There are many recorded incidents of dolphins saving human lives throughout history. This Saturday, I am going to Japan to try to return the favor.
A little over a year ago while traveling, I ordered a movie called The Cove in a hotel room. Since then, there is not a single friend, family member, or twitter follower that has not heard me rave about this movie. I can say without a doubt, this is is the best documentary film I have seen in my lifetime. Earlier this year, it received the recognition it deserved when it won the Academy Award for Best Documentary.
I have never flown to the other side of the world because of a movie before and I doubt that I ever will again. If that doesn't give you an idea of how powerful this film is, consider the fact that the filmmakers risked -- if not their lives -- their freedom, to get the footage. As one movie critic put it, "The film itself is an act of heroism."
The little town with the really big secret (which is not so secret anymore) is set to turn their cove crimson again, starting on September 1st. This is the reason I am flying to Japan where I will join Ric O'Barry, the hero of the film and the loudest voice for the 23,000 dolphins slaughtered every year in that bloody cove in Taiji. But Ric is not just speaking for dolphins, he is speaking for humans as well. I don't want to go into the issues addressed in the film too deeply because I would rather you see it for yourself - however, realize there are serious consequences for humans in this documentary as well. All of us - every human on this planet - has something at stake here.
With their smiling faces and well documented intelligence, dolphins seem to be loved around the world. In the ultimate irony, our love for the playful dolphin created the multi-billion dollar dolphin captivity industry which, in turn, created the largest slaughter of dolphins in the world. This movie will open your eyes and once they are open, you can never close them again. Ordinary things will begin to look different to you, particularly dolphin parks.
Environmental writer Barbara Tufty once said, "Dolphins exhibit a friendly willingness to cooperate with other earth creatures - a rare attribute which another animal, Homo Sapiens, has not yet learned to do with any consistency." Ah, how the truth can sting.
My husband commented as we were making our preparations for Japan, "I think I am going to lose you after this trip." "What do you mean?" I replied. "I think after this trip, you are going to quit everything else and become a full time activist." It's the kind of thing that I can easily imagine happening to a person after watching this film. It has the power to change your DNA, to compel every molecule in your body into taking action.
Director Louie Psihoyos says in the film, "You are either an activist or an inactivist." So do something important this week, watch this movie and then look in the mirror and ask yourself - which one am I? And if you are so inclined, flights leave for Japan every day.
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