Heroes Star Hayden Panettiere's Surfing Stunt Showcases Innocence and Ignorance

"Save the Cheerleader, save the whales"... Hayden Panettiere, the cute young actress who plays the cheerleader in popular American action drama Heroes recently performed another role: bringing attention to a traditional dolphin hunt in Japan.

Innocence aboard...Innocence aboard...

In the company of like-minded friends, Panettiere attempted to disrupt the annual dolphin hunt by riding surfboards into the "kill zone" set up by Japanese fisherman. In this they failed, but if their true aim was to bring the world's attention to bear on the dolphin hunt, they succeeded admirably.

Posers... or poseurs?Posers... or poseurs?
OK, now step back a little. The popular press has taken this story and has turned it into one long tear-jerker, starring the dripping wet, bikini-clad Panettiere. The images posted here come from England's Daily Mail newspaper, and if you think they're playing up the bikini angle, you're quite right!

The Daily Mail article was sprinkled liberally - no pun intended - with quotes such as these:

The actress... mounted an extraordinary attack on Japanese fisherman during their annual dolphin massacre.

Holding back tears, she (Panettiere) added: "One little baby dolphin stuck his head out and kinda looked at me and the thought that it's no longer with us is really hard to take."

Coming to a cattle ranch near you?Coming to a cattle ranch near you?


The article closed with what may be the only unbiased statement: Many people in Japan see hunting dolphins as part of the national culture which has lasted for generations.

Now let's look at that last one. Japan's climate and geography is not suited for cattle ranching or pig farming. It is an island nation that has always looked to the sea for protein, as have other traditional cultures... including those of some native American tribes.



What do the Japanese people think of stunts like Panettiere's? Well, how would Americans feel if a group of Japanese show-biz types descended on a Montana feed lot and tried to disrupt cattle processing operations there? What if one of them said "One little baby calf stuck his head out and kinda looked at me and the thought that it's no longer with us is really hard to take."

Just a baby...Just a baby...
So, let's put aside the hand-wringing and look at the scientific facts. The human race is omnivorous, not carnivorous and not herbivorous. The vegetarian branch of the Genus Homo family tree died out millions of years ago. Animal cruelty is certainly to be condemned, and animal rights activists have a point when they oppose barbarous slaughtering practices and "inhuman" living conditions.

What well-meaning Hayden needs to understand, however, is that Main Street and Sesame Street are two different places - one is real, the other is not. And by the way... she'll earn at least a little credibility when she takes her surfboard up to the Bering Sea and tried to disrupt a government-sanctioned whale hunt.

Enlighted? Enraged? This is a controversial issue on many levels and all viewpoints are respected. That includes mine, and Hayden's... and yours! Please use our handy Comments feature to state your opinion, whatever it may be.

Steve Levenstein
Japanese Innovations Writer

Nov 3, 2007
by Rosa (not verified)

Innoncence or Ignorace

I have a few problems with this so called practice or 'tradition'. If traditions did not change then we would still be feeding people to lions. Civilisations develop and progress.
Dolphins are considered wildlife not livestock. Cattle is actually bread for consumption and killed humanely. Cattle is not an endangered species.
Secondly, the dolphin meat the japanese is selling to its people is contaminated with high levels of mercury, information which is keep from them. Also, if they feel they are not doing anything wrong, why are they not open about their practice? The Japanese do not even tell its own people of the slaughter as they too would be horrified.
If we didn't condemn certain practices or 'traditions' then why bother getting involved in other country's treatment of humans. At some point most people made a decision that people and animals deserved to be treated in a particular way.
I say the Japanese government tells its country what it s up to and let it 's people make a decision. Something tells me they would not like to know that they are being slowly poisoned with toxic meat and that they are taking part in the extinction of an endangered species that has been shown to have a high level of self-awareness and intelligence.

Nov 4, 2007
by SomeJerseyGuy (not verified)


In my personal opinion Dolphins are a very friendly and inteligent species (as are some humans). That baby calf you have pictured is a walking vegtable. Dolphins actually protect us from shark attacks and they never leave the wounded. Having said that I find it difficult to watch these fishermen lure the dolphins to what they probably think is feeding or play time instead to an agonizing painful butcher. In Europe I have seen clean butchering of lamb and such and the butchers themselves try to make it as quick as possible. They dont run around stabbing them in a pen till they fall out and then drag them up the road. It's very traumatic, not even for me but for the Dolphins.

Nov 4, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)



Nov 4, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)

Hayden is a jerk

Hayden thinks that the world cares who she is...and she has discovered that she is a pampered nothing. She needs to grow up before she plays with the big boys.

Nov 5, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)

Why do I get the feeling

Why do I get the feeling that Hayden would be unable to point out Japan on the map?

Wouldn't it be crazy if dolphins ate other fish? Other endangered fish?! Golly jeez, God forbid if animals ate other animals....oh wait...

Feb 17, 2008
by Me (not verified)

Traditions Are One Thing

Traditions are on thing, but survival is about evolution. There would be complete chaos if the sacrificial traditions of some of the Native American tribes were still around. IF they depend on the meat, they can surely come up with a way to do it more humanly than poking them to death.

Apr 13, 2008
by Anonymous

Those girls are cute

They're so HOT. They're all cute, but I thought the one in the middle was the hottest. As far as I'm concerned that was a darn good protest even if all I got to see was the pictures. I'd of given up my Dolphin poker for some party time with the ladies, but they'd rather stab Dolphins. Go figure?

Apr 30, 2008
by Anonymous

This article is ridiculous.

This article is ridiculous. It suggests that because hunting dolphins is traditional is it correction. There are many cultural traditions based on need for food resources and a lack of education - they are now outdated and barbaric. being old doesnt make it correct.

Cows and Dolphins are not comparible. A Dolphins is an extraordinarily intelligent creature, as intelligent creatures ourselves we should respect that. It's a matter of ethics.
A Dogs and Cats are also an intelligent creatures - would we compare puppies and kittens to cattle? or support them being killed and eaten because it's traditional in asia? Monkeys and chimps are they the same as a cow? It's traditional for African tribes to eat them nearly to extinction - is that ok?

As for the "island nation needs food from the sea" - thats rubbish. New Zealand and Ireland are similar if not smaller island land masses - and they are amonst the largest agricultural producers worldwide. Check where your butter, milk, and meat actually comes from.

Ultimately, Japanese cling to cultural killing of Whales and Dolphins because they refuse to adopt a mature view of ethical treatment of anmials. Cultures such as Papa New Guinea Tribes cling to cannablaism in the same way.

May 11, 2008
by Anonymous

The double standard is ridiculous.

The comments here are ridiculous. I'm all for humane killing, but the bulk of your arguments against the dolphin slaughter seems to be that dolphins are relatively more intelligent and should therefore have the right to live. What, so perceived intelligence is what determines whether someone or something should live or die? By that logic, should it be legal to kill the mentally disabled because they're less intelligent? Obviously, no. Your logic, your argument is flawed. It's not a matter of ethics at all. You're just indulging your own sense of superiority.

I don't think that dolphin hunting being a tradition validates it. I just think if you're going to take issue in it, come up with some better arguments. You just sound like eight year olds fawning over how adorable that little animal at the zoo is. Get out of the zoo, and grow up.

May 11, 2008
by Anonymous

Oh and...

"Ultimately, Japanese cling to cultural killing of Whales and Dolphins because they refuse to adopt a mature view of ethical treatment of anmials. Cultures such as Papa New Guinea Tribes cling to cannablaism in the same way."

...nice job with that moral imperialism over there. I wasn't aware that we were back in the 1880s. Thanks for reminding me!

May 12, 2008
by Anonymous

Of corse its not a matter of

Of corse its not a matter of intelligence.
Every living thing has a right to live , no matter how intelligent it is.
Still it is, worse to kill whales than bigs, but only becauxe whales are an endangered species and pigs not.
In my oppinion it is ok to kill an animal, if you eat it, but its not ok to eradicate a species for food.
By the way, a pig is more intelligent than a dog. Acording to some of the comentators here we should start eating dogs instead of pigs :-)

Sory for my bad spelling... English is not my first language.

May 13, 2008
by Anonymous

Apples 'n oranges

"New Zealand and Ireland are similar if not smaller island land masses - and they are amonst the largest agricultural producers worldwide. Check where your butter, milk, and meat actually comes from."

The islands of Ireland and NZ are utterly different from Japan due to the comparable area of arable land.
NZ and Ireland exhibit expanses of pastureland. Japan is highly mountainous, which is crap farmland and pastureland. So yeah. They depend far more on the sea for food.

Not weighing in on the ethical issue at hand. But someone on the Internet was *wrong*.

May 14, 2008
by Anonymous

The story itself is a good

The story itself is a good look into the other side of things... But I'm Chippewa... And I'm a vegetarian... Just cause it's tradition to go out and hunt, or fish, doesn't mean that I do it. We don't need to anymore, we do other things to keep traditions alive. Some of them are just too irrelevant and cruel. We don't kill and eat a white dog for big celebrations... I don't mean to sound ethnocentric, but I think the dolphin killing is wrong. I think killing cows is wrong too... but the world can only handle one thing at a time.

And! Humans have smoother intestines... common in herbivores... JUST sayin... Don't need meat to survive...

Jun 17, 2008
by Anonymous


u all look like tarts

Jun 26, 2008
by Anonymous

Melissa Owen

The Right Whale

These huge beasts originally got their name because they swam slowly and floated after being killed, making them the right whales to hunt.

Right whales have not been hunted for years now, but the North Atlantic species is probably heading for extinction because ships - notably US ones - keep colliding with them.

Environmental campaigners demanded that ships within 40 km (25 miles) of U.S. ports in times of known high right whale conservation be forced to maintain a speed of no more than 12 knots (22 km/h). The United States government, citing concerns about excessive disruption to trade, did not enforce such measures.

Maybe Ms. Panettiere should be protesting closer to home, the hypocritical ignoramus.

Sep 5, 2008
by Anonymous

I think that Hayden is doing

I think that Hayden is doing the right thing and not just for public attention

Sep 5, 2008
by Anonymous

i think hayden is hootttt even though i am a girl

I think that Hayden is H-O-T HHHOOOOTTTT!!!!!!!! I don't even care if i am a female i would go out with her any day if i was asked out by her!!!! we would make out and save the dolphins..... and then make out again :) her ass is hottttttttt!!!!! i fon't care if that would make us lezbians...... she is hottt and it would make us a gr8 couple