Order No Rainbows

Life as an expat, Photography, Crafts, Vegan Food, Music, Art, Animals…..

Japan Dolphins Day, Sea Shepherd Operation Infinite Patience and the art of protest

on August 27, 2014

My heart is sinking this week knowing that on 1 September, next Monday, the annual six month capture and slaughter of dolphins will being in Taiji Japan. The prettiest and most cooperative dolphins will be selected for life imprisonment in Seaworld or a similar tourist attraction. The “unlucky” ones will be brutally slaughtered for meat. The cove in Taiji will run red with their blood once again.
red cove

Some dolphins will be driven back out to sea, to take their chances of surviving without their families. In previous years those driven back out have included young and injured dolphins, whose chances of survival are slim, at best. And Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians, along with other activists, will be on the ground documenting what happens and bearing witness to the atrocities. And for the next 6 months I know that I will wake up every day wanting to check Facebook reports and hoping to see the “Cove Blue” status which means that no slaughter has taken place within the past 24 hours.
Blue cove

In previous years I have signed petitions, sent letters of protest etc, but that hasn’t seemed like enough. As I went to the Faroe Islands to participate in Sea Shepherd’s Operation Grindstop this summer I can’t afford to go to Taiji. So this year as well as doing the petitions etc I’m getting off my ass and going on a protest against the slaughter. There isn’t anything organised in Slovakia, where I live, or in neighbouring Austria or the Czech republic. So I’m off to Budapest, where a demonstration has been organised outside the Japanese embassy.

Going on a protest is not something I’ve done recently, but what the heck, I figured I could give it a go. So the first step (after ensuring that my Sea Shepherd t-shirt and hoodie were ironed!) was to come up with a poster or sign that I can hold to show why I’m there. It seemed easy enough to download one from the internet, and Sea Shepherd had some great designs on their website from the World Love for Dolphins Day. So I downloaded one, got it printed at my local copy/print shop, and stuck it on a piece of cardboard. It looked good, but not really good enough. There wasn’t really anything of me in there.

So, back to the drawing board. Not that I can draw. But I can download images and print them out like a boss! So I downloaded some dolphin pictures, cut them out and added them to a piece of card with a simple message. It looked better, I thought, less professional than the first one, but definitely handmade. Red card to symbolise the bloodshed, black dolphins to symbolise mourning for the needless deaths. But still not hitting the right spot. And you could tell that the black ink in my printer was running out…

So I thought about it some more. What could make the Japanese – or at least those working in the embassy in Budapest, realise that the world knows what’s going on in Taiji, and that it’s horrible, and that we care and can’t/won’t remain silent. And I came up with this. It may not be the best poster in the world. But I’ll be proud to stand outside the Japanese embassy in Budapest on Saturday with it in my hands, to show that I care about what’s going on in Taiji, that I won’t be silent, and that I won’t give up protesting against it, even if it’s just from my computer, until this horrible practice ends forever.

You can find out more about the Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians and Operation Infinite Patience here

You can also learn more by watching The Cove, the award-winning film from 2009 that brought Taiji to the world’s attention.

And if you want to participate in an event to protest against the dolphin slaughter in Taiji you can find your nearest event on the Save Japan Dolphins website


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