Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Opening a whole new can of whales

We eat cows. The Japanese eat whales. The only difference is that cows are privately owned, and whales are much larger. Despite the hand-wringing over the killing and eating of whales , it's no more or less barbaric than the killing and eating of cows.

Here's what really is barbaric: trying to stop whaling by sinking whalers with a 'can opener' -- as the self-appointed Sea Shepherds have done nine times before. Meeting these efforts with defensive force -- as the Japanese whalers have now asked their military to do -- is simple prudence. Good for them. When you're being rammed by a ship with a 'can-opener' attached, being piloted by people intent on sinking you, why wouldn't you defend yourself?

In that context, Jeanette Fitzsimon's call to have a New Zealand frigate sent to protect "the safety of our citizens on the protest ships" is worse than stupid. Much like she is really. Best she stick to marketing her Green Organic Defoliant.

[UPDATE: Robert Winefield's comment below on Green inconsistency is worth highlighting:
The fact that Fitzsimmons wants the RNZN to fight the Japs over a bunch of sodding whales just shows you how idiotic she and her minions are. Do the Greenz not provide the Minister for Disarmament from within their own ranks?

Sure, let Osama and Saddam rape, kill and torture MEN, WOMEN and CHILDREN in Iraq and Afghanistan and it's "How dare anyone raise arms against them."

But harm one hair on some blubbery sea-beast... and it's "let's send in the navy!!!"
Idiocy indeed.]

More Conservation that's Not PC

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12 Comments:

Blogger noizy said...

"...it's no more or less barbaric than the killing and eating of cows."

It doesn't take thirty minutes and multiple non-lethal wounds to kill a cow.

1/11/2006 11:15:00 am  
Anonymous tincanman said...

But cows are a lot smaller? I don't like what the Japanese are doing, but Greenpeace definately seems to be shaking the slippery end of a greased stick. How they manage to try and fob a side impact on another vessel with their bow as the other ship ramming them is simply crazy.

1/11/2006 12:25:00 pm  
Anonymous ruth said...

RIGHT JAMES. Actually some of us take provenance into account when we deal with food.

Take chickens - one can buy a chicken on special for less than the price of a bag of potatoes. The processes that allow that to happen are disgusting and I want no part of it.

It's too bad that I have only had my writing on this subject published in the UK.

Thinking like Cresswell's has got us into the anthropological mess we are in today.

1/11/2006 04:06:00 pm  
Anonymous CutFoldGlue said...

If (as PC does) you believe what Mr Watson is doing is illegal you have to wonder how he has managed to sink 9 ships without going to jail - in fact being aquitted of wrong-doing. Sure, he's a nutter - a dangerous one - but he is one of very few people actually doing something about Japanese poaching. If we actually enforced current whaling laws then Mr Watson have far less of a case for his actions. As it stands, the reality of maritime law is in his favour.

1/12/2006 12:20:00 am  
Anonymous CutFoldGlue said...

One other point - while killing whales is more barbaric than slaughtering cattle (eg), that is not really the point. This is what gets me:

1/ The Japanese insistance that this is 'scientific' study. No It Is Not. The Japanese are a member of the international whaling commission and as such agree to abide by the whaling ban. While they might not be breaking the letter of the law they are definately breaking the spirit.

2/ There is no danger of sheep, cows, chickens etc becoming extinct. The Japanese are quite happy to declare when they believe a species is sufficiently 'unendangered' to be hunted for 'scientific study'. The extinction of a species is a hefty price to pay for a single country's delicacy.

1/12/2006 12:29:00 am  
Blogger PC said...

--->"There is no danger of sheep, cows, chickens etc becoming extinct."

Indeed not. One reason they aren't is because sheep, cows, chickens etc are privately owned, and whales are not. Not being privately owned, whales are subject to the Tragedy of the Commons, whereas whales are not. As I've said before, "the solution to the imminent and watery Tragedy of the Commons represented by out of control whale-harvesting is similar to the problem solved by nineteenth century cattlemen by the imperfect means of branding, and eventually by the invention of barbed wire. It is one of recognising and legally protecting the property right in these animals.

"Branding and barbed wire were inventions that allowed the cattlemen to identify "their cattle" and to ask the law for its protection for them. The solution is the same for those who wish to protect "their whales" -- a technological advance that allows them to identify to themselves and others which whales are theirs, and which therefore have the full protection of law."

---> "Take chickens - one can buy a chicken on special for less than the price of a bag of potatoes. The processes that allow that to happen are disgusting and I want no part of it."

Me either. Just one reason I'm vegetarian.

1/12/2006 07:40:00 am  
Anonymous Robert Winefield said...

PC wrote: "In that context, Jeanette Fitzsimon's call to have a New Zealand frigate sent to protect "the safety of our citizens on the protest ships" is worse than stupid."

In that context you are correct. However, if this Japanese refueling vessel sinks because the pinko-Peace-niks have destroyed the water-tight integrity of it's hull, then the oil-slick that will mark it's grave may threaten NZ, Antarctica and Australia. Our military should be deployed in defence of our shores. Thus, our Navy should be dispatched to capture or destroy the Sea-Shepherd's vessel and any other pirate that threatens our shoreline.

1/12/2006 08:51:00 am  
Anonymous Robert Winefield said...

"Take chickens - one can buy a chicken on special for less than the price of a bag of potatoes. The processes that allow that to happen are disgusting and I want no part of it."

Great! By that logic you should avoid all modern medicines and cosmetics. The proteins I use to test anti-cancer drugs come from the brains of pigs, cows and various fish. Anti-bodies used in my research are manufactured using rabbits, chickens and goats as factories. In order to obtain samples of cancer tumours that I can experiment on, human tumours are injected into mice so that they mey grow to a size large enough for me to look at.

All of these things require that the animal be sacrificed. Usually this is done by suffocating them with CO2. Personally, I think that slitting an artery would be quicker and less painful, but there are some scientist who just can't abide blood so the animals suffer more just to spare the human. But then, that's the whole object of the exercise in the first place...

The reason we live longer and easier today is because we have learned to harness nature. But doing so requires that someone, somewhere gets their hands dirty. Deal with it, it's a fact of modern life.

So to my point (finally!), I agree with PC!

The key-problem here is that there is (currently) no way to establish title to the whales. That is where the morality of the problem begins and ends - it has nothing to do with disgusting food-processing or humane killing; those are side-issues.

If they are the Sea Shepherd's whales then they have a perfect right to use force on the Japanese Whaler - provided that their punitive action does not effect an innocent third party (ie a NZ coastal property owner.)

1/12/2006 08:52:00 am  
Blogger PC said...

Robert, you said, "Thus, our Navy should be dispatched to capture or destroy the Sea-Shepherd's vessel and any other pirate that threatens our shoreline."

You don't say so but I'm sure you're aware, Robert, that Fitzsimplesimons was not proposing a frigate to protect the sinkee (the whaler's refuelling ship) but to protect the sinker (the Sea Shepherd's tub with the can-opener attachment). That despatching a frigate in such circumstances would put our navy (such as it is) in conflict with the Japanese navy (which unlike ours is a real navy) does not seem to have occured to Fitzsimplesimons.

Other than that, I agree with you completely, especially when you say "I agree with PC!" A clear sign of good taste and intelligence. :-)

1/12/2006 10:57:00 am  
Anonymous Robert Winefield said...

No, I know Fitzsimmons wants to protect Greenpeace.

I don't. Sink those pinko-pirate-fuckers! Twice! And if the Japs want to send a Frigate to do the job; then I'll chip in for the ammunition!

The fact that Fitzsimmons wants the RNZN to fight the Japs over a bunch of sodding whales just shows you how idiotic she and her minions are.

Do the Greenz not provide the Minister for Disarmament from within their own ranks?

Sure, let Osama and Saddam rape, kill and torture MEN, WOMEN and CHILDREN in Iraq and Afghanistan and it's "How dare anyone raise arms against them."

But harm one hair on some blubbery sea-beast that eats where it shits and pisses (was someone talking about disgusting before???) and it's "let's send in the navy!!!"

Why doesn't she get off her own arse and row out to the southern ocean to protect her whales. That after all was the Greenz/Pinko's catch-cry when Bush and Rumsfeld suggested invading Iraq...

1/12/2006 02:01:00 pm  
Anonymous Robert Winefield said...

One of the really amusing points that James Waterton makes is that the consumption of Whale meat is going down in Japan.

I presume that this is because that young Japanese people prefer Big Macs and Mcnuggets to Minke gibblits and Whale Blubber sandwiches.

How ironic, globalization saves the whales!

Ahahahahahahahaha!!!!

1/12/2006 06:40:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work
»

12/01/2006 04:57:00 pm  

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