24/11/2015 07:15 GMT | Updated 23/11/2016 05:12 GMT

Four Days of Hell

It was October 1st 2014 'Forty-Eight Hours of Hell' was published in Huffington Post, a blog raising awareness to the deploring cruelty in the captivity process and slaughter of a family pod of pilot whales in Taiji Japan, which began on September 25th 2014 and lasted over two days. The sad thing is this article could have been copied, pasted and published once more, when a few days ago on November 19th 2015 the same sickening scenario took place again. This time though the 50/60 family pod of pilot whales, consisting of many juveniles and babies endured a sickening four days of needless pain, fear and suffering, only to meet the most barbaric and excruciating death imaginable. Some of these pilot whales had to witness their family members being dragged to their deaths in the most brutal manner and were then held hostage without access to food, languishing in the blood of dead relatives for over 62 hours according to eye witnesses from Dolphin Project and Sea Shepherd, who spend the season from September to March each year monitoring the daily dolphin drives.

There is no doubt the level of intelligence and family bonding within these cetaceans, but irrespective of this, all animals, just like humans have the ability to feel fear and pain, the fear of death being the worst fear for any living being.


Copyright Tono Balaguer

"The question is not, "Can they reason?" nor, "Can they talk?" but "Can they suffer?"

― Jeremy Bentham, The Principles of Morals and Legislation

I am ashamed of humanity's lack of respect for other living being's emotions. What I witnessed through live streams and pictures on social media in the cove over the past few days was not just a barbaric slaughter house, but a sadistic concentration camp. It was beyond cruel and in the twenty first century is not justified, however, the pilot whales enforced prison is not dissimilar to the plight of thousands of farm animals, who are transported for days in cramped conditions without access to basic comforts, bears captured and caged for 15/20 years to produce medicinal bile, beagle puppies raised purely for experimentation, the list is endless. Innocent prisoners serving a death sentence, because we have abused their biggest injustice - they do not have a voice!


Copyright Dimitry Kalinovsky

"He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals."

― Immanuel Kant

Our treatment of animals is a sickening outrage, during their often ridiculously short lives many are given no basic privileges, sometimes they never see the outdoors, are unable to smell the fresh air, or feel the warmth of the sun on their backs. Ripped from their families and denied even the smallest grain of happiness. Factory farming, dolphinariums, bull fighting, trophy hunting - all animal exploitation, all driven by a small minority's thirst for greed and power - all needing to be addressed.


Copyright Sofya Apkalikova

And yet animals are the superstars of social media, their popularity supersedes celebrities in the world of Face Book, with 1 in 10 pets even having their own pages, so it's not surprising a large number of corporate giants and retailers are trying to seduce potential customers by using animals within their media advertisements. Energy, sofas, Christmas - an array of varied and cute animals are used as prominent marketing tools, sometimes with no obvious relevance to the product other than to pull at heart strings. There is little doubt the majority of human beings adore animals and would not wish unnecessary suffering on any species, so why are we allowing this to happen?

Frustrations ran high during the pilot whales macabre slaughter and although I understand the sense of helplessness through wanting to protect them from their ordeal, I also felt extremely uncomfortable when I read some of the sickening racist comments about a nation, because of the actions of a minority. Every country has its fair share of shame in respect to animal exploitation, we cannot even condemn one government for not listening.

So many times I have seen where charities, groups and movements fighting the same cause, wanting identical results refuse to pull together through differing opinions, politics and egos, but sadly, no matter what the issue, unless we can unite for what we are fighting for, world leaders and governments will always have the upper hand.


Copyright Sommai Larkjit

Whilst I will never advocate finger pointing at one nation, what I do wholeheartedly support is thousands of compassionate, caring people coming together in solidarity to say enough is enough! No matter what the species, be it dolphins, elephants, sheep or lions, we need to start seeing compassion and kindness included in key decision making throughout the world - before it's too late!


Copyright Arindam Banerjee

I'm begging animals lovers around the world, let's unite to put things right!