Poaching and illicit trade of southern and Atlantic blue fin tuna, Antarctic whale hunting under the bogus auspices of “scientific” research, barbaric capture and slaughtering of wild dolphins in Taiji, massive consumption of shark fins, and so on. – It adds up to at least 10% of the global fish catch for 2% of the world’s population.
The Japanese say they have “new found commitment to conservation”. Bullshit! – And now the Japan Times reports that Japan is using ~¥2.28 billion or U.S. $29 million of earthquake and tsunami relief funds for whale hunt security. “These monies apparently went to equip the whaling ship Shonan Maru 2 with unspecified security equipment designed to battle against the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s Ady Gil.”
Recognizing that pragmatic ideas and swift actions are needed (time kills), and that emotional responses alone won’t impact this sickening business, what follows are lessons from Jacques Cousteau’s 1974 Foreword to The Errant Ark by Philippe Diolé. Cousteau commented on the book’s thesis saying, “Man will be doomed. Doomed, that is, unless he has the will to allow animals to survive, free, in their natural state, in their primitive purity. For to preserve animal life is to preserve the environment; and to preserve the environment is to preserve mankind.”
Cousteau added “Every creature is irreplaceable…” and “The quality of human life requires that animals be free, just as it requires that man himself be free.”
He continued saying “All the films shot in the sea by Calypso’s team…preach a single message: that of respect for life.”
“In the sea, face to face with…an almost human dolphin, and even the yawning jaws of a shark, we sense the shame of killing; indeed the impossibility of killing. Yet, it is an ancient belief that animals exist to be killed. It is not even necessary that an animal be edible to be slaughtered. The relationship between men and animals seemed always to end in the same way: with the death of the animals.
Now we prefer to make friends of marine animals instead of killing them. Friends, I said; and not servants. Which means that this new relationship must not be developed for profit, for the sake of training animals to perform in a circus…It disturbs me greatly when I see or hear of dolphins being taught to leap through flaming hoops…To my mind these are violations of the freedom which is the right of our companions on the highway of evolution.”
In closing Cousteau says…the principle of respect for the personality of an animal, with all that this implies of wonder at the fact of life and of mistrust at man’s interference in that life.”
The Japanese cite their culture as a reason. Poor excuse. Preserve tradition but evolve, ancient beliefs and cultures have to adapt and change.
If only we had Captain Cousteau’s vision, passion, voice, and leadership today!
Kudos to the makers of these and other videos that illustrate the sickening truth:
Taiji (Japan) dolphin slaughter
Japanese overfishing (poaching)
More select videos under Playlists @ www.youtube.com/user/FrogmenChannel
Richard E. Hyman
Author of FROGMEN