Fair enough. So do I. But why not the killing of cows, pigs, chickens, fish? I mean, what’s the difference? Lots of people in Australia are getting in a fuss about Japanese ships hunting whales in and around Australian waters. People are getting outraged at the way in which whales are harpooned, hauled aboard while alive and then cut up… After this, the Japanese groups with vested interests claim that the whales are scientifically studied and catalogued. However, some Australian groups with vested interests claim that it is sold in Japan as whale meat and that this is the primary reason that some Japanese ships are hunting whales. Either way, why not object to other animals being treated in this way? I love whales and think they are beautiful. But they are no more worthy of our respect and protection than other animals.
There was some indignant reaction in Australia last week when a video, produced by an anonymous person from Japan and distributed on YouTube, made claims that Australians hunt kangaroos and other animals for both sport AND to eat and we kill other animals such as cows and pigs to simply eat them. The video went on to claim that Australia’s objection to Japanese whaling is simply a reflection of Australia being racist and acting with overtones of cultural imperialism. It’s not my intention here to address the particular points made by the video. I just want to ask a few other questions while the issue is out there.
So, why are whales so special? Why is it more appropriate to eat a cow, pig, chicken or fish than a whale? What about a kangaroo? a beautiful, majestic deer? A moose?
We compartmentalise, steralise, lactate, torture, abuse, neglect and then eat cows, pigs, chickens, fish, kangaroos, deer etc. everyday as a society. But, when whales are hunted, a double standard of outrage surfaces. Is it simply because some species of whales are endangered? If this is so, then why not make as much noise for any other species of animal or plant that is endangered?
The way whales are treated by the Japanese is a direct reflection of the way that we as a society treat the cows, pigs, chickens and other animals that we raise with the explicit intention to chop up their bodies, wrap them in plastic and sell them in supermarkets for x amount of dollars per kilogram. It’s an outright double standard. Different cultures kill and eat different animals. Both exploit the animal, who has vested interests of their own: their right to life and their right to freedom. Humans of all cultures are guilty of robbing all animals of their right to life and freedom. Whales are one example of this… and many more can be found in among our own culture as well as in most others.