Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Dangers of Mercury

    When most people learn about the slaughter of dolphins they wonder, why?  It's very unusual  in American culture to hear about dolphins being killed, especially inhumanly.  But that's just it.  We are the reason these innocent creatures are being killed.  When dolphins are captured they are picked through and the ones that meet the requirements are chosen and sold to large corporations such as Sea World and are used as show animals.  To most people, it comes as a shock to learn that the dolphins that are not chosen for life in a tank are brutally killed and their meat is sold, though it contains dangerous amounts of mercury.
     The dolphin meat is typically sold to local markets and bought by the town natives.  Without knowing the true dangers of mercury, the natives have continued to buy and consume the mercury contaminated meat.  In turn, Tetsuya Endo, a professor of the Health Sciences University of Hokkaido, discovered that residents of Taiji, Japan have extremely high concentrations of mercury in their bodies because they have consumed the contaminated meat.
      The school systems had been given the meat for free and it was being eaten by the children, unaware of its dangers.  In the movie "The Cove" it shows two men in a town incredibly concerned about the meat being served to their kids at school.  After showing much distress about the topic, the meat was removed from all school systems and now the food is mercury free.  However, this is not the same for meat in markets.  Although the stores know that it is dangerous to sell the meat to their people, they continue to do it.  They have disguised the meat in packages that say its whale meat.  Not only do they sell the meat to their native people, but they eat the meat themselves.  Many people in the movie that were involved in protecting the business were tested for mercury poison and almost all came back positive.

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