By selectively choosing to emphasize this one part of my position on this issue (& presenting it as a "some animals are too cool") you are trivializing my motives & beliefs. And frankly, I'm offended by that. (BTW, I'm also concerned about the near extinction of the Tasmanian Devil in Australia (along with other species under threat) & they're as ugly as sin! :wink: )
Sorry about that msolga. My intention isn't to offend you, but quite frankly I think your other motivations are not valid in this context, which is why I focus on the remaining part of your position. I expect you probably don't feel that way but I hope that we can disagree on that without too much love lost. ;-)
I am summarizing here but the various motivations for objection to hunting whales seems to boil down to be:
- Whales are endangered.
- Whales are intelligent and magnificent.
- Whales are hunted in ways that are inordinately painful.
In regard to the first, it's just not an issue for the whales Japan is hunting. Some whales are endangered and others are not. Their populations are growing despite the hunt and marine biologists agree that the quotas are sustainable.
In regard to the second I think you have a valid point that I focus on but it's important to recognize the dramatic shift in human/animal rights that it represents and not confuse the issue with the other more accepted motivations. That's why I focus on it.
In regard to the third, it touches on human rights in that all animals humans have a right to kill suffer to some degree but more so in that modern whaling technology has invalidated this argument. It no longer takes hours to kill a whale with the advanced technology and whales can now be killed in a matter of minutes.
That's why I focus on the too "cool" to kill part. I suspect that my wording is also part of what offends you, as you feel I'm trivializing it as inordinate sentimentality, but allow me to assure you that I don't feel that way.
Sentimentality is part of what makes us human, and I would have it no other way. But at the same time I am cautioning against approaching it too dogmatically because sentimentality is subjective and cultures differ. As I've mentioned, a great deal of people are sentimental about cows as well and I don't want my cow-eating rights to be trumped by it as easily as happened with the whale-eaters.
As to why I use the "too cool to kill" it's because I can't pin down an objective criteria. It's not easy and this is a central part of the problem.
I feel that whales are too big to kill. But that's not good enough of an argument to take away a human's right to eat their food.
I feel that whales are too intelligent to kill. But that's not good enough either.
I feel that whales are too beautiful to kill. Again, I don't feel that's good enough.
I know that way of putting it seems like it trivializes it but it's really just the only way I can put it that covers it all.
For example, some people frame it as a "highly-evolved species" argument but that doesn't cover it all very well. I, for example, don't like any
animal extinctions but care more about the "megafauna" (there's another
way to put it) and can't really pin down an objective reason and am stuck with "cute" or "cool".
I know that sometimes it's the animal's intelligence, but other times it's just cute. For example killing a duckling or chick would be harder for me than a grown duck or chicken and that's just cause they are warm and fuzzy.
I am not trying to trivialize it, I actually think it's a very human trait to feel that way.
trying to get you guys to admit that this is the real bottom line for you, because I think when you mix in the other arguments it hurts all of them.
When people hijack the extinction concerns (IWC's purpose and the treaty's purpose) with the "too magnificent" concerns the extinction concerns are harmed. Japan has accepted the conservation position. Japan has not accepted the "too magnificent" position and I think they have a legitimate point on this subjective issue.
They were rattling their sabers about the humpbacks precisely because of this. The IWC treaties they agreed to did not have the absolute no-whaling position in mind at all but are being used for it. They also have the loophole that they can exploit if they want legally to kill humpbacks and are illustrating that they can be threatened into the ban and still follow the letter of the law without serving its purpose. It's a protest at their qualms with the IWC and with western culture's newfound megafauna ethics.
They have now withdrawn the quota on the condition that the IWC "normalize" and not attempt to foist the too magnificent position on them when that wasn't the original agreement. That is an example, in my opinion, of how an unfair hijacking of the IWC resulted in a stupid reaction by Japan that threatened an endangered species. I also think that the cultural imperialism of the IWC is ugly enough that that kind of response is understandable and predictable, if stupid.
This is why I care. I don't want the minority "too magnificent" position to undermine more widely held conservationist positions that are already working.
You claim you have all these motivations in mind and I don't doubt that you do, but my point is that only one is relevant to Japanese whaling and it needs to be owned up to by the anti-whaling camp because they are going about it with a false sense of authority that I feel harms the conservationist position as well as diminishes the chances of acceptance of the megafauna position.
I'd be happy call it something else if something appropriate can be coined but the difficulty in doing so is part and parcel of this whole debate.
What makes an animal off limits?
It's widely accepted that being endangered does, but Japan is respecting that.
Intelligence? Pigs are smarter than dogs.
Cute? Too subjective and in the eye of the beholder.
Appropriate food? One man's meat is another man's poison...
the only real issue in my mind. The suffering and extinction arguments just don't hold water anymore and it really boils down to nailing the megafauna argument and prosecuting it appropriately.