Dear Prime Minister Abe:
I would like you to take immediate action to end the hunting of dolphins in Japan, including the bloody and inhumane slaughter of dolphins that takes place in Taiji.
Japan’s international reputation is severely damaged by the continuation of these barbaric hunts that are as disturbing to many Japanese as they are to the rest of the world.
Dolphins are extremely intelligent, emotionally complex animals with very real familial bonds, much like humans. Scientists who have reviewed the dolphin hunts indicate that such inhumane killing methods would not be allowed in any civilized slaughterhouse for farm animals, including in Japan under existing law.
The terror and suffering of the dolphins as they are being slaughtered is palpable and abhorred by almost all who view it. The Taiji hunts only began in 1969, according to the town’s own history, so the killing of dolphins is not an “ancient tradition” as many Japanese leaders have claimed.
Recently, during one of the drive hunts in Taiji, a rare albino dolphin called Angel was captured and separated from her mother and family pod. She now swims alone in a small pool at the Taiji Whale Museum where her life is in danger. Without her mother or her pod to care for and support her, she will probably die.
This rare dolphin deserves special treatment to exemplify the best of what humans are capable of. She should not be showcased in a small tank or pen where she will likely die a premature death or be trained to perform tricks to entertain tourists.
Japan has a notable tradition, one that has a deep respect for nature and all the creatures in it. With that in mind, I call on you and others to show true leadership and finally end the inhumane dolphin hunts, protect dolphins, and help restore Japan’s international integrity and support from the world’s public.