AMPONTAN

Japan from the inside out

Meet Jolly Roger

Posted by ampontan on Sunday, December 9, 2007

WE’VE MENTIONED SEA SHEPHERD HEAD Paul Watson and his group’s efforts to stop Japanese whaling several times before. Kyodo is running a profile on him here.

“Put simply, there is no difference between opposing Japanese whaling and opposing people who are poaching elephants for ivory or robbing a bank,” he said.
Watson sees his adventures in the Southern Ocean not as a protest action, but as an “intervention” against what he calls a “highly criminal operation.”

How interesting that Kyodo refers to Watson’s actions as “adventures”. The Japanese call them terrorism. Last year, Greenpeace and the Australian and New Zealand governments refused to have anything to do with him. Quite the adventurer.

People say you can’t tell a book by looking at the cover. I’m not too sure about that one; I’ve always thought that people can–and do–tell a lot by looking at the cover.

The article includes a photo of Watson. See what you think.

81 Responses to “Meet Jolly Roger”

  1. bender said

    A man still fighting WWII against Imperial Japan.

  2. Aceface said

    We don’t use the word “terrorists” that often.Kyodo used the term “armed groups”when Japanese ambassador’s residence in Peru was occupied with more than hundred hostages by MRTA guerrilas.

    Japanese Red Army is usually referred as “radicals” and Osama Bin Ladin has been called plainly “Mr.Bin Ladin” until 2005 when he confessed that he was part of 9/11 in the selfdocumented video sent to Aljajeera.(He is now ビン・ラディン容疑者,suspect Bin Ladin)

    I’m wondering why Mr. Watson doesn’t oppose Japanese comsumption of ivories from African elephants for Hanko.I think that is a lot more serious thereat to endangered species than whaling.

  3. mac said

    Is there an honest, objective analysis of the Japanese whaling issue anywhere?

    Personally, I am against both the commercialization of animals as food and their fairly needless use in science. At the same time I am mature enough to appreciate that there is no such thing as a perfect world and take a long, hard look at Steven L. Davis’s “Least Harm” theory. I hear the environmentalist argument, and it is dangerously emotive, but all I have heard in defense of the Japanese point of view is that,

    a) some of the whales that they hunt are, in essence, “bottomfeeders” and themselves breeding out of proportion, i.e. that to hunt them is to perform an ethical “cull”
    b) hunting whales is “traditional”, therefore “OK”.

    I could see a good argument in the first case, I cant see that huge factory ships are “traditional” and so reckon that commercial hunting is therefore needless and “not OK”. Indeed, it is a hugely gross and vain expenditure in the purely search of money at any cost. I do not know why, if the Japanese hunt is “scientific”, they could not do it without the vivisection.

    I do think that as mammals increase in size and complexity, their moral rights actually increase. All the same, I think that anti-whaling activists that eat cows or sheep are greater sinners, or hypocrites, than blubber munchers. At the same time see that “anti-whale hunting” sentiments seem to give a pretty good cover for general all round political Japan-hating and a regular boost to the usual propaganda mongering.

    I could be sympathetic to old fashioned tribal “men in rowing boats versus whale” where and if the tribe is faced with survival issues and uses every inch of the beast … but plumping up deludedly patriotic salarymen who think they are getting in touch with their roots by eating spear-grenade killed, over-priced animal fat; no way, Hajime.

  4. Chris_B said

    I’ve been lurking on this issue for quite a while. So far I’ve seen any number of justifications for Japanese whaling here (were all familiar with the counter claims). The ones which strike me as the most hollow are this one and the “Japan has the right to do whatever it wants in its own or international waters”.

    So the Sea Shepherd guy looks funny and expresses less than wholesome values. That really has nothing to do with the issue overall.

    As for the “its legal” argument, yes its a fact but again, but its a poor moral argument and it clouds the greater issue.

    I’ve yet to see any decent counter claim that the whaling is anything but a commercial venture by another name. If the Institute of Cetacean Research has contributed anything to the world’s body of knowledge about whales other than how tasty they are and how Japan has such a fine long tradition of whaling, I seem to have missed it.

    While sovereignty is indeed a legitimate concern as a general concept, this seems a very odd place to take a stand. Really after having lived here for a decade, it looks more like another ancient Japanese tradition of government pandering to special interests.

    As a taxpayer, I sure wish my money was going elsewhere.

  5. Bern said

    No culture is static. This with rowing boat whaling is OK because it is traditional is such an outdated, racist imperialistic view. It implies that a culture can only whale if they are “primitive” and remains “primitive”. But if it is “modern” it should stop. Whaling is traditional because Japan has been eating whales for 2000 years. Japan has been eating rice too for 2000 years but today they use tractors and machines to plant and harvest rice. Now why should not also the whaling technology evolve?

    It is Japan’s stance which is modern and sphisticated where as the anti whaling stance is old and imperialistic.

    Sustainable use of a natural renweable resources is what we should welcome in times where global warming and other environmental problems threaten the earth.

  6. mac said

    Actually my lenience for the rowing boat approach to blubber munching is;

    a) based on sustainability … its a damned stupid waste of oil to push 1,000s of tonnes of steel around the Pacific to pander to rare sushi tastes, and

    b) based on a sense of honour and dignity … it much closer to a fair fight. Said 1,000s of tonnes of steel and explosive harpoons are not.

    So don’t make me laugh Bern. Actually, where I live, and have spent the last few weeks traveling within Niphon, I see a whole load of rice being planted and harvest in field that you could not get a tractor into. And even within those agro-industrial rice fields, the thermodynamic balance is far, far better.

    The anti-whaling lobby is future come to welcome us … and Japan in particular. This is one aspect of Japanese culture that I am outrightly critical of; its apparent lack of compassion for other highly evolved life forms, and it is one area of religion and culture that Japan needs to join the West and evolve.

    I can understand the necessity of the past and make allowances for it. Whilst one lives between steep rock and sea there is not a hell of a lot left to eat … but in this day and age, the industrial commoditization of a wild, independent, highly evolved mammal is not excusable. Especially on the basis of profit orientated cultural romanticism. its 100 times worse than African extincting primates as bush meat.

    The definition of sophisticated I appreciate the most is “deprived of native or original simplicity”. I think it fits my critique of the Japanese whaling the best. But … I still would like to see a balance argument in its defense.

  7. Bern said

    >a) based on sustainability … its a damned stupid waste of oil to push 1,000s of tonnes of steel around the Pacific to pander to rare sushi tastes.

    Based on sustainability what is even more stupid is to waste even more oil, energy on import of beef from Australia on the expense of the natural habitat and the eco system.

    Therefore if more people eat less beef and eat whale meat instead it is better for the planet as far as the green argument.

    >b) based on a sense of honour and dignity … it much closer to a fair fight. Said 1,000s of tonnes of steel and explosive harpoons are not.

    Honor and dignity… Killing 1.000.000 kangaroos so that cows can have more grass land is dignity. Glad you have your priorities straight. Are you a vegeterian? Killing millions of cows a day is dignity? Talking about fair fight and all.

    >So don’t make me laugh Bern.

    You make me laugh with your short sighted arguments.

    > I see a whole load of rice being planted and harvest in field that you could not get a tractor into

    You see cows plowing the fields then? Your ignorance reaches new heights. There are 2-wheeled small tractors and 4-wheeld big tractors incase you haven’t noticed.

    Your opinion implies that whaling is cruel hence you are a simple racist because you show no respect for people who choose to eat whales.

  8. mac said

    … vegan actually. Whales exist in a different class from intentional reered beef cattle. Without doing the mathematics, I’d estimate that beef is still way more energy efficient – and honest – than industrial whaling.

    Even as a vegan, within the widely discussed principle of “least harm”, I am realistic enough to realise that livestock management culling actually protects both flora and fauna and is, in the longer term, more compassionate. This does not excuse killing ‘roos to make way for beef or Nikes but it raises a question I asked for more information about culling/whaling of certain crustacean species. Humankind has blundered its way into imbalanced nature and now faces the responsibility to manage it.

    I think your ridiculous jibing re simplicity and racism fall short of the target. Are we talking about choice or social programming, a sort of racialism of its own? Actually, my target is the capitalistic exploitation of natural resources, not to say wildlife. I could not give two hoots whether they were Japanese, black, Jewish or gay or which ever group you wish to attempt to protect in some mode of political correctness. Industrial whaling is not just wrong … for reasons which I am happy to explore … but cowardly as well.

    Simplistically, as that is what you understand, it has gone need, necessity and natural symbiosis to greed. I would be equally scathing of the bloody dolphin slaughter Japan so wants to hide too … again because of the exploitation of technical inequalities and the coarse commercialization of the practise. You exclude any discussion of the higher mammals’ rights and “choice”. Its not a product, its a complex, social and sentient living being whose life cycles are not bound by man-made national borders.

    … and, sorry kiddo, I can take you terraces where it is still done all by hand even in this day and age. Approximately 220,000 hectares are of the tanada type and I’d like to see you drag a tractor of any description around most senmaida.

  9. helical said

    I too, have been lurking on the whaling issue for a while, and what I am seeing is not so much an argument for whaling as much as a lack of any substantive argument against whaling.

    As for the enegry argument about burning oil to go great distances to catch whales … I get the feeling that would apply to any long-distance fishing expeditions, as the amount of biomass that a ship can carry shouldn’t be different for any species, making the fuel consumed vs. food tonnage ratio equivalent for anything harvested.

    Mac,

    Using “cowardly” to describe the harvesting of natural resources hardly seems like a legitimate argument, and more like an emotional appeal to try to make others appreciate whatever personal values you hold towards the whales.

    The fair fight argument seems absurd as well to me.
    So you would consider animal meat more “legitimate” if the process in obtaining it involved more a higher risk of loss/injury to the person manning the fishing rod/harpoon/whatever instrument of capture? If the end result is the same (food on the plate), I’d rather much have it be obtained by the least dangerous method.
    You cite the explosive harpoons as lacking honor and dignity, but what of the highly streamlined and automated slaugherhouses around the world killing countless numbers of livestock on a daily basis? Those seem to hardly “honor” the cows and pigs in my view. Either you have your priorities skewed for the issues you are concerning yourself with, or are you proposing that the whaling expeditions use less efficient and messy methods? I believe that the explosive tipped harpoons are currently the best available tools for the job, which is why they are in use. If you can come up with a more cleaner and efficient way of terminating the whales being hunted (though I do realize you are opposed to the whole notion of killing them in the first place), I am sure the whalers would much appreciate it for making their jobs easier.

    You claim you are a vegan, and I guess that excludes any arguments against your position on grounds of hypocrisy. Also, your reasons for opposing whaling seems to be rooted in the ethics and morality of killing intelligent species and whether they have rights, and I am not going to argue that now.
    However, your other reasons stated for why hunting whales in particular is wrong, doesn’t seem to have much rationality behind it.

    Another thing…

    its apparent lack of compassion for other highly evolved life forms, and it is one area of religion and culture that Japan needs to join the West and evolve.

    I’m curious as to how you arrived at this conclusion.

    Is the fact that Japan conducts whaling the chief cause of this belief? Or is there some influencing factor?
    You refute accusations of racial discrimination, and I do believe you in the sense that you don’t hold any racist beliefs against Japan in particular. But your generalization above still sounds a bit like a holier-than-thou statement making an attempt at proclaiming your moral superiority without any substantiation.

  10. Bruce Smith said

    Mac said “honour and dignity”. Ummm what are you talking about ? Since when was “honour and dignity” a factor in selecting the best method of farming or fishing or whatever ? And as for “it’s much closer to a fair fight” since when did we have any obligation to fight fair ? Do you imagine cows are killed in hand to hoof combat ? (Obligatory nod to Mas Oyama). I have worked at abbatoirs – believe me fighting fair does not come into it. You are hopelessly naive.

  11. mac said

    Regarding the “lack of compassion” in food issues, I am referring to two things mainly;

    • the lack of an indigenous vegetarian and vegan movement or even a general awareness of what vegetarianism means. Shojin ryori aside, even the monks and abbots I have spoken are not too bothered about following that, your average Japanese seem completely unaware that fish are not vegetables

    • the lack of an evolved concept of other animals etc as being sentient beings ( i.e. having a soul or consciousness) in their own right.

    On one hand, I find the latter quite strange, given Buddhism’s roots in Hinduism and Indian; on the other, I find it understandable given Buddhism filter through to the Japanese islands via the (“eat anything with two wings except a Jumbo jet and four legs, except a table”) China and Korea route.

    Killing living beings for pleasure or greed, rather than need, is neither compassionate towards the animal nor to the planet as a whole. The higher up the food chain we kill and eat, the less thermodynamically efficient it is, the more polluting it is, the more immoral.

    Spiritually, the general opinion I encounter is that there is a

    For sure industrialized meat production is in a similar category and operates on a fair greater scale, but on an individual basis, animal per animal, it is no where near a moral crime as industrial whaling. Partly because of the question of intent (cattle grown for food versus wild whales), partly because of the question of investment (animal husbandry), partly because whales are more evolved mammals.

    What do you call “best”, Bruce? No Bruce, its not naivety. Its a self-sacrificing extension of a loving mercy and compassion for all living beings … something perhaps you too are not evolve for yet.

    You are not talking about “best” here, you are talking about “ruthless, conscienceless, commercially efficient and exploitative” (of the beasts, the environment, future generations and, as it has been pointed out, even tax payers). I’d call best killing as least as one can in order to survive; and where doing so, doing it with the least amount of harm.

    No human “needs” to hunt whale any more, not even Inuits or South Sea Islanders, any more than we need to enslave blacks or bump off Tasmanians. And equally, of course, no one needs to ingest the amount of animal products the universally exported Standard American Diet involves, nor even the modern American-Japanese hybrid.

    My question is whether or not, for the good of some of all crustacean species themselves, it is best or acceptable that we play the part of the “good stewards” taking care of the environment as we are meant to be. That is, whether ethical culling is in order.

    Where Steven L. Davis failed with his “Least Harm” hypothesis is that he gave each living being an equal value or status. This is not so. The larger, move evolved and more sentient a creature become, the greater its value becomes in many ways.

    Both of you ignore the issue of the animal’s rights to life and its ownership … or at least deny them just as the blacks, aboriginals (and even women in the West general) had their rights once denied too on the same basis.

    I sincerely own up to jibing back at some idiot that was calling me an “ignorant racist” by way of his best defence and make no apology for it.

  12. T.K said

    Mac,
    Whales are not “more evolved” than cows. That sort of argument is precisely the kind of pseudo-science that plagues these religious statements about whaling. Biology doesn’t recognise any type of ranking in evolution. Your opinion that bigger animals are more valuable is equally suspect.

    If you evaluate the degree of morality based on the harm inflicted, surely there’s less harm in sustainable hunting or fishing than industrial husbandry? Meat cattle live their entire lives in captivity, often in stressful conditions. What’s more, they don’t directly contribute to local ecosystems. They’re usually imported and replace existing ones.

  13. mac said

    You are so wrong T.K., I am sure you even know it. So please cut the knee jerk skeptic jibing. I can dole out insults (pseudo-science) as well any any of you and go into details of why … the fact is the science of living things is far from being finished, is as bent by so-called capitalism as the rest of the planet and issues involved here are so broad that they cross over so many incompatible disciplines.

    T.K., “science” has not even got to the point of considering the the combination of multiple factors, from the full economic, ecological and thermodynamic to ethical and spiritual which is why I quoted Steven Davies’s paper, as it is really the first to head off in the right direction provoking discussion (he is arguing against a vegan diet as being the least harmful). And how far are we from an international law governing humanity … never mind the higher mammals!?! They will all be extinct by the time we get there.

    OK, I had a thought about it and I want to revise one point and clarify another. It is not that the Japanese consciousness of living beings food has yet to evolve, I am thinking that it has considerable and exponentially declined since and directly due to the interventions of Perry and then the period forced Yankee re-education post-WWII. (Sometimes I really wish Japan was colonised by the French or German’s instead of the Americans because at least we might be able to find decent bread here).

    This is strangely relative to our discussion as part of the sending of Perry’s and the Anglo-American remit to was open Japan for the sake of the imperial powers’ whalers with Townsend Harris at the start of Meiji and then the invading forces post-WWII pushing beef and dairy products. (The eating of meat from four-legged animals was more or less prohibited in Japan for 1,000 years, there remains statues at the Gyokusenji temple to the animals slaughtered).

    So, Japan was far more in harmony with its natural resources and sustainable before the West first bit and then threw up its diet on the Japanese. Japan is now HUGELY unsustainable. Even so, North Americans on average eat four times the amount of animal protein per capita as do the Japanese, and they also feed incredible amounts of valuable sea proteins to their pets … and it wasn’t the whalers of Japan who decimated Japan’s coastal stocks of whales, it was the wasteful Gaijin that engaged in an oil maddened holocaust.

    CW Nicol makes a few observations on the whaling matter highlighting a likely flash point over the hunting of hump back whale with Australia Firstly, the potentially ethical culling of whales I mentioned was relating to Minke whales. I am not sure if this is true or just propaganda as Minke is considered delicious. Unfortunately within the meat, milk and blubber worlds, the industrial and economic interests of America, Australia and the neo-Japan he states is “polluted with money”, are so large and deliberately skewing the ethical and scientific debates. The whales own song does not count because they have no dollars …

    Nicol raises an interesting issue about the humpback being a likely cause of flash point between Japanese and Australia, and quite rightly so … it is revered as a “fella” by the Aborigines, special beings, a signs or token from the spirit world. Do the “Abos” not have rights to?

    it is this sort of ownership issue that I am concerned about. I lack faith that the immoral majority will ever get around to animal rights … but what about my right as a “co-owner”? So-called capitalism as it practised says I have none. I disagree. I think we all have equal rights and responsibilities over the commonwealth of natural resources. I, and an increasing percentage of others, have evolved beyond the mere capital self-interests that have driven the whale industry to the point of being effective political, media savvy and tooled up with campaign ships, sludge guns and AK-47s by the sounds!

    We chose that our whales have the right to live and they agree … we are likely to win the debate too.

  14. Bern said

    What is it with Australians and whales anyway? Australia has wiped off more mammals in the last 200 years or so than any other country on this planet. Focusing on not wiping more mammals at home would be a better contribution to the global environment.

    >The eating of meat from four-legged animals was more or less prohibited in Japan for 1,000 years, there remains statues at the Gyokusenji temple to the animals slaughtered.

    Wild boars was eaten in Japan for 1,000 years. Since whales do not have any legs it was regarded as fish hence Japan has been eating whales for thousands of years. Due to uncertainties in stock numbers Japan agreed to stop hunting whales. Now that we have much more detailed info on stock estimates Japan wants to carry a sustainable hunt of a natural renewable resources.

    >Sometimes I really wish Japan was colonised by the French or German’s instead of the Americans because at least we might be able to find decent bread here.

    If you live in one of the major cities you should not have a problem finding decent bread. Granted the “shoku pan” you get is not too much to brag about. The best bread you get in Japan is just as good as the best bread you get anywhere. I am European infact.

  15. Bruce Smith said

    Mac, What do you know about “the Japanese consciousness” ? Are you Japanese ? And as for blaming everything on the West AKA America that is very revealing.

  16. bender said

    Frankly, don’t have any clue what Mac is trying to say. Uses lots of fancy words but really, what’s the point?

  17. mac said

    Whales are not inert “natural resource”. Humanity is a least sub-consciously aware of this. An increase proportion of educated human beings are consciously aware of this.

    Whales are highly evolved sentient beings with a right to their own existence and that excludes being needlessly murdered for vain, commercial exploitation.

    Following on from Peter Singer ‘Great Ape Debate’, the latest science suggest that the aquatic mammals are next inline or even equivalent to the most self aware or evolved primates.

    ( Questioning T.K., is it pseudo-science to state that humanity is more evolved than slugs?)

    No, I am not Japan born but live here and, yes, history confirms that the Anglo-America industrial whalers played an immediate and direct role in the unequal and abusive opening up of Japan.

  18. mac said

    For Bender’s sake,

    I am trying to offer an explanation for *why* the aquatic mammal issue is such an emotive one. I am suggesting that not all “natural resources” are equal and that we have no more of a right to exploit the more evolved ones, such as mammals, than we do other human beings in the same manner.

    Are some elements of humanity likely to stop exploiting other living beings because of what I write on a blog or exploiting natural resources to the point of our own species extinction never mind other? Probably not … especially if there is a buck in it for them.

    Good bread supplies are probably off topic but I do urge Ampontan to take this unrelated issue up in future post!!! I must have higher standards.

  19. bender said

    Talking about brainy critters, so are squids and octopuses. I’ve heard they’re smarter than felines. Let’s think about that when we eat calamari fritters for entrées. Or does your belief not extend to mollusks?

  20. Bruce Smith said

    Mac said “history confirms that the Anglo-America industrial whalers played an immediate and direct role in the unequal and abusive opening up of Japan.”

    Umm so you’re against the opening up of Japan ? Or you’re against the Anglo-American involvement ?

  21. ampontan said

    Mac: Come to think of it, the bread where I live isn’t all that great. Then again, I had to go out of my way to find good bread in the US too, assuming you’re talking about European style bread.

    Also, I’m not much of a bread eater to begin with, though I do insist on whole wheat bread for my sandwiches. Not easy to find that, either!

  22. T.K said

    Mac,
    Lengthy discussions about the nature of evolution and cognitive performance aren’t very relevant to this topic. However, evolution is not a stepladder. It’s more like a tumbleweed with no discernible apex or direction. Some mollusks are very primitive, yes, but how do you reason that whales are more advanced than cattle? Looking at the tree of life, they’re practically one and the same. http://www.tolweb.org/Eutheria/15997
    Notice that one little branch? It shows just how close artiodactyls are to cetaceans.

    Whales may be smart, too, but cows are no idiots either. They perform better than most household pets when measured for cognitive ability. The myth of cattle being stupid could be a defense mechanism for us to feel less guilty about killing them for food. As a vegan, I thought you’d consider whales and cattle equally worthy of life. Also, since they’re both social animals with complex brains and long memories, they’re prone to depression and stress in captivity. Since an animal caught in the wild doesn’t end up on my plate after a lifetime of forced feeding and confinement, I consider fishing and hunting more “ethical” forms of meat-eating. Of course, an equally valid opinion is that all meat-eating is equally horrid, but I don’t understand why whaling should be singled out in that case.

  23. Chris_B said

    Same old moral flag waving, cept one thing: I’d really be curious to see the actual factual numbers as to which activity produces the greater caloric return for the investment, modern farming of cattle, pigs, chickens, etc vs modern whaling. A good economic analysis would also take into account the time it takes for stock to replenish etc.

    Obviously any such analysis would also have to factor in the fuel required to get the calories into the mouths of Japanese consumers.

    I’ve got a pretty fair guestimate as to which one is more economical and efficient, but no numbers to back it up.

  24. T.K said

    I’d like to see the numbers, too. As long as the “investment” is more than just a dollar figure of the immediate costs, there’d even be some sense to such a calculation. Growing animal feed costs money, water and good soil. Beef agriculture still abuses antibiotics (putting them in the animal feed? come on!), giving us a handicap in the war against bacteria.

  25. ampontan said

    Obviously any such analysis would also have to factor in the fuel required to get the calories into the mouths of Japanese consumers.

    You might be surprised at this one. Within the past week or so, I just read something by an economist analyzing the difference between consuming something locally grown and things imported from a distance, and he concluded that the latter was by far the more efficient. I’d show a link, except that I forget exactly where it was, and I’m busy with other things!

    That said, I do suspect that it might be more healthful to consume something good for you grown locally than something from a distance, because it is more suited for a person living in that climate and environment, but that’s just a suspicion.

  26. Bern said

    Whaling does not pollute the ground, erode the soil, or release methane into the atmosphere. The natural habitat remains unaffected. From when did people agree that killing animals for food was wrong? Whale meat is ecological. Whales are 100% natural and are not fed hormones and other junk like domestic cows. Any use of renewable resources is sustainable as long as it does not reduce the future possibility of harvesting the resource’s surplus. In other words, the harvest has to be confined within the resource’s capacity for renewal.

  27. ponta said

    The point is whatever strong reason people have to kill cows and pigs and eat beef and pork, those who kill whales and eat their meat have the same reason.
    Whatever legal and moral right people have not to be interfered with killing cows and pigs and eating them by Hindu or Muslim, a pro-whaling has the same right.

  28. mac said

    I am very interested in the voices such as Berns that persistently attempt to de-animate living beings into mere “commodities” and deny any sense of rights to highly evolved living beings.

    > From when did people agree that killing animals for food was wrong?

    At least 2,000 year ago (Buddhism), perhaps 5,000 years ago (Hinduism). Western so-called capitalism has yet to evolve into a similarly civilized and sustainable social structure but we are on our way … whales and apes first, then we will work our way down the foodchain.

    The big differences between whales and the domestic meat industries you speak of Ponta, which BTW I entirely disagree with as moral, ecological and thermodynamic disgraces, are ‘ownership’, ‘intent’ and design. We do not have any “right” to deliberately slaughter.

    Bern, whales are not inanimate natural resources. They are sentient, living beings. Biologically and socially highly-evolved thinking, feeling, self-aware mammals … the cows, pigs etc talked about were intentionally raised for slaughter and have been de-evolve to be non-sustainable. Legally, they are someone’s property on someone’s property. Whales are wild, they are no one’s property in no one’s property. To take them is a theft from the global commonwealth.

    “Negroes” were “natural resources” not so long ago. And it is the same class of individuals that were defending their exploitation as 100% natural that are attempting to justify the industrial exploitation of living beings today. “Its OK if there is a buck in it for us …”.

    There is no longer any ‘need’ to slaughter whales for oil (the very same imperialists have moved on to Arabs for that instead now), no ‘need’ for food (we are not living in some winter-time Edo-period Taiji). There is no justification in whaling at all, beyond the questions of ecological sustainability and veterinary husbandry, to involve ourselves in the lives of whales at all.

    Greed, vanity and cultural fetish do not justify the slaughter alone. It is crime on the basis of an excess of wealth to create more wealth.

    I was reading over a review of the 55 so-called scientific papers Japan has produces on the basis of its international pillaging and slaughter.

    JARPA has taken 18 years, cost hundreds of millions of dollars and involved the slaughter of 6,800 whales. Of 14 papers that could be said to relevant, (let’s exclude the one about whale sperm being injected into cows) 4 were peer reviewed. That’s pretty poor science.

    What discoveries have they made? a) Minke population is very healthy and b) its very tasty too … hmmn. On that basis, I said JARPA is not a scientific body at all. It is mere a tax payer funded industrial lobbying group.

    T.K., I share the lifestance of all vegan in that I do consider cows and whale as equally worthy of life and equally due their own freedom. In general, those positions are balanced by pragmatism (we are starting with the battles that we can easily win first, then move). On a personal level, I refer you back to the paper I mentioned on “Least Harm” theory with the addendum that more evolved life has more rights … and, in the case of human beings, responsibilities.

    We can only afford a capitalist meat industry for as long as we have a glut of cheap oil … so enjoy it while you can and become practiced in being creative with namafu for the future. If we don’t manage the transition period well, I’d predict we go back to hunter-gathering and cannibalism for a while.

  29. helical said

    Mac,

    Do you know what the etymology and/or the current etymology for “itadakimasu” is? There’s no equivalent in English that I know of, but to say it before eating is as common as saying “hello” when meeting someone. I assume you know this, living in Japan for some time.
    It’s said its roots are from gestures to raise gifts from one’s superiors/gods above ones head as in the peak of a mountain (itadaki).
    Nowadays itadaku means to take as well, and it’s taught that, we humans as living beings, we are required to take the lives of other living beings for us to live. So, we have to express our gratitude to ALL the entities, whether it be animals or plants, for giving up their lives to prolong our own. Then there is also the folk saying that each grain of rice has 88 gods residing in it.
    Now I’m not saying all Japanese people say this all the time and always think back to its meaning of the phrase every time they say it … but what I am saying is that the teaching to respect all life is there if you look for it.

    That’s why I found it odd when you said the Japanese have a lack of compassion for life forms, though I do see now you place more emphasis on “higher” lifeforms, whatever that may be in your value system. I personally believe, if the Japanese were to adhere strictly to its traditional values and its outlook on the world, it would still hunt whales. In becoming sustenance for us, all life is worthy of respect and gratitude, whether it be a stalk of rice plant, a squid, or a humpback whale.
    Saying what species gets more respect than others based on intelligence and whether it behaves in a anthropomorphous way that we humans can relate to easily, is only one way of looking at the world and not the only way.

  30. Chris_B said

    Ampotan,

    There was mention of that in The Economist regarding buying produce from local farmers vs buying from supermarkets. Considering we are dealing with a larger scale here, I suspect the numbers would be very different.

    Bern,

    You sir are full of blubber to say that “The natural habitat remains unaffected”. Unless of course you merely mean to split hairs in regards to land vs water. There is certainly an atmospheric impact by both activities, be it methane or diesel fumes (not to mention the impact of manufacturing the required equipment for both and the impact of transportation to market).

  31. ponta said

    Mac

    The big differences between whales and the domestic meat industries you speak of Ponta, which BTW I entirely disagree with as moral, ecological and thermodynamic disgraces, are ‘ownership’, ‘intent’ and design. We do not have any “right” to deliberately slaughter.

    Do you mean the domestic meat industries are much worse? The amount of cows and pigs slaughtered are much larger and hence, the amount of pains created is much larger. And the way they are raised give them further pains.

    I can understand your position.Since, you are a vegetarian. You are consistent in this regard.
    Still, you don’t interfere with people slaughtering cows and pigs, eating beef and pork, at least you don’t interfere with people in the way this anti-whaling folks are doing.
    What I am saying is that these folks are unjustified in the way they interfere with people hunting whales just as people are not justified if they interfere with butchers in the way these folks are doing.

  32. Bruce Smith said

    Mac you said “And it is the same class of individuals that were defending their exploitation as 100% natural that are attempting to justify the industrial exploitation of living beings today. “”

    So you equate killing whales with the trade in human slaves ? So in your view the men on the whaling ships are the same as slave-traders ?

  33. Bern said

    The use of equipment that enables selective catching of marine fish and mammals is perhaps the most environmentally-sound means of producing food for human consumption today: the environment remains unaffected, energy use is low in relation to yield, and there is no pollution from fertilisers, pesticides, or other chemicals. All harvesting must of course be the subject of reasonable limits, so that stocks are not wiped out.

    Regulated whaling on a sustainable basis is an environmentally-sound means of food production. The call to halt all whaling serves to stifle discussion of the real environmental policy challenges that humanity faces.

    http://www.norway.org/policy/environment/whaling/whaling.htm

  34. Bern said

    Mac. What do you think of the kangaroo cull? It is the largest cull of any wild animal on the planet.

  35. bender said

    So you equate killing whales with the trade in human slaves ? So in your view the men on the whaling ships are the same as slave-traders ?

    This reminds me of a Star Trek movie about the Enterprise going back into the past (America 1980s) to catch Humpbacks to fend off Aliens angered by humans causing extinction of whales. Live ling and prosper!!

  36. mac said

    Yes, I am aware itadakimasu and it is a big bone of contention for me. I really dont thing a dead being feels better for being dead just because it is thanked. I am pretty sure they don;t even though the human’s might remain a little bit more humble and grateful, as in general Japanese society is. (Refer here to the memorial statue to the whales that saved the Japanese villagers from starving or the first cow to be “commercial” killed to be eaten circa 1860-ish).

    I have no real idea how Japanese ‘feel’ about it when they say it, whether they really do. For many it seems to me to be just a conditioned reflex. Christians used to “say grace”, it did not help the lambs.

    The danger of this “life in all things” concept goes back to what I was saying about the spiritually less evolved nature of Japanese faiths, as they are practiced. That danger is that it flattens the differentiation between different living things to where a carrot and a whale are the same, they just both “have life” in them. So do rocks and rivers etc … so it is OK to eat, bash or concrete them over as long as you takimasu or stick up a shrine. It strikes me to be on a are with Medieval Christians buying indulgences.

    To put it into a Hindu context, which is after all the parent of Buddhism, what they are talking about is ‘prana’ where what I am talking about is ‘atma’ . Yes, it is superior to the Western so-called capitalist approach but it does differentiate or protect the more spiritual evolve forms of life.

    Kangaroo cull … to be honest Bern, I have not studied the issues. I am fine about culls if they are truly necessary ( and not just for interests of commercial farmers; be they cattle, seal or fisherman) and mercy killing. Humanity has created great imbalances in a previously fairly stable nature … we have to manage them now and put the environment’s interest at the center. Not tastes or bank balances.

    Humanity, particularly metropolitan dwellers as we are all becoming, do not need to and do not have the right to kill other sentient beings to live. These wild and highly evolved mammals have rights and belong to all of us; not just the so-called capitalists.

    What you quote is just advertising and marketing PR for a big commercial industry … who believes that stuff any more? Without the meat industries … have you or they ever sat down to calculated and compared HOW MUCH food excess there would be! It is the meat markets that are pushing chemical agro-industry; not the hippies.

    They don’t want to because they want to make money from their heavy investment into slaughtering. You don’t need to kill another being for its flesh to survive.

    The men on the industrial whaling ships are today’s equivalent to the men on the slaving ships. They do not carry the ultimate responsibility, the owners and investors and their defence lawyers including the politicians do. Yes, the debate is on a par with slavery then. The slave trade was justified by the Imperial powers on the basis of their superiority and exploitative powers.

    To Christianity, negros occupied the same place as Bern has whales …

    THEY WERE MERELY COMMODITIES … NATURAL RESOURCES TO BE HARVESTED
    THEY HAD NO SOUL
    THEY HAD NO RIGHTS OR LEGAL REPRESENTATION
    THEY HAD NO POWER IN THE MARKET PLACE
    THEY COULD NOT SPEAK OUR LANGUAGE … therefore we could do what the hell we wanted with them.

    The Animal Rights Movement, the Great Ape Project, the Anti-Whaling Campaigns occupy the same place as the Anti-Slavery Movement … and are very much the same people culturally. But, relative to Japan, I think the Japanese have just been too f-ed by the bad America values (and food) they have been force fed since the 19th C and continue to be driven to. I hope they regain more “Japanese-ness”.

  37. mac said

    Ponta … vegan actually … I said, we are starting with battles that are ridiculous anachronisms (like whaling), extreme (seals) and winnable but ultimately, “western civilization”, of which Japan is now part, has to and will move away from meat. These campaigns are good but ultimately it will be the failure of the markets and the demise of oil that will do us the biggest favors.

    In the meanwhile, who is proud to eat factory farmed meat except those ignorant of what it means to both the environment or the beasts and too lazy to find out? OK, to speak compassionately, they are asleep and need to be gently wakened up. Personally, I think direct action against mass factory farming is too counter-productive and too risky and expensive in terms of resources … but I would not stop anyone from doing it.

    Industrial whaling or dolphin slaughter is an easier target … has anyone seen the videos of Japanese being show the Taiji dolphin slaughter they try so hard to hide, all that blood in the water and dolphins having their brains clubbed out?

    Bingo … instant vegetarians. Poor little Japanese chicks traumatized for life by the reality of it. Human beings have a natural revulsion for killing and sentiment for life unless previously damaged or driven to it by utter necessity. We are by nature predominately vegetarian.

  38. Bruce Smith said

    Mac – It must make you feel very noble to be trying to save the whales since you believe that killing and eating whales is as evil as enslaving human beings. I wonder how the descendants of slaves would feel about having their ancestors put on the same level as whales.

    Also you seem to believe that Hinduism is superior to capitalism. I was not aware that they were mutually exclusive. I wonder how Hindu entepreneurs would feel if they heard you praise Hinduism but condemn capitalism.

    I am sure you mean well but that does not make anything that you write true. Such meanderings as yours are a sign of immaturity.

  39. Bruce Smith said

    Mac – “We are by nature predominately vegetarian.” Speak for yourself. I am the meat-eating son of a meat industry worker. And there’s nothing unnatural about it.

  40. bender said

    In Japan, trees have souls…as in Kodama (tree-soul). The Bullet Train Kodama comes from this, which means “sound”…echos you hear when you yell at mountains were thought to be resonated by tree-souls, thus, kodama became to mean “echo” and “sound”. Anyways, how do you know veggies are soulless?

  41. mac said

    Plant have neither a brain or nervous system, no manifestion of soul or consciousness and they don’t run away when you stick a fork in them. Trust me, this is their and God’s way of telling you they are OK to eat (lol). A Kodama is NOT a tree soul, it is a separate being, a nature spirit that is believed to live IN a tree, kind of like a nymph. Ditto kami. It is NOT the soul of a tree itself.

    Bruce … and I bet you have dog’s breath, stinky poo and skin that smells stale with that sort of rancid lard smell most folks that consume too many animals products have. “Gaijin kusai yo ne … bata-kusai … Kamanberu no you”. I actually agree with, the japanese on this one and experience it too. If you had any idea how bad it smells.

    Bruce, you are a human being regardless of what you have killed. You have ruminant molars and a 7 meter long intestine. Go back in history 50 or 100 years, or to the developing nations even today, the human diet in large and on the whole is primarily vegetarian, vegan even, supplemented with incident animal products. Actually, one of the problems with meat diet is that it is so energy inefficient that it either has to be supported by a whole load of women doing the hard agricultural work back at home … or an oil industry screwing up the environment.

    And Hindus make good market traders too, you know, so I don’t see the connection. What’s with the either or? You cant come up with a cognizant defence so you rely on insults. Very evolved …

  42. ponta said

    Mac

    In the meanwhile, who is proud to eat factory farmed meat except those ignorant of what it means to both the environment or the beasts and too lazy to find out? OK, to speak compassionately, they are asleep and need to be gently wakened up. Personally, I think direct action against mass factory farming is too counter-productive and too risky and expensive in terms of resources … but I would not stop anyone from doing it.

    I respect your religion. After all true Buddhists are vegetarians, and I have all the respect for that. It might be that we are all in the process of becoming vegetarians as our souls are enlighten as you say. And yet, in a civil society, there is a right way and wrong way to realize their goal.
    I think there is something wrong with the way anti-whaling engage in their activity.
    First, few of them are vegiatarians. They are not against slaughtering cows, but they are only against slaughtering whale. That smacks of undue discrimination against those who hunt whales, and it will raise the doubt as to their motivation. What the hell are they protesting, calling the whaling barbarian, anti-moral etc while killing great amount of pigs and cows, causing the great amount of pain, much more greater than the pains produced by killing whaling?
    As it is, it is not entirely implausible to assume that they are called imperialist in the sense they arbitrarily impose their value, hiding their racial prejudice. To borrow your analogy, for them it is okay to kill their favorite slaves in much greater scale but it is not okay to kill the whaler’s slave.
    I would be much more sympathetic to them if they were vegetarians like you.

    Second, as I see it, the way they oppose the whaling is too extreme. They don’t have to attack the ship. They don’t have attack Japanese culture in order to protest whaling,which again make them look “imperialist” or “racist”.

  43. Bruce Smith said

    Mac – Good to see the usual insults from a vegan or vegetarian. You obviously believe you are more ‘evolved’ than a mere meat eater like me. The typical conceit of an educated idiot.

    Oddly enough I have no great desire to go back 100 years but in the case of 50 years I can assure you my family at least were not vegetarians.

    As for the Hinduism and capitalism you are the one who mentioned them both in the first place. You wrote in praise of the former and in condemnation of the latter.

    By the way I don’t dislike vegetarians in general but I do dislike idiots like you who insist on preaching your religion.

  44. bender said

    Mac, you’re trying to force your religious belief on others. Don’t bring God into the argument, dude. How the hell do YOU know that trees have no souls? R U God?

    Now let me grab my beefy Big Mac for dinner…

  45. Bruce Smith said

    By the way Mac when I said religion I meant your veganism etc.

  46. ampontan said

    OK guys, time to cool it with the personal stuff. Be as opinionated as you like, but don’t punch out the other posters!

    – Ampontan, who just had omuraisu for lunch

  47. helical said

    …spiritually less evolved nature of Japanese faiths

    …I hope they regain more “Japanese-ness”.

    I can see quite clearly you hold your own beliefs in the highest regard…

  48. Bern said

    Going back to the environmental concerns. I was getting called blubber by some probably an Anglo Saxon anti whaler for stating that whaling is more eco friendly than for instance cattle farming.

    “Livestock create an array of problems not because cows, pigs, and chickens are hazards in themselves, but because human institutions have driven some forms of animal farming out of alignment with the ecosystems in which they operate. The factory-style livestock industries, now firmly entrenched in industrial countries, have environmental side-effects that stretch along the production line–from growing the vast quantities of feed grain to disposing of the mountains of manure. Worldwide, large livestock populations emit the potent greenhouse gas methane into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change. Dramatic forest loss due to inappropriate livestock production. Forest destruction for ranching also contributes to climate change. When living plants are cut down and burned, or when they decompose, they release carbon into the atmosphere as the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. In the atmosphere, carbon dioxide traps the heat of the sun, warming the earth. In addition, livestock are a source of the second-most important greenhouse gas, methane”

    http://www.thevegetariansite.com/env_animalfarming.htm

    Whaling as I have previously said is the most eco sound way to produce meat for human consumption today. I can try to find this article. It is said that whales on a global basis eat some say 5 times others say 9 times as much fish as humans do globally.

    While humans should not blame whales for the decrease in fish stocks and over fishing the argument that whales do indeed eat lots of fish should not be ignored either.

    And Mac. Kangaroos are getting slughtered by millions. I highly doubt there are any kind of strict regulations on how a kangaroo gets killed compared with whales.

  49. Chris_B said

    Bern,

    Without cold hard numbers to back up your claims, its all just cheap words high in polyunsaturated fats.

  50. Bern said

    Chris B.

    You still miss the point. And don’t see the facts because of your cultural bias. Taking animals from the wild is better than domestic not to mention the concequenses beef farming has to the earth compared with whaling.

  51. Bruce Smith said

    Personally I think that beef tastes better than whale which tastes better than kangaroo. Kangaroo is too dry.

  52. Overthinker said

    The question is not whether whaling is more environmentally sound than raising beef (which it might be since it is essentially hunter-gatherer techniques, and btw if you go back a bit more than a few centuries and try a few tens of millennia you’ll find humans ate as much meat as they could get), but whether the meat demands of the world can be sustained with (sustainable) whaling. I’d bet a very firm NO. So we need cattle ranches, because there are so many of us.

  53. Bern said

    From when did whaling no longer be an environmental issue?? It is absurd to be against whaling and eat a less environmental sound meat than whale meat. The mass scale industrialized famring of live stock is already having devistating consequences for the planet. It is among others a major contribution to global warming. Habitats are converted to human uses and the species that occupy them are made homeless
    threatning the biodiversity and the eco system. Beef farming is not sustainable for the planet.

    Protecting one species within any ecosystem when other species are being harvested provides no guarantee for the security of the species being protected.

  54. mac said

    Its easy. Stop beef farming. Stop eating meat. Very few no none needs need to. The suffering and environmental damage (on a par or greater than the automobile industry) is merely for a financial interest of a tiny few.

    Here is a good example of what “slaughter house” really means for those that think flesh flood comes form sweet little farmers or innocently arrives in plastic wrapper. It also demonstrates the mentality of meat industry workers. This is fairly universal example that would apply to any stock … http://www.mercyforanimals.org/HOR/ … enjoy your turkey at Xmas, if you can watch it.

    As I stated above, the animal rights and environmental agendas are clearly set; we start with the most easily winnable fights where there are the greatest moral issues; great apes, cetacea and ridiculous class ridden activities like hunting for sport.

    Why whales and not beef cattle? Cetacea live entirely within an ecologically balance system. We should leave it alone and protect it. Commercial beef cattle are entirely artificial and entirely outside of an ecologically balance system. Man is, realistically, terminally damaging ecological system in his pursuit of wealth and power pursuing animal slaughter. BUT …. the degree of human psychosis, vested financial interests and brain washed consumer addiction surrounding the meat industry is so large that it would a waste of limited resources to focus on it entirely.

    On the other hand, the slaughter of whale is so utterly vain, ridiculous and anachronistic that even meat eaters agree with stopping it. Even meat eater recognise the majesty and evolved nature of these mammals. Having witnessed what these people do on land, we have to and have a chance to, stop them exporting their practises into the oceans. McWhale burgers, anyone? They would if there was a buck in it.

    Imagine a meat industry attempting to market wild elephants … on the basis that they are “more environmental” that cows!!! What is the difference? Besides, this is not INSTEAD of beef cattle, whaling is IN ADDITION to beef cattle.

    And what makes it most repellant it that at core, it is all about money, status and cultural vanity for an non-elect, unaccountable few. An Western example that developing nations are following (“we are rich, we want luxuries!”)

    If we go back 30, 40, 100 years, even in Western nations, the diet was as much as 90% vegetarian. Grain, local seasonal vegetables and some incidental, low in the food chain, animal product. If you go out to most developing nations, it still is. What we need is to stop eating meat and turn over their feed crops, or the fields that grow them, back to growing human food, rice and peas. Return the displaced farming communities that were swept aside by agro-industry.

    Humanity is and will destroy the environment if it pursue an unlimited meat industry. One good sign of evolution is living within the limits and in harmony with one’s natural environment … or migrating to one where it is possible.

  55. mac said

    Sorry, new keyboard, weird typos glitches in that top sentence …

    Helical … diet is separate and far more real in its implications than faith. In Japanese … seisyoku.

    Bender … I was pointing out an error that the “spirits” referred to were not the soul of the tree, or plants, but residents, tenants if you like. I could accept the idea on as metaphorical representation of the environmental cost involved.

    The problem American-style industrial consumerism has no brain and no conscience. Its definitely a lower lifeform and produces lower lifeforms. There is no awareness of all the oil, water, suffering or pollution involved in producing that plastic wrapped flesh. It just “appears” in a mall magically.

    One of the problems in Japan is that it had its back willfully broken by the Americans, historically forcefed and now addicted to this diet and way of life; from the whalers (Perry) to the wheat, meat and dairy industries of the US (post-WWII). I wonder if the whole emotional thing surrounding industrial whaling has its sentimental roots in the post-war ear when it provided much need food resources due the Americans having annihilated all civilian infrastructure via the firebombing.

    Japan does not have the environmental resources to provide, sustain or absorb all those costs America, due to its scale, can … which is a shame because traditionally it had a pretty near sustainable balance. Without industrial scale slaughter.

  56. Bruce Smith said

    Mac said “If we go back 30, 40, 100 years, even in Western nations, the diet was as much as 90% vegetarian.”

    Nonsense.

    Believe me I was already alive and eating meat 30 and 40 years ago. And my parents were already alive and eating meat 100 years ago.

    I find your use of such recent times as 30, 40 or even 100 years ago to be rather odd. Perhaps you are only 16 yourself so you imagine 40 years ago is a long time ago ?

  57. Bruce Smith said

    Mac – “the mentality of meat industry workers” I doubt that you would have the courage to say that to my face. My father was one of the finest men who ever walked this earth. And you have the audacity to condemn him and others like him merely because he worked in the meat industry. I hope you realize that working at an abbattoirs is one of the most physically demanding jobs – it also requires a lot of skill. But of course in your view of the world meatworkers are not evolved.

  58. ampontan said

    Is there any point to the personal comments around here?

    I didn’t think so! So enough already!

  59. Bruce Smith said

    Ampontan – It’s your blog so your rules apply.

    But I find it rather difficult to take patently false statements like “If we go back 30, 40, 100 years, even in Western nations, the diet was as much as 90% vegetarian.” seriously.

    And as for “It also demonstrates the mentality of meat industry workers.” surely this is a personal attack if one happens to be the son of a meat industry worker ?

  60. ampontan said

    Bruce: Thanks for your reply. My last note wasn’t directed toward anyone in particular, just everyone in general, Mac included.

    If you think someone has a stupid idea, OK by me. Just don’t call the person stupid. Ad res instead of ad hominem.

  61. bender said

    Let’s all go to Vegas.

  62. mac said

    Bruce, I was alive over 40 years ago and have traveled internationally. ‘Peasant diet’, for which read the sustainable, naturally evolved diet not the artificial, power and wealth-corrupted, fashionable diet the world over is about 90% vegetarian with a little bit of incidental animal products. It still is. What is pasta, a stir fry, rice and peas, mealie, noodles? The world cannot support an “eat whatever your dollar can buy” diet. We have to consider the whole … and the ecological costs such a diet has.

    And what is “good”, banging nails into defenseless creatures head or supporting an industry that has always screwed up the environment? Many of the deserts of the world have made by herders and now they are doing the same to the sea …

    I appreciate morals or ethics of financially exploiting animal’s or considering that they have consciousness and rights are beyond it but did the meat industry document and expose its water and energy consumption, the pollution, was it not party to deforestation and desertification, does it embrace sustainability welcomingly? Was it not those damned vegetarians and ecologists who blew the whistle and gave the business a headache to deal with?

    Canberra to monitor Japan whalers

    Australia will send a patrol ship and aircraft to monitor Japan’s whaling fleet off Antarctica, the government in Canberra has said. Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said the vessels would collect evidence to assess whether legal action could be taken against the whalers. Australia would also lead a formal international protest against Japan over the issue, the minister said.,

    What I would still like to know is what, after all that tax Yen, why are the scientists injecting whale sperm into sheep and cows?

    Are they trying to invent;

    whale-sized cows?
    sheep that can hold their breath under water for exceptionally long period, or
    whales that can be herded up for slaughter with a few whistles and a little black and white collie dog?

    If pushing 8,000-tons of steel down to the Antarctica is merely to supply high-class Tokyo restaurants and sustain the Post-WWII sentiments of the baby boomer generation now in political power, is that good enough reason to justify it?

    Interesting, if you look at Japan’s food security/sustainability, it really only refers to or exhibits the present American-style diet. If one returns to a more traditional diet, the figures look a lot better; the self-sufficiency rate for rice in Japan is potentially 100 percent (only 14 percent for wheat so no buns with your tofu burgers), 6 percent for beans (so no animal feed), 82 percent for vegetables, 44 percent for fruits, 54 percent for meat and 57 percent for seafood (simple … eat less and survive).

    So what do you say? We do and eat what we want, or we all start to turn this ship around and leave something of the planet for the next generations?

    Thank for the remind to cut the ad hominem attacks. The observations about the smell of large meat eaters is just that. An objective observation not an insult. Its amazing what you smell when you cut the dairy out of your diet and I agree with the traditional Japanese about Gaijin entirely.

    A Japanese anthropologist Adachi has written on the smell of foreigners, the last thing you want is a gut load of putrifying meat and lard, whale or otherwise, to make things worse. European and African have the largest axillary organs (armpit), often so densely packed with glands that they look like sponges under the skin. People of Asian origin have smaller organs or no armpit glands at all. In Japan, 90 per cent of the population has no detectable underarm odor, and young men who do can even be disqualified from military service on that ground alone. Chinese often comment on how they can smell if a Westerner has been in a room on this basis.

    Its the Western diet … we are eating out of balance and stuff out bodies were not designed for.

    If only the US would apply the same standards … they have no army for the rest of us to bother with.

  63. mac said

    Sorry , the formatting did not work again. Those italics should have stopped after the latest new report;

    Australia would also lead a formal international protest against Japan over the issue, the minister said.

    … but I cant moderate it.

  64. Overthinker said

    A peasant diet is not a “sustainable, naturally evolved diet”, it’s what the peasants were able to afford to eat given the high taxes and general oppression. And presumably those who are descended from nobility can eat meat since they have been eating it for centuries, robbed from the starving peasants….

    What is the connection between size of underarm glands (need a link here) and diet? Are you trying to say that non-Asians would smell more anyway no matter what they ate, or that Asians would smell less despite eating a ton of pork and beef, or what? Nevertheless, I would take any unsourced comment from a Japanese specialist with a grain of salt, considering the tendency towards Nihonjiron-type ideas like the specialists who talk about the length of the intestine or the uniqueness of Japanese snow. In general I understand Asians have fewer sweat glands total, so he may be right, but some sources would be appreciated.

    Yes, the modern Western diet is full of crap, but meat is not the issue. Transfats and mountains of artificial gook, over-refined flour and tons of sugar are the danger. Ironically, these things are most common in the cheap “peasant”-level food of the poor. Some of the ideas are nuts, as well – I have eaten marshmallows, which are pure sugar (and mostly high-fructose corn syrup, even worse) and artificial flavourings, and the packet proclaimed proudly, “Naturally fat-free!” Well, duh, that doesn’t mean it’s actually GOOD for you….

  65. […] Japanese whaling fleet has moved into Antarctic waters to conduct their yearly whale hunt.  The usual eco-loons have called for the deployment of the Royal Australian Navy to intercept the Japanese whaling […]

  66. Aceface said

    Looks like two guys from Sea Shephard jumped onto Japanese vessel,Yushin Maru No.2,after throwing a bottle of acid again.

    The Australian,January 17 2008:

    “Australian Benjamin Potts, 28, and Briton Giles Lane, 35, have been detained on board the Yushin Maru No 2 since late yesterday afternoon after boarding the harpoon boat from Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s ship, the Steve Irwin.”

    It seems to be the two are somehow categorized as “hostage” among Australian media.Throwing a bottle of acid and jumping into
    someone’s property then halted by the crew is certainly a unique way to become a hostage.But that didn’t made the YouTube dude a second thought.

    “Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said the two governments had struck a deal to have the men returned to the Steve Irwin and called for cooperation between the captains of the two vessels.”

    Despite the words from Smith that “this will not affect the bilateral ties”,there is a grwoing emotion among the Japanese side that do not accept his optimism.

    Now the pirate who organized this fiasco at the Antarctic has a say on the incident.

    “Mr Watson demanded international action to recover his crewmen.

    “All I know is that if I was down here holding Japanese whalers hostage and making demands there would be all hell to pay, so I can’t understand how these guys can come down here, engage in criminal activity like plundering endangered species in a whale sanctuary, and get away with abduction, kidnapping and extortion.””

    Abduction,kidnapping and extortion(the vessel captain would not release the Sea Shepherd intruderes unless they agree to a set of conditions,like they don’t come aboard again.)

    What the Sea Shepherd’s way of negotiating things reminds us too much of our near negihbor,Kim Jong Il.”I-kick-you-ass-you-pay-me-compensations”,”Those-people-are-not-abducted-they-were-invited”.

    At first,I was wondering why the vessel just let go of these trouble makers,But it seems there is a good reason why they should be careful of.

    “Captain Watson would not disclose Sea Shepherd’s tactics if his ship caught the whaler, which is about 70km away outside Australian waters in the Southern Ocean, more than 4000km south-west of Fremantle.

    “But when asked directly if their action could involve once again boarding the Yushin Maru No 2, he said: “That’s always a possibility. We board poaching vessels all the time, especially shark-finners off Guatemala, the Galapagos, Costa Rica. We have boarded probably 65 different poaching vessels and disabled them.”

    Disabled them?! In the middle of the Antarctic ocean?

    It’s shocking to see our former ally on war on terror is supporting these thugs both from government and people.
    But I can safely say this.
    Our defense pact with Canberra is now dead.
    Even if it survive this rediculous feud,it will only be name only,for we will most definitly send another fleet next year,this time whaling humpback.

    This is going to be fun.

  67. ampontan said

    “All I know is that if I was down here holding Japanese whalers hostage and making demands there would be all hell to pay.”

    Baloney. His ship was caught on video ramming the Nisshin Maru last year and the world’s media describes this as a “collision”.

    I’ve read that the Japanese have come up with some ideas of their own for how to deal with him this year. Things might get dicey.

  68. Bender said

    I’ve read that the Japanese have come up with some ideas of their own for how to deal with him this year. Things might get dicey.

    Like using ninjutsu?

    Googling “racist” and “Paul Watson”, I was amazed how many hits I can get. Allegedly, he’s even trying to take over Sierra Club to convert it into an organization for anti-immigration. Not the kind of guy you want to be associated with.

  69. Aceface said

    I don’t think Watson is a racist.He is a the-end-justifies-the-means kinda guy.That’s all.
    What’s disturbing is the whole nation’s media and the government don’t question that.

  70. Bruce Smith said

    Not all Australians support Watson. Google “Tim Blair” or “Andrew Bolt”.

  71. Aceface said

    Yeah,I’m also aware that Greg Sheridan But there voice is totally unheard here.

    Looks like The OZ is expanding their front of war on Japanese Fishing indistry.This time it’s tuna.
    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23063432-16741,00.html

  72. bender said

    Thanx. I googled them with “whale”. Quite revealing.

    BTW, more on Watson’s anti-immigration stance:

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2001859863_sierra18m.html

    I think he’s racist.

  73. Aceface said

    Well,I think Watson’s stance is he is against population growth in industrial countries that may cause more environmental destruction.I’ve heard this logic from Australian leftist and their argument was rapid increase of population may increase more comsumption of water resource and that may cause drought and all.

    I’m sure Watson would love that WaPo report on Japan,where population is shrinking and robots are considered as alternative of immigrant.

    Still it is funny to know that he too is an immigrant from Canada!

  74. ampontan said

    Interesting article.

    1. It admits the media is biased.

    2. It cites Peter Singer, an advocate of “Animal Liberation”

  75. Aceface said

    It’s Peter Singer,Bill.And he also advocates banning of consumption of beef.Not exactly an Australian national agenda…

    I’m supposed be sleeping by now.Really should stop blogging.

  76. ampontan said

    Peter, Paul…they were both singers with Mary anyway!

  77. Aceface said

    Hey,Paul Stookey from PPM is a fine man.
    Knew about this?
    http://www.afpbb.com/article/1352277

  78. ampontan said

    In fact, I did…

    https://ampontan.wordpress.com/2007/02/22/abes-poll-ratings-not-a-one-size-fits-all-answer/

  79. Jim Peel said

    Ampontan, re: 67.

    It’s a small point, but the Nisshin-maru actually hit the Robert Hunter, although the Robert Hunter was at fault. The Robert Hunter was supposed to contain the Nisshin-maru until the Farley Mowat could get there to ram it. The ships were in close proximity and, as the Nisshin-maru tried to change course, it drifted into the Robert Hunter.

    Peter Singer, the author of Animal Liberation is opposed to almost all meat eating and almost all killing of animals. He is also a vocal critic of whaling. What he has said that whaling advocates have taken way out of context is that Australia weakens its anti-whaling arguments by continuing industrial beef production and mass slaughter of kangaroos.

  80. ampontan said

    It’s a small point, but the Nisshin-maru actually hit the Robert Hunter, although the Robert Hunter was at fault.

    That’s not the incident I’m referring to. I’m talking about the RH ramming the Nisshin-maru with its bow at a 90 degree angle–broadside. The video was available early last year on the site of the Cetacean Institute, which has a link on the right sidebar.

    Ironically enough, the RH was dead in the water for a while after that, but the NM wasn’t.

  81. Aceface said

    Reading “The OZ” has now become my joy of the day along with reading Chosen Ilbo.

    They too have “your say”

    http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/yoursay/index.php/theaustralian/comments/now_try_to_enforce_it/

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