In 2009, a documentary movie called The Cove focused the spotlight of world attention on the tiny coastal village of Taiji, Japan. Lauded as the birthplace of Japanese whaling, present day Taiji hosts a secretive industry of marine mammal exploitation. This diminutive town is a prinicpal provider of captive whales and dolphins to the world’s marine parks and is responsible for the cruel slaughter of thousands of dolphins annually. Salt Water Tears is written around author Len Varley’s first-person, eyewitness journal account of events in and around Taiji in the winter of 2010. It is a story that seeks to balance activism and marine conservation with Japanese traditional culture and introduces the reader to an enigmatic and highly intelligent sea dweller, the dolphin. Beyond this a far deeper universal notion resonates: the need for mankind to reconnect and re-harmonise with the natural environment while addressing the pressing dual issues of conservation and sustainability—before it is too late. Weaving an intriguing tale of past and present, author Len Varley tables a deeper understanding of the once deeply spiritual Japanese whaling tradition. He observes its degeneration into present-day commercialism and greed, marred by stark acts of animal cruelty. Varley delivers a compelling exposé of the Taiji dolphin drive hunts, powerfully presented against the mysterious backdrop of Japan’s deep spirituality and superstition, the haunting beauty of its landscape, and the gentle humility and warmth of its people.
“A must read book for any activist who wants the real story behind the Japanese dolphin slaughter in Taiji.
Len's account is both heartbreaking and heart-warming in equal measure.”
Pete Bethune - Earthrace Conservation Organisation