Kowloon Travel Blog› entry 2 of 15 › view all entries
November 11th, 2009 – by: Vinceng
Just a little side "blog" that I wrote on the plane, but obviously couldn't post:
So it's 7:40 pm (Toronto time), and I've been on a flight from Toronto to Hong Kong now for roughly 9 hours or so and cruising somewhere near the RUssian/Mongolian borader. and I was scrolling through the inflight entertainment and found a movie called "the Cove". In case you haven't heard of it, it's a documentary put on by the Ocean Protection Society, based on the premise that there is an annual slaughter of dolphins taking place in in a town called Taiji in Japan. The sheer irony of my whole movie watching experience is that half of my vacation will be dedicated to travelling through the south of Japan, through many cities called out in this movie.
The COve is intended to shock people into action, and quite frankly, it did it well. It tells the story of the capture of dolphins for use in the entertainment industry, namely trapping them, and sending them to aquariums and theme parks around the work. It then delves into the darker side of the industry, where 23,000 dolphins are killed each year to literally feed parts of the Japanese nation. The main part of the documentary details how a team of activists risked enprisonment to capture the killings on film.
The story breaks into several tangents, all with the unifiying point of how unneccessary this slaughter is, touching on topics from the blind eye the Japanese government and the international federations turns on the taking of cetaceans in the name of science, to cases of mercury poisoning attributed to eating top predators of a food chain, to the irony of Japan being on the International Whaling federation.
I won't talk too much more about what it tells, and how the narrative is presented, but I do urge all of you to check out the movie or check out their website at takePart.com/TheCOve
So in the end, I'm not sounding a call to arms to boycott all items from Japan, nor am I condoning their actions, but I am asking you to watch the movie, and take a step back to think of what's going on. Based on this movie, I think I am slightly changed, and will need to reassess how I approach zoos/aquariums, and try to justify going to places that house animals in an entirely unnatural environment for the sake of entertainment.
My caveat to this whole thing is that I love zoos and aquariums. I like the idea of a teaching environment where people who don't have the means to enjoy animals in their natural environment to interact with them, and to see that these creatures have personalities all their own and deserve respect.
So, basically in the 15 hours I was on my way to Hong Kong, my life changed just a little bit, and all for the better.
BUT the real reason why I took this trip, is to get away and see something new, and MAN did I ever.... just the coast line and the high rise density was just insane.... Yes I've seen the photos of the Hong Kong skyline, but it still didn't do it justice. We're staying at the "W" hotel in Kowloon, and it's phenonminal. The most MODERN hotel I've ever been at, and quite frankly, the swankiest place ever.... the atmosphere in the hotel is young, hip, and cool, and I have photos that I couldn't post here (silly file format incompatibility....) but it's been a pretty low key day really, as a 15 hour flight really sucks the energy right ot of you, so it's approaching quarter to midnight here, and I'm bushed. So it's so long, and maybe I'll post tomorrow with pictures from around the city.
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