It's that time of the year, the dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan, has begun. As much as I wish this wasn't true, actress and animal activist Hayden Panettiere took to Twitter to break the very sad news.
The actress Tweeted:
— hayden panettiere (@haydenpanettier) September 12, 2013
In Taiji, every year beginning in September, dolphins are slaughtered or held captive for marine parks or food. As Take Part writes, "younger, cuter ones will be sold to theme parks to spend a life in 'show business.' The rest will be impaled, speared, sliced, and gutted in the crimson-red waters, destined for East-Asian dining tables."
In 2007, Hayden went to Taiji to see first-hand the crisis that these dolphins were facing. If a dolphin is selected for a marine park, they begin a long life on solitude in a confined space. It's often compared to a human living his or her whole life in a bathtub. Second, if they are not chosen for a marine park, they are killed brutally in what is known as the Cove in Taiji. Hayden peacefully protested the cruelty to dolphins with several other people, but it was broken up by fishermen. You can see scenes of her experience in the Academy-Award winning documentary "The Cove."
In 2010, Hayden traveled to Taiji with world-champion boxer and boyfriend Wladimir Klitschko to continue her mission to end the dolphin hunt. According to the Los Angeles Times, Hayden tried "tried to meet the mayor and representatives from the local fisheries union, but she and Jeff Pantukhoff, an anti-whaling activist from the U.S., were blocked at the door of the town hall."
We love Hayden's determination as she continues to fight for dolphins. And we can join forces with her, too. First and foremost, I recommend renting "The Cove" to become educated on the topic. Oh, and warning: Grab some tissues while you're at it.
+ Watch the trailer for "The Cove."
After watching this powerful doc, connect via social media with other like-minded people who are trying to make a difference. Some great dolphin advocate groups on Twitter are @CoveGuardians and the @sjdolphins. You can also sign a petition to help Japan's dolphins and donate to keep the fight going.
The more noise we can make regarding this topic, the more pressure the Japanese government will face. As dolphins are one of the smartest animals on this planet, we should stand together and be the voice for these creatures.