Tag Archive: Dolphin


Okay, so we understand at this point that dolphins are being killed. But… why?

To no surprise, people eat dolphin. In Taiji, Japan, 23,00 cetaceans are killed a year. When the dolphins are all forced into the infamous cove, trainers from all over the world gather to pick out the appealing ones. Logic dictates that the rest must be eaten. There’s no telling where all these dolphins really end up.  Though it’s strange, one would think that if the Japanese are killing this many dolphins a year then they must be the ones eating it as well. Though, research shows that many Japanese are unaware that this is even occurring.

Okay! So dolphins are being eaten! BIG DEAL, humans eat pretty much anything. Yes, if you think this, you’re completely right. In fact its biologically ingrained within us to eat other animals. We see it happen in the animal kingdom every day. Lions eat gazelles. Cats eat mice. Dolphins aren’t vegetarians, they eat fish. We all draw the line somewhere on what we will eat and what we won’t. It is a matter of taste.

That would be a good argument if dolphin meat wasn’t toxic. Yes, dolphin meat is toxic, very toxic. Dolphins and other smaller cetaceans contain about 12 to 16 times (on anverage) the acceptable amount of mercury allowable by national health standards. This is undeniable evidence that killing and eating dolphin is NOT A GOOD THING.

So there are 23,000 cetaceans scooped out of the water every year out of Taiji alone. Where does all this dolphin meat go if it is known that dolphin meat is toxic? It is well-documented that middle men in charge of distribution have been mixing dolphin meat into the market and labeling it as whale meat. The Japanese have no idea they are being fed poison by their own government. Tests have shown that a relatively large of amount of Japanese have dangerously high levels of mercury.

The Japanese government has recently admitted to serving dolphin meat to school children for their regular meals.


Dolphins love to play. Scientists say that this is indication of dolphin intelligence. Wait a minute, other animals can play. I know that dogs play. My friend has a french bulldog named Brooklyn. Brooklyn knows how to play dead.

I don’t think Brooklyn can do this…

What amazes me about this is that these dolphins taught this to themselves. Not only did one dolphin have the abstract capabilities to figure it out, but then it was passed along to other dolphins. Whether or not this is a naturally occurring thing in the wild, it is still testament to dolphin intelligence.

Dolphins have intelligence.

This shouldn’t be shocking as many animals have intelligence. Of course, there are many different levels of intelligence. We underestimate many animals for their seeming lack of intelligence. For example, squirrels, pigs and pigeons are of the top 10 smartest on the planet. The pig being the 6th in the line (7th including humans.) Sorry, Wilbur! You’re just too tasty.

Sorry Wilbur! You're just too tasty!

Dolphins find themselves about second on this list behind chimpanzees. Although, there is debate among the scientific community that dolphins are more self-aware, intelligent and higher-developed abstract thought. Dolphins exhibit many qualities like humans. Dolphins travel and live in large pods (communities of dolphins) and are extremely social. They have a complex language system using clicks and squeaks that scientists are still unraveling. Humans are proud of their brains. This is for obvious reasons. It has helped us take over the world and top the food chain. Dr. Lori Marino, of Emory University, in Atlanta, GA, says that human brain size is seven times larger than what should be expected by body to brain ratio. To put brain size/intelligence into perspective we observe chimpanzees. Chimpanzees are well known within popular culture because they are a close relative to ourselves. Their intelligence is tested and well-documented because of this. Chimpanzee brain size is said to be two to three times larger than what would be expected. Dolphin brain size is five times larger than expected.

Dolphins can learn many complex tasks, signs/signals, and have the ability to teach other dolphins. They are conscious of themselves and other individuals of of species. They are even smart enough to be aware of sentence structure through communication.

Click here and you can view part 2/3 and 3/3

If dolphins are intelligent as this suggests then it may be safe to assume that dolphins are well-aware of what is happening to them. Dolphins and their families are being killed (Might I say “murdered”?) and they are conscious of their fates. It is a cold-hearted business the eating of other animals. If cows and chickens were this intelligence would we still eat them? Where do you draw the line?

Taiji, Japan

In Taiji, Japan, fisherman take up a tradition that has been passed down for generations. That tradition is the fishing of dolphins. One of the greatest accomplishments of animals is the ability to pass down learned skills. In this version, the Japanese have learned the most effective way to catch and kill dolphins.

Practiced in Taiji, the Japanese will attach long metal rods to their boats. Captains brandishing hammers will bang on the rods. The sound emitted torments the dolphins. Frightened and confused they swim away. As multiple boats work in concert, pods of dolphins are driven into waters that will be their last swam.

The below video is a 3D representation of what is known as “drive hunting.”

Dolphin Cruelty

We once lived in a time where food was scarce. If hunters were unsuccessful the village might starve. Hardships were endured. Eating what you can to survive was the reality of life.  These days, we can walk a block down the road and find ourselves midst towering halls of food. Eating meat has become a debatable topic due to a vast surplus of nutrition. Every culture has a line they draw on what is acceptable to eat. We differentiate ourselves from what we eat by our self-awareness, intelligence and language. This is how we justify our consumption of them.  If your food could speak the English language, would you still eat it? If not, why wouldn’t you?

Research of dolphin intelligence has shown the complexities of dolphin relationships are second to humans. In certain areas of the brain concerned with emotional control, objectivity, reality orientation, humor, logically consistent abstract thought and higher creativity, dolphins have a higher ratio of neural density than humans. It is theorized that dolphins have a sense of future and are self-aware. Would you kill and eat a dolphin if it knew it was going to be murdered and eaten? The Japanese are eating 23,000 dolphins a year. In places like Taiji, Japan, dolphins are herded and then picked for a life of captivity; the rejected are killed, cut up, and sold on the market.

It is wrong to eat dolphin for several logical and ethical reasons. This blog will address these reasons why and advocate a policy change by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to include and protect smaller cetaceans. The IWC needs to be more strict on whaling and to draw definitive lines that should be followed and respected internationally.

I love animals, especially dolphins. I admire their playful and kind nature. I respect their level of intelligence and believe there to be enough within these animals to consider their hunting immoral and illogical. I have always been partial to dolphins. As a kid, I would pretend to be one while swimming, Flipper was my favorite show, and going to SeaWorld was like going to heaven. Once one summer morning on the coast of Delaware, my mother and I woke to find a pod of dolphins playing off the coast.  Excited and swift we grabbed boogie boards, goggles, and flippers and jumped in the water. Timidly, we swam out near the edge of the pod. Soon dolphins were swimming around us. What happened was a moment I can only describe as bliss. The water was warm, air crisp, and I was in the midst of a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Needless to say, it left an indelible impression on me.

I want to help save dolphins from a fate some people wouldn’t wish upon their worst enemy.