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Whaling February 26th, 2013 | Author: David

Whaling

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I don’t know how widely this is being reported in the Japanese media, but some of you may have seen stories recently about conflict in the Southern Ocean between Japanese ships that are trying to kill whales, and protest ships from the group Sea Shepherd that are trying to stop them.

To some people, Sea Shepherd are eco-terorrists who are endangering human lives through their stupid actions, but to others, they are heroes who are risking their own lives to protect a beautiful, intelligent mammal.

For me, the most interesting point of this debate is not the rights and wrongs of whaling, but rather the fact that most Japanese people have no idea how strongly the rest of the world feels about the issue. I invited a British friend of mine to come and visit me in Japan once. She said that although she is very interested in the country, she could never consider visiting as long as Japan continues killing whales.

I don’t want to push my opinion too strongly here because I know that this is a very controversial topic, but suffice it to say that I am very much against the killing of whales and dolphins. The Japanese government argues strongly that killing whales is part of Japanese culture, but many people believe that this is just an excuse made by nationalists and right-wing politicians who believe it is a sign of strength to refuse to bow to international pressure.

Anyway, as I said, the thing that interests me most is the fact that most Japanese people are completely unaware of the strength of feeling about whaling in other countries. As you know, I have taught many multi-national English classes in other countries, and it is not unusual for other students to become very aggressive and angry with Japanese students when this topic is discussed. In most cases, the Japanese students have no idea why their classmates are getting so emotional.

As I said last week, I know that this is a very controversial topic, but I would like to ask you all three questions:

1) Are you in favour of killing whales for meat?

2) Do you think that Japan should consider the feelings of other countries on this issue, or is it nothing to do with them?

3) Have you ever discussed this issue with people from other countries? If so, what was their reaction?

Look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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Comments

  1. YU
    Commented on
    2013/02/26 at 7:39

    今週のエントリーの訳です。

    Whaling

    I don’t know how widely this is being reported in the Japanese media, but some of you may have seen stories recently about conflict in the Southern Ocean between Japanese ships that are trying to kill whales, and protest ships from the group Sea Shepherd that are trying to stop them.
    日本のマスメディアがどのくらい大きくこの問題(捕鯨)に関して報道しているのか定かではありまんが、皆さんの中には鯨を殺そうとする日本の捕鯨船とそれを止めようと抗議するシーシェパードの船との南氷洋での衝突に関する記事を最近目にした人もいるでしょう。

    To some people, Sea Shepherd are eco-terorrists who are endangering human lives through their stupid actions, but to others, they are heroes who are risking their own lives to protect a beautiful, intelligent mammal.
    シーシェパードはある人たちにとっては人命を危険にさらす愚かな行為をするエコテロリストですが、その他の人たちにとっては彼らは美しくて賢い哺乳動物を命懸けで守ろうとする英雄なのです。

    For me, the most interesting point of this debate is not the rights and wrongs of whaling, but rather the fact that most Japanese people have no idea how strongly the rest of the world feels about the issue.
    私にとってこの議論で最も興味深い点は捕鯨が正しいことかそうでないか、ということではなく、ほとんどの日本人が日本以外の他の国の人々がどれだけこの問題に関して思い入れがあるか分かっていない、という事実です。

    I invited a British friend of mine to come and visit me in Japan once. She said that although she is very interested in the country, she could never consider visiting as long as Japan continues killing whales.
    私は一度イギリスの友達に日本に遊びに来ないか、と誘ったことがあります。でも彼女は日本にはすごく興味があるけれど、日本が鯨を殺す国である限り遊びに行こうなんて考えられない、と言いました。

    I don’t want to push my opinion too strongly here because I know that this is a very controversial topic, but suffice it to say that I am very much against the killing of whales and dolphins.
    この問題は賛否両論のある問題なので私はあまりここで自分の考えを強く主張したくありません。鯨やイルカを殺すことには大反対である、とだけ述べれば十分でしょう。

    The Japanese government argues strongly that killing whales is part of Japanese culture, but many people believe that this is just an excuse made by nationalists and right-wing politicians who believe it is a sign of strength to refuse to bow to international pressure.
    日本政府は鯨を殺すことは日本の文化だと強く主張していますが、多くの人がその主張は捕鯨を続けることが他国の圧力に屈しない日本の強さの表れだと信じているナショナリストや右翼政治家たちのただの言い訳に過ぎない、と思っています。

    Anyway, as I said, the thing that interests me most is the fact that most Japanese people are completely unaware of the strength of feeling about whaling in other countries.
    とにかく、先に述べたように私が最も関心があるのはほとんどの日本人が他の国でどれだけ捕鯨に関して強い思い入れがあるか全く分かっていない、という点です。

    As you know, I have taught many multi-national English classes in other countries, and it is not unusual for other students to become very aggressive and angry with Japanese students when this topic is discussed. In most cases, the Japanese students have no idea why their classmates are getting so emotional.
    皆さん知っているように今までに私は日本以外の国で多国籍の生徒からなるクラスで英語を教えてきましたが、この捕鯨に関する問題についてのディスカッションとなると日本人以外の生徒が日本の生徒に対して非常に攻撃的になるのも珍しくありませんでした。ほとんどの場合、日本人の生徒たちはどうして他のクラスメートたちがそんなに感情的になるのか理解できないのです。

    As I said last week, I know that this is a very controversial topic, but I would like to ask you all three questions:
    先週も言ったようにこれはとても議論を呼ぶトピックだと分かっていますが、皆さんに以下の3点に関して聞いてみたいと思います。

    1)Are you in favour of killing whales for meat?
    あなたは鯨を殺すことに賛成ですか?
    2)Do you think that Japan should consider the feelings of other countries on this issue, or is it nothing to do with them?
    あなたは日本は他国の感情を考慮するべきだと思いますか?それとも鯨を殺すことは彼らに関係ない、と思いますか?
    3)Have you ever discussed this issue with people from other countries? If so, what was their reaction?
    この問題に関して他の国の人たちと話し合ったことがありますか?もしあったらそのとき彼らはどんな反応を示していましたか?

    Look forward to hearing your thoughts.
    皆さんの意見を聞くのを楽しみにしています。

  2. YU
    Commented on
    2013/02/26 at 9:47

    Hi David and everyone,

    Here are my answers :

    1) Are you in favour of killing whales for meat?

    I’m not in favor of killing whales for meat, but I’m not particularly against it, either.

    It was very common for Japanese people to eat whale meat when I was a child. We could buy whale meat at supermarkets and fried whale meat was even one of the regular menu in school lunch. I guess you’ve heard stories like this a number of times from other Japanese people, though…

    2) Do you think that Japan should consider the feelings of other countries on this issue, or is it nothing to do with them?

    I don’t think it is nothing to do with them, but as you say, I’m one of those who are completely unaware of the strength of feeling about whaling in other countries. However, it doesn’t mean that I won’t listen to them at all.

    3)Have you ever discussed this issue with people from other countries? If so, what was their reaction?

    I have discussed this issue at the English conversation school I used to go long time ago.
    I think it was a teacher from Australia. I can’t clearly remember if she was talking about whales or dolphins, but she was so aggressive that all Japanese students in the class were put off by her speech. I was one of them, too.

    One of the students asked her why she wasn’t against killing or eating pigs, cows, chickens, rabbits, pigeons, deer, fish, and so on, but she was against only killing and eating whales in particular. She explained about why she was not in favor of killing them this and that, but her reasons didn’t really appeal to me at the time.

    So, may I ask you now once again here what are the differences between whales and other animals?

    > they are heroes who are risking their own lives to protect a beautiful, intelligent mammal.

    You mean we should not kill or eat them because they are beautiful and intelligent?
    If so, we can kill and eat only ugly, dumb animals?
    Or we should not kill them because they are a mammal same as us?

  3. Tomoaki
    Commented on
    2013/02/26 at 10:58

    Hi everyone

    1) Are you in favour of killing whales for meat?

    Although I am not a vegetarian, I am not in favor of killing too much whales for meat. The reason is that killing living things unnecessarily is ethically bad, so I am also against hunting as leisure. However, I don’t think killing whales itself is bad or cruel. I don’t know why people eating pork, beef, and chicken meat, say killing and eating whales and dolphins is so cruel and Japanese people must stop killing them. This may be a very simple question. If A and B are in same condition, you should give same judgment logically. Are there any differences between whales and other animals eaten every day?

    2) Do you think that Japan should consider the feelings of other countries on this issue, or is it nothing to do with them?

    The more Globalization develops, the more people say mutual understanding is necessary, so I think Japan must consider the feelings of other countries on this issue. These days, it is said that the key word “multiculturalism” becomes one of the most important ideas of the 21st century. The UK and Canada are thought the multiculturalism nations now. However, this idea is important but also dangerous. As David Cameron, the prime minister of the UK, said“State multiculturalism has failed,” sometimes Multiculturalism makes very serious conflicts, so it is too difficult to understand each other and to admire these differences.

    3) Have you ever discussed this issue with people from other countries? If so, what was their reaction?

    No, I haven’t.

  4. Biwa
    Commented on
    2013/02/27 at 10:07

    Hi everyone,

    To be honest, I don’t really understand why people from other countries get so emotional about whaling. I read and hear about the conflicts between Sea Sheperd and Japanese ships sometimes, but I guess for most Japanese, the way they act just creates bad feelings towards them. They seem to receive lots of money from their supporters(famous singers/actors, companies and also countries), and their stupid behavior seems like a commercial performance to me. There are some people who say Sea Shepherd never attacks Korean ships because Korea donates lots of money to them. If so, it’s really fishy and what they’re doing doesn’t make any sense. Anyway, here are my answers.

    1) I don’t say I’m in favor of killing whales, but as YU and Tomoaki said, I don’t see any difference between killing whales and other animals like kangaroos, crocodiles, seals, dolphins or whatever. It’s just a difference in what you eat.

    Actually, I have forgotten until I read YU’s comment that I used to eat fried whale meat at school, but I’ve never eaten it at home. I live in Kanagawa, but I hardly ever see whale meat sold at supermarkets. I know there are some restaurants that serve pot-dish of whale meat and vegetables(はりはり鍋), but I don’t think we are actually killing(after scientific studying) whales that much.

    2)I think it’s really important for Japanese people to know what other people think. The problem is that the media focuses too much on those eco-terrorists that we hardly have any chances to understand people’s real feelings towards whaling. I’d really love to hear your thoughts, David.

    3)No, I have never discussed this issue with people from other countries.

    Having said all this, I’m guessing that the two main reasons why people have strong anti-feelings towards Japan’s whaing is that we are the only country that catches whales in international waters(公海) and that some kinds of whales are endangered. According to Wikipedia, other countries like Russia, Norway and Iceland also catch whales, but they do it in coastal waters(近海・沿岸). It’s understandable people get angry if we killed too many whales in water that belongs to everyone. Even if we say we’re just catching “a few” whales for scientific study, anyway we’re actually selling them commercially afterwards, and that must be fishy to some people, too!

  5. YU
    Commented on
    2013/02/27 at 10:46

    Hi Tomoaki and everyone,

    > The reason is that killing living things unnecessarily is ethically bad, so I am also against hunting as leisure.

    I agree.
    Like you, I’m not a vegetarian, either, and I like to eat meat.

    As I mentioned, eating whale meat wasn’t a so unusual thing when I was a child. Since IWC(International Whaling Commision) prohibited the commercial whaling of some endangered whales species we’ve stopped serving whale meat-based dishes at our table because it came to unable to find whale meat at supermarkets, but there are still some restaurants specialized in whale meat-based dishes in Japan.

    If someone asked me to stop eating whale meat, I could do it easily because whale meat is no more than a kind of meat for me. I think human can live without eating meat, but many of you and I want to eat meat so we eat. We can eat meat every day because farmers breed animals(cattle)and then kill them for meat. Or fishers go fishing in the sea and kill them for meat.

    I don’t think there’s a serious problem in eating meat as long as we are grateful for meat(animals) and always eat mindfully. It doesn’t matter whether it is beef, chicken, pork or whale meat.
    When I hear Australian kill 3 million kangaroos per year and eat them or Chinese people eat dogs, I can’t help thinking “かわいそう” because they are lovely animals for me, but maybe eating kangaroos’ meat or dogs’ meat is their food culture, I think.

    I hear royal families enjoy hunting foxes in the UK, but I don’t think they hunt them for meat. (Or do they?) That means they kill them only for their pleasure.
    I really wonder why hunting foxes is not really criticized(I know S.P.C.A protest it, though) by people in the UK, but they strongly criticize us for whaling.

    Is there any superiority or inferiority in animal species??

    Hi Biwa,

    I grew up in Shikoku, and when I was a child, we couldn’t buy a chunk of whale meat, but 鯨肉の湯引き梅肉ソース添え was sold in the sashimi corner at most of the supermarkets in my area.

  6. YU
    Commented on
    2013/02/27 at 12:02

    Hi everyone,

    I found a site explaining basic info about problems in whaling for kids.
    Here it is :

    http://news4kids.blog66.fc2.com/blog-entry-69.html

  7. David Barker
    Commented on
    2013/02/27 at 12:33

    Hi YU,

    Thanks for the link. By the way, killing foxes is now illegal in the UK. I think it has been banned for about five years, or even more.

    Hi everyone,

    I think that the point about being okay with killing other animals but not whales is a valid one, and it’s probably true to say that most Westerners are not very logical about this. I guess people in the West tend to be more sentimental about animals than people in Asia, although this is very hypocritical when you think about where our food comes from and the huge number of animals that are tortured and killed for “scientific research.” (I am against all animal testing, by the way, even for medical science.) Actually, there is a huge food scandal going on in the UK at the moment because a lot of beef burgers that were being sold in supermarkets were found to contain horse meat.

    Personally, I am against whaling because I think it is completely unnecessary. Even in Japan, no one really eats whale meat regularly these days. If it disappeared from menus forever, I don’t really think anyone would mind. As you know, I hate to see right-wing nationalists causing problems in Japan’s relations with other countries when I know that their views are not the views of most Japanese people. Remember that a large sum of money that was supposed to go to the areas affected by the tsunami was diverted to whaling research by these people!

    There is also the issue of cruelty. The way that whales are killed (with harpoons) just seems very barbaric to me. It’s true that other animals are killed in the West, but there are usually strict laws about how you can do this. For example, in Australia, you are only allowed to shoot kangaroos in the head. I suppose the way that whales are killed is similar to the way bulls are killed in bullfights in Spain, but many people (including me) are strongly opposed to that as well.

    As Biwa said, I think that a big part of the problem is that Japan kills whales in international waters that other countries have recognised as a whale sanctuary. Australia and New Zealand are the countries closest to this ocean, and both of them are very much against whaling. I think that to a lot of people in the West, it seems very arrogant for Japan to decide that it will not follow an international treaty.

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to hearing what everyone else thinks about this issue.

  8. YU
    Commented on
    2013/02/27 at 1:22

    Hi David,

    > Personally, I am against whaling because I think it is completely unnecessary. Even in Japan, no one really eats whale meat regularly these days. If it disappeared from menus forever, I don’t really think anyone would mind.

    I know exactly what you mean, but why do human have to kill pigs, cows, chickens, etc.. before killing whales or dolphins for meat?
    That is the most imcomprehensible point for most Japanese people including me, I guess.
    If you say so, you mean, if all the animals expect whales and dolphins extincted from this world, you would not mind to kill and eat whales and dolphins? Maybe then Western people would become vegetarians…?

    I agree with you that whaling is completely unnecessary, but I can’t help thinking that Western people treat some specific animals better than others.

  9. David Barker
    Commented on
    2013/02/27 at 2:53

    Hi YU,

    I think you are right. As I said, attitudes to animal welfare are quite hypocritical in the West. Mind you, that is true in Japan too. People buy little toy dogs and treat them like babies, but at the same time, the ones nobody buys are kept in tiny cages in horrible conditions, and then eventually killed. In the UK now, a lot of people choose dogs that have been rescued from abusive owners, or ones that nobody wanted instead of buying from breeders.

    As for whaling, I suppose people would argue that pigs and chickens are one of our basic food sources, and the animals are only bred so that we can eat them. This is clearly not the case for whales. There is also the fact that many species of whale are endangered to consider as well.

    The other day, I heard a British man on the TV talking about a visit to China. He said that he couldn’t believe the conditions in which animals are kept in the food markets there. He said that in one shop, they found an owl that was being sold for food, so he and his friend bought it, took it to a forest, and released it. If you think about it, though, I suppose an owl is only a bird, just like a chicken or a duck, both of which we eat quite happily.

  10. Biwa
    Commented on
    2013/02/27 at 3:04

    Hi David and everyone,

    >Remember that a large sum of money that was supposed to go to the areas affected by the tsunami was diverted to whaling research by these people!

    I didn’t know that! Stupid politicians! Why do we have to pay money for researching whales when many people still don’t have places to live?

    >I think that a big part of the problem is that Japan kills whales in international waters that other countries have recognised as a whale sanctuary.

    Yes, it must be at least more understandable if we killed whales in our own coastal water. However, as far as I googled, in 1997 Japan said they would refrain from whaling in international waters if IWC admitted it’s whaling in their own coastal water, but for some reason, the idea was rejected. I wonder why.

    I also googled how many whales we are actually killing (for scientific research) every year; http://www.whaling.jp/shigen.html
    Adding up all the species, we’re actually killing 2% of the resources(whales that are thought to exist), and I think it’s quite a lot! I wonder if we really need to kill so many whales for research. There seems to be a lot more things for Japan to explain or improve to achieve other people’s understandings.

    However, I’ve found many whale meat recipes in “Cookpad”, and I guess it’s a lot more popular food for people who live in the western part of Japan. I don’t think they wouldn’t mind if whale meat disappeared for ever! I agree that people have different food culture which is sometimes weird or barbaric to other people, but I guess they eat it on special occasions for perhaps treating their precious guests. To me, serving ridiculously huge portions of food and throwing the left overs away like trash, especially in the US!, seems much inhuman.

  11. YU
    Commented on
    2013/02/27 at 6:27

    Hi David,

    > As for whaling, I suppose people would argue that pigs and chickens are one of our basic food sources, and the animals are only bred so that we can eat them. This is clearly not the case for whales.

    I know I’m a bit too insistent, but if you say so, what would you say about fish? Although it’s true that some are bred for food(養殖魚), but some aren’t same as whales or dolphins(They are not fish, though), but fishermen go fishing in the sea to catch only some specific fish and we eat them.
    Also, who decided pigs and chickens are for food, and dogs and cats are pets first?
    I suppose it’s all decided by human’s selfish reasons, after all.

    > There is also the fact that many species of whale are endangered to consider as well.

    That’s true, so I don’t think whaling is a good idea, either.

    Hi Biwa,

    > I guess it’s a lot more popular food for people who live in the western part of Japan

    Why do you think so?
    I didn’t think it was more popular in the western part of Japan in particular. As you said, you ate fried whale meat at school lunch, too, right?

  12. Kattie
    Commented on
    2013/02/27 at 10:25

    Hi everyone,

    The main reasons why I don’t like whaling are:
    a) I think the way whales are killed is very cruel – it seems a very painful and long drawn out death. This is my main objection. As David said, in the UK, there are very strict rules about how animals are killed – they should not be unduly stressed beforehand and death itself must be as quick and painless as possible. There are also rules about how animals are kept beforehand for example, they must have proper bedding, food and water and they cannot be transported miles to abattoirs
    b) I wonder how necessary it is to kill whales. A lot of you have said that people don’t really eat whale meat that much these days and that you wouldn’t miss it, so it seems the main argument for whaling is scientific research. I’m unclear what this scientific research is and I wonder how necessary it is. I think we (all countries) do a lot of terrible things to animals in the name of ‘scientific research’ and I’m sure a lot of it is unnecessary
    c) Whales are an endangered species

    >I hear royal families enjoy hunting foxes in the UK, but I don’t think they hunt them for meat. (Or do they?) That means they kill them only for their pleasure.
    I really wonder why hunting foxes is not really criticized(I know S.P.C.A protest it, though) by people in the UK, but they strongly criticize us for whaling.
    Fox hunting was banned in the UK in 2005 and most of the UK population supported the ban because they felt that hunting foxes was barbaric. The people that supported hunting argued that foxes were a menace and needed to be culled and that fox hunting was part of our culture. Those against it argued that, even if foxes were a problem, there were other more effective and humane ways of culling and that a civilised society should not condone this ‘sport’. A lot of bad things are done in the name of ‘culture’ and sometimes we have to accept that our culture is wrong!
    I am sure everyone who is against fox hunting would also be against whaling for many of the same reasons.

    Personally, I am finding it harder to justify eating meat and even dairy products. I have reduced my consumption of meat in recent years and I am very careful about buying meat which has been reared properly (ie not factory farmed) and killed as humanely as possible.

    > In the UK now, a lot of people choose dogs that have been rescued from abusive owners, or ones that nobody wanted
    We got our dog from a rescue centre, we’ve had her for 11 years.

  13. Tomoaki
    Commented on
    2013/02/27 at 11:25

    Hi Biwa

    >Adding up all the species, we’re actually killing 2% of the resources (whales that are thought to exist), and I think it’s quite a lot!

    I think it may be 0.2%.

    1,330 / 712,000 = 0.00186

    Hi Kattie

    The purpose of all whaling is scientific research and meat is by-product. If it isn’t, it is illegal.

    >I think the way whales are killed is very cruel

    Do you mean that whaling is OK if the way of killing them is not cruel? If so, I think you wouldn’t be against whaling itself, and what Japan should develop is the killing way.

    >I’m unclear what this scientific research is and I wonder how necessary it is. I think we (all countries) do a lot of terrible things to animals in the name of ‘scientific research’ and I’m sure a lot of it is unnecessary

    For many people, scientific research seems unnecessary. Furthermore, it may be true that experiments using animal don’t always turn out to be successful. However, I can’t say such experiments are unnecessary. Most of all researchers, including Japanese researchers who killing whales for research, have conscience. In my university, animal’s funeral is held every year and many researchers and professors attend them. I heard they feel using animal is very cruel, but they also think it is necessary for develop medical standards, so they have strong resolutions. I can’t make a charge against them.

    >Whales are an endangered species

    It may be true that all kinds of whales are being endangered and Japanese researchers don’t catch and kill such endangered whales.

  14. YU
    Commented on
    2013/02/28 at 12:27

    Hi David and Kattie,

    Both of you said you don’t like whaling because the way whales are killed is very cruel, Japanese people don’t really eat whale meat that much these days, and whales are an endangered species.

    I know exactly what you mean, but you mean, if the way whales are killed was changed to the quick and painless civilized one, if we eat all the whale meat we killed and if they weren’t an endangered species, you wouldn’t mind to kill or eat them?
    I suspect that you still would mind and refuse to kill and eat them, and I think that’s because you have a special affection for whales and dolphins.

    > Fox hunting was banned in the UK in 2005 and most of the UK population supported the ban because they felt that hunting foxes was barbaric

    I think you mentioned this again because you thought that I ignored what David wrote to me, but it didn’t really mean that. I just didn’t have enough time to reply him at the time!

    Anyway, I think it is a nice thing that you had chances to discuss the issue(fox hunting) in the UK. In Japan most people are not interested in whether we should stop whaling. Some of us even don’t know if Japan is still whaling now. I guess if our imperial family members hunted(?) whales and it was repoted in the Japanese media, we would become much more aware of the issue.

    However, most of us don’t know some kinds of whales(I read that they are usually not endangered ones) are killed for scientific research and sold for food afterwards, as Biwa mentioned. Japanese media coverage about Japan’s whaling might be biased and tend to focus only on stupid attacks by Sea Shepherd.

  15. Biwa
    Commented on
    2013/02/28 at 8:14

    Hi YU,

    I wrote whale meat seems to be more popular in the western part of Japan because many of the recipes said “a very popular dish in the Kansai-area(関西の定番料理)” or “a spring-like dish in Nagasaki(長崎の春の味)”.
    I also found out that whale meat is popular in only some limited prefectures. Now I see why we hardly ever see it here in Kanagawa. The top 5 are Nagasaki, Miyagi, Saga, Yamaguchi and Fukuoka. They used to be the main base-harbors for whaling ships. You can see many photos of how popular it is in Nagasaki; http://portal.nifty.com/2009/12/18/a/

    Hi Tomoaki,

    Thanks! and I’m so embarrassed for my terrible math ability!

    Hi everyone,

    I think that another big point that Japan needs to reconsider or revise to achieve other people’s understandings is that we’re killing whales more than we actually eat. Even if we consider that there are people who eat whale meat, I guess no one would agree that they eat up 1330 whales a year! Also, schools stopped serving it for lunch after commercial whaling was banned in 1987. So, where on earth do all the left meat go? If they are just thrown away, I would be really angry, too.

    Another point is that, as I’ve wriiten before, they sell the meat “commercially” afterwards. It’s just like we’re trying to cover up the truth(actually, it’s not covered at all), and it is really unfair and dishonest. Moreover, if all the costs for killing the whales were paid by our taxes, how do they decide the prices and why do they receive the money for the purchase first of all? I guess there is another nasty “amakudari” system in this issue, too.

    It sounds more understandable or acceptable to consider these matters than focusing on the sentiments towards animals(all living creatures). It’s too natural that everyone has different ways of thinking and sense of values.

  16. Kattie
    Commented on
    2013/02/28 at 8:16

    Hi Tomoaki and Yu,

    > if the way whales are killed was changed to the quick and painless civilized one, if we eat all the whale meat we killed and if they weren’t an endangered species, you wouldn’t mind to kill or eat them?

    Yes, If this was the case and it was absolutely clear that the whale wasn’t going to leave any young then I would no more object to the killing of whales than any other animal. That said, I probably wouldn’t eat whale myself because it’s not something that British people are culturally used to doing, in much the same way that I wouldn’t eat dogs or horses. However, as I said before, the older I get the more uneasy I am about eating any animal. If I live to a great age I will probably be vegan by then!

    On the scientific research point, I don’t know enough about the specific benefits of research on whales, or any other animals, but I suspect that a lot of research is not fundamentally important.

    >Fox hunting was banned in the UK in 2005 and most of the UK population supported the ban because they felt that hunting foxes was barbaric.

    Actually I had already written my comment when I noticed that David had mentioned this but, by that stage, I thought I’d send it anyway by way of further explanation. I’m sorry I didn’t think you had ignored it! I don’t think the Royal Family’s enjoyment of fox hunting made the issue any more prominent, the Royal Family are not that important! It was more the point that many people thought fox hunting was an archaic and barbaric ‘sport’ that was the issue.

  17. Tomoaki
    Commented on
    2013/02/28 at 8:17

    >It may be true that all kinds of whales are being endangered and Japanese researchers don’t catch and kill such endangered whales.

    correction:
    It may be true that all kinds of whales are “not” being endangered and Japanese researchers don’t catch and kill such endangered whales.

  18. Tomoaki
    Commented on
    2013/02/28 at 8:21

    連投ですみません、日本語で一応、捕捉させてください。

    僕は、「全ての種類のくじらが絶滅が危惧されていない」といいたいのではなく、「全ての種類のくじらが絶滅が危惧されているわけではない」といいたいのですが、うまく表現出来ません。

    Not all kinds of whales are endangered.

    でいいのかもしれませんが、いまいち自信がありません。

  19. Fumie
    Commented on
    2013/02/28 at 8:45

    Hi David and everyone,

    Now I came to understand why Western people are against whaling after I read all your explanations: The way of killing whales is barbaric, and whales are not bred and Japan kills whales in international waters. I’m not sure about scientific research is necessary or not.
    But I’m not still convinced that killing cows and pigs are accepted but whales are not accepted. It’s no logical. I think Western people have preference for whales over pigs and cows(other mammal).
    Anyway, here are my answers to your questions.
    1) Are you in favour of killing whales for meat?
    I’m not in favour of that. And I’m okay without eating whale meat.
    2) Do you think that Japan should consider the feelings of other countries on this issue, or is it nothing to do with them?
    I think Japan should stop killing whales if that really arouse the anger of Western people.

    3) Have you ever discussed this issue with people from other countries? If so, what was their reaction?
    No, I haven’t. So it is a good opportunity to know how people in other countries feel about this issue.

  20. YU
    Commented on
    2013/02/28 at 9:17

    Hi Biwa,

    > I wrote whale meat seems to be more popular in the western part of Japan because many of the recipes said “a very popular dish in the Kansai-area(関西の定番料理)” or “a spring-like dish in Nagasaki(長崎の春の味)”.

    I see, I asked you this because to me, it sounded a bit prejudiced against people in western part of Japan and I thought you wanted to say they were more barbaric than others. I was born in western part of Japan, so I was a little upset by your remark.

    > Another point is that, as I’ve wriiten before, they sell the meat “commercially” afterwards. It’s just like we’re trying to cover up the truth(actually, it’s not covered at all), and it is really unfair and dishonest.

    I read that IWC decide the catch of whaling countries including Japan every year and it is required to use all the killed whales effectively by IWC’s treaty called IRWC. I wonder why IWC permits us whaling first of all, though…

    > Moreover, if all the costs for killing the whales were paid by our taxes, how do they decide the prices and why do they receive the money for the purchase first of all?

    I think so, too.
    All the profit from selling whale meat should be returned to the state.

    By the way, there was a first PTA meeting yesterday at my son’s kindergarten. I was nearly chosen one of the 役員 in his class, but luckily, I won じゃんけん at last minute. However, I’m almost sure I’ll have to be 役員 next year, because there are only 6 mothers who has only one child like me in his class(There are 26 mothers in the class, though!). Those who have more than two small children are automatically exempted from becoming 役員. I can’t believe that Japan is facing declining number of children!

  21. Biwa
    Commented on
    2013/02/28 at 9:45

    Hi YU,

    >it sounded a bit prejudiced against people in western part of Japan and I thought you wanted to say they were more barbaric than others.

    I’m terribly sorry if so. I didn’t mean it at all, and I’m one of those who think what you eat depends on each background. To me, other things like the way we whale seems more problematic.

    By the way, I’m going to help the PTA this year! It’s my second time in three years, and I know there are people who don’t help even if they can, but I don’t care so much because I know I’ll be able to make new friends(moms and dads). (引き受けてみると良いこともたくさんあるよね!)

    Hi Tomoaki,

    >Not all kinds of whales are endangered.

    I think your sentence is fine. For your original sentence, how about this?

    Not all kinds of whales are endangered, and I don’t think Japanese researchers are catching or killing those that are endangered.

  22. YU
    Commented on
    2013/02/28 at 9:56

    Hi Biwa,

    Please don’t worry about it too much, it was just my wrong impression!

    I have to leave for kindergarten now.
    There’s a ならし保育 lesson today!

    See you later!

  23. David Barker
    Commented on
    2013/02/28 at 12:46

    Hi everyone,

    There was an interesting article on this topic on Japan Today this week.

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/japan-will-never-stop-whaling-minister

    There are already 130 comments! Some of them are pro-Japan, but some of them are very against whaling. If you read some of them, you will see what I mean about the strength of feeling on this topic.

  24. YU
    Commented on
    2013/02/28 at 1:57

    Hi Tomoaki and everyone,

    > but they also think it is necessary for develop medical standards

    Although I feel very sorry for the animals which were used to develop medical science, I don’t think animal tests are completely unnecessary at the moment, either. If not, who would be the test objects instead? Human?

    I think most of us depend on the Western medicine today and many of them were developed through animal tests. I don’t think I can refuse to take those medicine or Western medical treatments if my family memebers or myself were very sick.

    So, I want to ask those who protest animal tests if they never take Western medicine or rely on Western medical treatments.

    Having said that, I don’t like abusing or killing animals, either.
    I read that iPS cells might be able to used instead animals for toxicity tests or drug effect tests in the near future. I hope it will be realized as soon as possible.

  25. David Barker
    Commented on
    2013/02/28 at 2:20

    Hi YU,

    I am against animal testing. I don’t think that humans have the right to treat other creatures like that for our own benefit. People sometimes say, “Ah, but if you were dying of cancer, wouldn’t you take the medicine?” Of course I would, but that is a different argument. If I was dying of cancer, I would probably be in favour of testing humans, maybe using murderers or rapists. Society should not set its standards based on what people might agree to when they are dying!

    Everyone accepts that it would be much more effective to use humans for medical research, but as a society, that is where we draw the line. We say, “Even though it would be much better for medical science, we cannot accept that.” I simply argue that the same line should be drawn for animals. I think we should say to the medical profession, “Do the best you can do without experimenting on animals.”

    The question to people who think like me should not be “Would you use medicine that has been developed through animal testing,” but “If there were a vote to stop animal testing tomorrow, which way would you vote?” I would most definitely vote to stop it, even though I know that might affect the quality of medicines that I may need in the future.

    By the way, this same illogical argument is used when people talk about the death penalty. People say to me, “But would you be in favour of the death penalty if someone killed your wife or your child?” My honest answer to that would be yes, but I would want to torture the person first to get revenge. Should that be okay too, then? The point of a civilized society is that we do not set our standards by what people would do in highly emotional states or when they are ill.

  26. David Barker
    Commented on
    2013/02/28 at 2:23

    By the way, a lot of developments in Western medicine actually did come from experiments conducted on humans by the Nazis.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_human_experimentation

    Does that mean we should all refuse to be treated by Western medicine? No – it means we should say that what’s done is done, but that we refuse to allow that kind of research anymore. That is exactly how I feel about animal testing.

  27. YU
    Commented on
    2013/02/28 at 3:04

    Hi Kattie,

    > Yes, If this was the case and it was absolutely clear that the whale wasn’t going to leave any young then I would no more object to the killing of whales than any other animal.

    I see.
    I didn’t expect you would answer like that.
    By the way, what “the whale wasn’t going to leave any young” mean?? Is it mean, “the whale was no longer able to produce any children(the whale lost reproductive power”?!

    > Actually I had already written my comment when I noticed that David had mentioned this but, by that stage, I thought I’d send it anyway by way of further explanation. I’m sorry I didn’t think you had ignored it!

    I’m the one who should apologize!
    Actually, I was just joking with you! I’m sorry!!

  28. YU
    Commented on
    2013/02/28 at 3:33

    Hi David,

    > If I was dying of cancer, I would probably be in favour of testing humans, maybe using murderers or rapists.

    You mean, humans have the right to treat other creatures like that for our own benefit, but they have right to treat humans for their own benefit?

    > Society should not set its standards based on what people might agree to when they are dying!

    I agree, but don’t you rely on Western medicine or Western medical treatments even when you aren’t very sick? What I wanted to say was that those who protest Western medicine should “always” renounce using Western medicine.

    What I wonder is that why those people aren’t reluctant to enjoy the benefits of the current Western medicine itself which has been developed through a number of animal testing in the past.

    I think I have too little knowledge about this issue and probably what I say sounds very irrelevant to you.

  29. YU
    Commented on
    2013/02/28 at 3:37

    【correction】

    You mean, humans have the right to treat other creatures like that for our own benefit, but they have right to treat humans for their own benefit?

    You mean, you don’t think humans have the right…

  30. YU
    Commented on
    2013/02/28 at 3:40

    Sorry again!

    > those who protest Western medicine should “always” renounce using Western medicine

    those who protest animal testing should “always”…

  31. YU
    Commented on
    2013/02/28 at 4:00

    Hi David,

    > Does that mean we should all refuse to be treated by Western medicine? No – it means we should say that what’s done is done, but that we refuse to allow that kind of research anymore. That is exactly how I feel about animal testing.

    Sorry, I missed your sentences above!

    I’m afraid, but it still sounds convenient interpretation for you to me. I agree with you that a lot of developments in Western medicine actually did come from experiments conducted on humans by the Nazis, but isn’t the story a bit too old? I think most of the latest Western medicine or treatments have been developed mainly through animal testing and medical treatments you get at hospital now are the new ones.

    But I don’t mean those people should die!!

  32. Tomoaki
    Commented on
    2013/02/28 at 4:15

    Hi Kettie

    >On the scientific research point, I don’t know enough about the specific benefits of research on whales, or any other animals, but I suspect that a lot of research is not fundamentally important.

    I don’t know who can decide whether the research is necessary or not. However, in many case, most of researches seem unnecessary for many other people, so people should be more careful when they say such things, I think.

    Hi David

    >I am against animal testing. I don’t think that humans have the right to treat other creatures like that for our own benefit.

    Because I think rights are artificial things, thoughts, or concepts, if I asked do humans have the right to treat other creatures, I would answer “No, they don’t.” However, when I think about relationship between humans and animals, I don’t think rights are so important point. Are there any rights when we eat beef, pork, or keep dogs? I think no. In term of “treating,” eating, keeping, and using for scientific researches don’t so different. If rights are needed, humans may do nothing.

    >The point of a civilized society is that we do not set our standards by what people would do in highly emotional states or when they are ill.
    >Society should not set its standards based on what people might agree to when they are dying!

    If so, I think we have not to go to vote. Instead of it, we leave our rights with professors of philosophy or “Big Brother”. I know a majority rule is always right, but it makes much better decisions than an arbitrary rule. Furthermore, if all countries should make same decisions, why we spent much time to do political act?

    >tmarieFeb. 27, 2013 – 04:47PM JST
    >By all means, hunt them. Just a) hunt them in YOUR waters and b) hunt them the traditional way End of story.
    >gelendestrasseFeb. 28, 2013 – 06:03AM JST
    >Sailing off to Antarctica with modern ships isn’t traditional, people don’t tend to buy the meat, and the government is wasting a lot of money doing it.

    There are two points interesting me. One is “whaling in Japan’s territory”. Second is “if Japan says whaling is tradition, hunt them by harpoons.” They are very curious.

  33. David Barker
    Commented on
    2013/02/28 at 4:16

    Hi YU,

    The point I am making is that the following is not a logical argument:

    “If you are against animal testing, you should not use any Western medicines or take advantage of any medical knowledge that has been gained through testing on animals.”

    If you think that is logical, then the following is also true:

    “If you are against experimenting on humans, you should not use any Western medicines or take advantage of any medical knowledge that has been gained through testing on humans.”

    The Nazi story is indeed quite old, but medical knowledge is like a building – you can’t have the top floors without the lower ones. Much of what we know today is built on the foundations of research that was done many years ago.

    For example, here is a quote from Wikipedia:

    “Contemporary knowledge concerning the manner in which the human body reacts to freezing is based almost exclusively on these Nazi experiments.”

    I think we can guess what kind of experiments the Nazis did in order to conduct this research, but does that mean anyone who is rescued from a mountain in winter now should refuse treatment on the grounds that the knowledge the doctors are using to treat him/her came from human experiments?

    Here is how I would argue my case:

    A: Do you use Western medicine?
    Me: Yes.
    A: But it has been developed through tests on animals, so you should either stop using it or say that it’s okay to do animal testing.
    Me: Do you use Western medicine?
    A: Yes.
    Me: But a lot of the medical knowledge that went into developing that medicine came from tests on humans, so you should either stop using it or say that it’s okay to use humans for tests.

    It’s the same logic.

    By the way, as I mentioned before, the whole idea of personalities being affected by blood types comes from Nazi research. That is why I find it so disturbing to hear Japanese people talking about it.

  34. Tomoaki
    Commented on
    2013/02/28 at 4:20

    correction:
    I know a majority rule is “not” always right,

    I checked my words before comment, but I couldn’t avoid making many mistakes.

  35. David Barker
    Commented on
    2013/02/28 at 4:21

    Hi Tomoaki,

    You are right. Saying that humans “don’t have the right” is meaningless. Maybe it would be better to say, “I don’t think we should.”

    I don’t think the comparison with killing animals for food is valid, though. There is a big difference between killing an animal humanely because you are going to eat it and torturing animals for months just so that we can learn something.

    And of course, a lot of the testing done on animals has nothing to do with medicine – it is for things like cosmetics.

  36. Biwa
    Commented on
    2013/02/28 at 5:07

    Hi everyone,

    David, thanks for the link for the whaling article. I’m really sad that what our minister can say was only that! It completely lacks persuasiveness and consideration of other people’s feelings. I’ll read the comments later.

    For the animal testing, I am against it, too. I definitely agree that humans have no rights to treat other animals like that. For the same reason, I would say, if there are people who eat whales, it should be okay to kill them as long as we do it properly(without telling lies to the world that we’re only catching them for research and all other things). I don’t see any logical differences between killing whales and bred animals or fish or plant or whatever because we’re actually killing them anyway, and as long as we eat, we are receiving their lives for our own lives. To me, it sounds pretty arrogant to classify other living creatures exactly as it would if I said I was for animal testing. (I hope my sentence is making sense!)

  37. YU
    Commented on
    2013/02/28 at 5:58

    Hi David,

    Back to our main topic, I read the article and some comments on Japan today you posted. I found this one very interesting.

    > If there were no international furore, Japan probably would have ceased whaling years ago, for purely economic reasons.

    I think he has a point.
    So, why don’t you just leave dumb, obstinate Japanese politicians for a while? It might be the fastest way to stop them whaling, indeed!

    > The Nazi story is indeed quite old, but medical knowledge is like a building – you can’t have the top floors without the lower ones. Much of what we know today is built on the foundations of research that was done many years ago.

    Actually, I tried to write almost the same thing you mentioned above. As you said, today’s medicine is built on the foundations of research that was done many years ago. But I still don’t understand why it could be the reason why you can take advantage of any medical knowledges of today…
    Then I think you should take only advantage of medical knowledges developed before human started animal testing. You may say it’s impossible because today’s medicine is built on both old researches and new researches, though.

    > I think we can guess what kind of experiments the Nazis did in order to conduct this research, but does that mean anyone who is rescued from a mountain in winter now should refuse treatment on the grounds that the knowledge the doctors are using to treat him/her came from human experiments?

    Yes, I think so, if he or she was against human experiments. But at least in Japan, almost no one including me says “I’m against human experiments!” or “I’m not in favor of animal testing!”. I think that means, you don’t need to refuse any medical advantage of today. I know it’s a very passive agreement, though.

    Anyway, maybe I’m too dumb to understand what you’re trying to say. I must take you wrong…
    But as you mentioned about whaling, those protests to protect animals always sound hypocritical to me unless you completly stop taking advantages from the products or knowledges based on animals’ sacrifices.
    You may think I’m too skeptical and mean, but this is my honest feeling.

    By the way, I think actually even today, a number of human experiments for medical science are conducted in this world, of course not that inhuman ones as Nazis did, though.

  38. Kattie
    Commented on
    2013/02/28 at 10:35

    Hi Tomoaki

    > However, in many case, most of researches seem unnecessary for many other people, so people should be more careful when they say such things, I think.

    I’m not absolutely sure what you mean here but I think you mean that a lot of scientific research might be unimportant to most people but very important to some who, for example, might have a specific medical condition which might benefit from further research. What I meant was that I think that some research is for quite trivial problems- for example, some completely unnecessary research is carried out by cosmetic companies and I don’t think animal testing can ever be justified in these situations.

    Actually I find David’s arguments against all animal testing very pursuasive so I’m becoming more and more convinced that all future animal testing should be banned. As David said:
    >Everyone accepts that it would be much more effective to use humans for medical research, but as a society, that is where we draw the line. We say, “Even though it would be much better for medical science, we cannot accept that.” I simply argue that the same line should be drawn for animals. I think we should say to the medical profession, “Do the best you can do without experimenting on animals.”

  39. Anne
    Commented on
    2013/02/28 at 11:10

    Hi David and everyone,

    Sorry to say, I had a look at your comments, but haven’t read all of your comments carefully yet, so there might be something weird or off the track with my comment.
    Anyway, here are my thoughts about this week’s topic:
    1) Are you in favour of killing whales for meat?

    No, I am not.
    When I was a kid, I ate whale meat, but I don’t eat it anymore since commercial whaling was banned. Actually, I’m not enthusiastic about eating it.
    As I said, I’m not in favor of killing whales for meat. It is true that a lot of countries are opposed to whaling for several reasons, however, I don’t get why Japan should stop hunting because of the feelings of other countries. I think it’s OK as long as Japan hunts within the permitted number. Also, it is done for scientific research. As for the sentimental point of view such as it’s cruel, I wonder about other animals, I mean, farm animals like pigs, cows or chicken. (Yu mentioned this point I think.) They are often bred in horrible conditions and are killed for meat. Is it OK because they are bred for food? The meat industry in general has a lot of problem that people aren’t aware of.

    >For me, the most interesting point of this debate is not the rights and wrongs of whaling, but rather the fact that most Japanese people have no idea how strongly the rest of the world feels about the issue—Yes, it is true. I don’t think this issue(the conflict in the Southern Ocean) is reported as much in Japan.

    2) Do you think that Japan should consider the feelings of other countries on this issue, or is it nothing to do with them?—I don’t want to say,”nothing to do with them”, but I’m wondering what is “other countries feelings.”
    I think one of the reasons for the bad feelings toward whaling in foreign countries is the activity(?)by Sea Shepherd as David mentioned; their activities are very effective to let people know about whaling regardless of their barbaric behavior. I believe nothing can be resolved with such violent attacks. Another reason for this might be a 2009 documentary movie called “The Cove” that won the Academy Award for the documentary film. I think this movie captured lots of people’s attention. The movie analyses and questions Japanese dolphin(not whale)hunting culture. I heard that Japanese people who appeared on the movie were very angry because they didn’t know their appearances or words were used that way.
    Also, I guess the reason why Australia and New Zealand get angry about Japan’s whaling there is a matter of conflict of interest because it is done in the Southern Ocean.
    Anyway, Japan has the right to continue whaling as long as it’s legal.

    (3)
    No, I haven’t.

    Anne

  40. Tomoaki
    Commented on
    2013/02/28 at 11:25

    Hi Kattie

    >I’m not absolutely sure what you mean here

    I’m sorry. I heard this blog is for English learners, and I know my English skill is not good. When you can’t understand what I am getting at, please teach me how to say it.

    すみません。ここは英語学習者のためのブログと聞きましたし、僕の英語能力が高くないのもわかっています。もし、何をいっているのかわからないときは、どういえばいいのか教えて下さい。

    >some completely unnecessary research is carried out by cosmetic companies and I don’t think animal testing can ever be justified in these situations.

    What I want to say was when you say some researches are unnecessary, you should be more careful and think why they conduct and what they think about animal testing.

    要するに、そういったことを言う時に、もっと慎重になるべきだといいたいのです。どうしてそういった試験が行われるのか、研究者がどう考えて行なっているのかを考えるべきだと思うのです。

    I am not a woman, so I don’t use cosmetics such as lipstick, a foundation, and a perfume. However, cosmetics are necessary for women and the safeties of them are needed.

    僕は女性じゃないので、化粧品は使いませんが、女性にとって化粧品は必需品です。だから、安全性は絶対に必要です。

    I don’t think Animal has rights, but I don’t want to say human can do everything to animal. I agree certain line should be drawn, but I don’t think David’s arguments against all animal testing are not persuasive. I think, eventually, animals which is thought cute, purity, cool, having intelligence, are preserved, and other animals which is thought ugly, dangerous, too many, like cow, pig, chicken are killed. It is only human’s complacence.

    僕は動物に権利があるとは思っていません。でも、だからといって、人間が動物に何をしてもいいというつもりもありません。一定の基準は必要でしょうが、デイビッドの議論にそこまで説得力があるとは思えません。結局、かわいいとか、知性をもっていると思われているような動物は守られ、そうじゃない、可愛くない、危険、牛や豚や鳥のようにたくさんいる動物は殺されることになる。それはただの人間の自己満足です。

  41. Tomoaki
    Commented on
    2013/02/28 at 11:40

    Hi YU

    >So, why don’t you just leave dumb, obstinate Japanese politicians for a while? It might be the fastest way to stop them whaling, indeed!

    I think so too. If Japan stops whaling in this situation, many people would think Japan lose diplomatically and international influence of Japan may be going to weaken, so even if Japan can stop whaling, it wouldn’t choose the option.

    僕もそう思いますね。もしこの状況で捕鯨をやめたら、きっと正義の為にやめたというよりは、外交的に日本が負けたとか、日本の国際的な影響力が弱まるにちがいないと多くの人が思うでしょうね。だから、もし日本が捕鯨をやめることができたとしても、その選択肢を選ぶことはないでしょう。

  42. YU
    Commented on
    2013/03/01 at 12:35

    Hi Anne and everyone,

    I’m very glad to see your comment here again.
    Although I knew you would be back sometime soon, but I didn’t expect you would join this topic because I wrote too many comments this time again!! hahaha! But it is a nice surprise, anyway!! :-)

    > As for the sentimental point of view such as it’s cruel, I wonder about other animals, I mean, farm animals like pigs, cows or chicken. (Yu mentioned this point I think.) They are often bred in horrible conditions and are killed for meat. Is it OK because they are bred for food?

    To tell the truth, I’m still not convinced that killing farm animals for food is okay, but not whales or dolphins, either, although I read David and Kattie’s comments and some other articles that are against whaling. Fumie mentioned things like that in her comment, too. I have still the same feeling for this point as when I disscussed this topic with the Australian teacher about 15 years ago.

    Both David and Kattie said that the way of killing whale is one of the main reasons why they are against whaling, and I know exactly what they mean, but still, I think killing is killing, anyway.
    David referred to the way of killing kangaroos. They are shot in the head. But so what? Certainly they might have had less pain(?) when they died, but anyway the fact is that they are killed by humans. I wonder if the kangaroos were really happier with the way of being killed in their last moment. Who knows? I suspect it is just a humans’ selfish, convenient logic to make themselves ease(feel less guilty) for killing animals.

  43. amo
    Commented on
    2013/03/01 at 1:56

    Hi David and everyone,

    Thanks to other members, I don’t think there are anything left to say. I read some articles about this issue but I am not convinced at all, because Western people used to killing whales long time ago for its oil, they killed whales only for oil so they threw the rest. Once they stopped killing whales, they consider that whales are beautiful and intelligent manimal?? I can’t get this idea.

    Hi Tomoaki

    >I don’t think Animal has rights, but I don’t want to say human can do everything to animal. I agree certain line should be drawn, but I don’t think David’s arguments against all animal testing are not persuasive. I think, eventually, animals which is thought cute, purity, cool, having intelligence, are preserved, and other animals which is thought ugly, dangerous, too many, like cow, pig, chicken are killed. It is only human’s complacence.

    I couldn’t agree you more. I am not vegetarian so I eat meats. I don’t want to kill any animals but it’s impossible because I don’t think I can stop eating meats and I like leather goods. which means I can’t live without killing animals.

    Hi YU,

    >I wonder if the kangaroos were really happier with the way of being killed in their last moment. Who knows? I suspect it is just a humans’ selfish, convenient logic to make themselves ease(feel less guilty) for killing animals.

    I thought so too.

    amo

  44. Kattie
    Commented on
    2013/03/01 at 2:19

    Hi Tomoaki,

    >I’m sorry. I heard this blog is for English learners, and I know my English skill is not good. When you can’t understand what I am getting at, please teach me how to say it.

    Of course, this blog is for English learners, I’m the intruder here! It’s quite rare to find a bilingual English person and even more rare to come across an English person who speaks Japanese so I’m always really impressed by how good everyone’s English is! I hope I didn’t sound critical and I’m sorry if it came across that way, I was just not sure exactly what you meant.

    On the cosmetics point – I don’t think it’s necessary to test cosmetics on animals there are lots of products which are not tested on animals and companies use a special logo to show this

    Hi Yu,

    > I think killing is killing
    I understand what you mean but I do think the way animals (or people) are killed does matter. I would not want to cause any animal (or person) unnecessary pain. Actually this discussion is now making me think about our euthanasia and death penalty debates!

    Hi Anne,

    I hope you are feeling better now. We have just had two quite sunny days and it feels a bit like spring might be around the corner. I hope the weather is good in Japan, I think it always helps.

  45. Fumie
    Commented on
    2013/03/01 at 6:40

    Hi Kattie,

    >, I’m the intruder here!
    Please, don’t say that.(Maybe you said this out of courtesy.) We are always thankful to you that you gave us Western perspective and we learn new words and expressions from your comments!

    Personally, I think eating animal meat and killing animals for scientific researches are necessary(of course certain lines are drawn, but I don’t think killing animals for cosmetics, game(hunting), leather goods and mounted animals(ornament for display) 剥製 are not necessary. We can’t do without them.

  46. Biwa
    Commented on
    2013/03/01 at 7:44

    Hi everyone,

    I feel that most of the members here are trying to say the same thing that ‘killing is killing’ in different words.
    I’ve always been trying to avoid, and I guess most of you have-because if you say “It’s our mentality.”, the arguement will just stop-but please bear with me. I can’t help thinking that the basic idea of ‘sessho(殺生)’ lies in the bottom of our ways of thinking. It literally means ‘to kill others(including every living thing like plants or bugs)’, and we use it like “We must avoid unnecessary sessho”. However, I think it also conveys the idea that people cannot live without doing sessho. We do not stand on the top of all other living things, and most of us do not want to be cruel at all, and we should be grateful for their lives because we receive their lives. That’s why most of us agree when David and Kattie say we should care about how the animals are killed or we don’t have any rights (or we should not) treat animals as test subjects. However, it’s really diificult(for me) to draw a line between which sessho is okay or not.

    I guess this way of thinking represents most of the Japanese people’s ideas, but as I said before, I’m really sad that our Minister wasn’t able to show our honest feelings towards the international society. His way of talking is like a stubborn old man who always stops the arguement by saying “That’s all. I have nothing more to say!”. Who on earth would feel nice being said like that?

    We have lots of things that we must reconsider and revise about this whaling issue, but he just shut off the discussion! If I were one of those commentators, I certainly would feel the same. I can’t help thinking that if any of the members here were the spokesperson, people in other countries would not be that emotional.

  47. Biwa
    Commented on
    2013/03/01 at 7:49

    Sorry, I misspelled “argument”!

  48. YU
    Commented on
    2013/03/01 at 10:45

    Hi amo,

    > I read some articles about this issue but I am not convinced at all, because Western people used to killing whales long time ago for its oil, they killed whales only for oil so they threw the rest. Once they stopped killing whales, they consider that whales are beautiful and intelligent manimal?? I can’t get this idea.

    When I googled “whaling” a few days ago, I also found many articles saying that. However, I didn’t write it here because I agreed with Kattie’s following sentence :

    > A lot of bad things are done in the name of ‘culture’ and sometimes we have to accept that our culture is wrong!

    Actually she was talking about “fox hunting”, but I thought the UK accepted whaling was wrong and so they stopped it. So I don’t criticize their past evildoing(?) further.

    Hi Tomoaki and Kattie,

    > Of course, this blog is for English learners, I’m the intruder here!

    I know you are just joking, but I never thought that you were the intruder here, of course! I always learn lots of things from you including your culture, thoughts and of course, English, too!

    Advanced level learners here should help new comers like Tomoaki when they need help, but everyone just forgot it because the topic was so interesting and they were absorbed in writing their own comments!

    > On the cosmetics point – I don’t think it’s necessary to test cosmetics on animals there are lots of products which are not tested on animals and companies use a special logo to show this

    My knowledge for the argument about animal testing in the UK is very limited, but about 20~25 years ago I knew The Body Shop opened in Japan. At the time, their policies(against animal testing, ideas of recycling) looked all very new to me. I wrote my knowledge about animal testing is too little in my comment to David and actually I think we have to admit that generally speaking, people in the UK are more aware of those issues than Japanese people, we’re surely behind them.

    > I would not want to cause any animal (or person) unnecessary pain.

    Me, either. However, I can’t believe that painless killing on animals by humans is done purely, 100% only for animals. I suspect it includes humans’ selfish logic more or less as I mentioned.
    Besides, I’m not really sure which is more cruel -killing wild animals including whales and dolphins or breeding animals for food, I agree with you that we should not kill endangered animals, so we should stop whaling, though.
    But why there are so many pigs, cows, chickens, in this world in the first place? Don’t you think because humans produce them artificially(=breed) because they want to eat them?
    David said pork, chicken and beef are one of our basic food sources, but who decided so first? I think we just accustom to eating them than other animals’ meat, so we breed them for food.

  49. Biwa
    Commented on
    2013/03/01 at 2:04

    Hi YU,

    >everyone just forgot it because the topic was so interesting and they were absorbed in writing their own comments!

    I think so, too!

    Hi everyone,

    By the way, I found another mistake in my comment!
    “Commentator” should be “commenter”.(^_^;)

  50. Anne
    Commented on
    2013/03/01 at 4:00

    Hi Tomoaki,Kattie and everyone,

    >>I’m not absolutely sure what you mean here

    >>I’m sorry. I heard this blog is for English learners, and I know my English skill is not good. When you can’t understand what I am getting at, please teach me how to say it.

    This conversation between Tomoaki and Kattie made me think about how you should discuss or communicate smoothly.Tomoaki and Kattie, please don’t get me wrong.

    We don’t talk in person on the blog, so it is sometimes more difficult to express what you really want to say. That’s why many members sometimes add Japanese sentence besides English ones.

    When I read Kattie’s sentence “I’m… here.”, I thought it very polite and useful expression to learn when you are not sure what other person was talking and wanted to ask.
    Kattie, we are always thankful for joining us and I’ve been learning a lot from your comments, so you are never ever the intruder but the member:)

    Anyway, her sentence is part of the process of discussion. If I come across the same situation, I would say, “I see. I wanted to say…or I meant to say…”, and then rephrase my sentence.
    I just shared what I thought. And I would ask,”Does this make sense?”

    ケイティとトモアキの間のやり取りを読んでいて、デイスカッションもしくは会話をスムーズに進めるには、と言うことについてちょっと考えました。
    お二人さんどうか、気を悪くしないでくださいね。

    このブログでは、直接顔を合わせていないので、、本当に自分が言いたいことを表すのは、(日本語でより)難しいことがありますよね。だから、多くのメンバーが、時には日本語を併記しています。

    ケイティの文章を読んだとき、相手のいうことがはっきりしなくて、確かめたいとき使うのに、丁寧で役に立つ覚えたい表現だと思いました。
    ケイティ、あなたにはいつも感謝していますし、私はたくさんのことをあなたのコメントから学んでいます。決して侵入者じゃなくてメンバーですよ^^)
    ともかくも、彼女の文章は、デスカッションを進めるうえでのひとつの過程だと思います。なので、もし私がその状態になったら、”そうですか、。。。と、言いたかったんですけど。”と言って、それから、言い直します。

    ちょこっと感じたこと書きました。

    Hi YU,
    I have to confess I sometimes sip your comment…

    Anne

  51. Anne
    Commented on
    2013/03/01 at 4:58

    It’s me again.
    “sip your comment” should be “skip your comment.”

    Anne