Dolphin post reposted

I originally posted this here, but beneath a bit about the football that meant that many non-footballing people never actually got to read it.
The interest that it has generated, together with the ongoing news over the Taiji dolphin hunt has made me think that it deserves a post of its own. I am doing this here.

Comments on the original post can be found here.


Secondly: dolphins, The Cove and the internet.
Now, I like dolphins as much as the next man (as long as the next man isn’t Alan Cooper – I don’t like them that much). But I’m also one of those enquiring people who never takes things at face value and likes to look at both sides of a story. The annual dolphin killings at Taiji in Japan is one of those stories. It’s been in the news again recently, because the time for the annual kill has come around again and much reference has been made to the overly subjective film The Cove, which was released last year, documenting the 2009 kill and telling us that the water turned red with the blood of the dolphins.
Isn’t that dramatic? What do they think the floor of a slaughterhouse looks like?

Now, environmentalists want this annual practice banned – no matter that it’s been going on for over 300 years and there are still plenty of dolphins to be caught.  And that’s ok, because everyone is entitled to their views on this and when you are a greenie, you have to protest about something – it’s what you do. And dolphins are the most awesome thing to protest about because they’re dolphins. And dolphins and pandas are top of the list when it comes to poking the human conscience. Them and puppies.

But what about humans? Because Taiji isn’t some oil-rich, gold-laden glittering city. Taiji is a small town with no industry or income other than that of the fishing (and for fishing, you can read “whaling”). So when you take away what they are their ancestors have been doing for centuries because it doesn’t fit with your Western beliefs, what’s left for those people?
Imagine Jeffery’s Bay without the surfing, imagine Boulders Beach without the penguins: there’s suddenly no support for those people; poverty ensues and the settlement – there for hundreds of years – is ruined because of the views of some activists 1000’s of miles away who refuse to look beyond the “plight of the dolphins”.

And then the people who support them without considering the reasons why they are doing it. Why?
Dolphin, panda, puppy – must protect.
It’s a trendy, ill-thought through, kneejerk, bandwagon-jumping response.
What gives you the right to decide how others should live?

I don’t like the thought of dolphins being killed either, but it’s a necessary part of  life for the people of Taiji. The dolphin catch provides food (albeit potentially unhealthy food, but beggars can’t be choosers) and income for the town.
Imagine if your only sources of food and income were taken away from you because someone in America didn’t like the way you lived your life?
That’s no more braais, because they don’t agree with the way your lamb is slaughtered or the ingredients in your boerewors were sourced. They’re stopping your income as well, because they don’t like the way you make your money. Of course, they have no legal powers to do this – but actually, they’ll even go as far as breaking the laws of your own country to make your hard life even harder.

What happens to the people of Taiji if the dolphin catch doesn’t happen? Have you even considered that?
No, of course not:  because it’s about dolphins and pandas and puppies.

15 thoughts on “Dolphin post reposted

  1. Totally agreed with you previously and totally agree with you now. Except now I am commenting! 🙂

  2. I don’t entirely agree, but you know me, I’m all for us dying out and letting animals take over once again, so I’m not exactly the most non biased person in the world.

    Also, I don’t see culture as an excuse. You never get to use it as one when you’re a cannibal from papua new guinea and your neighbours baby is looking delicious do you? Noooo, suddenly people are offended.

    And, dolphins have to be cute. It distracts people from the fact that they’re actually enormous dicks. Puppy’s aren’t though. They’re only slight pricks. Like mine when she woke us up at 4 this morning to play.

  3. If I was a meat eater, which I am clearly not, I would love a nice thick slice of dolphin sashimi dipped in wasabi soy sauce… yum

  4. T > I think “objective” is the word you’re looking for.
    Your PNG example is interesting, but that’s humans, not animals – and I think that there should be more intervention when it’s humans.
    Puppies – meh.

    Heather Mills > Damn, that sounds good.

  5. Objective isn’t as fun to say though 🙁

    It’s such a shame though, I think babies might be a delicious starter for a dolphin main course.

  6. Dolphin sense because it is their bread and butter to kill these dolphins and whales in Taiji in a way that would not allow and animal to be slaughtered in any country (china, doesn’t care, I know) we should leave to to it? they’ve been doing it for 300 years? it’s their culture? In Yemen some communities allow men to marry girls as young as 8, it’s their culture and has been for hundreds of years. Should we just keep quite? Dolphins and whales are self-aware sentient beings. This year India declared dolphins and whales as ‘Non-Human Persons’. Not to be hunted, hurt or held captive in any way whatsoever. They have complex family structures and communities, different languages in each pod. After humans they are the most intelligent creatures on earth. Have you seen how they slaughter adult populations in and among their young by driving a metal stake through their heads, leaving them in agonising pain, not killing them instantly, leaving their young to swim in their parents blood. Afterwards these juveniles are simply dragged and chased back to sea leaving them without a family or support structure because the entire adult population has been killed or captured. For the captured dolphins that are put in dolphinariums the misery is lifelong captivity, similar to solitary confinement and they forced to perform tricks by withholding food. Never mind the mercury and the added Fukusima radiation now added to the species meat that they feed the poor people of the poverty stricken Taiji.Your comment is ignorant and to me it seems that you don’t give a flying [fishcake] about dolphins or whales.

  7. Francois > Thanks for the comment and apologies that I had to edit your final sentence a little bit. FYI, I’m not “Dolphin Sense”. That was someone who just chose to link here from this 2OV post this morning.

    I’m a bit busy today, so don’t have time to comment in detail, but a couple of points I’d like to make, if I may? (Of course I may – this is my blog – lolz)

    Firstly: I said in the post

    I don’t like the thought of dolphins being killed

    Because I don’t. I don’t particularly like the thought of cows or sheep or pigs being killed either, but I’m aware that it happens and I happily eat the meat that comes from them.
    Have you ever been into an abattoir? It’s not going to be nice and if you choose to describe the scenes in there, they will also sound unpleasant.

    Secondly: India, Schmindia. Big wow if they choose to make some arbitrary ruling on the status of whales and dolphins. They also choose to worship cows. Neither of these acts has any bearing whatsoever on the plight of the poverty-stricken population of Taiji.

    Thirdly: Your Yemen “parallel” is a predictable Aunt Sally argument. I don’t agree with Yemen’s marriage laws – in fact, I don’t agree with very much of what the Islamic (or any other faith) thinks is reasonable behaviour (see Cow Worship, above).
    But even India’s allegedly enlightened categorisation of whales and dolphins states that they are non-human. Different rules apply for humans and other animals. Always have, always will. Simple as.

    In conclusion: Your comment is ignorant and to me it seems that you don’t give a flying… er… [fishcake] about the people of Taiji.

  8. 6000, I was gonna tell you how you don’t have a clue what’s happening in Taiji or animal right’s or or or…
    I went to your “about” page to see why you might be saying these things, but then I noticed that you had a battle with Chris von Ulmenstein. I fishcake loathe that women on almost the same level as the dolphin hunters in Taiji. Had a few battles with her recently. So in light of that let us agree to disagree. A friend of batman is a friend of mine…

  9. Doplhin drives started in 1969, due to motor boats. Fisher folk in taiji have survived for thousands of years without dolphin driving and motorboats. They sure don’t need to do a dolphin drive.

  10. Wai Meng > And the human race survived for millions of years without anaesthetic, but it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t use these new-fangled inventions to improve our lifestyles, now does it?

    Leave a Reply