Cul­tural prac­tices ac­cept­able or not

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS -

As the years have gone by I’ve found it in­creas­ingly hard to un­der­stand why the Ja­panese re­main in­sis­tent on killing whales. Back in 1986 there was a mora­to­rium placed on the prac­tice. Ever since Ja­pan has used a clause in that agree­ment which al­lows for whales to be caught for ‘‘sci­en­tific re­search’’. This same agree­ment then al­lows for the meat to be sold for pub­lic con­sump­tion.

Many Ja­panese claim eat­ing whale meat is part of their cul­ture. Does one cul­ture have the right to de­mand that an­other stop do­ing some­thing that they don’t agree with? Is it any dif­fer­ent to bull fight­ing in Spain? The bulls don’t stand a chance and most die in the bull ring.

Much fairer was the Por­tuguese ver­sion I saw in Lis­bon which in­volved a group of up to a dozen un­armed young men. A ‘‘kill’’ was when one of the group man­aged to get his hands over the bull’s eyes which led the an­i­mal to stand still. The night we were there it only hap­pened once and in­vari­ably the bull would toss the young men in the air like rag dolls and trot out of the ring leav­ing a trail of bro­ken bones and egos be­hind. So is eat­ing whale meat part of Ja­panese cul­ture or are they just be­ing bloody minded? We don’t have to look back more than 60 years to see that the Ja­panese can be quite bel­liger­ent!

Any­way I’ve got the so­lu­tion. The Ja­panese pro­vide us with a re­frig­er­ated ship and ev­ery time there’s a whale strand­ing here we bung the car­casses in the freezer and when the ship’s full we shoot it off to Ja­pan to sat­isfy all those people look­ing for their Minke burger fix. ◗ Ed Tay­lor is gen­eral man­ager of War­birds Over Wanaka and reck­ons Wanaka is the best place in the world to live.

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