If You Don’t Eat a Whale, Don’t Complain About Whaling

Boston College Eagles’ defensive coordinator Frank Spaziani will be named head coach.  Yawn.  Is there anybody who didn’t see this coming after athletic director Gene DeFelippo (whose son, John, by the way, is Oakland Raider’s quaterback’s coach) spoke of wanting a coach who would serve out the term of his contract?  Spaziani’s been around for 12 years.  He ain’t goin’ nowhere unless he’s gettin’ fired.

So to more exciting, provocative things.  Like whales.  Cute whales.

While I was in Japan, I read a story along these lines about Australian sailors’ efforts to stop Japanese whaling practices and an editorial in a newspaper by an European objecting to how Japan is raping their seas.

I can think of no issue that pisses me off more than the Western objection to Japanese whaling, because let’s get something straight here:  if there’s a de-population problem of whales, it’s the fault of the Westerners, not the Japanese.

It’s a little known fact, but the reason why whales became so depopulated in the first place was because the European nations, with America as an accomplice, hunted whales solely as a source of oil.  Unlike the Japanese, they cared little for the meat, the bones, or the skin.  Having hunted the whales close to extinction, the Western nations suddenly grew a conscience and imposed a moratorium on whaling to all nations, regardless of past sins committed.  It’s akin to the Europeans telling China to control its carbon emissions to fight global warming: they’ve reaped the benefits of a fast growing, polluting economy but the developing countries must share the burden of atonement.

If Westerners are so worried about extinction of whales, history suggests they need only worry about themselves.   No amount of Japanese hunting could possibly place the whales in danger because they’ve always hunted reasonable and responsibly.  Some whales live up to 60 years, meaning there are whales still alive from the period moratorium on whaling was imposed.  The thirty year moratorium on irresponsible whaling has assured that the whaling population will survive responsible whaling.

Instead, the Japanese have been vilified in the whaling debate as if they are to blame for the whales’ near extinction.  No longer having any use for whales, the Australians feel morally compelled to harass the fishermen who would use the whales, for example, as food.  Neither the Australians nor Americans eat whales, yet my dad grew up eating whales as a school luncheon.  I’d recently eaten a whale–although thanks to some idiots, its price was certainly not that of cafeteria food.  Why it’s justifiable for the Westerners to demand the sacrifice of Japanese culture so they can feel better by cleasing themselves of their past sins is beyond me.  Perhaps it’s because whales are cute.

Whales are creating problems the Westerners can’t possible appreciate.  Despite their huge size, many whales don’t have teeth, meaning their diet consists of small fishes they swallow.  Australians growing cattle could care less about the diminishing population of sardines they eat with their occasional Cesar salad, but for the Japanese, lack of sardines results in a fundamental sacrifice in their culinary culture.

I’m tired of so-called environmentalists and animal rights activists who endorse their cause with little regard for others for their personal moral satisfaction when they themselves are making little sacrifice.  I feel no moral quorums about recommending to the Japanese government that they do with the whaling moratorium what the Bush administration did with the Kyoto Protocol: unilaterally terminate it and damn the international consequences.  The Japanese have neither the obligation nor the responsibility to clean up after the recklessness of Westerners.


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