9 users responded " Japanese whale gastronomy: a conversation with my mom "

"Japanese whale gastronomy: a conversation with my mom" was posted by and 9 users commented
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Craig A. James said,         
November 30 2010

It’s terrible that they’re hunting endangered species, but the far more horrifying crime is that there is no humane way to slaughter whales. We’re not talking about a bovine slaughterhouse where animals are killed instantly with steel bolt that destroys their brain. Whale hunting is horrible.

Each whale is shot with an explosive harpoon. The harpoon doesn’t kill the animal, it just causes a massive, horrifying wound. The whales doesn’t die instantly, it slowly suffocates in its own blood because the explosion rips apart its insides.

But that’s not even the whole story. If you or I drowned in our own blood, it would be fast because our bodies only hold a few minutes worth of oxygen. But whales can store fantastic quantities of oxygen in their blood in order to enable their deep dives. So even after the whale’s lungs fill with blood, they still suffer and suffer and suffer, a slow, agonizing death.

The Japanese should be ashamed. This isn’t a cultural heritage, it’s inexcusable animal cruelty.

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Sarah said,         
November 30 2010

Hi Craig,
Humane killing would be better, yes… but why kill the whales at all? Is it worth wiping out entire species out of gluttony?

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Bob said,         
December 2 2010

Perhaps whale farming (akin to fish farming) might be a solution. The Japanese would get to eat their whales while the endangered species could be preserved.

Under a whale farming scheme, it’s not unthinkable that a humane method of killing the whales could be developed.

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Sarah said,         
December 2 2010

Hi Bob,
Maybe it’s species-ist, but I don’t think it’s acceptable to kill and eat whales, who are majestic, intelligent animals. Besides, the fact that they are endangered species make the idea of farming them for food ridiculous, not to mention impractical. (A big enclosed space for enormous marine mammals? I’d like to see that!)
I think most developed countries would agree with me when I say whales shouldn’t be hunted for food. This would and should outrage people.
There is plenty to eat without resorting to what my mom called “bloodthirsty ways,” when she referred to Japanese whaling.

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mpm said,         
December 3 2010

remember we went on a whalewatch and i got nauseous and threw up and you didn’t notice, and other people were taking care of me?
love, mom

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Bob said,         
December 3 2010

Hi Sarah,

I don’t see it as ridiculous to farm endangered species. It’s using the profit motive to ensure that there is ready supply at hand. It’s using market forces to increase the whale population. Unlike oil, whales are a fairly renewable resource (like cattle). It may be impractical to enclose whales, but perhaps something like shepherding in the open sea might be practical.

Suppose, instead of killing adult whales, the baby whales were harvested before they are born, or before the whales reached a certain intellectual level. Would that be acceptable?

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Sarah said,         
December 6 2010

Hi Bob,
@Bob: I still think killing endangered species for gluttony, supply and demand or not, is horrifying and I’m surprised that you support it. I don’t think most people would stand for what you’re proposing.
There’s a supply and demand for child porn, too; should we give that our blessing? The free market has decided!
Whales are a renewable source? You may eat those words! (If not their meat.)
Intelligence of whales aside, I still don’t think it’s acceptable. You’ll probably make the case that your idea is preferable to poaching, but I don’t think giving whalers our blessing is in the spirit of striving towards enlightened times.
@Mom: can’t you talk about something more relevant to the post? 🙂

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Charles W. Belser said,         
December 7 2010

I eat whale whenever I am in Japan and I love it–it’s better and healthier (less fat) than beefsteak. Americans should keep their childish anthropomorphizing to themselves and attend to correcting their own perverted culture.

Your claims about Japanese hunting and eating an endangered species and being the only nation still hunting and eating whale are not correct. The whales Japan harvests are NOT endangered and there are a number of other nations that also hunt whale. Even the United States permits Eskimos to hunt and eat whale. If you are going to write about something at least take the time to research it and get your facts right. Otherwise, you’ll just be accused of LYING and you will mislead ignorant Americans even further into the darkness than they already are.,

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Simon said,         
January 24 2011

“On my recent honeymoon in Hawaii, I did something I’ve always wanted to do: swim with a dolphin. Her name was Punahele. I got to pet her and ride on her pectoral fins. ”

This is what makes the killing at Taiji so profitable:
people who pay aquariums that buy dolphins caught from the wild. That’s one reason captive cetaceans are prohibited in the UK and elsewhere.

Please don’t support the companies that pay for the dolphin slaughter.

(BTW If by chance this was a wild dolphin, you shouldn’t be touching them on a first encounter anyway. If ever.)

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