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All dolphins are whales

Jun 20, 2010 All dolphins are whales

Not until today did I learn that all dolphins are whales . I did not know that as I was mesmerized at seeing dolphins or whales -— not sure which at the time —- from the coasts of Tadoussac, Quebec in 1990 and Wrightsville Beach, NC, a few years later. I did not learn that dolphins are whales until digging more into the story of Academy Award-winning The Cove documentary, which I knew nothing about until this weekend, when reading an article about the self-censorship of Japanese cinemas not to play The Cove, in the face of firm and vocal opposition to the screening by rightists who are very small in number in Japan.

Two years ago I blogged about coming face-to-face in 1999 with a multi-pound slab of whale corpse at Tokyo’s main wholesale fish market. Of course my preference is that people eat no animals at all.

Roger Ebert describes The Cove as “a heartbreaking documentary, describe[ing] how Richard O’Barry, director Louie Psihoyos and a team of adventurers penetrated the tight security around the Taiji cove and obtained forbidden footage of the mass slaughter of dolphins. Divers were used to sneak cameras into the secret area; the cameras, designed by Industrial Light and Magic, were hidden inside fake rocks that blended with the landscape.”

The Cove’s Richard O’Barry trained dolphins for the 1960’s original Flipper television series. Convinced in 1970 that one of those dolphins, who died in his arms, had committed suicide, he turned 180 degrees in trying to free dolphins.

The Cove will be available on June 21, at least in Japan, for free for the first 2,000 viewers who sign up at a so-called “popular” file sharing site.

The Cove’s website tells you how to purchase the film (for viewing for pay, online and offline), donate and sign a petition. Here is an extended clip from the film. . Here is the director, in part addressing efforts to silence The Cove.  

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