To the Councillors and citizens of Broome, Australia
My name is Harry and I am 11 years old. I am proud to be Australian because, in Australia, we are very aware about the environment and conservation issues.
However, one thing I am not proud about is the relationship between Broome and Taiji Japan. The world is aware that Broome and Taiji are sister cities and this reflects negatively on Australia and our citizens.
You will be aware of the thousands of dolphins being slaughtered in Taiji during the hunting season and many other dolphins being sold into a life of captivity. I am writing to ask you to help stop this barbaric hunt by stopping your partnership with Taiji until they stop this terrible hunt.
One of the arguments presented to those of us that fight for the dolphins is that this is “culture” or “tradition”. I would like to make some points about this argument.
Firstly, just because something is labelled as being “tradition”, doesn’t make it right. There have been many instances in history that were once “culture” or “tradition”, but we have been educated and learnt from our mistakes. It was once acceptable to keep slaves, and at one time women didn’t have the right to vote. And who can forget the Apartheid in South Africa or the treatment of Australian Indigenous people throughout history? These are just a few examples of humans being cruel and ignorant, but we have learnt from these mistakes and made right our wrongs. The fishermen of Taiji might call the dolphin hunt a “tradition” but it doesn’t make it right.
Secondly, how long does an act have to be performed to be classed as “culture” or “tradition”? Let’s consider the sale of helpless dolphins to sea parks for thousands of dollars. This is a fairly recent industry and I would like someone to explain to me how this can be classed as “cultural” or “tradition”. Keeping dolphins as slaves to perform tricks is cruel and inhuman. No wild animal should be treated like this and we have no right to take these animals from their natural environment. This is NOT tradition. This is about money and greed.
Finally, if it’s traditional and cultural to eat dolphin, why don’t all the Japanese people consider dolphin food? If you have seen the movie “The Cove” you will have witnessed the shock on people’s faces when asked about eating dolphins. It isn’t considered food so the people were very shocked. Also, if dolphin meat was “traditionally” eaten, why then is it not packaged as dolphin meat? Why it is labelled as something else to hide the real contents?
I would like to invite you to reconsider your relationship with Taiji. I do not expect Broome council to tell the people of Taiji what to do but, through your sister relationship with Taiji, you are condoning and accepting the horrible things they do to dolphins. I ask you to suspend your relationship with Taiji to help save the dolphins. Please stand up for what is right and make us all proud of Broome!