations of animals is a world concern, and one country shouldn’t just be allowed to deplete a species of animal. Dolphins travel the world and move around a lot, so it’s very sad and unfortunate if they so happen to get caught in the walls of sound in Taiji, Japan and are killed by hunters. Yes, the Japanese need them for food but there should still be laws and rules set in place for how many can be killed. Sadly we can not change these rules and laws, only Japan can but documentaries like Ric O’Barry’s help people see what is going on to people who are naive or who are too stubborn and do not want to face the facts about it.

Dolphin Killing in Taiji.

To start off I want to say I am a person who wears my heart on my sleeve for those who don’t know. When I watched this film I agreed with majority of the points the team made and that Ric O’ Barry made. However, there is one main thing I actually disagree with. I honestly would never want to see something like this in person. I wouldn’t be able to do it because I might end up hurting that one guy that kept yelling at them to leave. Watching this actually made me question why stuff like this isn’t illegal in the world. I know they do this type of behavior in other parts of the world not just in Taiji, Japan. Dolphin hunting and other things along that line shouldn’t be legal in the world in my opinion, but at the same time this is the job of those fishers. Their job is to go out and capture and kill dolphins, it is what they get paid to do. If this was made to be illegal we would be taking food out of their mouths and food out of their children’s mouths. I believe we all know how hard it is to get a job just in the United States, imagine how hard it is to get a job in other countries. In Japan right now, they have a 4.6% unemployment rate and it isn’t going down right now it is going up. I know there are going to be people that feel these types of activities should be illegal across the world, but just keep in mind if we as the rest of the world made it illegal to, “Dolphin Hunt”, we would be taking jobs away from other countries communities. Now do I agree with what they are doing, no not on any kind of a level, but at the same time I don’t want to take away their jobs that help them to survive in this world. I will now officially never eat raw sushi, nor shall I ever eat cooked dolphin because I don’t wish to die at a younger age do to mercury poisoning. Now does that mean all dolphin meat would be coming from Taiji and have high levels of mercury in it, no; however, I’m not going to test my luck with that. Also, I would not let my children test their luck with that either. Ric O’ Barry has dedicated his life to freeing dolphins and not having dolphins live in captivity. It takes a good amount for a person to go from capturing and training dolphins for a show, to wanting to free every captive dolphin in the world. What Ric O’ Barry is very extreme, but I say more power to the man because people need to know that things like this are going on around the world. No one should be blind to the massacring of any species what so ever. It is something that should be controlled, not something that is just let to go to its own bounds. To conclude, I will say that what is going on in Taiji needs to be checked out by the IWC and needs to be put in check and be limited. That way you don’t fully take jobs away from the Japanese, but we don’t keep seeing films like, The Cove.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Blog Post - The Cove

Class - I hope everything went well in class today despite my absence. The Cove, as a piece of rhetoric, is a really amazing film. There are some nuances of the way that it achieves its argument that I find particular interesting for our study of writing. I think it is also highly controversial, which always provides some good incentive to sit down and write. Therefore, I want to leave this blog post open to your interpretation. Feel free to construct a 500 word post commenting on whatever you like, as long as it pertains to The Cove.ouEngage with the text argumentatively - do you agree, disagree? On what grounds? Did you find any of the claims of the film to be unfounded? Did certain points resonate particularly well? Also feel free to make connections to other media you have engaged with. If any of you have been to Sea World, you could even provide a narrative of your time there with The Cove in mind. Make the response your own. If you are having trouble brainstorming a topic, you can choose instead to write about this prompt: In the beginning of the course we spent a lengthy bit of time talking about academic writing as a genre. Documentary film is also a genre. What kind of affordances are made in the rhetorical conduct of the film due to its genre? By that I mean, what is it that they are capable of doing argumentatively that might be more difficult to pull off in an academic essay. In dealing with this prompt you might find it useful to return to the rhetorical concepts of ethos, pathos, and logos. This post will be due at 9:45 AM, Thursday, March 22nd.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

No need for Kid Kustomers!!!

            As a mother I very much disagree with the advertisement and most of the shows my daughter watches.  I hear everyday "I want that, I want that!!!  Mom, Mom, MOM come look, hurry, hurry you’re going to miss it!!!  Can I get that for my Birthday?  Not only is my daughter doing this but I 'v witnessed other children as well.  Schlosser state's that "McNeil never advocates turning children into screaming, breath-holding monsters" yet he dose anyways.  I don't believe most of today's television is based around kid studies like they say.  I'm not saying they’re not studying children and television, I just don't think the actual TV stations are based on these studies.  Advertisement is a huge in our country and they get it in everywhere they can.  Children's Channels are just one of the way's to get their advertisement out.  Schlosser's states that American children watch up to twenty-one hours of TV every week which is roughly one and a half months of TV every year.  That means during that year children who watch about twenty-one hours of TV they get their thirty thousand TV commercials.  All though my daughter started watching TV as an infant.   "Baby Einstein" movies “which are very effective in the learning area by the way”.  She benefited from it a lot.  Unlike regular TV like for example “sponge bob” studies stated that show actually makes children stupid.  As long as it is educational then ya let's watch.  I do not approve of children advertising it is not fair to the children to fill their heads up with useless knowledge hence the Budweiser and Camel advertisement.  Would you want your children to be exposed to Beer and Cigarettes?  Parents are always going to be the ones that listen to the facts, the advertisement and the commercials because we are the one's providing for our children not the children.  We know what's best for them so why advertise on the children stations when there are plenty of adult stations to leave the kids out of it.