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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-20-06 01:50 AM
Original message
The forces that drive Japanese whaling (BBC)
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Japan's government says its whaling fleet culled 863 whales last winter. The justification was science.
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Secondly he cites culture and tradition. "Whaling has been conducted in Japan for more than 400 years to provide whale meat on a sustainable basis," he says.
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Jeff Kingston, an academic who has studied the industry, is not so sure that is the case. This is "invented tradition", he believes. The support for whaling, he says, is rooted in more nationalistic traditions.
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"If the media and a few leaders tell them that whaling and eating whale meat is part of Japanese tradition and culture, people are willing to believe it."
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No politician would suggest a change of policy on whaling. It would be too unpopular. The whaling industry, of course, has no interest in changing its ways.
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more: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/5080508.stm
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Kagemusha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-20-06 02:19 AM
Response to Original message
1. Unfortunately, such nationalistic traditions are being combatted by
yelling at the Japanese and commanding them to stop what they're doing. Because not doing so would make environmentalists feel like they aren't seen as caring enough, no matter how much it just makes the other side dig in even further.

Though as with seals, environmentalists really don't care about the environmental science related to whale numbers and fish stocks (though well, most whales eat plankton obviously). It's purely about the cruelty of killing and that animals have a right to kill animals but humans don't. I'm fine with people who believe that. It's just not science and shouldn't be mistaken for it.
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Nihil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-20-06 04:13 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. And the preferred approach is ...?
If "yelling at the Japanese and commanding them to stop" just gets
them to dig in their heels but sitting back and waiting for "due
process" gets nowhere - the whales are still slaughtered under all
manner of illegal pretences, not to mention the euphemistically
termed "side catch" - what *is* the "better way"?

The IWC is toothless, no national governments care enough about the
environment (i.e., more than about petty politics) and the killing
goes on. The alternative to yelling is acting but somehow I don't
think you were advocating this ...

> Though as with seals, environmentalists really don't care about
> the environmental science related to whale numbers and fish stocks

Strangely enough, as with seals, the impact that whales have on fish
stocks is minute compared to that of the voracious fishing fleets
of the whalers/hunters. I'm glad that you admit that such spurious
stories are "just not science" ...


(PS: Having noted that I'm replying to yet another of your posts,
please understand I am not pursuing you as an individual, just the
concepts that you are addressing.)
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Kagemusha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-20-06 07:23 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. You're kidding me. Even if the impact was not minute,
would that make you into a supporter of whale killing? Does the impact have any, um, impact, on your view whatsoever?

No disrespect, but I doubt it. And if there was any hard science disagreeing with what you're saying here - and I'm not saying there is, I don't think anyone has a monopoly on the truth when it comes to science - would you believe it, regardless of the sourcing? I doubt that, too.

That's why I say the science is irrelevant. Frankly, I don't see it as relevant to the Japanese either, talk of scientific catches aside.
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Dead_Parrot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-20-06 08:24 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Your damn right it wouldn't
Personally, I'm rather fond of lamb chops, but if the only way to get them was by sticking a spear in a lamb at have it thrash around dying over the next 10 minutes, I'd rather have a salad.

You're a linquist, define "inhumane" for us.
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Kagemusha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-20-06 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Why define something you have your own definition for
Take homosexuality. It occurs naturally in the human population as well as numerous animal populations. Religiously speaking, it's an aberration not in God's image. Scientifically speaking, it is human to be homosexual, though it is also human to be heterosexual in much higher percentages.

Now take whaling. Some humans do it. Most don't. Most humans view whaling as outside their idea of what humanity is. They can't even begin to imagine killing such creatures. However, the minority can imagine it and does it without a second thought for money in otherwise economically depressed communities. The suffering inflicted may or may not be appreciated. However, even if it is appreciated, the humans responsible do not care, because they will place their own potential suffering from not whaling above the suffering of the whales themselves. This, too, is human - but it is well outside your definition of humane, and many people's definition for that matter.

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