Cultural practices acceptable or not
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.