Dolphins, assumingly the friendliest and most intelligent inhabitants of the sea are being hunted and let to bleed out in agony by Japanese fishermen every day. Disturbing photos of the ongoing Dolphin-slaughter have reached the Western borders yet again. Sparing only the prettiest of their kind to sell them to zoos worldwide. It is to hope that the also ongoing shocking reports about the killings will put pressure on the government which has not reacted positively to enquiries from either the Journalists nor the protesters side.
Thinking of Dolphins, the first thing to come to your mind could be the happy and philanthropic “Flipper”, helping humans in danger in the TV-show entitled after him. Or you maybe think of the reports about children who had to spent most of their lives in hospitals, now playing around with dolphins and feeling like normal kids, with their proud parents watching.
In our eyes we see the brutal killings of beautiful and lovable creatures just for the blatant greed of gain. But are we any better?
Since on the other side us living in the West eat cattle, killed and filleted by mass production. Apparently a cow is a holy animal for the Hindu in India, where over one sixth of the earth’s population lives. Furthermore pigs, highly intelligent animals just like dolphins or whales, which are seen as domestic animals in many African nations, end on the plates of ordinary Western civilians.
A seemingly quite racist campaign against the dolphin and the very similar tragical whale huntings has started already a year ago, which lead to fractional boycotting of Japanese products in Australia, the country in which kangaroos get killed on a daily basis for already many years.
Attacked by Western nations, the leading Japanese politicians often point at Norway and Iceland, much smaller countries but with nearly the same kill-counts of whales a year. Therefore they feel treated in an unfair way and suspect a racist campaign behind the journalistic coverages and the embargo in parts.
A clash of the cultures as it couldn’t be more extreme. One might think Japan is a fully westernized country, but the truth is far from that. It is a very conservative nation in which traditions play an important role. The “Whaling” and “Dolphin-fishing” are two of them, they are traditions which roots go back to the 17th century. There is even a Japanese proverb about the Whaling which sums up their point of view: “There’s nothing to throw away from a whale except its voice”.
Every nation has its own ways of behaving, repulsive for some and socially accepted for others. In Japan, a dolphin is a useful animal. In their eyes it is a big “fish” with tasty meat that needs to be caught. For us the hunting is a brute mass murder that has to be stopped. Most of the protests are honorable but in the end for the common Japanese, all they do is interfere in the hard and bloody work of a fisherman.