The troubled are calling.
Are you listening?
When you think of the ocean, what is it that you find with your senses? Typical answers would be your toes sinking into the sand, the water rushing against your ankles, the smell of fishy salty water, the lull of the tide.
When I was a little girl, I wanted nothing more than to be a mermaid. Maybe it was the red hair connection I shared with Ariel. Who knows? But when I realized I couldn't actually be a mermaid, my hopes fell toward marine biology. I didn't actually know what a marine biologist was when my friend told me to use that as my "what I want to be when I grow up" answer in second grade. However, that smart girl opened my eyes to a beautiful world far away from my own.
So why is the once majestic blue water turning red inside my mind? Why is it that the water no longer rushes quietly over the sand? If you don't know the answer, then you are just as unaware as most of us. I'd put off watching The Cove because I knew it could only break my heart. I fought myself, everyone told me not to watch it, but some things are more powerful than the self.
The beginning of the documentary was informative and educational. It showed people doing exactly what I have always wanted to do, or what I have done. There were people watching Flipper, swimming with dolphins, viewing shows at places like Sea World. Humans loving animals... and like so many other times, causing them much more harm than good... But then there were those that risked their lives to save them.
I am so grateful to people like Ric O'Barry, originally responsible for the dolphins used in the Flipper T.V. show, who has respectively retreated from the world of dolphin captivity. He has done everything in his power to save dolphins, to free them from the grasp of the money hungry hunters. He's been repeatedly arrested for his efforts in different areas of the world. He's been successful, but the greatest success has yet to come. I believe The Cove will be a large factor in saving these intelligent creatures.
Dolphins use an incredibly complex sonar system for understanding the world around them. They can scan our bodies in such detail that the beating heart of a child in a womb could be visible. The people responsible for ending the lives of the dolphins in Taiji, Japan drive their boats out between the months of September to April in sight of dolphin pods. When a group is found, the hunters lower a metal rod into the water and begin banging on it from above. Their intention is to confuse the dolphins because the sound will interfere with their innate use of sonar. The men continue banging on the rods, the sound echoing through the water, driving the dolphins nearer to the cove.
My heart feels broken, my stomach weak, my eyes are sore and dry from the salty tears. I watched the dolphins swimming, jumping out of the water, as the boats sailed behind them with the banging of the metal rods. Once the dolphins were cornered into the cove, the nets went up to keep them inside. After the dolphins have been picked through by those that wish to purchase them for entertainment purposes, the rest are brutally slaughtered...
The rock line was already stained by the blood from past bodies, but the water had suitably returned to a normal color... And without preparations, I knew it wouldn't be long. After the dolphins were cornered and picked through, the rest were left to die. I watched as the many spears came down, thrusting into the dolphins bodies repeatedly. They tried to jump, but their wounded and bleeding bodies could only struggle. My eyes welled with tears that fell faster as the cries became fewer, and the struggling became weaker. My entire body convulsed as I collapsed into my boyfriend's arms. And as the water turned redder, the men grew richer.
It doesn't matter how hard I try to get past this, how much I fight, I feel the defeat of these animals within my own body. Their cries go on, playing inside my mind, a tune I will regretfully never erase. Last night while in my comfortable bed, I woke from my already weakened sleep to the images I never want to forget, and I never want to remember.
How quickly the water turned red... Dark blue to bright red.