Target: Japanese Ambassador to the United States, Sasae Kenichiro
Goal: End the traditional capture and slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, and boycott Japanese products until this happens
The annual dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan has begun again. For this slaughter, the local residents come together to trap hundreds of dolphins in a cove in order to butcher them. The villagers beat the dolphins with mallets in order to drive them into the cove and trap them behind a net. After a small group of dolphins is removed from the pod to be sold to aquatic parks, the rest are brutally killed by having a long, steel pin driven into their brainstem. The dolphin meat, which contains such a high level of mercury that it is dangerous to eat, is distributed among the villagers and sold at grocery stores. It is a senselessly brutal activity, and we must boycott Japanese products until the Japanese government puts an end to the practice.
Since the release of the movie The Cove, these massacres are no longer a secret. But despite the protests of so many people, the Japanese government has refused to do anything to slow or end the slaughter. Activists are harassed and threatened by the Japanese fishermen who attempt to prevent the activists from documenting their actions on film. Japanese police often close public areas in order to make it more difficult to view or film the slaughter.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society witnessed one particularly gruesome slaughter recently. Upwards of 250 dolphins at once, including many babies and juveniles, were herded into a cove and slaughtered.
If the Japanese government refuses to do anything about the dolphin slaughter in Taiji, the cruel practice will continue. In fact, the slaughters have become even larger in recent years. We must come together to condemn this barbarity and tell the Japanese government that we intend on boycotting Japanese products for as long as this dolphin massacre continues.
Dear Ambassador Sasae:
In Taiji, Japan, it is a tradition for the local residents to come together to trap hundreds of dolphins in a cove in order to slaughter them. After capturing some of the dolphins so that they can be inhumanely confined for the rest of their lives in aquatic parks, the rest are brutally killed.
This slaughter of dolphins is a barbaric and unnecessary practice. It is a senseless massacre that the rest of the world watches with horror. Dolphins are sensitive, intelligent creatures and deserve to be treated with greater respect by the people of Japan.
I urge you to advise your government to end this senseless massacre. As long as this slaughter continues, I intend on avoiding the purchase of any products that are imported from Japan.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Jeff Kraus via Flickr