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Born Free USA Blog

Born Free USA Blog

This’ll get your blood boiling

Published 02/06/09
By Zibby Wilder, Director of Public Relations

It’s tough for me to keep marine issues out of my head, I think mostly because I have the great pleasure of living on one of the few beaches in Seattle. As I sit at the desk by my window, walk the Alki beach path, or enjoy little bits of sunshine on my deck, I’m constantly in awe of the amazing beauty of marine environments and the animals in them.

Most mornings my alarm clock is (if not my cats) the barking of resident sea lions. My coffee is the jolt of watching a bald eagle or osprey succeed in its hunt. Food for the soul is the elusive glimpse of the small dorsal of a Minke whale, a pod of Dahl’s porpoise, and, one lucky evening, a stunning pod of resident orca.

Such amazing images can turn ugly so fast. And sometimes, that makes me happy.

Last month’s Sundance Film Festival premiere of “The Cove” once again proved that sometimes using people’s ugliness is the best tool to ultimately prolong nature’s beauty.

“The Cove” stars former “Flipper” dolphin trainer Ric O’Barry, whose work has been funded by the Born Free Foundation, and chronicles the sickening happenings of the annual Taiji dolphin slaughter in Japan. Thanks to this film, and the brave direct action of “Heroes” (OK, and the cheerleading movie “Bring it On: All or Nothing,” I admit it. I watched it. Twice. I was sick, OK?) star Hayden Panettiere, the mass media spotlight is finally being focused on this astonishing and needless massacre.

In addition to documenting the brutality of the “hunt,” the film uncovers the facts of how useless this culling truly is and how the highly polluted flesh of these animals — saturated with incredible levels of mercury, lead, and other heavy metals — finds its way onto the plates of Japanese schoolchildren.

Because of its shocking content — even the trailer shies away from the unforgettable images of waters boiling violently crimson with blood — I doubt the film will be available in wide release or in a theater near you so, please, add it now to your “must see” movie list.

It may be at times painful to watch but it’s also a film I’m sure will enlighten and inspire you, and everyone you show it to.



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