Additional Reporting by Luke Thacker
Students on campus are aware of one of the world’s problems after seeing The Cove on Netflix or elsewhere, which shows that making a difference is not an easy task. A dynamic duo is leading the charge with a campaign to stop the slaughter of dolphins in Japan.
Renee Cornue and Antonella Cullen, juniors, were at a friend’s house when they discovered the cause.
“We were at Alan [Rubiola]’s house and we wanted to watch a movie, so we scrolled through Netflix and we stumbled upon The Cove,” Cornue said, “and at first we were hesitant because, you know, animal cruelty, we’re not really into that.”
The Cove, an Academy Award winning 2009 documentary, details the capture and slaughter of dolphins in fishing communities on the coast of Japan. It contains graphic scenes of the violence inflicted on the dolphins in a cove sealed off from the rest of the sea.
“After the movie, we just got really compelled to do something,” Cornue said, “so we got on Twitter.”
Twitter, the social networking site that lets users post 140 character messages from their phone or computer, has been lauded as both the birth of a new form of mass communication and the death of meaningful conversation. Ruled over by celebrities and fake accounts, Twitter doesn’t seem like the first choice to start a mass movement.
It takes hard work to spread awareness about a cause, but social media networks are making it easier to get the word out.
The Japanese have not ceased their exploitation of dolphins, despite the huge popularity of The Cove in light of caring for the sea creatures. For the majority of the nation, technology is the main industry along with car companies like Toyota and Suzuki. Other than these high-end materials and small deposits of steel, Japan relies on fishing as a way for men to hold jobs and get wages. Of course, whaling brings the greatest income, and so these mammals’ populations are stunted. The recent earthquakes and tsunamis in the Pacific claimed many of these industries’ livelihoods, claiming near 11,500 lives. Nuclear radiation caused enough destruction itself to put the country in panic, and with a virtually insignificant amount of help from foreign nations, fish will suffer further because of over consumption. Schools in the Pacific have turned to whaling once again for cheap, public lunches and there is not a doubt that more of the animals are going to be consumed in the future because of Japan’s recent devastation. Not only does this mean the Japanese will be eating intelligent mammals, but it also adds to the mercury levels in children and more frequent natural catastrophes.