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News Japan's Taiji Cove: Dolphin Hell

  1. Jan 18, 2014 #1
    250 dolphins await slaughter, lifetime of captivity at Japan's Taiji Cove
    http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/18/world/asia/japan-dolphin-hunt/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

    If anyone has seen the documentry "The Cove" they will be well versed in this practice. Truly horrible.

    What a crock of crap. Just because it's legal and traditional doesn't make it moral.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 19, 2014 #2

    Evo

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    Can't read this, too upsetting. The lack of care about life of some cultures is just too offensive to me. Tradition in hunting means that old ways should be abandoned for more humane and beneficial methods. We stopped sacrifices a long time ago for good reason.
     
  4. Jan 20, 2014 #3
    Making it about "some cultures" vs. "we" isn't exactly fair though.

    **Annoying internet guy playing devil's advocate alert**

    We slaughter plenty of cows over here, our circuses terribly abuse their animals, and Greg recently made a thread about animals in captivity at Seaworld (somebody must be buying the dolphins from the Japanese...). We're so good at not caring about life that we can spin a story about hunting rhinos for sport into a positive thing.
     
  5. Jan 20, 2014 #4

    russ_watters

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    Though I vaguely remember hearing of this annual event before, at face value I see zero in the article of real concern except for CNN's shockingly poor judgement in essentially forwarding an eco-terrorist organization's press release as if it were a news story. Absolutely everything in the article except for the non sequitur on whale hunting is sensationalism of what could otherwise be mundane fishing and capture operations.

    Yes, we kill and eat dolphins.
    Yes, we capture dolphins and put them in zoos.
     
  6. Jan 21, 2014 #5
    Russ watch "The Cove".
     
  7. Jan 21, 2014 #6

    russ_watters

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    I've put it in my Netflix que, however I really shouldn't have to watch it as a prerequisite for participating in this thread. If there is something unseemly going on in The Cove it shouldn't take watching a 90 minute video to convey it. The article should be able to convey it itself.
     
  8. Jan 21, 2014 #7
    I read the synopsis in the wiki but the documentary doesn't seem to change the bottom line...
    How is this any different from salmon farming in the US? There was 1,433,708 tons of atlantic salmon harvested in '07 -compared to 250 dolphin it does seem a rather large number...moreover salmon farming does create significant ecological issues.
    So my question would be has this practice done anything to affect the ecosystem? The only relevant objection seems to be the mercury levels in the meat...
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2014
  9. Jan 21, 2014 #8

    Well, you know that and the fact that dolphins are a *LOT* smarter than salmon.

    (and for the record I am a proponent of hunting)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 21, 2014
  10. Jan 21, 2014 #9
    Pigs are one of the smarter animals too. We still kill them.
     
  11. Jan 21, 2014 #10
    Have you ever had dolphin? It is nowhere near as delicious as bacon.
     
  12. Jan 21, 2014 #11
    Getting down to the bare bones facts the Taiji dolphin kill is all about money. According to the town history the so called tradition only goes back forty five years.


    http://newswatch.nationalgeographic...uts-spotlight-on-changing-economics-of-hunts/
     
  13. Jan 21, 2014 #12

    russ_watters

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    No, but I've heard that. And they're cuter! (though teacup pigs are pretty cute too).
     
  14. Jan 21, 2014 #13

    russ_watters

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    Well of course it is! These days very little fishing is done for food* and those who fish as a hobby often just do it for fun and don't eat what they catch.

    *By which I mean the people catching the fish don't eat the fish, they sell them.
     
  15. Jan 21, 2014 #14
    I don't believe dolphins are fish
     
  16. Jan 21, 2014 #15

    russ_watters

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    Neither are pigs, but both are food, pets and service animals. That's why I'm struggling to find something wrong with the capture and killing of dolphins.

    I don't think it is relevant to the issue to nitpick the use of the term "fishing" as a description of how you catch dolphins, but honestly I have no idea what the appropriate word is.
     
  17. Jan 21, 2014 #16
    I guess this is going to turn into where do you cross the line? Do you think there is one? Is anything but humans open game?
     
  18. Jan 21, 2014 #17

    OmCheeto

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    I concur.

    I would expand on this, but it's time for bed.
     
  19. Jan 22, 2014 #18
    Is the problem killing dolphins, or how they are killed? If they were lined up in a chute and killed quickly with a blow to the head one by one, would people be less upset?

    I have a problem with killing dolphins just like I have a problem with killing dogs. If the process was more humane (e.g. less violent) I would have to allow them to continue. My problem is with the methods they are using. I don't have a problem with them eating dolphins just like some cultures eat dog. I just know that I personally would not kill and eat dolphins.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2014
  20. Jan 22, 2014 #19
    The wiki article says:
    The following day, fishermen enter the bay in small boats, and the dolphins are caught one at a time and killed. The primary method of dispatch was for a long time to cut the dolphin's throat, severing blood vessels, and death was due to exsanguination. However, the government banned this method and now the officially sanctioned method requires that a metal pin be driven into the cervical region ("neck") of the dolphin, severing its brainstem, which causes it to die within seconds, according to a memo from Senzo Uchida, the executive secretary of the Japan Cetacean Conference on Zoological Gardens and Aquariums*

    *Relevant citation:
    http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/oct2005/2005-10-07-06.asp
     
  21. Jan 22, 2014 #20
    Honestly, If they are doing what they can to reduce the suffering of the animals, then I can not pass judgement. I would rather they didn't, but I am not going to remain a meat eater and criticize what they are doing.
     
  22. Jan 22, 2014 #21

    Evo

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    OMG, just saw footage on tv, they herded so many dolphins into a small area that they were like sardines in a can, they were out of the water they were packed so tightly, then they proceeded to drive boats repeatedly into the dolphins, chopping and tearing them apart with the boats, blood appearing in the water.
     
  23. Jan 22, 2014 #22



    http://www.newscientist.com/article...illing-dolphins-is-inhumane.html#.UuBvUmfn8fQ

    This method too has come into question. BTW after the rod is removed from the point where it entered a wooden plug is inserted to keep blood out of the water.


    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/04/16/national/taiji-dolphin-cull-inhumane-study/#.UuBtNmfn8fQ

    Edited
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2014
  24. Jan 22, 2014 #23

    russ_watters

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    While on an emotional level I prefer more "humane" killing methods, logically it is still difficult to justify:

    1. Nature is violent and the difference in killing method is a difference in us, not in them. In other words, logically I don't see a difference between them experiencing a violent death at my hand or the hand of a shark.

    2. Humans still employ plenty of plenty violent killing methods for higher-level (more intelligent) beings. Indeed, I've heard contradictory judgement on what constitutes "humane". For example, bow hunting. Humane or inhumane? Is it less humane because it typically takes longer to die than shooting the animal with a gun or more humane because it gives the animal better odds of avoiding being shot?

    The point on dogs also shows our emotional hypocrisy: people cringe at dog and cat killing and eating because we keep them as pets. But they are not higher level beings than other mammals that we do eat.

    In fact, I find it ironic that this is an issue for dolphins: much of our emotional attachment to them is based on their being held in captivity for our entertainment - capturing dolphins for which is part of what is being criticized. Of course, the same is true of dogs.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2014
  25. Jan 22, 2014 #24

    russ_watters

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    Yes. Clearly for everyone the line is different - if it even exists, and that's what this is about. I daresay the line for those who are the source of the article is almost certainly a very long way from yours.
    I'm not without emotions and I struggle with the question because of that, but I don't really know the answer. I suppose I would have to say that yes there is a line for me, but it is extremely poorly defined and I recognize that it almost certainly has zero basis in logic - even as I try my hardest to apply logic to it.

    I will say though that my logical approach apparently enables me to overcome the conflicted, contradictory feelings many people have. A quick story:

    When I was at the Naval Academy, we had mice - every big, old building does - so we had mousetraps. We caught a mouse in a sticky-trap. Alive. I didn't pick the type of trap and am against them*. A group of 10 or 20 of us saw it. Mind you, these are people who know they are taking a job that may require them to kill people or send people to die. No one could bring themselves to kill the mouse despite the fact that everyone agreed that it would die, agreed it should be killed quickly to make it suffer for less time and agreed with setting the trap in the first place -- except me. I killed the mouse by drowning it in the sink.

    My mother, on the other hand, grew up on a farm and used to kill rats sitting in the rafters of a barn by grabbing their hanging tails, yanking them off the rafters and slamming them into the ground. And thought nothing of buying a pellet gun to kill rabbits eating her garden (not that she was a good shot or that the pellet gun actually could kill them...).

    *Yes, in general, I believe in applying the least pain possible when killing, but as I explained in the posts above, this is only to settle my emotions. It has no basis in logic and suspect my compassion would be lost on the mouse.
     
  26. Jan 30, 2014 #25
    What about accepting only killing those animals that in our culture are typically slaughtered, and look down at all other cultures that have different tastes or traditions? ;)
     
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