Simone Reyes arrives in Taiji, Japan as a Sea Shepherd Cove Guardian
by Jennifer Mishler
Categories: Animals, Causes
Tags: .
Photo: Simone Reyes Facebook

Each year, volunteers for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, known as Cove Guardians, head to Japan to document the drive hunts of dolphins in Taiji’s now infamous cove. Those dolphins who are not chosen for lives in captivity are slaughtered for human consumption.

This week, the spotlight shining on the dolphins of Taiji got a little bit brighter as celebrity animal activist Simone Reyes arrived to join the Cove Guardians. In today’s press release, Sea Shepherd announced that Reyes arrived last night and will spend ten days in Taiji as part of their Operation Infinite Patience campaign.

The star of Oxygen series “Running Russell Simmons” is also a vegan and outspoken animal activist, and recently shared her plans to head to the cove. “The Cove Guardians ongoing, unwavering presence are clearly paving a road to change. The tarps that conceal the murders, the police and security hired to stand at the Cove etc are all a strong indication that Cove Guardian presence is being effective in their efforts to document what goes on in Taiji, and shows just how terrified both the Fisheries Union and associated marine parks are that the world will know the shame of Taiji,” Reyes wrote on Global Grind.

Russell Simmons said of his co-star, “The atrocities that continue in Taiji at The Cove need international attention. I have no doubt that Simone being there on the ground will spotlight this cause and hopefully work to bring an end to the slaughter.”

Sea Shepherd reports that annual hunts throughout Japan claim the lives of 20,000 dolphins, porpoises and small whales every year. The organization says that after the animals are driven into the shallow water by boats and banging poles, the dolphins’ deaths are slow, and that they are brutally killed in front of their pods.

The Guardians seem hopeful that Reyes will bring more attention to what is happening in Taiji. Campaign leader Melissa Sehgal said, “We are honored and excited to welcome Simone to the Cove Guardian team. She is a powerful and devoted voice for animals and we know her passion and presence will illuminate the ongoing atrocities in Taiji for all the world to see.”

Sea Shepherd reports that nine pods of dolphins (including pilot whales) have been driven into the cove so far this year. “From those pods, 46 animals have been taken captive for sale to marine parks and swim-with-dolphin encounters, 91 have been slaughtered for human consumption, and 7 bodies have been found washed ashore due to the stress of the hunts and captures,” they write. The conservation group says the slaughter and the captive dolphin trade are “inextricably linked,” and that everyone can oppose the hunts by no longer supporting marine mammal captivity.

For more information on Operation Infinite Patience, visit Sea Shepherd’s website. The Cove Guardians also post daily updates from the cove on their Facebook and Twitter pages.

About Jennifer Mishler

Jennifer Mishler is a writer, and a vegan and animal activist. When she's not writing, you can often find her volunteering or advocating for animal, environmental and human rights causes. Along with writing for Ecorazzi, she has contributed writing for nonprofits like Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and enjoys blogging. She resides in the Washington, DC area (and loves all the vegan food it has to offer). Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @jennygonevegan.

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  • Hiroyuki Masanobu

    Thank goodness for righteous do-gooders like Simone who stand up to those dastardly orientals and tell them how to behave! And what better way to do it than by bullying and harassing them rudely.

    It’s a shame it all doesn’t work or count for anything, but still. As long as it makes Simone and her fellow degenerates feel good about themselves, then hurrah. Go Sea Shepherd!

    • Simone Reyes

      This is the do-gooder Simone who would like to comment Mr Masanobu on your comments above. Sea Shepherd is a GLOBAL organization and now made up of westerners only. Actually there are many Japanese activists who oppose this slaughter as well, especially since the meat being sold and consumed is so high in mercury content it is making their own country sick. We aren’t bullies, the bullies are the killers who tear babies from their mothers and brutally kill them under tarps. And of course the captive industry that steals young dolphins from the only life they have ever known and makes them slaves. I hope you re-think your position- all we want is freedom for all. Its really not that radical a concept. Simone Reyes

      • Hiroyuki Masanobu

        Oh boo hoo hoo the poor baby dolphins, oh how your heart bleeds for them. Let me wipe away your crocodile tears you poor dear.

        Honestly.

        Where do you get off?

        Your unabashed hypocrisy, your pathetic attempts to appear somehow concerned with nature and the environment, your total lack of self-awareness – it stinks to high heaven of some b-lister attempt to gain some quick publicity and ‘environmentalist’ credentials.

        Be very thankful for the politeness with which you are treated whilst in Japan. If you pulled this rubbish elsewhere – say a western country – you’d meet with a very different reception indeed.

        Wake up to yourself, you dill. Grow up. And find yourself a genuine conservation issue to support – goodness knows there are plenty enough of those where you come from.

      • Dave

        Spoken like a true oppressor HM. You and your similar behaving colleagues who are apologists for racism, slavery, and mass extermination twist logic and use put downs in order to retain your oppressors position.

      • Hiroyuki Masanobu

        Pardon?

      • cady

        Hey wake up you scumbag- your outdated way of thinking went out the same time we overthrew Hitler. So take your kamikaze attitude and go blow yourself up! I can see you are obviously scared of all those “do-gooder’s” taking photos- We respect wildlife in America, we have laws to protect them, we use something you can’t grasp called conservation. If they continue to slaughter them at unsustainable rates what are you going to do then?

      • Hiroyuki Masanobu

        Say, do you ever get the sneaking suspicion you might be completely detached from reality?

      • Dingosbaby

        You’re kind of a dick.

      • romika3

        Perhaps you should look at mercury warnings in North America associated with the recreational fishery. And you say your not bullies, well have a look at the behaviour of those so called conservationists from the US……Scott what’s his name and a few others…..an embarrassment to the conservation movement.

      • Dingosbaby

        Good for you, Simone! Keep up the good work – I am with you in spirit and support. This horrendous practice is unnecessary – I can’t understand anyone defending it nor do I want to understand them.

      • Billy

        I imagine it might be better to leave, race, nationality, religion out of this conversation. Simone is right, Sea Shepherd is a multinational organization. When I was in Taiji, it was my best friend, former roommate, Japanese citizen who helped me and Sea Shepherd…AND when I was arrested in Taiji, the detective who questioned me, said he disagreed with the dolphin slaughter but he had to do his job which was question those arrested…so I don’t think the majority of the Japanese even know what’s going on and those that do disagree with the killings. Taiji is a very small town/community….

    • Billy

      I would imagine it might be better to leave, race, nationality, religion out of this conversation. Simone is right, Sea Shepherd is a multinational organization. When I was in Taiji, it was my best friend, former roommate, Japanese citizen who helped me and Sea Shepherd…AND when I was arrested in Taiji, the detective who questioned me, said he disagreed with the dolphin slaughter but he had to do his job which was question those arrested…so I don’t think the majority of the Japanese even know what’s going on and those that do disagree with the killings. Taiji is a very small town/community.

      • Hiroyuki Masanobu

        I disagree, race and nationality are right at the heart of all of this. Why? Because Sea Shepherd put in there. After all, it’s fantastic for bringing in the donations to pay those big salaries and legal bills. That’s why no one throws acid at the Norwegians or Icelandics – it’s improper and people wouldn’t pay to see it. We Japanese though, we get the full treatment because it makes for great TV!

        It sounds like the Japanese people were very kind to you during your stay. Isn’t that something? I suspect if I went to your country and started spraying hypocritical self-righteousness all over the place on behalf of a hate group, I’d probably end up in quite a spot of bother.

        But anyway.

        Did you stay in Japan make you feel better about yourself though Billy? Provide you with a sense of moral superiority? A sense of purpose and importance, perhaps?

        It’s tough work, education and berating those Orientals and getting them to do as you say. But someone has to do it, right?

      • Karl Malloy

        A central issue of the whole matter is cultural differences and the rights of members of other cultures to dictate to Japan. It’s telling that you’ve actually been on the ground in Taiji and you don’t see that.

  • romika3

    Watson is noted for using “celebrities” who are searching for meaning and purpose in their lives. I have seen footage of SSCS activities in Taiji and it is disgusting, but then that is what they do best, demonize and generate hate towards a people and culture because that is what brings in the money…..

    • Dave

      Nice try romika3 to divert the issue. Luckily your feeble attempt is laughable.

    • cady

      wow you are another one who is ignorant. You are a poster child for ignorance is bliss. If you are honestly defending the absolute butchery at the cove i’d say you are pathetic. Just another example of how other mammals are inferior to your all awesome humanness. Too bad in my book that makes you and the rest of the people who support this no different than Hitler. You disgust me

      • Karl Malloy

        Well, I’m happy to go on record that I’m fully disgusted that you find the human suffering and mass murder caused by Hitler to be equivalent in moral outrage to someone posting an opinion on a website.
        I think that about sums up where your moral priorities are – and I’m sure that no one here agrees with you that mass murder of humans by the gas chamber is to be treated so lightly. How awful a person do you have to be to so flippantly make such a statement? I’m sure you’re ignorant of the ADL’s complete excoriation of people making similar comments throughout history – go review the tremendous moral outrage that comments similar to yours made by public figures has resulted in.

      • Reuben

        India just Declared Dolphins to be Non Human Persons. Like most animal activists Simone works to help the plight of animals in her native country including Farm Animals, as well as reaching out globally, and like most people, when they learn about the Cove in Taji, are horrified and opposed to the killings separations, and would like it to stop. Like most of us with a heart and soul, if we could go there and stand with the Cove watchers to try and help the Dolphins we would.

      • Karl Malloy

        You are misinformed. What India did was ban dolphinariums and say in public statements that dolphins “should” be considered non-human persons with rights separate from other non-human animals. The “should” meaning to indicate that this should be pursued and considered as a goal.
        Which has no bearing on Japan, of course. Just as the fact that India’s directives to its State governments dictate that the States “shall take steps for… prohibiting the slaughter of cows” doesn’t seem to have a bearing on India itself. There are 3,000 legal and an estimated 30,000 illegal slaughterhouses in India today.

  • Karl Malloy

    Simone, perhaps you should consider how you would feel if someone from another country came here and tried to tell you how to live. Does someone from a Hindu culture have the right to come to the United States and demand that we stop raising and killing cattle for beef? I don’t think so – and neither do I think that Americans have the right to go overseas and tell others how to live.
    If you want to save the dolphins, start here at home – you have heard that dolphin meat is contaminated with mercury, right? That’s because the electricity used to power all of the stereo systems playing Russell Simmons’ beats is still 50% generated by coal in this country. That is poisoning the world’s oceans and poisoning the brains of millions and millions of dolphins. You can fight on that issue right here at home without international travel, and you can impact a problem that’s affecting millions of dolphins on an ongoing basis instead of around 1,000 annually. Your call, but I suspect you will choose the spotlight and the hypocrisy of Sea Shepherd, sadly.

    • Cady

      Wow, your ignorance is astounding. I guess us Americans should have stayed at home and not gotten involved when the Germans were killing the Jews . Comparing domesticated cattle to the slaughter in the coves of Japan is the outside of ridiculous! Wild animals and domesticated are not the same thing. Apparently you know nothing about being “humane”. We have things in America called the National Humane Society and other organizations that regulate the treatment of domesticated animals,. We have regulations on the hunting of our wildlife, and police that specifically enforce those regulations against poachers. Japan as a culture is notorious for not giving a crap if an animal is endangered or how it is treated- they are all inferior, just food sources and nothing more. The first gentleman’s response is positive proof of that. Typical. Just remember those wars were made by the MEN not the women. So your comment is not only ignorant but idiotic as well. I won’t ask you where your humanity is- you obviously have none if your response is to attack people who want to end senseless killing. Have you even watched the cove or seen the live streams? probably not with your misinformed answers. Save your two cents for someone who gives a crap.

      • Karl Malloy

        So, let’s be clear – you don’t give a crap but you posted a 200 word comment?

        I am familiar with all of the issues – however, you don’t even seem to grasp what I said. I’m not comparing the killing of beef cattle in the US with the killing of dolphins in Taiji. I’m comparing the right of a person from outside the United States to come here and foist their morals upon Americans with the right of a person from the United States to go to Japan and foist their morals on them. I’m certain you don’t see that point, but it is very well made.

        However, to compare beef cattle to the killing of the dolphins in Taiji, will you go on record and say that if the killing of dolphins in Taiji were done with a simple bolt to the brain with zero suffering, you’re totally OK with it? Because I think that’s a reform we could all agree would be good. However, it doesn’t change the fact that Americans have about zero right to tell the Japanese to enact that reform, especially given my core point which you do not even address – the much greater crime we’re committing every day against dolphins by spilling mercury into the oceans. I assume you find that humane since you didn’t even mention it. Millions of dolphins’ brains being poisoned because you just left the lights on in the other room – that’s what sickens me, Cady.

  • girliegirlarmy

    Simone is a HERO. Anyone, like Masanobu below, who belittles her loving heart and courageous activism is setting themselves up for a filthy afterlife. Folks like these dolphin murderers and Masanobu are broken inside, that’s why they feel the need to hate on animals.

    Sorry animal haters, our side is just SMARTER.

    “For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other.
    Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.”

    Pythagoras, mathematician

    “The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder
    of animals as they now look on the murder of men.”

    Leonardo da Vinci,
    artist and scientist

    “To a man whose mind is free there is something even more
    intolerable in the sufferings of animals than in the sufferings of man. For with the
    latter it is at least admitted that suffering is evil and that the man who causes it is a
    criminal. But thousands of animals are uselessly butchered every day without a shadow of
    remorse. If any man were to refer to it, he would be thought ridiculous. And that is the
    unpardonable crime.”

    Romain Rolland, author,
    Nobel Prize 1915

    “If a group of beings from another planet were to land on Earth –
    beings who considered themselves as superior to you as you feel yourself to be to other
    animals — would you concede them the rights over you that you assume over other
    animals?”

    George Bernard Shaw,
    playwright, Nobel Prize 1925

    “What is it that should trace the insuperable
    line? …The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they
    talk? but, Can they suffer?”

    Jeremy Bentham,
    philosopher

    “In their behavior toward creatures, all men are Nazis. Human
    beings see oppression vividly when they’re the victims. Otherwise they victimize blindly
    and without a thought.”

    Isaac Bashevis
    Singer, author, Nobel Prize 1978

    “Our task must be to free ourselves . . . by widening our circle
    of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its
    beauty.”

    “Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of
    survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”

    Albert Einstein,
    physicist, Nobel Prize 1921

    “I am in favor of animal rights as well as human
    rights. That is the way of a whole human being.”

    Abraham Lincoln,
    16th U.S. President

    • Karl Malloy

      Did you know that scientists following in the steps of Pythagoras and Da Vinci demonstrated that humans experienced extensive brain development when we began eating meat? Did you know that the consumption of significant animal protein in our diets is one of the primary things that separates us from chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans, as all non-human apes eat less than 2% protein in their diet?
      Just sayin’.

      • girliegirlarmy

        That’s BS Malloy.. how do you account for the vegans I know being FAR smarter than most of my flesh guzzling crew? It’s not science – it’s logic. And yes, the largest and most impressive animals DO indeed exist and thrive on herbivorous diets. You are just proving my point further – thanks! How much does big AG pay you to troll on vegan-focused websites?

      • Karl Malloy

        I won’t argue the fact that vegetarianism trends with intelligence in current society, but I truly hope you’re not making a case for it to be causal. Clearly those who are more well off (wealth trends with intelligence and education of course) have more luxury to choose to do the hard work required to put together a proper healthy vegan diet. Blue collar workers grab what they can when they can get it, they don’t sit around figuring out that they should supplement with pills because they don’t get enough heme iron.
        Think about it – what percentage of those vegans grew up vegan? It’s nonsensical to claim that their diet that they adopted in their late teens or later was the controlling factor in their intelligence. The effect I’m speaking of is on an evolutionary time scale, not during a single individual’s development.
        And yes, anyone who disagrees with you must be in the employ of a corporation, and not have a valid opinion of their own.

      • Karl Malloy

        You realize of course, that there’s one very simple reason that vegetarianism is not dominant in our society today. Those numbskull meat eaters who you revile who lived next to societies that were predominantly vegetarian grew bigger than them, invaded them, killed them and took everything they had. It’s not about right or wrong, it’s about survival of the fittest. And historically, meat eating made one the most fit – though I’ll allow that the paradigms could be shifting given the rise of things like drone warfare.
        Animal consumption will end when the great majority of the population can get adequate protein at a cheaper price point than animal husbandry allows. Like the forces I describe above that caused humans to be omnivorous rather than vegetarian, it’s got very little to do with right and wrong.

      • Billy

        what about Einstein? pretty smart guy. strict vegetarian.

      • Karl Malloy

        He did his major work in the earliest 1900′s, won the Nobel Prize in 1921, and became a vegetarian in 1954. Once again, intelligence may lead to greater chance of vegetarianism, but vegetarianism has never been shown to lead to intelligence. In fact, the first data will be coming in the future as many more children these days might be being raised vegetarian. It hardly impacts your overall intelligence to become a vegetarian in adulthood.

  • Karl Malloy

    I posted a link to the science that is in moderation. I assume you don’t disagree with the fact that apes are distinct from us in diet.