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Dolphin slaughter in Japan - What are your thoughts?
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30 / M
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Posted 1/21/14
I am completely against the Dolphin hunts in Japan.
I don't say this because I care about the animals - on the contrary, I don't trust intelligent animals - but because the practice serves no purpose and may be downright dangerous.

Dolphins have high levels of heavy metals in their meat and that poses some serious health risks. (Look up Minamata disease, for example) There have even been reports of dolphin and whale meat ending up in food where it doesn't belong. As someone who lived in Japan, the idea that I might have inadvertently ingested some of this is not a pleasant thought. There is no reason to be eating dolphin meat.

I don't buy the argument that it's traditional or cultural either. First of all, just because something is traditional doesn't mean it isn't really stupid. Secondly, I sort of see this as sort of a passive aggressive affirmation of the "us and them" mentality that, unfortunately, seems to persist to varying degrees in various areas of Japan and/or Japanese culture (I could go on all day about that). I also think it's a way of displaying nationalism and local, cultural pride in a country where overt acts of patriotism are not very common outside of the right wing groups. The dolphin killings, the whale hunts and even things like government officials visiting the Yasukuni Shrine all demonstrate this I think. People outside Japan criticize, but the actions continue and are in many cases defended for seemingly no reason other than "that's what we do, deal with it".

All that said, **** dolphins. I don't trust them. If they had thumbs (and feet?) they'd do the same to us.
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Posted 1/21/14

Dubnoman wrote:


Phersu wrote:

Can you even eat dolphin?



I see no reason why people can't eat them. You can eat shark meat and whale meat.


I kind of want to try dolphin now.
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Posted 1/21/14

puellapeanut wrote:


Reminds me of the buffalo problem in America for example. When it was just the Native Americans, they only killed when they needed food. When the Europeans came, they slaughtered more for fun and sport, and almost took the entire buffalo population out of existence.
If Im remembering it correctly the colonists/Americans didn't hunt buffalo for fun or sport, they hunted them to starve the native populace. Still not admirable of course but it was scorched earth tactics and not necessarily recreation.

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32 / F / Los Angeles
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Posted 1/21/14
So far the perspectives, at least of those that have spoken up, have been leaning towards the slaughter being OK or just a general disinterest. Some recognize the mass animal slaughter in our own country as the reason for little care for the dolphin and whale slaughter in a different country. They are valid points, although I admit I'm pretty shocked the written responses really leaned in that direction so far. Another interesting point is that some write private messages saying they were in support of ending the dolphin slaughter but did not want to write it on this thread because of the other comments.

It makes me really curious what the percentage of CR users are vegetarians or have problems with the current meat industry to the point of action or changes in their own food intake choices.

Anyway, the impact hunting dolphins and whales in the wild have on the larger populations is hard to track since the species themselves are very hard to tally numbers for. If you look at the simplified wiki for them ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cetaceans ), you'll notice that all population numbers are highly estimated or completely unknown.

The ocean is struggling with the climate changes we've impacted and the amount of toxins found throughout the waters. Many of the dolphins are found with extremely high amounts of these toxins, metals, etc. since they are the top of their food chains. We shouldn't even be eating any of them and should be very wary of reducing their populations when we don't know how strongly these toxins are affecting their breeding and future generations. The quotas the Japanese prefectures set are more based on price fixing to keep sale prices up than sustainability. Reaping a resource is almost always more profitable in the short term verses sustaining the population for the long haul.

So is torture OK if we've got our own demons to deal with? Even if there's no effort to change the process of our own slaughter system? Not to blow this out of proportion but I can't help wonder if that was the attitude of western slave owners considering the practice was so widespread and normalized. (I'm not making this about comparing dolphin killing to human slave owning, just trying to understand the kind of mindset from the past that may explain the apathy or reasoning expressed in above by those that are OK with the dolphin killings.) I have always wondered if change happens because those in power change and pick their side or because of better informed opinions from the very people who had a drastically different viewpoint beforehand.
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35 / M / Canada
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Posted 1/21/14
Well, my opinion on the subject. Evolution says we really need to eat protein. Vegetarian, no matter how closely you follow the diet is proven to be negative for health. Even the most balanced and calculated diet still has some nutrients that are difficult for our digestive system to process unfortunately. Please no response on that though because we don't need that big debate.

That said, I am not for wholesale slaughter of wild animals in such an inhumane way. I eat beef, Bison, etc. but those animals, at least from reputable butchers, live a nice, and humane life. When they are killed, it is instant. No suffering. Even those that hunt to live up in our north, they say there is nothing worse for a feeling than when you do not get a clean kill. Some do not even lay trap lines, etc because of morals. Rifle hunting only or raised animals.

When it comes to Cetaceans, I am completely against it because of the intelligence and sentience they posess. Other large mammals, it is sad, but necessary. If the Cetaceans could be looked after for their life, then a proper quick and painless death, with the understanding that it is a necessity for life, that is a different matter. It isn't a matter for me of the natural life of the animal. What I am more concerned about is our own morality and understanding of where it came from.

I eat meat ensuring that proper respect and thanks is given to the animal. Unfortunately, that is natural to eat meat. Therefore we must be responsible to minimize the impact that has. Things such as humane killing, and especially ensuring that social animal family structure is not destroyed. The disruption to pods and psychological damage in terms of cetacean hunting is much more than the deaths itself. Made even worse with that they are doing it for entertainment purposes.
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28 / M / Denver. CO
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Posted 1/21/14
I am fine with killing animals we raise.. If they are happy in life and raised humainly then thats great. Killing wild animals you did nothing to bring into this world but profit from bringing out is getting meh... F*uck fish... Im talking about intelligent creatures who have "families" "thoughts" and a "life" of their own... not just instincts.

To dolphin killers and Japan for making this legal

Sham on you

That said I bet if u went and talked to the people doing it and lived a day in their shoes... You would not judge them.. Judge the world they struggle through.. we create it
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36 / M
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Posted 1/21/14 , edited 1/21/14
My reaction is not apathy. As I detailed above, I do not have a problem with killing itself, but rather with the justifications supplied for killing. There are even plants that have been demonstrated to release a chemical when they get damaged which causes nearby plants to react by curling their foliage making them more protected. These plants do not have any sensory organs or nervous systems that we recognize. While it is pretty fringe, there are scientists that believe some plants may have some level of awareness and communication. Having the ability to perceive, react, and perhaps cogitate on some level isn't very special. Also, nothing exists without death. Even plants need death, just less directly.

I will never be vegan or vegetarian for moral reasons. I have reduced my meat consumption by nearly half compared to just a couple years ago though. I do even occasionally eat vegetarian or vegan meals. I do this because I believe that I should contribute to the sustainability of my environment and culture, plus I am a fan of tasty food whether it contains meat or not. I also try to buy more of my foods locally, whether vegetable matter or animal matter. This is the main beef I have with the dolphin slaughter. As you cited and I alluded to, there is not enough data to know for certain, but it seems highly improbable that these methods are good stewardship or remotely decent eco-citizenship. The drive for immediate profit in the face of possibly even catastrophic future costs is a very real and present human flaw. If we do not find a way to address this, we are likely to do far more damage that may become irreversible to our own species and our livelihoods.

Two quick slightly off-topic bits:

The primary motivation for killing the buffalo herds was to keep them from interfering with the trains. Even with a big locomotive you can't just drive through a herd of them. Starving the natives that way wouldn't really have worked, but it did reduce their resources and put pressure on them. The sport aspect was a side effect of the bounties paid for killing them.

Data shows that torture is largely ineffective for coercing reliable information from a target. That means it is essentially an unjustifiable waste of time and resources before you even consider the cruelty or morality.
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29 / M / Pennsylvania
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Posted 1/21/14
the Japanese kids eat the dolphin meat in the school system. It is highly toxic, and the people who eat that meat regularly ie the fishermans do not live to be very old... they just like to eat dolphin.

that being said i am very content eating tuna. but the fact is that tuna is very expensive compared to dolphin meat. So i am sure the people who eat dolphin eat it because it tastes good and is also very cheap in comparison to other meats. It is definitely not healthy, but does that stop people from doing narcotics?

Of course ingesting dolphin or whale meat is toxic and very unhealthy. These animals are protected in practically every other country except Japan. Therefore you cannot just use the fact that it is legal to say it is okay to kill them. The fact is that Japan creates its own law and does not follow the restriction set by the international fishing committee.

The people hunting the animals are purely doing it for profit on the sale of live dolphins and to feed toxic meat to their families because that is what they like to eat. They don't give a !@# if other ppl don't like them to do that. Just how like someone takes heroin doesn't give a !@# when you tell them they should stop just like someone doesn't quit smoking when you tell them to stop.
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M / Australia
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Posted 1/22/14
they killed dolphins becoz its for the food. they dont just kill them for fun. also u guys know that many other people kill pig, cow, sheep, lamp, etc to eat food. that how is it.
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Posted 1/22/14
The difference between dolphins and pig, cow, sheep, lamb, etc. is that those animals are domesticated. We specifically raised them for food.
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30 / M / Atlanta, GA
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Posted 1/22/14

bassoonbg wrote:

So is torture OK if we've got our own demons to deal with? Even if there's no effort to change the process of our own slaughter system? Not to blow this out of proportion but I can't help wonder if that was the attitude of western slave owners considering the practice was so widespread and normalized. (I'm not making this about comparing dolphin killing to human slave owning, just trying to understand the kind of mindset from the past that may explain the apathy or reasoning expressed in above by those that are OK with the dolphin killings.) I have always wondered if change happens because those in power change and pick their side or because of better informed opinions from the very people who had a drastically different viewpoint beforehand.


The toxins are a more moralistic approach as that's it's own set of circumstances you'd have to deal with. If you're aware of the possible toxicity, but have no other means to eat than you'd have to decide for yourself if the risk is worth it. But again, so long as it's legal and people are fine with the inherent risks than so be it. I mean, people smoke cigarettes daily and those offer absolutely no benefit, whereas with eating dolphin you'd at least not go hungry.

If you give me a choice to let a hungry family keep going hungry, or to kill a dolphin to allow them to eat, that family is eating tonight.

I'm not sure where you're going with the slavery thing though, I'm not for slavery so I don't see the connect between dolphin killing and slave owning. I'd need more clarity on that end.


thorein wrote:

The difference between dolphins and pig, cow, sheep, lamb, etc. is that those animals are domesticated. We specifically raised them for food.


I would say that's hardly different. You're still slaughtering the animal, keeping in caged confines (torturing it), and denying the right to live, which apparently is the point of this thread from what I gathered. Furthermore fisherman catch fish, shrimp and other ocean dwellers and make livings selling them that the world eats daily, which would go against the thought that the pigs and cows are special cases because they're domesticated.
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M / Los Angeles, CA
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Posted 1/22/14
It's wrong. Shame on the Japan for allowing this to continue. This is why I can't stand Asians sometimes. We cling to such backwards "traditions" which makes everyone of us look like idiots.
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Posted 1/22/14

bensonc120 wrote:

It's wrong. Shame on the Japan for allowing this to continue. This is why I can't stand Asians sometimes. We cling to such backwards "traditions" which makes everyone of us look like idiots.
Good thing we're known for being smart
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23 / M / California
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Posted 1/22/14

bensonc120 wrote:

It's wrong. Shame on the Japan for allowing this to continue. This is why I can't stand Asians sometimes. We cling to such backwards "traditions" which makes everyone of us look like idiots.


You're right about one thing. Saying you can't stand Asians for doing something differently than what you do makes you look like the idiot. Sure, it may seem unsavory to you that people regularly send bloodied dolphin corpses up to a processing plant to be converted into Omaha steaks of the sea, but if that's what the Japanese have come to consensus on as being an acceptable way to utilize dolphins, then so be it. It's not like other people don't kill their fair share of smart animals. After all, pigs are among the smartest animals on the planet, but they are just to delicious to let live. The same could be true of dolphins. They just might have such gloriously tender underbellies, they put bacon to shame. At least with dolphins there's no factory farm or genetic insights. They just pluck the rubbery torpedoes from the sea and go about their business, and you go about yours. You're not an instrument in the marine mammal meat industry, and by all accounts you don't live where this is practiced. Don't pass your judgement on someone for what they eat. Eat it instead. Try to understand why the Japanese think dolphins are delicious. You may find that you love dolphin too.
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M / Los Angeles, CA
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Posted 1/22/14

Lethargic_leopard_Seal wrote:

You're right about one thing. Saying you can't stand Asians for doing something differently than what you do makes you look like the idiot. Sure, it may seem unsavory to you that people regularly send bloodied dolphin corpses up to a processing plant to be converted into Omaha steaks of the sea, but if that's what the Japanese have come to consensus on as being an acceptable way to utilize dolphins, then so be it. It's not like other people don't kill their fair share of smart animals. After all, pigs are among the smartest animals on the planet, but they are just to delicious to let live. The same could be true of dolphins. They just might have such gloriously tender underbellies, they put bacon to shame. At least with dolphins there's no factory farm or genetic insights. They just pluck the rubbery torpedoes from the sea and go about their business, and you go about yours. You're not an instrument in the marine mammal meat industry, and by all accounts you don't live where this is practiced. Don't pass your judgement on someone for what they eat. Eat it instead. Try to understand why the Japanese think dolphins are delicious. You may find that you love dolphin too.


Right. Except that dolphin meat is toxic. Even taking the inhumane aspect of it out of the discussion, you are still feeding toxic products to ignorant people, children who don't realize the harm it does. But don't let facts get in the way of your rant.
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