Why not hunt whales ?

Many people like hunting. It is an outdoor sport, and it can bring home food, or it can help eradicate pests. While some animal lovers find the whole idea disturbing, most people seem to recognize that it is quite natural for an omnivorous species to hunt other animals for food or clothing.

Maybe some people will argue that we should evolve beyond this primal urge, we should not eat meat, we should not hunt. This is a philosophical viewpoint that I don't want to counter. I just want to present this case to those who think eating meat is OK but think whale-hunting is wrong.


Is it wrong to hunt whales?

What is so special about whales, that means they should be excluded from our menu? Is it a cultural bias, that we find whale meat abhorrent? Korean people enjoy eating dogs, and this most definitely revolts most westerners, however, it does not seem to attract the same moral outrage that eating whales does. On the other hand, there are some cultures that find the idea of eating cows sacrilegious. It is fair to say, we take very little heed of their objections to our culinary tastes.

Are whales too intelligent to kill?

I don't know how intelligent whales are, I suspect they have similar cognitive abilities to dogs, seals, dolphins and apes. It is difficult however to define the cut off point of where we humans should determine an animal too intelligent to eat. We eat pigs, who are said to be quite intelligent. I am sure that cows and sheep are also reasonably more intelligent than we often give credit for. But if intelligence is the reason we should not eat whales, then we should present this argument, and say why we think whales are this intelligent and why this animal IQ discards this species from the menu. No doubt, we would find a lot of meats could be affected by this argument.

Are whales endangered?

If whales are endangered, then it is quite clear we should not hunt them until their numbers return to levels that are sustainable again. This is what the international whaling commission was inaugurated for. After a while whale numbers returned to higher levels. According to the Japanese, it is sustainable now to hunt them again. I have not heard any counter-argument from the Australian and New Zealand Representatives to this claim.

Because the Southern Ocean belongs to Australia, so Australia sets the laws!

Says who?

Australia's sovereignty to the Souther Ocean is not internationally recognized.

Because whale hunting is cruel!

Eating another animal is always cruel. Most species do not make allowance for cruelty when it comes to appetite. I am not saying we should torture our quarry, but hunting is hunting, and nature did give higher animals the adrenalin gland so that fear overcomes pain. I do not believe hunting is excessively cruel providing all effort is made to dispatch an animal while is still running on adrenalin. The cruelest act done to animals is confinement raising, as this is a psychological torture. Western nations should look in their own backyards before accusing Japanese of cruelty!

Whales are beautiful creatures

Yes, they are beautiful, stunning and graceful, magnificent and all those other adjectives. Does that mean we should only hunt and eat ugly animals?

Because it offends me

Cultural imperialism - our values are superior to those of the Japanese?

Japanese are defying the rules and using 'scientific research' as a loophole.

The Japanese have made their arguments, their arguments are valid and have not been answered except by wishy washy fuzzy arguments about how beautiful and intelligent whales are. Should they continue to be constrained by nations who show their culture no respect? It is not morally acceptable to break a law that you feel is unfair? I buy unprocessed milk for human consumption, which is illegal in Australia. Should I respect this law which unfairly dictates how I should find my food?

Japanese never started eating whale until the late 1940's

The story goes that General MacArthur encouraged the Japanese to hunt whales to solve food shortage problems after world war 2. They obviously took to it!
How long does your tradition need to be before you have special rights. I accept that cultures that have been enjoying whale meat for the longest time, whose way of life is most dependent on whale hunting should be given the first rights to this resource, but this should only exclude others if the resource is scarce! So this falls back to the argument of whether whales are endangered.

In conclusion.

If Japanese whale hunting is endangering any species of whales, I agree, we should pressure the Japanese to discontinue this practice. However, if some species of whales are plentiful, why should this resource not be harvested in a sustainable and equitable manner?

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