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200 Dolphins Await Slaughter In Japan's Taiji Cove 628

Posted by samzenpus
from the but-we've-always-stabbed-them dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "CNN reports that more than 200 bottlenose dolphins remain penned in a cove by Japanese fishermen, many of them stressed and bloodied from their attempts to escape before fishermen start to slaughter them for meat. Until now, the fishermen have focused on selecting dolphins to be sold into captivity at marine parks and aquariums in Japan and overseas as twenty-five dolphins, including a rare albino calf, were taken on Saturday 'to a lifetime of imprisonment,' and another 12 on Sunday. 'Many of the 200+ Bottlenose dolphins who are in still the cove are visibly bloody & injured from their attempts to escape the killers,' one update says. Although the hunting of dolphins is widely condemned in the west, Japanese defend the practice as a local custom — and say it is no different to the slaughter of other animals for meat. The Wakayama Prefecture, where Taiji is located condemns the criticism as biased and unfair to the fishermen. 'Taiji dolphin fishermen are just conducting a legal fishing activity in their traditional way in full accordance with regulations and rules under the supervision of both the national and the prefectural governments. Therefore, we believe there are no reasons to criticize the Taiji dolphin fishery.' Meanwhile the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society describes how about 40 to 60 local fishermen work with nets to divide up the pod, whose initial numbers were estimated by the group at more than 250. 'They tighten up the nets to bring each sub-group together then the skiffs push them toward the tarps. Under the tarps in the shallows is where the trainers work with the killers to select the "prettiest" dolphins which will sell and make the best pay day for the hunters,' the group says. The fishermen will 'kill the "undesirable" dolphins (those with nicks and scars) under the tarps to hide from our cameras when that time comes.'"
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200 Dolphins Await Slaughter In Japan's Taiji Cove

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  • by Wycliffe (116160) on Monday January 20, 2014 @03:27PM (#46016569) Homepage

    Maybe it has something to do with the fact that a dolphin is demonstrably smarter than a chicken and because of that people feel it is more likely to experience pain and suffering during this "fishing".
    Not a personal opinion of mine, just one hypothesis for the reaction.

    I noticed that out of the 3 choices you picked the chicken. The "demonstrably smarter" doesn't really hold very well when
    you compare dolphin to pig instead. A pig is right up there probably falling somewhere above dog and below dolphin.
    I like pork but I still think it is an important debate. Would farm-raised dolphins be acceptable? If not, why not?
    Why is eating dogs and horses frowned upon in alot of areas? Should we let animals live out their natural lives in
    comfort before harvesting them? What criteria do we as a society use to decide what should and should not be be eaten
    and when and how it is humane to harvest it?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 20, 2014 @03:29PM (#46016595)
    I don't condone this behaviour, but the logic behind killing the dolphins compared to killing other animals is sound. Personally, I am against the killing of any animal, but it certainly is hypocrisy if the people complaining participate or contribute in any way to the slaughter of any other animals. Creating arbitrary lines is ridiculous. You either support animal murder or you oppose it.
  • by sideslash (1865434) on Monday January 20, 2014 @03:32PM (#46016651)
    I would suggest that you are mistaken about cows. (I grew up on a farm and live in farm country.) When cows are very old or sick or are in a small pen, they just stand around, because they don't have much choice. But when they are young and have access to wider pasture, they wander around and explore their world. It's true they spend a bunch of time grazing, but they also don't miss a chance to ogle anything unusual. For example, a turtle walking through a cow field will often capture the attention of the herd, which will follow it (cautiously, it might be dangerous!) on its way through.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 20, 2014 @03:34PM (#46016673)

    Dolphins aren’t as special as you think []

    Their intelligence, like all intelligence, is a complex matter, but basically, they are not as smart as their reputation suggests; although, stating that they are as smart (dumb) as chickens also overstates things.

  • by BasilBrush (643681) on Monday January 20, 2014 @03:41PM (#46016769)

    It's tempting to think that. But the top 3 animals for intelligence after man are the dolphin, the chimp and the pig, with the exact order open to debate. Yet people are quite happy to kill and eat pigs.

    Cats and dogs are much lower on the intelligence scale, but most cultures find it unacceptable to kill them for sport or food.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm completely against killing dolphins too.

    But the list of what animals we will kill for what purposes is somewhat arbitrary.

  • by BasilBrush (643681) on Monday January 20, 2014 @04:05PM (#46017047)

    I am not an animal like any other. I can record my objections for posterity.

    And an elephant can take and eat buns with it's nose. Picking something that you can uniquely do doesn't make you fundamentally different from other animals. Many have unique skills.

    Think only intellectual skills count? Chimps can outperform you on a number of intelligence skills.

  • by LostInTaiwan (837924) on Monday January 20, 2014 @04:16PM (#46017193)

    Um, Veganism is about minimizing cruelty and suffering. Vegetarianism is just a form of diet. I know plenty of vegetarian with leather handbags and leather upholstered car interiors.

    I do eat meat but I am a bit uncomfortable with the whole classifying living things into how complex they are according to human definitions. It goes without saying, life is essential to every living being regardless of their CNS complexity. Just because something doesn't feel what humans perceive to "pain" does not mean that they do not feel "pain." Everyday we learn something new about our environment and our fellow Earth cohabitants. The old thinking that crustaceans do not feel pain is being dispelled by new research data.

  • by LifesABeach (234436) on Monday January 20, 2014 @04:19PM (#46017221)
    Of all speices of animals on the planet, Dolphins are the only non domesticated animal that has been documented to go out of its way to help a human.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 20, 2014 @04:39PM (#46017491)

    I suggest you read into the work of Dr Cleve Backster

    He's a scientist who started out as a CIA polygraph expert, and he decided one day, "what would happen if I took my polygraph and hooked it up to the leaf of this plant?". Well, he was very surprised, because, unlike smooth, unchanging wavelengths, which he thought he would see from the plant, instead he ended up with a shifting dynamic wave, which was more indicative of what you would expect a human being to be like, with the exception that skin, kind of acts as a dampening agent to the electrical current. But the plant has a very active dynamic electrical current.

    Well, then he said, "This plant is acting so much like a human being, what if I ran the plant through stress, similar to how you do a human on the lie detector?" The whole purpose of the lie detection is, you want to get this person into the moment, when you say, "Did you fire the shot who killed so and so?" And the person has a shock, and they're not happy, they're not enthusiastic about your question. So, so they end up saying, "no of course I didn't kill him", and then the graph goes crazy!

    So he says, "How do I shock a plant"? He tried dipping one of the leaves in his coffee. That didn't work. He tried a variety of little things like that, when he got the idea in his mind, without actually even doing it, but he just got the idea, of going and taking a match, lighting the match, striking it, then holding it to one of the leaves and burning the leaf.

    The plant had an enormous reaction, and in fact did not stop until after he had actually gone and done it, burnt the leaf, and then taken the matches out of the room again. Only once the threat was gone, and he was out of the room, did the plant finally calm down.

    So yes, plants just like human beings suffer and go through stress. It's not a good argument to use for "cruelty and suffering"

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Monday January 20, 2014 @04:40PM (#46017509) Journal
    The Japanese consider dolphin meat to be a delicacy and serve it in their high priced restaurants. See if any of those restaurants are used to cater/host sales conferences or other such bashes of Japanese brand names. Then just publicize the info. Headlines like "Tonda Corp or Hoyota Motors hosts its sales kick off conference with dolphin meat serving restaurant" in US Market will have some salutary effect. If big name players stop supporting restaurants serving marine mammal meat the market will be greatly diminished. Hopefully.

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