A Japanese Woman’s Perspective

24 10 2010

This past Friday night our new found friend “K” came over to return our DVD of “The Cove”, to share a glass of wine together and to talk about what she and her family thought about the movie.

“K” was curious about our upcoming trip to Taiji and she wanted to better understand the situation so she could intelligently piece together what she had been reading from Japanese newswires (and I wanted to understand the Japanese media perspective). She grew up in Northern Tokyo and lived there until she met her American husband and relocated to the US 10 years ago. Her family still lives in Japan and travels there every year to visit. She had no idea what was happening in Taiji, nor her family.

When asked if Japanese people eat dolphin, she said, “No, we don’t want to eat dolphin” and even pointed to one part of the film where people interviewed on the streets of Tokyo determined same. She does recall eating whale however as a little girl. Curious, I asked what whale meat was like, she said it looks like steak and is prepared like steak – it does not resemble fish (makes sense, whale is a mammal). She recalls whale not being a popular food item. But what about the fisherman’s argument of this being “cultural”? “K” clearly says this is not at all about culture (there is no such custom or culture to slaughter dolphins), this issue has nothing to do with a custom or culture – it’s all about money. “If the Japanese fisherman say its cultural, this is a lie”. This is an important fact because the fisherman and the government will tell us differently to cover their actions (sounds a lot like American commercial slaughterhouse crud to me). And why would the Japanese fisherman want to eat fish tainted with toxic levels of Mercury (the science backs this data)??

One of “K’s” favorite seafood items is octopus and she says that there is no more octopus in the ocean around Japan so now the octopus comes from Africa (she no longer eats it by the way). She is stunned about this and also that all of the salmon brought into to Japan comes from America’s wild salmon population. Japanese people do not want to eat “farmed” seafood so what they can’t get in their own coastal waters they ship it in from elsewhere – and this is a nation that consumes an enormous amount of fish.

“K” also brought up another point that I have not been able to rid my mind of. As a little girl her Mother had to work, she worked at a Pig farm. Her Mother observed that when a pig was chosen for slaughter the pig would squeal and run from its capture. “K’s” Mother believes the animal is completely aware of its unfortunate fate and would continue to scream as it headed away in the truck. Of course this gets into a deep topic but all I can say is, look into the eye of the animal before its killed for your eating pleasure. Ironically, “K’s” husband is a Chemist who doesn’t eat meat because of the health and medical concerns due to the raising of the animal (something to pay attention to ).

In short, “K” believes the madness in Taiji needs to stop and asked if she could continue to borrow our copy of “The Cove” and share it with other Japanese families that she shares time with – all I can can say is, of course!! And if you have not yet seen the movie, “The Cove”, please do.

21 Days till our Cove Guardian duty begins.

For the Dolphins – may they swim forever free!

Carrie & William

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One response

27 10 2010
Cindy

Wow!!! That is interesting what your friend says. I was born in Japan and my mother is Korean. I don’t ever remember eating dog, cat, whale, and dolphin nor would I ever. I had two chickens and consider them my friend. My dad decided to kill and eat. I remember being so upset I cried and would not eat them. All I could do is stand outside of the woods. Your friend is very interesting and has an open mind and I hope she let’s other see The Cove (the movie) and let’s all of her friends know about the cruel, brutal, and barbaric way of killing dolphins and whales.
Cindy

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