A new relationship with animals, nature and each other.

An 8th-Grader Witnesses the Dolphins at Taiji

taiji-werdegar-112511Fourteen-year-old Ben Werdegar is in Taji, Japan, (scene of the Oscar-winning movie The Cove) to witness the massacre of the dolphins there. On Wednesday, when he and his father landed in Osaka, he wrote:

My name is Ben and I am an 8th grade student in California. At around 4:30 p.m. Monday I arrived in Osaka, Japan with my father. The goal I had of finally being able to get close to the scene of the terrible dolphin slaughter, to experience first hand the horror of it is about to come true. I want to be here because the sense of closeness to the dolphins inspires me, and I hope I in turn can inspire others to do more to stop it.


Yesterday the family arrived at Taiji.

Today we witnessed the slaughter of about 9 large Risso dolphins including 2-3 babies, and we helplessly watched one baby dolphin being stripped away from its family and sold into captivity.. . . The fishermen line up their boats facing the cove, and then they bang with hammers on long metal poles that protrude into the water. We could hear the continuous banging; it was such a haunted sound – a death knell my dad said.

After about 3 hours the dolphins became tired, and unfortunately they were finally rounded into the cove. They just sort of gave up.

. . . We saw the baby dolphin come out of the killing cove in a boat with a dolphin trainer. This baby dolphin was selected to live on and be a performing slave in captivity. How can a human give no compassion at all to a baby that just witnessed its mother being stabbed to death in front of them? How? Why?