Apart from just being plain amazing and beautiful, they are thought to be among the more intelligent creatures on Earth, and a lot of their behavior and the way they communicate is still something of an ongoing mystery.
The Jappos are the butt of dolphin and whale hunting jokes for a good reason, and the dolphin hunting season around the town of Taiji is a prime example of exactly why this is.
People blowing their brains out has never been a big deal for me. Bodies getting tossed into flaming pits? No problem. Dolphins getting slaughtered by the masses, helping to ruin an already delicate ocean ecosystem that is in the worst state the world has ever seen it?
Bring on the suicide videos, seriously.
Each year from September to May over 20,000 dolphins are slaughtered in Japan. Fishermen round them up by the hundreds using sound barriers to disorient and herd the frantic pods out of their normal migrations into hidden lagoons like the one featured in The Cove. Bottlenose dolphins, especially ones that look like Flipper, are pre-selected by trainers and sold off for upwards of $200,000 to marine mammal parks around the world, where they will remain in captivity performing as circus acts. After the trainers and spectators have left, the rest of the dolphins are inhumanely killed in what can only be described as a massacre.The article goes on to explain how the Japanese defends dolphin hunting as part of their "cultural heritage", thus justifying mass, inhumane slaughter which is to such a degree that the water is saturated with blood.
Well, in North America, a part of our "cultural heritage" is nuking the shit out of the Japanese. But we stopped doing that after the first time, for obvious reasons.
I'm not making a threat here, I'm just saying, let's all give cultural change a chance.
Here is a full length documentary on the subject if you have an hour and a half to spare.
Quote source: http://www.opsociety.org/issues/dolphin-slaughter-in-taiji