Yikes! I can’t believe it’s been over two weeks since I’ve last posted. Things have been pretty crazy around here. I’m working on a large project at work, and as we near our go-live date, that means 50+ hour weeks. It’s been exciting, but I haven’t quite yet figured out how to sit down and write after a hectic day.

You know what is not conducive to home-cooked meals? Long work weeks. The last actual dinner that I made myself was this past Monday. It was a Brussels sprouts and tempeh soba noodle skillet, so at least I picked a good one!

Near the beginning of the month, I posted House Vegan’s Fall To-Do List. My first item to mark off was making vegan candy corn, which I considered a big success.

Since I have been so busy, I haven’t had the time do much of the cooking items on the list. I missed the Austin Oktoberfest because I was out of town last week for a dear friend’s wedding last weekend (she was so beautiful! AND she made sure I had a vegan meal… seriously, I am so lucky to have such amazing people in my life). I perused the list looking for something that didn’t involve much effort to complete, and then I found it.

“Watch something scary, like Cowspiracy.” While Cowspiracy is scary, I’ve already seen it. I’ve also already seen Earthlings, which I would argue is a scarier viewing experience. Blackfish? Check. Forks Over Knives? Check. Food, Inc.? Check.

Then I found it: The Cove. For those of you who have never heard of it, The Cove is a 2009 documentary that was directed by Louie Psihoyos, a former National Geographic photographer. The film captures some of the first footage of the Taiji dolphin hunt in Japan. It actually beat Food, Inc. for Best Documentary Feature in the 2009 Academy Awards.

I felt the same way viewing The Cove as I did watching Blackfish. In fact, The Cove could accurately be summarized as “Blackfish, for dolphins” or “The first Blackfish.” I was really nervous to watch it because I was terrified that it was going to be an hour and a half of dolphin-slaughter, but thankfully, I was wrong. The crew follows Ric O’Barry and a rag-tag group of activists on their mission to obtain the first footage of Taiji’s now infamous dolphin hunts. It goes without saying that the town of Taiji was not exactly keen on evidence of this cruelty being captured. As such, a lot of espionage is needed to pull off the mission. The last ten or so minutes of The Cove is when they actually show the footage of the hunting, which is gruesome and exceedingly hard to watch.

Ric O’Barry, interestingly enough, was one of the first Americans to capture and train dolphins in the 1960’s. He was the head trainer for the five dolphins who collectively played Flipper in the Flipper television series. Because of Flipper‘s commercial success, O’Barry blames himself for the rise of dolphin shows (and thus, dolphin capture and slaughter) around the world. O’Barry had a change of heart about keeping dolphins in captivity when Kathy, the dolphin primarily responsible for playing Flipper, passed away.

“And I put my arms in the water, and she got right in my arms like that and took a breath, looked me right in the eye, and never took another one.”

O’Barry believes Kathy’s death to be an act of suicide, and while I obviously cannot speak to common captive dolphin behaviors, it doesn’t take a genius to surmise that these creatures are aware of, and wallow in, their confinement.

All in all, I can see why The Cove received the attention and acclaim that it did: it is a difficult, but necessary, watch. I definitely recommend it.