Must-See TV: Review of The Cove

The Cove, directed by Louie Psihoyos, is a deeply moving documentary hitting theaters nationwide. Described as a cross between “Oceans 11” and “Flipper,” the film takes viewers on an unforgettable journey to the shallow waters off the coast of Taiji, Japan where every fall thousands of dolphins are chased, cornered, terrorized, separated from their families, bludgeoned, and stabbed to death. Driven both by the financial incentive of the captive dolphin entertainment industry and the dolphin meat-trade, the brutal killings of these majestic creatures is enough to make any conscious person pause for reflection.


The film spotlights Richard O’Barry, former star of the popular television series, “Flipper,” whose change in consciousness and perception lead him to dedicate his life to freeing dolphins from captivity and protecting them from slaughter. Viewers are given an eye-opening glimpse into the complex emotional and intellectual lives of dolphins – one of the smartest, most self-aware, animals on Earth.

Viewers are exposed to the chilling truth behind the seafood industry. We hear about the dangerously high levels of mercury in seafood, how and why mercury poisoning occurs in humans who eat fish, and the human health consequences of consuming mercury-contaminated sea life. The film also reveals how over-fishing is rapidly depleting wild fish populations – quickly driving some species to the brink of collapse.

The Cove also illustrates the lengths to which animal abusers will go to hide their abuses, acknowledging that the general public would be outraged if they knew the cruel details of the dolphin slaughter.

This sobering truth can also certainly be said about factory farming and slaughterhouses in the United States. This powerful film gives vegan advocates an opportunity to help Americans bridge the gap between their concern for dolphins, whom the film convincingly portrays as intelligent and sentient creatures, with empathy and compassion for pigs, cows, and chickens – also intelligent individuals who are self-aware and in dire need of protection.