Taiji is a small fishing town in Japan. It is a beautiful place; so beautiful you would never guess it is the home to the largest dolphin slaughter in the world.

Humans have a long history of admiring dolphins. We hold them in concrete tanks to awe at their beauty and intelligence. Through research we know some of what a dolphin’s life is like. Dolphins are self-aware creatures which means they can recognize themselves in a mirror. Ric O’Barry, the dolphin trainer for the tv show Flipper (later turned dolphin activist), often tells the story of bringing his television to the end of the dock so Kathy, the dolphin, could watch herself on tv. She could also tell herself apart from the other dolphins that shared the role of Flipper. In the wild dolphins usually stay in their family pods their entire lives. They have very strong social bonds…

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