The Japanese Government is on a war path again. A large Japanese fleet has sailed South to launch an attack equipped with the latest in modern technology. However, people in Hawaii driving Japanese cars and watching Japanese wide screen TVs need not to worry: the Japanese Government will not be dropping bombs on a mass scale – they will be launching grenade-tipped harpoons at whales in faraway waters of Antarctica. Still, there will be rivers of blood all the same. It is called “science”. They are planning to slaughter more than 1000 whales: 935 minke whales, 50 fin whales and, for the first time in more than 40 years, 50 protected humpbacks in order TO STUDY THEM. That Japanese practice of studying a species by killing a large number of them has been going on since 1986 when a global ban on commercial whaling came into effect with a very convenient and ingenious loophole – it’s OK to kill some whales as long as your primary purpose is not to consume them, but just to “study”. Since then, more then 30,000 whales have been “studied” in such manner. Of course, there are inevitable by-products of such “scientific” research, i.e. whale meat in Japanese supermarkets and even in dog food, partly because there is a glut of it, and really not that much demand. To remedy that in part, the Japanese Government even had to organize a campaign to encourage inclusion of it in school lunches.
To be fair, it’s not just the Japanese Government that is after the whales. Norway is whales-hungry too. Partly it has to do with the tradition. In the past, thousands upon thousands of whales had been slaughtered for oil and female corsets, so that the whale numbers were brought to the brink of extinction. The American and English whaling tradition runs deep in history, and is reflected in folklore and fiction books like Moby Dick. Somehow, the English and the Americans (as well as the Russians, the French and other Europeans) managed to rid themselves of the need to maintain this ancient and cruel tradition. Even Iceland, a previously staunch supporter of whaling, made a wise choice and has recently announced that it will cease hunting whales. Only the governments of Japan and Norway (not mentioning some small Pacific island nations recruited by them for support) can’t and don’t want to. Their “tradition” overrides everything else. It makes a Japanese fleet to head thousands and thousands of miles away from home waters to the opposite end of the world – the Antarctic. That is where Australia and New Zealand are close by, another two nations with deep whaling traditions. Only now they prefer to watch and admire whales in their natural environment and collect tourist dollars, not to slaughter them in order to shove some extra meat onto supermarkets shelves.
But what the countries opposed to whaling can do? They can’t declare war on Japan, not to mention Norway. Because business and trade may be affected. Trade in products made by Japanese global corporations like Toyota, Sony and so on. Maybe if consumers let the relevant governments know that their future choices may be affected by the choices those governments make in relation to one of the most beautiful and gentle species on the planet, they might think again? Naturally, we should not forget that there are Japanese and Norwegian companies, as well as likely most of ordinary people in those countries, that are opposed to whaling just as most of the rest of the world is.
The whale is the largest animal that has ever lived in Earth’s long history. Everybody is fascinated by gigantic sizes of dinosaurs, the largest land creatures to ever walk the Earth, which are unfortunately now extinct. But the amazing fact is the largest animal EVER is actually living now. The blue whale grows more than 100 ft (30 meters) long and up to 200 tons in weight. Unfortunately, it is quite rare and there is still a lot we need to learn about its behaviour, as well as about other whales.
Take action! Sign the petition to Ryozo Kato, Ambassador of Japan: Stop Japan’s Whaling Fleet!
Read article Iceland Does an About-Face, Will End Commercial Whale Hunt.
Sign a letter to a Norwegian Abassador: Stop Whaling in Norway (locate the title in the list of actions, click, the letter will appear once you put in your details). Norway is supposed to be a civilized country with respect for human and animal rights. Therefore, it should stop practicing a savage ancient blood-letting tradition that other countries long rid themselves of.
Read about Japan’s disparate attempt to boost the demand for whale meat: http://www.wdcs.org/dan/publishing.nsf/allweb/83F71F01C8A53C938025716B00327A61
Visit great anti-whaling sites: www.whalewatch.org (great video runs with whaling facts once you there), www.whalesrevenge.com(play save-a-whale game & sign a petition with 400,000 signatures!) or just Google “anti-whaling”.