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Thread: Way to Go Aussies!

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    Re: Way to Go Aussies!

    Quote Originally Posted by Abbo  View Original Post
    Christian,
    My motivation for writing was not to defend whaling, but to protest a fervent belief that God does not colour-code people. The Japanese are not my people, but they are my children's people, and with two of them in England at the moment I am a little unnerved by the repugnant vitriol being cast at the Japanese.

    The Japanese do no want to make whales extinct: they want to eat them. The idea of eating these magnificent beasts may seem repellant to you - as does eating a cow to a Hindu. If the threat of extinction is removed, this becomes a cultural argument. A vegetarian might argue that all meat eating is wrong, but for the rest of us, there is no hierarchy of sin: the cow in your freezer pack didn't want to die for your table any more than the whale did. Permit me to pr!ck your Disneyfied bubbles by reminding you that most wild animals die from grinding hunger or from being eaten alive: they don't die in their dotage with their slippers on.

    Japanese people have eaten whales for all recorded history. Their culture is there not to make an exotic theme park for camera-toting foreigners, but because it is a part of their souls. Other cultures that eat whales include the Norwegians, the Icelanders and the Americans. And to those who say 'no, those are Eskimos' it does you no honour to deny their citizenship when it suits your argument. Very few Japanese eat whale, but in a recent Nikkei poll, 70% of Japanese defended the right of others to eat it ("I don't agree with you but I'll die defending your right to speak").

    To those Discovery Channel explorers who believe that whale meat is a delicacy in Japan, I can tell you it is eaten by the poor and the uneducated. Japanese politicians are neither, but they feel a duty to protect such people in a way not felt by Western politicians. The disparities of wealth and education that exist in the West simply would not be tolerated in Japan.

    As you say, arguments about whaling do Japan no favours, but if they allow blinkered Westerners to learn to see the world through other people's eyes they will serve a purpose.

    well i had no intention to offend you or anyone in japan, neither do i color-code people. in fact i do no tolerate racism of any kind.

    my question foremost was - if whale does taste that bad - why eating it in the first place. i understand that if you are desperate for a food source, well you will eat more or less anything. i would even start eating oysters, if i had to. but if i can help it i dont. So my question was merely that i cant understand why someone wants to keep eating whale when it tastes so awfull.

    on the otherhand - on the political level i reckon whaling does more damage to japan than one can imagine.
    i think it is a open secret that there is no scientific reason for whaling, so who will beliefe a japanese politician ? on any matter.

    and thirdly - it is correct that the cow in my freezer did not volunteer to get slaughtered, ( dam i love a good steak),
    but the difference here is that this cow was breed for one reason - and i am not a bit romantic about the free running happy cows here - this reason was to die so i can have a steak.
    This cow is not an endangered species, most bloody cows in europe dont even ever see the sunlight. it is meat production, thats it. Man made meat production. ( ohh I hope i wont get to feel all hindus breathing down my neck now).

    and last but not least - a minority will always have a hard time to convince the majority of their lifestyle, which than comes back to good old darwin, the fittest will survive. as we don't fight wars over this trivial reasons, and as there is def. no oilfields involved the japanes will have to tolerate a bad reputation with other nations, there will be color-coding, there will be a lot of bad name calling. but well this seems your tradition, so either part with it or learn to deal with it.

    but these are only my .02

  2. #12
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    Re: Way to Go Aussies!

    Sorry, but I don't buy the argument that just because "X" is culturally acceptable and been done for centuries in country "A" that it should be understood and accepted by other nations.

    Taken to an extreme...... Certain cultures treat women like animals and condone stoning to death of a woman who was raped. Should this be acceptable to anyone? I think not.

    Regarding whaling...

    It does effect me. Whaling & Shark Finning have the potential to obliterate creatures I love, respect & want to see survive for my kids and grandkids to enjoy. Once the balance is tipped there is a good chance they will be gone forever.

    The Humpback Whale is a highly developed social animal with a strong family bond. The cow isn't. The cow reproduces easily and isn't close to being endangered.

    True Whale numbers aren't known, only estimated. You might say Japan only wants to take 50 Humpbacks... They get away with it then the next thing you know Norway, Iceland, Russia, and who knows who else decides well we want our slice of the pie too... Next thing you know the Humpbacks are gone. Opppps!

    Any & every country has the right and obligation to condemn the actions of any nation that interferes with creatures on the verge of obliteration.

    Hey I don't defend my country when I know they are polluting the hell out of the environment and doing too little to turn that around. Sure we pollute less now that we don't manufacture much here, but we knowingly buy most of our stuff from China, where they have no concern for the environment, because the price is right.

    OK I'm off my soapbox....

    Richie

  3. #13
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    Re: Way to Go Aussies!

    Quote Originally Posted by diverreb  View Original Post
    ... Next thing you know the Humpbacks are gone. Opppps!

    Any & every country has the right and obligation to condemn the actions of any nation that interferes with creatures on the verge of obliteration.
    I didn't enter this thread to defend whaling - and I'm not - but permit me to make a few points:

    The Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) was once almost wiped out. The scene of the crime was, as the Latin name hints, just up the coast from you, in New England. Your people were the prime culprits. The global population is still the most fragile in the N. Atlantic, but has recovered to 70,000. Humpbacks are now plentiful enough to be major draws for the tourist trade. Their IUCN classification is VU - vulnerable. To put this in perspective, another animal in that classification is the Atlantic Cod. Once again, j'accuse: New England, your people, and in this case, your plate. To be fair, my people, the English, are pretty partial to cod too: it always used to be the fish in fish & chips (another crime against gastronomie). So, you and I and most of the people on Rebreather World have been personally involved in this crime. We're in the middle of the biggest mass extinction since the demise of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, and it doesn't help at all to bury our heads in the sand while pointing the finger at someone else. Let me leave you with a chilling picture
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...le,_ca1870.png
    That little man is standing on an enormous mound of bison skulls. When your people arrived in North America, there were 30 million bison there; by 1890 there were just 750. People's comments about vulnerable species would be far more powerful if they were more even-handed. And please don't misinterpret this comment to be anti-American, whatever tripe your media have fed you.;)
    Last edited by Abbo; 30th November 2007 at 07:03.

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    Re: Way to Go Aussies!

    Hi Abbo, as usual you make plenty of good points. Even handedness is often the first thing to go when folks get worked up about something which seems so obviously wrong on the face of it.

    I think much of the reason for condemnation of the Japanese whaling fleet comes from the dishonest pretense of it being launched in the name of scientific curiosity. For me this is the primary source of disgust as it really puts a nice coat of grease on an already slippery slope of the kind described by diver reb.

    I have no problem with the notion of a cultural value attached to whaling-within reason. But please don't lie about it as it invites even more sliding on the already slippery slope of human hipocrasy...

  5. #15
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    Re: Way to Go Aussies!

    Quote Originally Posted by silent running  View Original Post
    I have no problem with the notion of a cultural value attached to whaling-within reason. But please don't lie about it as it invites even more sliding on the already slippery slope of human hipocrasy...
    LOL
    You know, as an Englishman, I was brought up on a diet of "Yes, Minister" and "Yes, Prime Minister": BBC comedy series that glorify scheming bureaucrats. They're all right as long as they're on your side!!

    I don't know if it's still the case, but the French used to keep out imports by having everything checked by a little understaffed office out in Toulouse. By the time that fancy Japanese electronics had been passed by the office it was out of date, giving a chance for the local team to get their act together.

    I remember the year that the Japanese kept out foreign ski gear by saying that Japan had "a different kind of snow" so foreign goods were no good here.

    The Americans pressure every Banana Republic to open their markets to 'fair trade' - then refuse to import their bananas!

    You're quite right: nobody in Japan or anywhere else believes that the Japanese whaling fleet is doing cetacean research. But claiming it's research has allowed every government to ignore it and save face. It's not that your government didn't see it's a lie: it didn't want to. That's diplomacy. Your diplomats were outwitted. It's a game: you lost!

  6. #16
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    Re: Way to Go Aussies!

    No one is denying the role of the Americans with regards to the buffalo slaughter or the early whaling free for all. The point is that the issue was recognized and Buffalo became protected and have made a comeback. Whaling, for the most part has been stopped. I personally don't favor the provision for Eskimo permits, but as mentioned they aren't out in factory ships with a fleet of modern hunting vessels.

    It's time for Whaling, Shark Finning, & Dolphin slaughter to be called to an end. In this day & age there is no justification for any of it.

    There's a lot we do right in this country and a lot we do wrong. Criticism by others shouldn't be a problem.

    Don't confuse the views of the current administration with the views of the all the people. :)

    You seem to think we Americans feel we are the Worlds moral authority. I know there are people here who feel that way, but most do not.

    Richie

  7. #17
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    Re: Way to Go Aussies!

    Quote Originally Posted by diverreb  View Original Post
    No one is denying the role of the Americans with regards to the buffalo slaughter or the early whaling free for all.

    The slaughter of bison was in the past: the slaughter of the cod is the present. Your people haven't seen the light: nor have mine, and nor have the Japanese. Species are dying at a rate of 30,000 per year. I've taken my children whale watching, nervous that they don't appreciate that these glorious creatures won't be there to show their children. Don't let's dilute the message by pointing fingers: we're all part of this tragedy. And point fingers at my kids and we'll fall out!;)

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    Re: Way to Go Aussies!

    [quote=Abbo;154591]The Americans pressure every Banana Republic to open their markets to 'fair trade' - then refuse to import their bananas![QUOTE]

    Actually, it's the democratic congress that refuses to allow in imports unsing the rouse of those countries' human rights records when really they just want to protect organized labor. And most large, industrialized countries have far more restricitve tariffs than anything we can dream up but I digress...

    Quote Originally Posted by Abbo  View Original Post
    You're quite right: nobody in Japan or anywhere else believes that the Japanese whaling fleet is doing cetacean research. But claiming it's research has allowed every government to ignore it and save face. It's not that your government didn't see it's a lie: it didn't want to. That's diplomacy. Your diplomats were outwitted. It's a game: you lost!
    Yes indeed Abbo, we lost that round of diplomacy not because we were outsmarted, but because we aren't willing to damage a valuable alliance with the Japanese by calling them liars. The tactic of betting that no one will stoop to using the word "liar" in international diplomacy is loathsome and brings the down the level of good will/trust among friendly nations, a tactic better left to 3 world despots.

    Or maybe the Japanese are the ones who are worried about saving face, a very stubborn cultural trait that seems not to have served them so well in the modern world.

    I don't hate the Japanese at all and I thank you for bothering to try and inform us about their view points, but it does seem sometimes that they also lack an understanding of how badly things like scientific whaling comes accross... -Andy

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