Friday, June 24, 2005

A Whale Of A Tale

Japan has decided to double its kill of minke & other endangered whale species for "scientific research". But, as New Zealand's Conservation Manager, Chris Carter, points out: "Where is the science from 18 years of scientific whaling? It doesn't exist. What right has Japan got to go into the Southern Ocean and slaughter these rare animals? We say shame on Japan. "

The Japanese condemn these angry words- saying they're "divisive". Have you noticed that whenever someone disagrees with them, they try to avoid the issue by calling the other party things like "divisive"? A familiar tactic.

They claim that they should be allowed to hunt whales, as it is a part of their traditional culture. This is a much used trick which allows them to avoid following the Kyoto Protocols, of which they are one of the chief architects, while trying to force other countries, like America, to adhere to them. Examples of this being, the use of disposable wooden hashi (chopsticks) imported from Malaysia, the dismantling & rebuilding of the Shrine of Ise every twenty years, as well as buying pollution credits from Chile to avoid cutting their emissions.

In campaign to promote whale meat, they've fallen back on another familiar tactic, America bashing.
"Most young Japanese do not recall the years after World War II when we were hungry and the Americans wanted us to eat whale to survive," said Yuriko Shiraishi, 72, head of Women's Forum for Fish. "The whale saved us then, but thousands of years before that, Japanese were eating whale. Now, the Japanese don't want to eat whale because they don't know about it as a delicious and healthy source of protein. That's what needs to change."
Are they saying that if Americans had let them starve nearly sixty years ago, they would not "have to hunt whale" in 2005. Aren't there other "healthy sources protein"? They can't surely be starving now, when they have the world's second largest economy.

To cherish one's traditions is commendable, but hypocrisy is not, nor is using the banner of culture to have your cake & eat it too.

HAT TIP: Burning Bird

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