Japan & Whaling, Here’s the Gist of it

Right now, Greenpeace ship ‘Esperanza’ is currently chasing ‘Nishin Maru’, one of the Japanese whaling ships, and will attempt non-violent methods to stop or interrupt their hunt. They played this message in English and Japanese to the group of ships when they found them, taken from SMH

“Your so-called scientific whaling is a hoax and has been dismissed as useless by the International Whaling Commission. Modern scientific research on whales does not require killing them,” the message said.

The ships dispersed and fled with Esperanza in pursuit.

Theres a lot of news, reports, jokes, commercials, and YouTube videos going around causing a fuss on both sides.
Here’s a quick round up of WTF is going on, some clips, and points from both sides.

Bluetongue’s Whale Safe beer commercial

[flash http://www.youtube.com/watch/v/ZLiXM3uWo3I w=425 h=355]

Japanese guy’s YT “racist Australia” video
(WARNING: some ugly images)

[flash http://www.youtube.com/watch/v/e8lvep0-Ii0 w=425 h=355]

This is a very nice anti-whaling Anime commercial from Greenpeace

[flash http://www.youtube.com/watch/v/ozx1fzzuXdE w=425 h=355]

Hayden Panettiere made news when she joined a peaceful protest on surfboards trying to save a group of pilot whales. Ahh Claire Bear, is there anything she can’t do?

[flash http://www.youtube.com/watch/v/T0YCD3Zcuw8 w=425 h=355]

Points:

Japan has been using the excuse of “research” for killing whales for a few years. It is a “tradition” that can’t simply be stopped

This is well known to be complete BS, even Japanese accept this, and all whales caught are being used for food. There is actually a large portion of it being sent to schools for mass consumption. Japan once had reason for whaling, after the war when there was little food and this got them through some hard times, this is not a “tradition” it was simply a time of need. This need no longer exists.

Many environmentalists, researches and our Terri Irwin all say that scientific research can be done on whales without lethal means.

Even as a food source, there are mixed opinions of whale meat itself, and many Japanese don’t see the appeal. It may not even be a lucrative business. So the question is – Why continue whaling in the first place?

Whales are not endangered

Japan originally planned to include 50 humpback whales in their hunt this year, finally this was suspended after intense pressure from Australia and the IWC. However Japan still plans on killing 935 minke whales and 50 fin whales (world’s 2nd largest creature behind the Blue Whale), which are considered endangered by environmentalists, but not by Japanese researchers. It is not only the number of whales to be hunted that needs to be considered, but world wide effects on whale numbers. Global warming and general world wide over fishing is causing problems to sea life in general. These problems are increasing exponentially the more the balance is thrown out.

Japan is hunting in international waters, it is legal, and there is no objection to Norway hunting whales

Part of the area planned for the hunt, is very close to Australian waters, and in the Australian and NZ arctic Zones. It is also part of the IWC Sanctuary which Japan is a member of. This is extra reason for Australia to protest, as it could affect the whale watching tourism industry. Australia has a right to protect its waters, disallow poaching, and resist with force if necessary. Another Australian ship, ‘Oceanic Viking’, is also following the Japanese ships with intentions of recording video evidence as part of building an international case to ban Japanese whaling.

Australians are hypocrites, you have a mass beef, poultry and lamb industry, and slaughter Dingo’s and Kangaroos.

As a Vegan, I will only argue they hypocritical point to the point of endangerment. The meat industry is farmed and sustained, you cannot farm whales! Dingos and kangaroos are considered pests, but in no way should this allow culling. Many of them die in cruel and painful ways, just like the whales. A whale is a massive creature, and harpooning causes a slow and painful death. You can also search YouTube for videos about what Japan does when catching Dolphins, I will not post it here.

Racism, anti-Japanese sentiments, boycotts of Japanese products

The debate on whaling is firing up, and companies and campaigns are starting to target Japan as a whole in an effort to cause greater impact and get a reaction. However this is just being seen as racism towards Japanese people, and if anything causing bigger ‘mind your own’ & ‘we’ll do what we like’ attitude. It isn’t really helping the cause.

ROUNDUP

Many people have a liking towards whales, that they don’t have towards say a cow or a sheep. Whales really are magnificent creatures. They are mammals, just like us, they are the only mammals to live their entire life in water, they are close to long extinct animals of the past, and they commonly present awareness and care when in close proximity to humans.

Apart from the unnecessary reasons for whaling, painful deaths, and endangering their existents, anti-whaling groups are also reacting so much because they have an affiliation to whales. The same way people react about the very disturbing things that happen to dogs and other animals in China, and generally frown upon consumption of ‘cute’ animals. What they don’t see, is what goes on in their own country.

The whale debate brings out a lot of emotion and therefore makes great TV, which simply fuels the debate.

It’s in the spotlight. That is why there this debate seems bigger than other animal rights campaigns.

Of course I am against whaling in every aspect. Just as I am against eating dogs in Asia, culling Kangaroos in Australia, farming Beef in America, and Chickens in the UK. And every other act that causes pain or death to animals.

Save the Whales. Go Vegan.

Something I’ve missed? let me know in the comments.

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