9
   

IWC, Whaling & Japan. Is whaling illegal? Is whaling wrong?

 
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Feb, 2010 10:20 am
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

If it is illegal, then why isn't there any legal action against it? Where is the court of law that would support such a verdict? Why just hot air about it each time an Australian president needs to be elected? The most you'll ever see about this is a dog and pony show from Australia to appease their domestic audience, but for something purportedly illegal a court of law actually saying so, as opposed to activists saying so would be a useful first step in actually establishing the whole "illegal" precedent. And there is a reason you don't see this alleged "crime" punished, and that is because it simply is not a crime.

True. Unfortunately those who remain so outraged by all this are merely conflating their personal concepts of what is "wrong" with what is illegal. There is no law prohibiting whaling in international waters, and more fundamentally, there is no political authority anywhere, able to make or enforce such a law. Moreover, those who wish for such an eventuality should contemplate what such an authority (if one existed) might be capable of doing in other areas - things that Msolga and others might not like.

It is fundamentally true that the existing principles that allow Australians to think and behave as Australians are exactly the same as those that enable the Japanese to think and behave as Japanese. In a very fundamental way our freedom depends on our willingness to tolerate the freedoms of others. Intolerance is the enemy of all.

The tactics of Greenpeace and other self-appointed activists are perfectly designed to enrage and entrench their opponents in their current behavior. These activists are models of intolerance and enemies of freedom. There is nothing virtuous in their behavior, and the Japanese would be within their legal rights to sink their ships. (As I recall, France took similar action some years ago.)

Te reoccurring political theater in Australia is their own business and they are entitled to do it as they wish. However that doesn't require anyone else to take it seriously.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Thu 25 Feb, 2010 10:31 am
@georgeob1,
Quote:
doesn't require anyone else to take it seriously.
Whatever hapened to "we hold these truths to be self-evident"?
Id like to see a case brought up under NATURAL LAW.
AS Ive seen, the focus of your and RG's argument is that Minke whaling of the SOuthern SUbspecies IS sustainable. You have no compelling evidence other than some hired shills for IWC and then , on the obverse, we have IWC calling for "real population determination" of Minkes and other species to scientifically determine what they can absorb as to killing.

Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Feb, 2010 10:38 am
@farmerman,
Why did you quote someone else in your response to me? I never said that, this is disingenuous.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  0  
Reply Thu 25 Feb, 2010 10:39 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:
Please try to be consoistent and not start or embed a "factoidal premise" within your posts. Saying that whaling is sustainable now and then moving on to your other points (or bringit it up in summary) is NOT what IWC says officially.


What are you on about? What am I not being consistent about?
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Feb, 2010 10:45 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:
Whatever hapened to "we hold these truths to be self-evident"?
Id like to see a case brought up under NATURAL LAW.


The problem with this is that you can't just make up laws and hope a case is brought up against it in this imaginary court. It's one thing to say whaling is wrong, but claiming it is illegal based on "natural law" has all the validity of me claiming you eating pork is illegal based on the same laws because said laws are invented fantasy.

Quote:
AS Ive seen, the focus of your and RG's argument is that Minke whaling of the SOuthern SUbspecies IS sustainable.


Wrong. The basis of my argument is the complete hypocrisy of people from Australia trying to tell other countries what to eat. I think them doing so is far more untoward than I find whaling. They go absolutely nuts if anyone tells them what to do in any way (like not visit the Dalai Lama, or when the KFC ad was pulled) but have no compunction about trying to bully others about what to eat.

I find this action immoral and I argue against this hypocrisy while supporting the actual cause of wanting to see whaling end.

Quote:
You have no compelling evidence other than some hired shills for IWC and then , on the obverse, we have IWC calling for "real population determination" of Minkes and other species to scientifically determine what they can absorb as to killing.


This is simply not true, but as my arguments are not predicated on whether Minke whaling is sustainable it doesn't really matter. Minke whaling is sustainable, and there is no scientific evidence against that, which is why the IWC will have to capitulate or become a different organization.
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Feb, 2010 10:50 am
@farmerman,
I believe the issue here, farmerman, is that people don't agree on just what constitutes "natural law". For example, Karl Marx postulated class warfare as a component of natural law, using that in the construction of a political doctrine that led eventually to murderous tyranny and the impoverishment of hundreds of millions of people. Despite a long, unhappy, history of failure, there are still people and political leaders advocating these ideas. With that in mind, I doubt that agreement is possible on even your undoubtedly clear and defensible opinion of what should constiute natural law.

This is the basis for my suggestion that this is inecsapably a political question, requiring a political solution - and, in my view, one that will require tolerance and the consideration of opposing points of view.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Feb, 2010 11:12 am
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
It won't satisfy the really hard core anti-whaling people, (of whom I am, very reluctantly, not one) but I guess I see it as a way of stepping down the level of conflict between at least the governments involved, and potentially being a face-saving way for everyone to calm down a bit.


I guess I don't share your optimism. This is the kind of calming down Australia could have done at any time, and that Japan has offered all along (they have long said that they are willing to accept science-based quotas) so I just don't see it as changing the status quo much for Australia.

Quote:
I just don't see a lot of good in the current discourse.


I agree, I actually find the Australian position immoral. But I guess I don't share your optimism about this change improving anything. The "really hard core anti-whaling people" are pretty much what I see as being the Australian national position on the matter.

Quote:
Ultimately, unless fish stocks plummet very drastically, I doubt that whaling has much of a future. (Assuming baleen whales survived such a collapse, since they feed on tiny organisms?) I don't think it can be remotely economic for the Japanese, and they don't seem to actually eat that much of it. I don't know if the economics are better for the other whaling nations?


The notion that whaling is not really done for food and is just done to piss off Australians is a self-serving fantasy. I have never eaten whale but those who do speak very highly of its taste and often wouldn't give it up for anything (my Norwegian friends here in Costa Rica, for example) and the anti-whaling crowd likes to pretend it's bad food and largely wasted but it's a delusional narrative. Tons of meat and food is wasted every year of all varieties, Australians like to point at cases of whale being wasted as purported evidence of this being a matter of belligerence on the case of the Japanese but that is silly. It would be like pretending sheep aren't really food either in Australia because of how much of their meat is thrown away. Hell in Japan I survived on mutton discarded by Australia for being too salty (we just washed it off) for several months. We used to survive on stuff people would want to throw away, and from Australia that meant a lot of mutton, in Japan that meant fully functional televisions and all.

Waste is ugly, but the existence of it does not mean an industry is not real and will just go away.

Quote:
I suppose I am hoping that whaling countries might just slowly move away from whaling, as I really do not think anti-whaling sentiment is going to go away, and I think, historically speaking, that things gradually tend to change when there is a lot of feeling for said change.


Well, I think the whale support peaked in the 80s and 90s to be honest, and I think that among people my generation there is less anti-whaling sentiment. With things like the Whale Wars reality tv show that Sea Shepherd is in, it has turned even more against the anti-whaling crowd as that show and South Park's satire on it portrayed the anti-whaling movement as being disingenuous, having no compunction about lying and about being publicity whores (South Park's show was titled "Whale Whores").

So in my informal polls and discussions on it I see people in the generation before me deeply against whaling, and people in my generation and subsequent ones thinking very differently. I suspect that some concern for whales will continue to build, but I think that right now it is behind where it was in 1990 to be honest.

Quote:
I hope it goes that way for the pigs, too!


I don't. Pigs are delicious. Do you not eat pigs?


Quote:
I don't know why you say so confidently that pigs are MORE intelligent than all whales. I'm interested in your data re that. I am not saying that you're wrong, I would just be very surprised if enough similar testing had been done to back that up.


It's hard enough to define intelligence at all, and even compare it between humans. When humans haven't had the same educational background it becomes a crap shoot for us.

So obviously comparing intelligence across species is not something that can be definitively proven to show one being more intelligent than the other. But there certainly has been much more actual testing than is done on whales. They have been claimed to play video games better than primates, for example, while whale intelligence obviously can't be studied as easily (unless you find a whale farm) and wikipedia notes:

Quote:
Despite ambitious claims, evidence of unusually high human-like intelligence among cetaceans is patchy, partly because the cost and difficulty of carrying out research with marine mammals mean that experiments frequently suffer from small sample sizes and inadequate controls and replication.



Quote:
I know Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace will not stop opposing whaling using whatever tactics they decide to use, so I know an IWC compromise won't change that aspect.


I see Australia's majority as agreeing with them, is my take off on that? Because if not I don't think anything will change except that it will become even more legally dubious to call whaling illegal.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Feb, 2010 03:27 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I have no idea what the general opinion re anti-whaling is in Australia. It's certainly there, and lots of Australians get to SEE whales, because we are on migration routes. It's enough that the government has to take note of it, for sure.

Probably no higher than anti-koala and kangaroo culling is in Japan, and likely lower. (My government had to stop a plan to kill a colony of koalas that are destroying the eucalypts on Kangaroo Island, a popular tourist (including LOTS of Japanese) destination. Some idiot decided to introduce them years back, and they've been an ecological disaster. The poor things were going to be killed, but the reaction locally, and internationally, notably from Japan, halted the project. An extremely expensive campaign to neuter them failed, after causing a lot of stress to them, and they are still creating havoc.)

I doubt it's anything like as universal a concern as you seem to think it is., though I could be wrong. It certainly never comes up in conversation for me ANYWHERE but here. But, I haven't looked at a poll or anything. Even if I had, and it was strongly anti-whaling, there'd be a lot of folk, I suspect, who would have a vague anti-whaling feeling if asked, but would likely not think about it much at other times.

I bet Msolga would know better than I do.

The Australian media I expose myself to doesn't talk about whaling much. Even our local Murdoch tabloid

I get a bit tired of you speaking as though it's just Australia, by the way...there's lots of anti-whaling feeling in other countries as well.

I also have never heard anyone here express an opinion anything like "Japanese whale just to piss off Australians". I assume you have seen such a sentiment expressed or you'd not say it, but I find it extra-ordinary. Human stupidity is pretty boundless though. You appear to be attributing that particular stupidity to me? Or are you just being generally angry with Australia? If you are thus attributing, I am bristling slightly.

As to the rest, we'll see. Whale meat seems to come at an extremely high price, and Japan is not as rich as it once was.

As for the pig, I still eat a tiny bit of free range ham, which has become very easy to get here (it's in the supermarkets). I won't eat anything that has been raised cruelly. I expect to stop eating it entirely very soon, because of their intelligence. It's beginning to feel like eating ape or elephant, and likely IS. Or cat or dog.

I guess I'll discover things about chooks and fish that will eliminate them soon. If I were a more evolved Wabbit, they'd already have gone.

I am sure I saw you claiming that pigs are more intelligent than whales. (Did I dream it or something? I'll have a look sometime.) I agree with the points that you made in the post I am replying to, which is why I was surprised when I saw you make that claim.

Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Feb, 2010 03:58 pm
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
Probably no higher than anti-koala and kangaroo culling is in Japan, and likely lower.


Oh? I would find that very surprising, I don't think any Japanese politician has campaigned on that platform and I've seen Australian PMs do so more than once.

Quote:
I doubt it's anything like as universal a concern as you seem to think it is., though I could be wrong. It certainly never comes up in conversation for me ANYWHERE but here. But, I haven't looked at a poll or anything. Even if I had, and it was strongly anti-whaling, there'd be a lot of folk, I suspect, who would have a vague anti-whaling feeling if asked, but would likely not think about it much at other times.


I was under the impression that this was a rather strong hot button in Australia (where I'd have estimated something like 10-20% feel strongly about).

Quote:
I get a bit tired of you speaking as though it's just Australia, by the way...there's lots of anti-whaling feeling in other countries as well.


I just have never really seen as much of it I guess. I know that the US has it, after all it was US pressure that got Japan into the IWC, but in the US they watch Australians on TV about it, not Americans so it really does seem like Australia is leading the world in this regard. Comparing the whale tourism industry in Australia to anywhere else also leads me to believe Australia occupies a special place in this debate opposite Japan. I just don't see any two other countries involved at this kind of level (I've yet to see a single story online or post on a forum involving, say Norway and the US and whaling).

Quote:
I also have never heard anyone here express an opinion anything like "Japanese whale just to piss off Australians". I assume you have seen such a sentiment expressed or you'd not say it, but I find it extra-ordinary. Human stupidity is pretty boundless though. You appear to be attributing that particular stupidity to me? Or are you just being generally angry with Australia? If you are thus attributing, I am bristling slightly.


I've repeatedly seen the charge to the tune that Japanese don't actually eat the whales they kill, and yes I have repeatedly seen (here on a2k) people make the charge that this is just some kind of belligerence on their part to thumb their noses at the "international community" (read: Australians, the rest of the world just doesn't care the same way). But no, I am not attributing it to you. I don't believe you ever said that but it is related to what I see as wishful thinking about the whale industry. It thankfully isn't anywhere near where it was and likely never will but the fact that so many people find the meat genuinely delicious means I think that there will always be a viable market for it.

What I am responding to is a range of reactions to whaling that seek to dismiss it as an industry, ranging from stories about whales being wasted (and I note that any kind of food is routinely wasted) to Japanese government putting whale on the school menu and all.

I'm just saying that these are wishful thinking arguments. Governments subsidize food production all the time but it doesn't really mean that the industry isn't real and if the meat is legitimately tasty I think there will be some market for it.

Quote:
As to the rest, we'll see. Whale meat seems to come at an extremely high price, and Japan is not as rich as it once was.


I think part of the allure now in Japan is the high price. Come on, this is a country that will grind up gold and put it in their food to make it more expensive and elitist.

And whaling is an inherently cheap source of food, which is why the US suggested Japan whale in the first place.

Quote:
As for the pig, I still eat a tiny bit of free range ham, which has become very easy to get here (it's in the supermarkets). I won't eat anything that has been raised cruelly. I expect to stop eating it entirely very soon, because of their intelligence. It's beginning to feel like eating ape or elephant, and likely IS. Or cat or dog.


Well you are a better person than I. I find pig way too delicious to stop eating.

(sorry pigs)

Quote:
I am sure I saw you claiming that pigs are more intelligent than whales. (Did I dream it or something? I'll have a look sometime.) I agree with the points that you made in the post I am replying to, which is why I was surprised when I saw you make that claim.


Oh I'm pretty sure I did make the claim, and while it is overstatement for the reasons I mentioned in my reply there is certainly more evidence about the pigs intelligence than that of whales, which may be a better point to have made.

We've put pigs through mazes, we made them play video games. We never did that with whales and the stories about their intelligence are often just anthropomorphic (e.g. two whales observed to "grieve" over a dead whale by tourists).

I don't think anyone will ever be able to prove that pigs are more or less intelligent than whales but there is at least a strong case to be made that pig intelligence is far more better substantiated than whale intelligence is.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Feb, 2010 04:15 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Intelligence assessment of animals is getting EXTREMELY interesting (at least to me!) and it is, at least, becoming easier and easier to compare like with like.

The thing with whales is that individual intelligence within species seems to vary a great deal, and we have so few whales we are able to test. Those we can are living what may be mentally crippling lives.

I think this story is going to get more and more interesting.
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 25 Feb, 2010 05:15 pm
We already use intelligence to determine if a person should be taken off life support, as in brain dead, but we should be careful about saying an animal shouldnt be killed because of its intelligence. We run the risk of very muddy waters if we have euthanasia but save animals for their intelligence.

Most of human intelligence comes from excess computing power. We were in the trees and had the ability to calculate how far away branches were and how much muscle to put into a jump. When we came down out of the trees, that computational power was excess and was turned into making spears and nuclear reactors. To argue other animals are the same as us, I would like to see a similar excess brain power being applied to something. Many species show problem solving ability that exceeds man, but they are in the slow lane for evolving that into something meaningful. The hands that grasped tree limbs are also good at nuclear reactors. Hoofs and flippers will never do it. They are an evolutionary dead end for creating a civilisation.
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 26 Feb, 2010 05:34 pm
From the TV news, a killer dolphin has killed 3 times but it is not to be put down. A dog bites someone and it is destroyed. Why is that ?
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Feb, 2010 06:35 pm
@Ionus,
Lassie would never be destroyed. It's economics. It's also who gets "died"/bit.

Actually, I can't really blame these show animals.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Fri 26 Feb, 2010 06:48 pm
@JTT,
In th 2007 whale year, JApan took an additional 350 Minkes from The ARCTIC subspecies. This one IS definately in decline by all counts.
Why do we afford the Japanese some latitude that we wouldnt give the Iranians ?
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Fri 26 Feb, 2010 07:02 pm
@farmerman,
To RG who feels that thios is a strictly Australian move, recall that the Sea Shephreds, a splinter Group of Greenpeace /Sierra alignment was incporated in Oregon by Paul Watson , a Canadian. Several other directors are US, Canadian, and A Brit . The society is dedicated to the memory of Farley Mowat whos enlightened books had set the rudder of this organization. Might I reccomend a few of Mowats works on the "ethics" of whaling. From their home page

Quote:
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society was formally incorporated in the United States in 1981 in the state of Oregon. Previous to this, the idea of Sea Shepherd was formed when Captain Paul Watson founded the Earth Force Society in 1977 in Vancouver BC, Canada. The original mandate of both organizations was marine mammal protection and conservation with an immediate goal of shutting down illegal whaling and sealing operations, but Sea Shepherd later expanded its mission to include all marine wildlife.

In 1978, with financial support from Cleveland Amory of the Fund for Animals, the Society purchased its first ship (a British sea trawler Westella) and renamed it the Sea Shepherd. Its first mission was to sail to the ice floes of Eastern Canada to interfere with the annual killing of baby harp seals known as whitecoats. In the same year, the Sea Shepherd hunted down and rammed the notorious prolific pirate whaler the Sierra in a Portugal harbor ending its infamous career as the scourge of the seas.

Since those early days, Sea Shepherd has embarked on over 200 voyages covering many of the world's oceans and defending and saving defenseless marine life all along the way.


JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Feb, 2010 07:17 pm
@farmerman,
Quote:
Why do we afford the Japanese some latitude that we wouldnt give the Iranians ?


Like always, for blackmail and other underhanded purposes.
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  0  
Reply Sat 27 Feb, 2010 07:24 am
@JTT,
Quote:
Actually, I can't really blame these show animals.
Can you blame human prisoners or human "show animals" ?
Ionus
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 27 Feb, 2010 07:31 am
@farmerman,
Quote:
to interfere with the annual killing of baby harp seals
Stopping the harp seal cull was the worst thing that ever happened to the green movement. It was a big money earner and the cull was sustainable so they could keep raking in the money. When it collapsed they came over to Australia and went out with some professional roo hunters. The film crew wanted to put a kangeroo on a pole and shoot at it but the hunters had a lot of respect for the roo and wouldnt do it. The hunters left and the crew did it themselves and showed it in America as an example of how callous we were to roos and how badly needed money would help save the kangaroo. Again they had chosen an animal that was sustainably hunted. It fell apart when people didnt "get it ". So off they went looking for another cause..perhaps the Panda..or the whale....
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Sat 27 Feb, 2010 08:06 am
@Ionus,
Nothing incorrect with anything thats sustainable if its really used for a purpose thats honorable. Kangaroos are, in some places, actually farmed, so the difference between hunting v raising and slaughtering is blurred. Whales, what this was about, are , like gorillas or the big cats, a totemic species that remind us of our own place in an ecological niche. The industrial callousness that drives the whale hunt (especially for a purpose that is of fairly recent popularization and had been marketed heavily) is an issue of research gone amuk.
Whaling has a sense of immorality for me.Sort of like "bushmeat" most of which consists of dead monkies and lemures. The politics that drive the populations to rely on bushmeat are usually corrupt regimes that detour any foreign aid and sell the food aid for obscene profits.

Whale meta that was used in a Norwegian dish of "Black fish" is now provided by reliance on farm raised fish substitute. Norway has reduced its whaling drastically with an eye to quitting entirely. Japan seems to be on a major head-butt pathway.
I guess Ill have to write a bigger check for more cement for the Sea Shepherds
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Feb, 2010 08:16 am
@Ionus,
Quote:
Stopping the harp seal cull was the worst thing that ever happened to the green movement.
Im not sure what youre talking about here?
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Tonight's VP debate - Discussion by Cycloptichorn
Debate Topic - Question by silhouette
So, what am I missing? - Discussion by The Pentacle Queen
Suffering - Discussion by EmilySue77
Intellectual confidence. - Discussion by The Pentacle Queen
Is euthanasia acceptable? - Discussion by Starchild
Presidential Debate: Final Round! - Discussion by Diest TKO
Rhetoric and Fallacy: A Game For Debaters - Discussion by Diest TKO
 
Copyright © 2022 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 01/20/2022 at 04:15:07