Saturday, August 29, 2009

Annual Dolphin Slaughter In Taiji, Japan

If this isn't the most horrible thing you see today, you have my sympathies:

This is the annual dolphin hunt in Taji, Japan. The fishermen use a big net to trap the dolphins and spear a few of them to reduce the likelihood that others will escape (dolphins don't abandon wounded family members). Then they hoist the dolphins out of the water with cranes, drag them along the road to the slaughterhouse with trucks, and hack their throats open with machetes to kill them. The video shows schoolchildren walking past dolphins who are pouring out blood onto the concrete.

It's not like Japan is some kind of terribly poor country where starving people are reduced to chopping up highly intelligent sea creatures and eating them to ward off starvation. There's no excuse for a First World country to be doing something that's not too far from cannibalism. SaveJapanDolphins is trying to end this horror, and I wish them the best of luck.


Anonymous said...

Hey Neil - could you explain what you mean by this being "not so far from cannibalism?"

Neil Sinhababu said...

Well, the idea is that dolphins are highly intelligent beings. Intuitively, as you come closer to human intelligence, it becomes more and more wrong to eat you. Now, I don't know exactly how high up dolphins are, but I'm pretty sure they're well above most livestock to the point that it's much worse than killing, say, a cow.

How this fits into the utilitarian view of the situation is going to be a bit complex. But I'm willing to bet that the hedonic benefits generated by a little more dolphin meat don't exceed those generated by having a few hundred dolphins live out their frolicsome cetacean lives.

Anonymous said...

When the Australian government was making all sorts of threats about Japanese whaling in allegedly 'Australian' Antarctic waters I emailed them the website address and that quietened down the Australian government big time!
As soon as I find the email address for the authorities at Taiji I'll do the same.
This stuff shuts up the governments of New Zealand and Canada as well!