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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The I hate whales brigade

David @ Tokyo seems to be actually enjoy the idea of killing whales. One can only wonder what whales did to him that he seems to be so eager to eat them. Maybe a whale drowned his mother whilst she was on a fishing trip? Maybe a killer whale in a tank splashed him as a boy and he wants revenge for the humilitation of having to walk around with wet pants while small girls giggled at him and made snide remarks about having to wear diapers? Whatever the story, go check him out for the other side of the story, if you can stand the righteousness of "We have the right to throw harpoons and kill our whales because it is our culture."

By the way, when the hell did whales become property?

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3 Comments:

  • Tristen,

    Whales are living beings just as are fish, pigs, kangaroos, cows, you name it. The resources that people have available to them depends on their local environment.

    The arguments in favour of whaling go far beyond that of just standing up for minority cultures, and I rarely focus on this on my blog.

    Whaling today where carried out is being carried out in a sustainable manner. See the Norwegian commercial hunts, the USA's "aboriginal subsistence" hunt in Alaska, Iceland's new commercial hunt - Japan's research whaling programmes are also examples of sustainable whaling. The world today is in dire need of good examples of sustainable use of natural resources. We should defend modern whaling on these grounds alone.

    Whales are not property. They are regarded by many nations as being valuable to the whaling industry and consumers of whale products, which is why nations have signed the international convention for the regulation of whaling - an agreement that has conservation of whale resources and the development of whaling industry as it's dual purposes.

    By Blogger David, At 3:41 pm  

  • Wow, David, that was quick. A couple of quick points.

    1) The history of whaling fairly well proves that whaling wasn't sustainable. We damn near drove them to extinction once before, time to give them a break.

    2) There is no valid reason as to why whales should be killed. Hunger is not exactly a problem in Japan, Iceland, and Norway. The only reason these countries kill whales is because they want to. In fact, these (like most Northern fishing industries) are subsidised.

    3) Whales are not a health threat to the ocean's ecology.

    4) Our use of marine "resources" is unsustainable, a good chunk of this blog is about the catalogue of damage that we are inflicting upon it, and we are heading towards a disaster of proportions unhearlded in recorded history.

    5) The value in marine species is in their continued existance. We will get more out them alive than extinct.

    6) The marine ecology is poorly understood (as is most ecologies) and we will not be able to reserve the damage we are doing. The Grand Banks aren't coming back, for example.

    7) You don't have to participate in this slaughter of marine species. Don't eat fish.

    8) Killing whales is a cruel business. It causes unnecessary suffering, and that cannot be justified. Even if whales weren't under threat, it would still be wrong to kill them. Saving the whales from human exploitation is the first step to saving the ocean.

    9) We don't have, globally speaking, a problem of lack of resources. We have a distribution problem. A few of us have most of the stuff, while the majority of us have very little. Without killing whales, everybody can have food, water, basic medical care and primary education for roughly about the same as the developed world spends on pet food. So, want sustainable resource distribution and the end to world hunger, eat your dog, not a fin whale.

    By Blogger Tristen, At 4:20 pm  

  • 1) History tells us that some instances of whaling weren't sustainable, but it is not true that all whaling has never been sustainable. The fact is that whaling today is sustainable. Whaling is conducted today by people of Norway, Iceland, St Vincent and Grenadines, Japan, the USA, and Greenland. In none of these cases is whaling unsustainable. The whales have had their break with all seriously depleted species being protected for years. Those that remain in a seriously depleted state are not being hunted at this time, and they probably won't be hunted in our lifetimes either (for example, Blue whale, Northern Right whale). Other stocks of whales have recovered nicely, as is the case with Fin whales around Iceland, and other stocks elsewhere.

    2) If killing whales for food isn't a valid reason for killing whales, neither is killing any animal. The only argument left is veganism.

    3) Whales are being killed primarily for food, in a similar manner to fish, and indeed kangaroos and other land-based animals. No one believes that whales are a health threat to the oceean's ecology, as far as I know. Some people believe that protecting only whales while continuing to utilise other resources from those ecosystems however could result in imbalances, and thus support sustainable use of whale resources for this reason.

    4) Whaling today is not unsustainable. If you believe otherwise, show me a case of current whaling which is going to exhaust a stock of whales, and tell me a rough time frame in which you predict this exhaustation will come about. If you have maths and models to support your claims, all the better.

    5) Living marine resources are also valuable as food. In many places around the world people have developed primarily based on utilisation of marine resources. If those people were to stop such activity and import food from elsewhere this would result in additional pollution, for no good reason that I can see. Again, no one is talking about making whale resources extinct. The whaling peoples only support sustainable whaling, not unsustainable whaling.

    6) Uncertainties in knowledge about whale stocks is fully considered when setting catch limits. Current research efforts led by the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) are focused on ecosystem based management of fisheries.

    7) There is nothing wrong with eating marine resources that are managed on a sustainable basis.

    8) Killing whales is less cruel than what animals that are farmed on land go through for their entire life on this planet, before the final day when they are sent to the slaughterhouse to die with all of their mates. Human killing methods are relatively efficient, and work is ongoing to see the methods improved further.

    9) If we have a distribution problem, why would we want to tell people in the USA (Alaska specifically), Norway, Iceland, Japan etc that they should not kill whales but eat some other substitute product that was perhaps imported? The more self-sufficient people are, the greater their food-security is, the lesser the problems we have.

    By Anonymous david, At 7:13 am  

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