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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Hunting Whales for Research is Bull!

Off the coast of New England is one of the greatest adventures that you could ever believe possible. Twenty or more miles off shore in the words of Scotty from Star Trek fame, “There be whales here.” I’ve only had the pleasure to have seen them once in my life and it was something to see that changes you for life. To see such a large creature up close and they are as much curious about us as we are of them was simply mind blowing. To see an animal bigger than a Greyhound bus that comes alongside the tourist boat and turns over so its eye can see all the folks on the boat simply takes your breath away. When the little whales act up and show off it makes you think that God is amazing to create such a wonderful thing. I watched as the little ones breached time and time again or faced head down and slapped their tail in the water at the surface so close that I got wet with the ocean water.

No disrespect to my friends in Japan but there is a game of cards here in America that we call Bull$hit. It’s a game where you have to catch your opponent in a lie and scream out that you know that they are bluffing. For Japan to claim that they need to kill whales for the sake of scientific research is simply Bovine By Product. Pick up the cards Japan because you are busted!

Two of the worlds largest producers of man made chemicals that resemble substances found in nature are the United States and Japan. Same thing goes for medical research from products found in nature that are synthesized into pharmaceutical products. Any real scientist worth their weight in the journal producing high fives of the Japanese chemist world are not the reason this hunt for whales is going on.

Japan Hunts the Humpback. Now Comes the Backlash.

Published: November 25, 2007

Vessels from the groups Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace tail and harass the whaling fleet, while strong protests are lodged by environmental groups, many marine biologists, and officials from the United States, Australia and other countries. But this year those complaints have intensified, largely because Japan has added a new animal to its planned harvest of more than 1,400 whales from seven species — the humpback, Megaptera novaeangliae.

Japan hopes to kill 50 of these endangered whales, which have long held a place in the public’s imagination with their other-worldly songs, habit of rocketing their 30-plus tons out of the sea and migrations of up to 10,000 miles a year. Melville once described the humpback as “the most gamesome and lighthearted of all the whales.”

Whaling nearly wiped it out, reducing the humpback’s numbers to perhaps a 1,000 by the mid-1960s. Today, estimates put the total at roughly 30,000. They are considered at high risk of extinction by the World Conservation Union.

“Humpbacks are some of the most wonderful and mysterious creatures in the ocean, with the longest vocalization produced by any animal, including humans, with their bouts of song that last up to 23 hours,” said David Rothenberg, a professor of philosophy and music at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and author of a forthcoming book on whale songs and science.

“We still do not know why they need to sing so extensively, and we ought to leave these whales alone for enough years to find out,” he said.

Once a top target of whalers because they swim close to shore, the humpback is now the centerpiece of another enterprise, whale watching, which by some measures is a billion-dollar-a-year business, making it larger in inflation-adjusted dollars than commercial whaling was even at its peak.
- New York Times

If you think that just 50 Humpback Whales are going to be hunted then think again. This is one nations sanctioned open season hunting of an entire species including Humpback’s that will reap ten or twenty or one thousand times the “Scientific” (Bull $hit) research harvesting. There is no chemical product or scientific product that this hunt is undertaking other than the fact that some people in Japan and Asia are willing to forsake a species existence to simply eat whale meat.

This is an old link but if they are offering it to school kids for lunch what does that tell you about the “Research” (Bull $hit) behind the expansion of whale hunting Japan…

7:53 a.m. February 14, 2006

TOKYO – Whale meat is back on the menu in a growing number of Japanese elementary and junior high schools, Kyodo news service reported on Tuesday.

The board of education in Wakayama prefecture in western Japan, an area known as the birthplace of organised whaling in the country, is promoting the drive to put whale on school menus.

The board provided some 1,657 kilograms of whale meat for more than 100 elementary and junior high schools in Kyoto, Osaka and Nara prefectures and Tokyo in January of this year alone, Kyodo said, citing local officials.

The amount for January was about double the amount for all of 2005.

'We want (schoolchildren) to know Japan's traditional dietary culture through whale meat which was popular in the past,' it quoted a board of education official as saying.

Japan abandoned commercial whaling in 1986, in line with an international moratorium, but began catching whales again the following year for what it calls scientific research.
- Reuters

I’m thinking that George, I’m busy with Iraq, to much on my plate, screw you Whale Watching Liberal nut jobs, does not think this is important. Whereas this just might come under diplomacy and the State Department you can pretty much chalk whale hunting up to persona non grata status. Diplomacy and Bush even with nations we consider a close friend is the ultimate in oxymoron definitions. Especially, since the whale oil market died off a hundred years ago!

If he is to busy then I think our nations Senators and Congressional Representatives should care. If you live in the Pacific Northwest then you should care about whale hunting. If you live in New England and the Atlantic coastline then you should care about whale hunting. If you live along the coast of California down into the south of Mexico then you should care about whale hunting.

All of the whales killed by the fleets from Japan at one time or another were off the shores of your neighborhood. These are animals that travel ten thousand miles in migratory patterns every single year. This is wrong on so many levels that it is not even funny. Whale watching is a billion dollar American industry and we like our worlds whales! Peaceful creatures with elevated intelligence should not be hunted or killed for any scientific research (Bull $hit) purposes.

Get involved and get with it to stop the hunt before it expands to open season by Japan for all whales. You can Google search Green Peace and offer what help you think you can.

No offense to my many Japanese readers but have your whaling industry buy a couple hundred thousand acres of land in Wyoming or North Dakota or Texas and start a damn cattle ranch. Leave all of the Whales alone!

Save the Whales!

Get angry, get mad, get involved and save the peaceful creatures that just happen to live in the ocean. Get your kids involved and write or email your representatives in Congress. In doing so you are saving an industry that has adapted over the centuries from hunting the graceful giant to praising them and earning a living by offering whale watching tours.


Feel free to steal this post or link to it...

Cross posted at Bring IT ON!

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Anonymous Alex said...

Mat; please articulate for me your reasoning behind this statement:

“No offense to my many Japanese readers but have your whaling industry buy a couple hundred thousand acres of land in Wyoming or North Dakota or Texas and start a damn cattle ranch. Leave all of the Whales alone!”

It seems that the assumption engendering this statement is that there exists some objective characteristic, of moral relevance, between the whale population and all the other non-human animals that human animals exploit, which places the whale population within our moral community, thus inspiring our collective outrage. What special characteristic do you believe the whale population to have, which other species of animals lack? And, is this characteristic morally relevant when deciding that humans have a direct moral obligation to the whale population not to hunt, kill, and eat them?

You mention “elevated intelligence,” however, adult horses, dogs, cows, and pigs undeniably have higher levels of both intelligence and reasoning abilities than does an infant of a month or even a year old (also, the mentally handicapped, some members of the elderly population, etc.). Will you allow these species (i.e., dogs, horses, pigs, cows) into your community of moral concern, and in so doing, grant them protection from human exploitation? What of primates? Many ape groups socially construct instrumental knowledge, which is then passed on through generations; monkeys have been taught human languages; and, the majority of ape groups implement tools, further displaying their intelligence and reasoning abilities. Where is your outrage over our society’s expectance of this species as scientific tools?

Many bird groups have been witnessed implementing tools, both in and out of the lab environment, to obtain food and shelter, and yet, Thanksgiving just passed where hundreds of thousands of turkeys were made to suffer indescribable harms for the satisfaction of the gluttonous masses. Did you eat turkey this year, Mat?

Or, is the characteristic that you believe the whale population to have, instrumental in nature (e.g. you enjoy whale watching, thus we should not hunt this species into extinction because then you won’t get to “whale watch” anymore)? If yes, is your outrage truly legitimate? If the whale population is merely a means to your chosen ends, then can you make any sound moral appeals to their protection save for my appeals not have all pencils replaced by pens because I find pencils to be a more suitable writing instrument?


“There is no chemical product or scientific product that this hunt is undertaking other than the fact that some people in Japan and Asia are willing to forsake a species existence to simply eat whale meat.”

Does this statement not accurately describe the motivation behind the vast majority of animal exploitation by the human species (i.e., simple to eat their carcasses)?

Just think about your outrage and what has instigated it – does it not demand a re-evaluation of treating all animals as things, or merely human property?

Go Vegan!

12:34 PM  
Blogger Papamoka said...

Alex, you have a point in your statements but I'm not giving up my turkey sandwhich or Wendy's burger Bro...LOL!

I believe you and I once talked about what it involves to be a true Vegan and I personally could never hack it. All the power to you for it my friend.

5:18 PM  
Anonymous Alex said...

I have a "point," but you don't agree?

6:06 PM  
Blogger Papamoka said...

I simply see your point but I do not agree with it entirely. I'm not going Vegan any time soon but if it works for you then all the power to ya.

7:06 PM  

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