chris vs. the arctic

chris: 72 // the arctic: 47

★ Article: "The shadow of slaughter hangs over whales"

I think perhaps one of the most tragic things humans can do is to not question ourselves and our motivations. Look at what happened in Nazi Germany. Look at what's happening within the American government right now. Why do people have so much faith in others? Why are people so blindly led down these paths of death? Is it really that easy to tune out of the bigger picture?


I don't think the world realizes the gravity of this whaling situation. The Japanese public won't speak out against their government on this issue, even though most of them don't support it. It's not the Japanese Way. This is a culture of laying down and taking the punches. I don't know who's driving this weighty and rusty political ship (Yakuza? Mitsubishi?), but what I do know is that it's on course for a head-on collision with most Western countries, and more importantly, with the existence of whales.

I think if Japan and other countries really want to hunt whales freely, they should just say "eff you" to everyone and do it already! Why be devious and evil by blackmailing poor countries into voting your way in some organization? It's immoral.
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On June 12, 2006, Blogger ambamarie said:

just one fine example of japanese bureaucracy at work.

my favorite part of the article was the part about the "dork". i had no idea!    

On June 12, 2006, Blogger bullfighter6.2 said:

It`s difficult to criticize a culture for doing something simply because we don`t do it ourselves.

I`m back and forth on this one.

Norway, Iceland and Japan heavily rely on seafood. Their cultures and mythologies are based around the ocean. I`m tempted to think they, like American Indians with buffalo, would know how to sustainably hunt them.
Because eating whale (like eating dog) is not acceptable in the West, we can tend to promote these same `morals` on other cultures.

I think we have the luxury of being able to gripe about endangered species, since our food is readily avaliable from supermarkets. I don`t know, but my guess is that some communities actually have relied on whale meat for survival (see Bjork/Matthew Barney`s Drawing Restraint 9 movie/soundtrack).

Rather than outrightly banning it, perhaps certain communities should get whaling rights.
As much as it sucks for whale to disappear, having cultural habits and traditions disappear sucks too. I suppose it`s a matter of balance.

I wonder if every community living traditional lifestyles (Amish, Inuit, Ainu etc) should get special rights. Their cultures are eco-friendly (usually) and this way we can save both the animals and human culture that depends on them.

People living in downtown Tokyo or out in the Toronto suburbs should be prohibited. To me it seems the best of both worlds.    

On June 12, 2006, Blogger Chris said:

I generally agree that cultures who whaled in the past should be allowed to do so in a sustainable way. However, Japan is doing something far and away from what could be considered 'traditional.' In the article, they quoted several Japanese people admitting that trawling the Southern Ocean with multi-ton ships with explosive harpoons is not traditional. I would argue that the same could be said for native hunting rights in Canada. I refuse to believe that snowmobiles, satellite phones, and scoped rifles were traditional at any point in their history.

For me personally, the most deplorable aspect of this situation is the sheer audacity of it all. Everyone knows that Japan is not killing 1500 whales a year for 'scientific purposes.' Yet Japan maintains its illusions with a wink and a 'shhh.' I mean, they have been whaling inside a whale sanctuary! It's like someone kicking you in the gut in front of a huge crowd and saying they didn't do it. This is why I said I would respect Japan and other countries more if they just came out and said they are going to hunt whales.

The last thing that irks me is that hardly anyone in Japan wants to eat whale. It's (almost literally) being shoved down their throats! I convinced some prefectural government or the fishing industry are forcing the government to push for a lift on the ban on whaling. It's all bureaucracy and whales are paying for it.    

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