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[P]
Whaling Commission meeting wraps up with a compromise

By imrdkl in News
Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 10:03:53 AM EST
Tags: News (all tags)
News

The 56-member International Whaling Commission (IWC) held their annual meeting this week in Sorrento, Italy, amidst growing unrest from a group of member nations who were determined to lift the 18-year old ban on commercial whaling. While the ban remains in place for now, the meeting evidenced "deep divisions" between those countries who would end the ban, and those who fear for some species of whale if it is lifted.

In the end, a compromise was declared by William Hogarth, the commissioner to the commission. Yet, there is little doubt that the "coalition of the willing" - those nations who, for whatever reason, are ready to begin killing the world's most majestic mammals again - is growing. In all likelihood, the ban will be lifted in the future, in light of the current trends and support.


Earlier in the week, Japan, the leader among the countries who want to end the ban, threatened to pull out of the IWC, alleging "unreasonableness" and secret cabals among the commission's anti-whaling members. With the meeting over, the Japanese representatives are "not very optimistic" about achieving their desired result at next year's meeting either, since a vote on the plan for managed hunting was not only avoided this year, but also partially postponed in advance for next year's meeting. The commission's decision not to set a time limit on revisions to the so-called Revised Management Scheme (RMS), left the Japanese feeling that "their interests had been ignored". The representatives of nations who were against the plan argue that, in it's current form, the RMS could effectively cause the ban to be lifted entirely - which would be a serious mistake.

Among the RMS's supporting nations, including the Dutch, and surprisingly, even the US, the claim is that support for the RMS, which was authored by the Danes, is reasonable, based on the assumption that better management and strict quotas will help encourage countries like Norway, which sets it's own quotas, to accept the authority of the IWC. Meanwhile, a number of Caribbean nations have also become allies to the Japanese cause, supporting the plan amid accusations that Japan is making foreign aid conditional to support from these same countries.

With a 3/4s majority required to lift the ban, it was never in danger of being lifted directly, however, some pro-whaling nations are in fact declaring the meeting to be "small progress", and are quietly confident, in spite of the as yet unlimited time to propose revisions to the RMS. The final decision, after all, commits the IWC to "proceed expeditiously" to completing a draft RMS for "possible" adoption at its 2005 meeting in Ulsan, South Korea. Critics of the plan say, however, that it is unenforceable, since it lacks penalties or compliance mechanisms to ensure that illegal whaling and under-reporting don't occur. Such measures may be now be proposed before final adoption.

In any case, according to the IWC, oil and gas exploration and toxic chemicals are a much bigger problem at this time for whales, than hunting. Amidst all the brouhaha and dissention this week, the IWC sounded the alarm over the significant threat posed to Gray whales by oil and gas exploration in the Russian Far East. Only 100 Gray whales are known to exist, while at least three major oil companies are engaging in undersea seismic exploration1 in one of their favorite feeding grounds, causing confusion and disturbing the whales. The resolution notes that, "It is a matter of absolute urgency that measures be taken to protect this population and its habitat off Sakhalin Island,"

1. seismic exploration involves burying significant charges of high explosive at equally spaced distances on a long line across some terrain (in this case, the sea floor). At a specific time, the charges are detonated simulaneously, and the resulting sound/shock waves are recorded in significant detail, giving the geo-analysts a very clear picture of the underlying strata - and giving the whales a terrible headache.

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Poll
Whaling?
o Lift the ban, no restrictions 11%
o A few species should be hunted now 20%
o Only for scientific purposes 17%
o Never again 51%

Votes: 70
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Internatio nal Whaling Commission
o growing unrest
o will be lifted in the future
o threatened to pull out
o not to set a time limit
o even the US
o reasonable
o sets it's own quotas
o allies to the Japanese cause
o making foreign aid conditional to support
o "small progress"
o sounded the alarm
o Also by imrdkl


Display: Sort:
Whaling Commission meeting wraps up with a compromise | 157 comments (155 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
Whale-lovers are pussies (1.04 / 21) (#2)
by Hide Teh Hamster on Fri Jul 23, 2004 at 09:03:50 PM EST

What a limp-wristed cause. Nuke the whales.


This revitalised kuro5hin thing, it reminds me very much of the new German Weimar Republic. Please don't let the dark cloud of National Socialism descend upon it again.
Heh (1.42 / 7) (#10)
by imrdkl on Sat Jul 24, 2004 at 05:17:32 AM EST

Hide Teh Whale

[ Parent ]
Hide Your Mother (1.00 / 6) (#24)
by Hide Teh Hamster on Sat Jul 24, 2004 at 05:33:26 PM EST




This revitalised kuro5hin thing, it reminds me very much of the new German Weimar Republic. Please don't let the dark cloud of National Socialism descend upon it again.
[ Parent ]
Heh (2.00 / 5) (#26)
by imrdkl on Sat Jul 24, 2004 at 06:09:56 PM EST

Hide Teh Whale in Your Mother

[ Parent ]
Hide The Whale In Your Mother's Cunt (1.00 / 7) (#27)
by Hide Teh Hamster on Sat Jul 24, 2004 at 06:13:42 PM EST




This revitalised kuro5hin thing, it reminds me very much of the new German Weimar Republic. Please don't let the dark cloud of National Socialism descend upon it again.
[ Parent ]
Heh (1.14 / 7) (#28)
by imrdkl on Sat Jul 24, 2004 at 06:16:01 PM EST

Hide Teh Whale in Your Mothers Poop Chute

[ Parent ]
I am an opportunist. (1.00 / 7) (#29)
by Hide Teh Hamster on Sat Jul 24, 2004 at 06:17:54 PM EST

Because that sentence was improperly constructed, I am claiming it as my own: Hide Teh Whale in Your Mother's Poop Chute


This revitalised kuro5hin thing, it reminds me very much of the new German Weimar Republic. Please don't let the dark cloud of National Socialism descend upon it again.
[ Parent ]
Thats quite clear (1.00 / 7) (#30)
by imrdkl on Sat Jul 24, 2004 at 06:20:16 PM EST

You haven't had an original thing to say since you joined this bboard, lad.

[ Parent ]
You lie through your teeth. (1.25 / 4) (#31)
by Hide Teh Hamster on Sat Jul 24, 2004 at 06:20:45 PM EST

This is fact, environmentalist.


This revitalised kuro5hin thing, it reminds me very much of the new German Weimar Republic. Please don't let the dark cloud of National Socialism descend upon it again.
[ Parent ]
no, no. (none / 2) (#93)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 08:34:41 AM EST

You got it wrong. The slogan is

"Nuke the gay baby whales for Jesus!"


Now where did I put that clue? I know I had one just a minute ago!
[ Parent ]

Hooray for whales! (2.50 / 8) (#3)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Fri Jul 23, 2004 at 09:26:10 PM EST

Not exactly on topic, but I ate some whale a few weeks back. I was in Norway and went to a nice steak house. And of course they had whale on the menu. So I ordered a 150g whale steak. Was about 30 EUR so it was pretty damn expensive. That's what you get for having pinko treehuggers driving the prices up on a perfectly fine, abundant fish (or whatever the fuck those things are). Funny thing was, the waitress immediately said 'poor whale.' Bad salesmanship, I'd fire her on the spot.

I know everyone wants to know how it tasted. Very much like liver, ie. not very good. The texture was meaty and it felt like a real steak. Afterwards I asked some local girls about whale steaks (Norwegian girls are hot and friendly, Sami girls even more so), and they said if it tasted like liver it wasn't prepared properly. Guess I'll have to taste some more whale when I'm in Japan; those people know how to cook!

Well, that's my whale story. Anyone else?

--
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
-- George Orwell


If you don't know what you're eating... (none / 1) (#5)
by jd on Fri Jul 23, 2004 at 10:27:45 PM EST

...or even what class of species it belongs to, then they would be fine with giving you almost anything. What would you know?

If you're too busy oggling the girls to spot the difference between a cetatian and chopped liver, or even care, then I really recommend sticking with liver and saving your money.

[ Parent ]

Agreed (none / 0) (#17)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sat Jul 24, 2004 at 01:47:40 PM EST

I'm not a food connoisseur by any measure. In fact, I'd go without eating at all if I could.

Then again, I'm sure there is a very small proportion of the populace who can accurately tell the difference between, say, moose meat and deer meat.

I have a habit of eating the local delicacies when I'm travelling around the world (which is pretty often for me). The more obscure the better. See my other comment in this thread. And eating whale is a good way to get in an interesting debate with clueless treehuggers and hopefully opening their eyes to some real figures and drift them away from the worst green propaganda. There are treehuggers who do have a clue, but they're rare, and a delight to debate with since they know their shit and are not blindly saying "butbutbut, eating whale is bad because Greenpeace says so!"

For the record, I would not knowingly eat meat of an endangered species, like tiger meat.

--
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
-- George Orwell


[ Parent ]
Eating the world (none / 0) (#152)
by Jah-Wren Ryel on Sat Jul 31, 2004 at 11:34:20 PM EST

You should try a good horse steak.  Seriously.  I was in the north of Italy a few years back and the restraunt had horse on the menu.  So I had to order it, just so I could give my horse-loving friends back home some crap about it.  I ordered it prepared medium but it came out bloody. I was freaked that I had got myself into a situation, in front of business clients, where I either had to suffer through some disgusting food or embarass my hosts, who had recommended this small, but very upscale, restraunt by sending the meal back.  I chose to eat it.

Turned out to be the best piece of meat I have ever eaten.  More tender and flavorful than the best filet mignon.  Since then I've learned that it is rare to get good horse, usually it is stringy and tough.  But, if you can get the good stuff (no retired racehorses), it is amazing.

[ Parent ]

And then some (none / 0) (#153)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 12:04:58 AM EST

I had a horse steak in Luxembourg. It was apparently one of the bad kind. Medium, pretty tough, not too stringy, though. It had a strong, distinct taste which wasn't exactly to my liking, either. I'll have to try it out at a good restaurant when I have the chance.

Two best exotic meats I've ever had were ostrich (Indonesian hot pot) and bison (Tex-Mex steak). The ostrich especially was simply amazing; I highly recommend the restaurant on Victoria Peak in Hong Kong if you're ever around there. The view is some of the most amazing in the world especially in the evenings since you have entire Hong Kong spread below you, a million lights, breathtaking. Reserve a table at least a few days in advance to get a window table. And the food is divine.

--
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
-- George Orwell


[ Parent ]
Well... (none / 0) (#6)
by BJH on Fri Jul 23, 2004 at 11:10:48 PM EST

Over here in Japan we prefer our whale meat raw (not entirely true, as people of middle age or older remember the deep-fried whale meat that was served as a beef/pork substitute in school lunches after WWII).
In any case, I've had it, and the fact that I don't really remember what it tasted like suggests that it wasn't anything particularly eye-opening.
--
Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
-- Oscar Levant

[ Parent ]
Here in Sweden, (none / 3) (#23)
by Sesquipundalian on Sat Jul 24, 2004 at 05:08:02 PM EST

We trade biotechnology weapons with the local wales, for their meat and oil.

Over the last 15 years, our government has slowly instituted a program called Bloedzweer voor walvisspek, where we retrain enemployed IT managers to negotiate and mediate these transactions.

The result has been a wonderful cultural exchange between Sweden and the Whale-ish community.

As a matter of fact, at least three K5 members that I know personally are Swedish-Whaleish half breed Otherkins!


Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
[ Parent ]
You switched to Holland in Sweden? (none / 1) (#32)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sat Jul 24, 2004 at 10:13:15 PM EST

And I thought you Swedes called whales 'submarines'...

--
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
-- George Orwell


[ Parent ]
JP (none / 0) (#48)
by kurioszyn on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 02:05:11 PM EST

Japanese should fucking stick to making sushi.

This is their greatest contribution to humanity and I highly doubt they will be able to improve upon that.


[ Parent ]

Psst...over here. (2.50 / 4) (#9)
by Torka on Sat Jul 24, 2004 at 04:29:06 AM EST

I asked around and word on the street is that posting nonchalantly about how you've eaten whale meat doesn't make you look cool.

Sorry man. :(

[ Parent ]

You're reading too much into my anecdote /nt (none / 2) (#16)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sat Jul 24, 2004 at 01:39:59 PM EST

The time I ate a deep-fried scorpion, now that made me even more cool than I was before!

--
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
-- George Orwell


[ Parent ]
You got some bad whale, then (none / 2) (#11)
by imrdkl on Sat Jul 24, 2004 at 05:23:17 AM EST

A properly prepared cut is a savory delight, or so they tell me. Here in Norway it's most common to find whale meat prepared in the manner you seem to have experienced, though, which is boiled with some brown sauce, and then it is much like liver.

The Norwegians are very faithful to their own quotas, and they take their whale in their own waters - or at least while the whales are within their own waters. But that's the problem with hunting whale, it seems to me, they're not really a "resource" of any given country. They're an "animal of the world", if you will.

[ Parent ]

Environmental issues (1.90 / 10) (#4)
by jd on Fri Jul 23, 2004 at 10:23:48 PM EST

...are extremely important - especially this one - but tend to get voted down and/or slammed by a section of K5 readers who really don't give a damn.

I hope the story survives voting, because discussion is important, but I'm not holding my breath.

On the issue at hand, I honestly think the IWC sould tell Norway and Japan where they can stuff their whaling fleets, and preserve the ban. Cetatians are not only one of the most threatened of species, they are also the only species with a comparably complex brain to humans. As such, the ethics of hunting such creatures is extremely dubious at best.

It's not going to happen, but I honestly wouldn't shed a tear if one of the more feverent anti-whaling nations declared war on Japan and Norway, attacking the whaling ships and bombing the whaling stations. It's extremely obvious that nothing less would seriously influence either nation's views, no matter what the scientific or environmental evidence.

My concern is that the reverse is actually much MORE likely - that Japan and Norway - if they can't bribe or threaten IWC members to vote with them - will simply shoot any protestors that get in their way. What's to stop them? The French quite happily killed a Greenpeace photographer, and have used their military to storm nuclear protestor's ships. The International community hasn't even raised an eyebrow. The number of nations that would actually care if Japanese whalers gunned down a few protestors is much smaller.

Are either of these possibilities realistic? In today's society, yes. Very much so. The near-collapse of the IWC has sown that Japan and Norway have no time for democracy or negotiation. They want it their way, and they want it now. Traditionally, when nations feel like that, people get hurt.

As for the protestors - Greenpeace is no longer the activist group it once was, but activist groups certainly exist. Furthermore, the more they are sidelined, the more radical they become. That's who in the US, they suffer so much from "eco-terrorism". It's not because Americans are more violent (though there is that, too), it's because they've learned that the only things American politicians comprehend are money and guns.

Most environmental groups don't have the money of Big Business. That doesn't leave too many options.

(In Britain, where bribing officials is actually an offence, protests can still be hairy, but they're far more peaceful. That's the difference between a democracy and the United States.)

Why i voted it down (2.85 / 7) (#19)
by godix on Sat Jul 24, 2004 at 02:45:00 PM EST

tend to get voted down and/or slammed by a section of K5 readers who really don't give a damn.

*
Actually I'm voting it down because of the ignorant comments from people who obviously have no idea what they're talking about.
honestly think the IWC sould tell Norway and Japan where they can stuff their whaling fleets, and preserve the ban.

And then do what, watch Norway and Japan withdraw from the IWC and be free of any restraints they current abide by? Great idea. Go re-read the part marked *.
I honestly wouldn't shed a tear if one of the more feverent anti-whaling nations declared war on Japan and Norway, attacking the whaling ships and bombing the whaling stations.

So what, a dispute on hunting is worth killing people over since unlike killing whales there's no ethical considerations over killing people. Go re-read the part marked *.
Japan and Norway - if they can't bribe or threaten IWC members to vote with them - will simply shoot any protestors that get in their way.

What, are protestors lives are oh so much more valuable than those filthy workers who deserve to be bombed as you mentioned earlier? Go re-read the part marked *.
The near-collapse of the IWC has sown that Japan and Norway have no time for democracy or negotiation.

Yeah right, debate about modifying the rules will destroy the IWC. Suuuure it will. Go re-read the part marked *.
In Britain, where bribing officials is actually an offence, protests can still be hairy, but they're far more peaceful. That's the difference between a democracy and the United States.

Silly me, and here I thought democracy was all about voting and stuff. I was obviously wrong, it's all about violent protest. Go re-read the part marked *.


They are possibly the dumbest people on the planet...
- Michael Moore describing Americans
[ Parent ]
Oh, COME ON... (none / 3) (#38)
by trhurler on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 11:26:07 AM EST

The French boarded ONE Greenpeace vessel that I'm aware of, and that is NOT because they were protesting, as you either know or should know. They boarded that ship because the Greenpeace folks were not just TRAILING their shipment of nuclear materials, but broadcasting its exact location constantly for all to hear, thereby making the trip more hazardous than it would otherwise be and producing some real risk of the cargo being stolen, which would have been a disaster. They were warned off many times, and ignored the commands of armed naval vessels. Then they were boarded. Oh, the horror!

As for the Greenpeace photographer, as I recall he was photographing things that could get you shot regardless of who you work for. Saying "but he worked for Greenpeace" is meaningless.

Finally, regarding Japan shooting protesters: not unless the protesters do something really stupid, like attack whalers or attempt to destroy their equipment or something like that. If they in fact "protest" rather than "assault," I imagine nothing will happen to them.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
No. (none / 1) (#78)
by tuskless on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 12:56:35 AM EST

The French boarded ONE Greenpeace vessel that I'm aware of, and that is NOT because they were protesting, as you either know or should know. They boarded that ship because the Greenpeace folks were not just TRAILING their shipment of nuclear materials, but broadcasting its exact location constantly for all to hear, thereby making the trip more hazardous than it would otherwise be and producing some real risk of the cargo being stolen, which would have been a disaster. They were warned off many times, and ignored the commands of armed naval vessels. Then they were boarded. Oh, the horror!
Way to "forget" the one they bombed in Auckland Harbour, good work.
As for the Greenpeace photographer, as I recall he was photographing things that could get you shot regardless of who you work for.
If that's your justification for the wilful explosive murder of a photographer thousands of miles from anything French... then I'd hate to see you get into power, I really would. And again, still in harbour in Auckland, New Zealand. Not really sure what he was possibly taking pictures of there, it's a bit of a hole.
Saying "but he worked for Greenpeace" is meaningless.
Agreed entirely. Bombing anybody is unconscionable.

[ Parent ]
Heh (none / 1) (#102)
by trhurler on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 03:07:28 PM EST

The Rainbow Warrior is the same ship used to trail the nuclear shipments. Frankly, the incompetence here is that the ship wasn't simply made to disappear at sea - which I almost guarantee you is what any other nuclear power would have done. There are a few things you just don't mess with if you have any brain function whatsoever - nuclear weapons and related materials being one of them. Greenpeace didn't know when to take a barking dog seriously. I didn't know it was bombed, but good for the French; idiots publicizing otherwise secret details of nuclear shipments deserve what they get, because their actions endanger us all.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Heh (none / 1) (#115)
by trhurler on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 02:48:22 AM EST

In a case like this, "justified" is a moot concept. This is the nation-state's equivalent of "there are three people in an airplane and two parachutes."

I know you want to argue the comparison. This is probably because you haven't thought closely enough about what could have happened as a result of these dumbasses and their "Rainbow Warrior." I don't know exactly how much material they were carrying, but there is certainly the capacity on any ship of decent size to carry around a potential extinction level event, and if that's a dumb idea, broadcasting its location is even dumber.

Now, more practically, we all know the French hate Greenpeace because their nuclear program is at odds with their stated policies and with what they expect from other nations, and it is embarassing to have it put in the spotlight. BUT, who really cares? I personally do not want people who endanger my existence pointlessly to go unpunished, and the details may be unfortunate, but that's the nature of an institution that is founded as a monopoly on the legitimate use of force - if you don't like it, work to abolish governments or something like that, because as long as they exist, they will resort to their final and in the long view ONLY means of action: violence.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
kettles (none / 1) (#111)
by gdanjo on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 11:31:01 PM EST

The Rainbow Warrior is the same ship used to trail the nuclear shipments. Frankly, the incompetence here is that the ship wasn't simply made to disappear at sea - which I almost guarantee you is what any other nuclear power would have done. There are a few things you just don't mess with if you have any brain function whatsoever - nuclear weapons and related materials being one of them. Greenpeace didn't know when to take a barking dog seriously. I didn't know it was bombed, but good for the French; idiots publicizing otherwise secret details of nuclear shipments deserve what they get, because their actions endanger us all.
Hmmm. Perhaps it was the French that were idiots for hauling dangerous nuclear arsenal around the world?

Here's a mental exercise for you that you can use in determining "who is endangering whom" in such (and similar) situations: without the French, there would be no danger; without Greenpeace, there would still be danger.

Seems to me that it is the French that have introduced the danger onto the seas, and yet it is the messenger that gets shot for exposing this. Kettle, meet Mr. Pothead.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

No (none / 1) (#116)
by trhurler on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 02:54:35 AM EST

First of all, the material was not nuclear weapons. If it was, I guarantee you that ship would have been boarded or sunk as soon as it hit international waters; no navy tolerates that sort of action against its ships of war, let alone against ships carrying actual nuclear weapons. The material was some sort of fissile element, and I don't know the details exactly(I'm not sure anyone does who can legally admit it publicly, but I don't think these details matter either, so I haven't tried hard to find out.)

Second, there's not actually much danger THERE until someone decides to tell every would be nuclear power, terrorist, and whatever else exactly where to find the one thing he needs that is actually hard to get.

Third, we're not talking about merely informing people that a shipment is occurring, or even just discretely informing nations near the shipment's path. We're not talking about ANY legitimate messenger role. We're talking about a deliberate attempt to make this method of shipment non-viable by making it too dangerous. If you try to coerce people whose BUSINESS is violence, you have to expect bad results.

In any case, the world's nuclear powers are not about to give up their ultimate weapons or the materials needed to produce them, or to quit carrying these things around to such locations as they deem necessary. We know this, and we know that no protest is going to change it. Greenpeace should have known it too. And remember, at the time, all the French did was board the ship and remove it from the area, which is actually a pretty tame response. Only later did they bomb it, and this after it became quite clear that Greenpeace was not going to take a hint.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
saving (none / 0) (#130)
by gdanjo on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 08:07:42 PM EST

First of all, the material was not nuclear weapons. If it was, I guarantee you that ship would have been boarded or sunk as soon as it hit international waters; no navy tolerates that sort of action against its ships of war, let alone against ships carrying actual nuclear weapons. [...]
You have a naive view about the "power" that a navy has. Sure, it could have sunk it, killed all on board, and ate their livers. But thankfully, the world isn't ruled by navies, and Greenpeace knows this.

Second, there's not actually much danger THERE until someone decides to tell every would be nuclear power, terrorist, and whatever else exactly where to find the one thing he needs that is actually hard to get.
There would be no intelligent life on earth if there was no water. Therefore, water contains intelligence.

I'm not sure how else to tell you the hubris of such a statement. Greenpeace did not create the environment to make the situation dangerous. The french did.

Kinda like if I put a big red button on your desk that says "DO NOT PUSH" and is attached to an explosive. You may say that whomever pushes the button and perishes deserves what they get because they caused the explosion (in a shallow sense), but I say that it was my fault for building the damn button in the first place.

*shrug* Each to his own opinion I guess.

Third, we're not talking about merely informing people that a shipment is occurring, or even just discretely informing nations near the shipment's path. We're not talking about ANY legitimate messenger role. We're talking about a deliberate attempt to make this method of shipment non-viable by making it too dangerous. If you try to coerce people whose BUSINESS is violence, you have to expect bad results.
Excuse me? Aren't we talking about the incident in question? The message got out loud, clear, and unabiguous. And like all viral-marketing, it worked.

You may not like the methods, but "real life" does - politicians, for example, use it all the time ("any attention is good attention").

In any case, the world's nuclear powers are not about to give up their ultimate weapons or the materials needed to produce them, or to quit carrying these things around to such locations as they deem necessary. We know this, and we know that no protest is going to change it. Greenpeace should have known it too. [...]
Yeah? No shit. The cavemen also knew that no matter what they did, they wouldn't get on the moon. Still, we ended up with monkeys on the moon.

You should never underestimate the power of "ordinary people" - after all, without it, neither the navy nor their precious nuclear arsenal would be in existence today.

And remember, at the time, all the French did was board the ship and remove it from the area, which is actually a pretty tame response. Only later did they bomb it, and this after it became quite clear that Greenpeace was not going to take a hint.
And how many other ships have they sunk since? And given this number, how would you rate the success of their mission to save the rest of humanity?

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

No (none / 0) (#136)
by trhurler on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 03:20:12 AM EST

It is you who improperly estimates "the power of navies." Where nuclear weapons are involved, the security plans are... ah... well, frankly beyond belief. The navy would sink the ship, everyone on board would be told about the prison sentence that awaited him if he even spoke to a crewmate about what had just happened, let alone to anyone else, and officially nobody would ever have seen the ship, and what happened to it would be a "mystery."

You think it hasn't happened before? Heh... I suppose that's because you haven't heard about it:)

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
greenpeace (none / 0) (#137)
by gdanjo on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 04:08:48 AM EST

It is you who improperly estimates "the power of navies." Where nuclear weapons are involved, the security plans are... ah... well, frankly beyond belief. The navy would sink the ship, everyone on board would be told about the prison sentence that awaited him if he even spoke to a crewmate about what had just happened, let alone to anyone else, and officially nobody would ever have seen the ship, and what happened to it would be a "mystery."
The act of "dissapearing" people is, at a superficial level, a purely military act, and such action does not "intersect" with the reality that everyday people experience. But the act of "dissapearing" a Greenpeace ship is a political act, and there would be no mystery; fingers would point, heads would roll, and Greenpeace finds a swathe of new supporters.

In the popular-political sphere, the navy has far less "power" than you seem to think (and I'm not talking about "phallic power", I'm talking about "what I can do" power). Greenpeace knows this, and offers itself as a quasi-martyr to get it's message across.

(Unless, that is, you measure "power" by the diameter of your turret.)

You think it hasn't happened before? Heh... I suppose that's because you haven't heard about it:)
Again, Mr. Senior Drugdealer can dissapear because Mr. Senior does not operate in a public sphere, and so does not have the "mind-share" of everyday people who'd mourn and act for him.

Greenpeace, on the other hand, does.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

No... (none / 0) (#138)
by trhurler on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 04:30:28 AM EST

Greenpeace is widely regarded by your average man as a bunch of fringe crackpots with nutball ideas who do crazy shit and whine a lot.

As for disppearing one of their ships, it would be trivially easy. As long as nobody was around, sure, you could point fingers, but it wouldn't matter. At worst, some military figure would be scapegoated privately to sate any internal dissent that might threaten to become publicly visible, and then the whole world could believe whatever it liked, and nobody in a position of power would care, because without hard proof, denials would be good enough to make MOST people forget about the issue before the next election.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
you're ... (none / 0) (#140)
by gdanjo on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 09:10:08 AM EST

... one pessimistic son of a b*tch. :-)

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

Golly. (none / 0) (#122)
by BJH on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 11:40:06 AM EST

Perhaps you've never heard of this thing called "international law". The French government sent covert agents into a sovereign nation for the express purpose of carrying out a terrorist act, and you justify it by sayin 'they were lucky it didn't happen at sea'?

And as it happens, the Rainbow Warrior wasn't tracking nuclear shipments - they were about to head out to Mururoa Atoll to protest the underground nuclear testing taking place there.
--
Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
-- Oscar Levant

[ Parent ]

You should read more about the topic ... (none / 2) (#60)
by arcade on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 06:35:25 PM EST

I honestly think the IWC sould tell Norway and Japan where they can stuff their whaling fleets, and preserve the ban. Cetatians are not only one of the most threatened of species, they are also the only species with a comparably complex brain to humans

The IWC isn't binding for Norway. I recommend that you read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whaling, to get a bit more information. You should also be aware that there is more than enough Sperm Whales for the tiny quotas Norway sets for itself.

It's not going to happen, but I honestly wouldn't shed a tear if one of the more feverent anti-whaling nations declared war on Japan and Norway, attacking the whaling ships and bombing the whaling stations. It's extremely obvious that nothing less would seriously influence either nation's views, no matter what the scientific or environmental evidence.

What scientific or environmental evidence are you writing about? According to the norwegian counts of Sperm Whales, there are huge numbers of them. They're not threatened at all. Please cough up the evidence that contradicts this.

That you actually think that a war about this is a "good thing" shows that you really don't have a clue about what you're talking about. The Sperm whale population is huge.

My concern is that the reverse is actually much MORE likely - that Japan and Norway - if they can't bribe or threaten IWC members to vote with them - will simply shoot any protestors that get in their way.

You're saying that Norway is trying to bribe other countries officials? Please cough up some evidence -- that is some accusation you're making. If you actually can cough up some proof of this going on - I recommend that you send the evidence to the norwegian newspapers Aftenposten (www.aftenposten.no), Dagsavisen (www.dagsavisen.no) and Klassekampen (www.klassekampen.no). At least one of them will probably pick it up and write about it.

However, I have a feeling you're just pulling your statements out of your ass - so I don't think you'll be able to do that.

Oh, and norway shooting protestors? You know what would happen if that happened? There would be a huge uproar in Norway if something like that happened. We don't go around shooting people for protesting here in Norway.

--
arcade
[ Parent ]

"coalition of the willing" (1.25 / 4) (#7)
by nkyad on Sat Jul 24, 2004 at 12:35:15 AM EST

This title should really be reserved to war-mongering bands of dishonest albeit born-again politicians - if we start to call every bunch of petty criminals "coalition of the willing", the term will soon lose its glorious meaning of "those willing to have a share in the booty".

Don't believe in anything you can't see, smell, touch or at the very least infer from a good particle accelerator run


Jargon Nazi. (none / 0) (#13)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Jul 24, 2004 at 10:56:39 AM EST

Oh, wait.

I guess I see you're point.

Now where did I put that clue? I know I had one just a minute ago!
[ Parent ]

Exterminating whale species is an affront to God (2.55 / 9) (#12)
by Adam Rightmann on Sat Jul 24, 2004 at 09:57:18 AM EST

Our Lord placed whales upon this Earth in our trust, so that we may use them wisely. Exterminating them is bad, but a scientifically sound harvest is okay. Someday, perhaps, when we colonize the continental shelf, there may be great whale ranges, and whaleboys riding minisubs will be rounding up the whales for branding and harvest.

Adam Rightmann == whale? (none / 2) (#22)
by Sesquipundalian on Sat Jul 24, 2004 at 04:56:23 PM EST

Our Lord placed Adam Rightmanns upon this Earth in our trust, so that we may use them wisely. Exterminating them is bad, but a scientifically sound harvest is okay. Someday, perhaps, when we colonize the continental shelf, there may be great Adam Rightmann ranges, and Adam Rightmann boys riding minisubs will be rounding up the Adam Rightmanns for branding and harvest.
Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
[ Parent ]
Whales kick ass (+1FP/nt) (none / 3) (#14)
by qhill on Sat Jul 24, 2004 at 11:12:50 AM EST


---
The greatest trick the devil ever pulled, was convincing the world he doesn't exist.


Only 100 gray whales? (3.00 / 5) (#15)
by IHCOYC on Sat Jul 24, 2004 at 12:55:20 PM EST

According to Wikipedia, there are some 26,000 gray whales in the wild. The entire species is classified at "lower risk" conservation status, one step below "secure."

Seems like it's time for sushi.
--
Ecce torpet probitas, virtus sepelitur;
Fit iam parca largitas, parcitas largitur;
Verum dicit falsitas; veritas mentitur.

Good catch (none / 2) (#20)
by imrdkl on Sat Jul 24, 2004 at 02:53:56 PM EST

exist should be followed by "in the region". Perhaps an editor can fix that.

[ Parent ]
More cultural elitism from the Environmentalists. (1.14 / 21) (#18)
by rmg on Sat Jul 24, 2004 at 01:58:24 PM EST

I notice a crucial missing link in this whole discussion, viz. in many of our world's less developed and economically depressed regions, for example much of Siberia and the mountain regions of Japan and Korea, whale oil is a crucial to the survival of impoverished families. It is a source of heat for cooking and keeping warm (indespensible in Siberia) and of light by which children finish their arithmetic homework before retiring to their ice cold sleeping quarters with their four to six siblings.

Of course, as usual, Environmentalists are indifferent to the plight of the world's poor. In our own country, they have a history of increasing the cost of manufacturing in almost every industry, resulting in huge losses of jobs and job security. But the Environmentalists don't care about people. All they care about is obscure animals that no one has ever even seen before (and perhaps do not even exist — Environmentalists are known to rely on bad science).

Despite their indifference to their fellow man, they would have us believe they are morally superior to the Japanese and Siberians. They routinely suggest that whalers are evil monsters Having once served on Japanese whaling ship, I can assure all of you that whalers are some of the finest people in the world. Indeed, if there is any evil monster in this picture, it is the giant white whale that bit off our captain's arm and escaped with it to the murky depths of the Pacific Ocean — but I digress...

The Environmentalists' contempt for the poor of Asia is such that they would eliminate deeply entrenched ancestral practices like whaling simply to serve their twisted morality — one that places the good of animals above that of human beings. As Westerners, it is not our place to judge the practices of the Japanese and Russians. It is their right as free people and sovereign nations to hunt their waters as they see fit in accordance with their own customs and morality, not the customs and morality of a fringe group from the People's Republic of Berkeley.

_____

if i do not respond, it is because you wrote nothing worthy of response.

dave dean

A Chiropracter is a doctor. (none / 3) (#21)
by Sesquipundalian on Sat Jul 24, 2004 at 04:54:29 PM EST


Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
[ Parent ]
Humans: 6,382,465,415 Whales: 420,250 (none / 2) (#33)
by marktaw on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 02:15:32 AM EST

Sources: http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/ipc/popclockw
http://www.seaworld.org/AnimalBytes/endangeredwhales.html (and a little arithmetic on my part)

[ Parent ]
Exactly. (none / 2) (#34)
by rmg on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 04:08:46 AM EST

We outnumber the whales substantially. By virtue of sheer number, our kind ought to be favored.

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

_____

if i do not respond, it is because you wrote nothing worthy of response.

dave dean[ Parent ]

One might argue.... (none / 1) (#37)
by MKalus on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 09:39:21 AM EST

... that because we are so far superior in number we can afford to lose some.

Besides, if the whales go, do you know what impact that would have on the eco system as a whole?

No? Didn't think so, and somehow I have the feeling you don't care anyways.
-- Michael
[ Parent ]

WHAT? (none / 1) (#43)
by rmg on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 01:17:06 PM EST

One might argue.... ... that because we are so far superior in number we can afford to lose some.

I can't believe I just read that. You're saying the plankton population is more important than the lives of Siberian children?

This is exactly the attitude I alluded to in my original post. Every animal is sacred ("after all, who knows what effect their loss will have on the ecosystem!"), but when it comes to human life, we can afford to lose one here or there.

You make me sick.

_____

if i do not respond, it is because you wrote nothing worthy of response.

dave dean[ Parent ]

of course you are trolling (none / 1) (#52)
by blue tiger on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 03:09:39 PM EST

but exterminating whales will only save the siberian children of today. in 20 years, the siberian children of today will be grown up siberian adults. since there will be no whales left, their siberian children will have no whale oil to heat their poor little souls in the long siberian winter, thus a generation of poor siberian children will die horrible deaths anyway. and then there will be no more siberians, neither adults not children. and no more whales either. unless siberian society figures out a sustainable way of heating their cute little children.

[ Parent ]
Misanthropist mythology. (none / 1) (#54)
by rmg on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 03:38:34 PM EST

There will be whales for many generations to come, so don't give me that.

I'm sorry if this is getting too REAL for you, but just because you don't like the direction a discussion is going, doesn't mean someone is trolling you.

_____

if i do not respond, it is because you wrote nothing worthy of response.

dave dean[ Parent ]

Hear hear... (none / 0) (#148)
by MKalus on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 11:33:15 AM EST

... but that doesn't mean anybody else is trolling either.

But, to get back to the whales, you are aware that you need a certain amount of diverisity in the gene pool to make it possible for a species to survive?

So, what makes you believe that whales will survive and be around for a long time, considering that we activly hunt them and destroy their habitat?
-- Michael
[ Parent ]

Holy crap. (2.50 / 4) (#56)
by smithmc on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 04:00:40 PM EST


... that because we are so far superior in number we can afford to lose some.

Typical environmentalist human-hating tripe. And they wonder why they're so hated...

[ Parent ]

Maybe.... (none / 1) (#108)
by MKalus on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 09:34:16 PM EST

... explain to me how one life (let's say that of a human) is more worth than that of a whale?
-- Michael
[ Parent ]
What is this misanthropist bullcrap? /nt (none / 1) (#110)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 11:05:15 PM EST


--
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
-- George Orwell


[ Parent ]
It is called a "question"..... (none / 0) (#147)
by MKalus on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 11:31:15 AM EST

.... which in turn might lead to a discussion, which might lead to interesting results.
-- Michael
[ Parent ]
No such thing as intrinsic value. (none / 0) (#141)
by smithmc on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 11:43:57 AM EST


explain to me how one life (let's say that of a human) is more worth than that of a whale?

The word "worth" implies a value judgment. Value is not intrinsic; no person or thing is "inherently" worth anything. Nothing is worth anything, except in sense of being valued by someone. For instance, I might happen to consider a ticket to a Rush concert to be worth its (let's say) $90 face value, but that doesn't make the ticket intrinsically worth $90 - it's worth that much to me; it might very well not be worth it to you. The very notions of "worth" and "value" imply a being capable of having values and of estimating worth; in this case, that's us - the human race, and I think it's only natural that the members of a given species are going to value their own lives over those of other species.

[ Parent ]

True... (none / 0) (#146)
by MKalus on Thu Jul 29, 2004 at 11:30:40 AM EST

... but if we value the lifes of our fellow human beings so much. How come we do (a lot of the time) anything we can to kill each other?
-- Michael
[ Parent ]
upon reading this post (none / 2) (#36)
by Battle Troll on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 09:38:36 AM EST

I am shocked and awed by your mention of a giant white whale.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
I call bullshit (none / 2) (#39)
by omegadan on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 11:58:39 AM EST

whale oil is a crucial to the survival of impoverished families

You're telling me that in a highly industrialized country like Japan, its easier to get in a boat, kill a whale, and suck its guts out to heat your house then to get some god damn kerosine?

Second of all. Just because these cultures have been killing whales for centuries, DOES NOT GIVE THEM THE RIGHT TO KILL WHALES. In the south in the US, there was a long history of slavery up until a couple hundred years ago, so, slavery is ok?

Religion is a gateway psychosis. - Dave Foley
[ Parent ]

Stop foisting your morality on them! (none / 2) (#46)
by rmg on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 01:27:44 PM EST

Just because you think they don't have a right to hunt whales doesn't make it so!

I realize you come from a paternalistic culture that considers itself morally superior to the rest of the world (hell, just listen to your president!), but try to step outside of that little ethnocentric box of yours for just one second, would you please? Whaling is a part of the Japanese way of life. Whales are amongst their Shinto gods. For them, the hunt is a spiritual metaphor for life. You cannot just take it from them because you, in your infinite wisdom, think they are barbarians!

And let's not forget the Inuit (perhaps known to a cracker like yourself as "eskimos"). We have forcibly coerced them into abandoning their own tribal religious practices, which were even more deeply entrenched and vital to their society than those of the Japanese. Once again, the Western imperialist imposes his values and his priorities on the brown and yellow people of the world through conquest and the economic supremacy he won with the blood of their ancestors.

On the matter of your slavery ananlogy, I'm disgusted you would even make the comparison between whaling and slavery, as there is clearly none. This is just another example of the imperialist mindset: Apparently the African slaves were just animals to you. Well, you sicken me to the core of my being. I believe that human beings are always more important than a mere animal and anyone who says otherwise is a monster!

_____

if i do not respond, it is because you wrote nothing worthy of response.

dave dean[ Parent ]

growl (none / 1) (#61)
by omegadan on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 07:35:54 PM EST

You're right, i don't give a fuck about the japanese or the inuits, I just think it would be cool for there to be whales in the future.

My point with the slavery analogy is that you could justify any action by claiming it was a culturally accepted.

Religion is a gateway psychosis. - Dave Foley
[ Parent ]

So you admit you're an ethnocentric jackass? (none / 1) (#77)
by rmg on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 12:39:06 AM EST

You don't care about the Japanese or Inuit. All you care about are some sea critters you've never even seen before. Your indifference to your fellow man is appalling.

The difference between whaling and slavery (which is probably beyond you given your views on the relative importance of animals and human beings) is that slavery involved the killing, torture, and dehumanization of human beings -- this is something that is wrong regardless of its sociocultural valence. By contrast, whaling treats whales as what they are: Animals.

_____

if i do not respond, it is because you wrote nothing worthy of response.

dave dean[ Parent ]

I admit you are a jackass (none / 0) (#79)
by omegadan on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 01:36:46 AM EST

You continually fail to understand my point. Because something was done in the past, thats justification for doing it in the future?

If we were just going to kill a few whales here and there fine. But guess what? We're RUNNING OUT OF FUCKING WHALES. It is *WRONG* to kill all of something, even if its an animal.

Religion is a gateway psychosis. - Dave Foley
[ Parent ]

Of course. (none / 0) (#82)
by rmg on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 01:49:17 AM EST

Why would what's moral and what's not just change day by day pell nell? Are you high?

We are not running out of whales. The poster below said we have half a million of just one species of the little varmints. I tend to believe him.

But even if we were running out of whales, what kind of dumbassed rhetorical question is that in your other post? "What will the Japanese and Inuit do when we run out of whales?" -- The same thing they'll have to do today under your plan: Freeze to death. Only in the hundreds of years between now and the extinction of whales (if indeed such a thing ever happens), maybe modern science will find a better way for them to heat their homes than the molten blubber of cetaceans.

_____

if i do not respond, it is because you wrote nothing worthy of response.

dave dean[ Parent ]

So you really don't see... (none / 0) (#124)
by localman on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 12:55:31 PM EST

...any point in carefully managing whaling so that we can have whales indefinitely?

I have no interest in the moral side of this.  But let's say for the sake of argument that whales have no value at all except to whalers themselves.  Please think about the following:

Whales have a finite capacity to reproduce.  This capacity goes down as there are fewer whales.  The human population is growing and if unchecked our whaling would eventually exceed the reproductive capacity of whales.  This is fact: without regulation whales will eventually be made extinct.  Man has made several animals extinct so this is not just a theory, it is a well established pattern.

You yourself just said that when whales run out the people who used them will just have to find another source of energy and/or food.  So your proposal of unrestricted whaling results in the same dead end as the environmentalists you claim to hate so.

However, if whaling were properly regulated, with an understanding of the reproductive capacity and our goals, it could continue indefinitely.  This is my proposal.  So, even as an environmentalist I would protect the interests of whalers better than you or the whalers themselves.

Except for a few nuts, most environmentalists are environmentalists because they love humans and mankind and would like to see us not totally fuck ourselves by spoiling our natural resources.  Humans are unquestionalby dependent on the environment (or you wouldn't be arguing in favor of whaling in the first place) thus anyone who loves mankind must be an environmentalist or very ignorant.

Cheers.

[ Parent ]

What will you do (none / 0) (#80)
by omegadan on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 01:38:52 AM EST

When there aren't any whales? What will the inuits and japanese do then? They are going to have to stop, the only question is when.

Religion is a gateway psychosis. - Dave Foley
[ Parent ]

Really now? (none / 2) (#41)
by RexKing on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 12:51:38 PM EST

Seems like warped thinking to me. It is not a people versus animals debate here. The point simply is not a myopic one of one whale being killed and the oil sqeezed out of it lighting up an igloo located 500 miles from the next human habitation (although your point on whale oil being essential for survival in Japan is highly questionable. As is its use in Siberia - which is so large that it will be easier for a lot of them to make a trip to Moscow and buy some petrol than to get to the coast and get some whale oil - but, like you did, I digress.)

The point is that a holistic approach to conservation is largely beneficial to human kind as a whole and not just to those few families whose houses the oil warms, as you questionably contend. I have no doubt that whaling crews are fine people, but there is nothing wrong in infusing people with a little perspective.

The deep seated hatred for environmentalists is a very different issue.

Oh, and I am not from the "Western" world. So, there.

[ Parent ]

Envs (none / 1) (#47)
by kurioszyn on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 02:00:32 PM EST

"The deep seated hatred for environmentalists is a very different issue."

Deep seated hatred for environmentalists ?

I am sorry but the only hating is coming from the other side these days.

[ Parent ]

Whaling should be legal,... (2.80 / 10) (#25)
by mjfgates on Sat Jul 24, 2004 at 05:40:29 PM EST

... but only from one-man kayaks, with hand-thrown harpoons. Better yet, make 'em use SCUBA gear and knives. Man against whale, the way it was meant to be.

I like this low-tech solution ... (none / 0) (#45)
by glor on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 01:24:12 PM EST

... but the SCUBA gear doesn't fit in.  An underwater hand-to-fin knifefit should, properly, be fought with held breath.

--
Disclaimer: I am not the most intelligent kuron.
[ Parent ]

While we're at it (2.50 / 4) (#50)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 02:26:35 PM EST

We should criminalize hunting guns, various modern slaughtering methods, cars and trucks used to haul carcasses of game and slaughtered animals, supermarkets, preservatives, refrigerators and stoves. Oh, and don't forget tractors, harvesters, fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation.

A man, a bow and a horse-drawn single-row plow! Man against nature, the way it was meant to be.

--
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
-- George Orwell


[ Parent ]
I'd be all for eating whale... (none / 2) (#35)
by CodeWright on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 04:17:56 AM EST

...if it didn't taste like shit.

Now shark? That's tasty.

Oh... and dolphins? Well, a tuna sandwich ain't a tuna sandwich without dolphin seasoning.

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

Tasty (none / 1) (#40)
by Xptic on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 12:04:24 PM EST

Dolphn tastes somewhere between condor and spotted owl...

Now American Bald Eagle, there's a tasty animal...

[ Parent ]

Not so much... (none / 0) (#42)
by CodeWright on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 12:54:46 PM EST

Most birds that are omnivorous scavengers don't taste very good (this includes condors, eagles, and owls).

Parrots though! They're tasty. I used to eat parrots regularly, along with sea turtle and sea turtle eggs (and yams, sweet potatoes, roast bananas and suckling wild boar).

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
Whale (none / 1) (#44)
by MrHanky on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 01:20:01 PM EST

Actually, whale doesn't have to taste so bad. I haven't eaten it many times, but I remember the first time I tasted it, when I was in the army. Of course, we had to shoot and cook the whale ourselves (no, I'm kidding). I think it was prepared like finnbiff (there's a recipe on this page), a rather good reindeer dish (yep, we eat Rudolph as well here in Norway). It was very salty, but good, even for SanKP/N standards (our kitchen was awarded as the best in the Norwegian Army several years).


"This was great, because it was a bunch of mature players who were able to express themselves and talk politics." Lettuce B-Free, on being a total fucking moron for Ron Paul.
[ Parent ]
Mmmm. ...Majestic Animals...*drool* (none / 2) (#49)
by gmol on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 02:26:17 PM EST

I didn't realize that majesty was a reason why we shouldn't kill certain types of animals.

Whales are amazing creatures, watch Fantasia 2000 and you will see what I mean. They can fly, and it look like they don't poop!

What's the rationalization (none / 1) (#51)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 02:49:23 PM EST

behind the "never again" vote on whaling, standing at 47% at the time of writing this?

What are your reasons for opposing whaling in all cases, even if there are restrictions, the species in question is not endangered, or if the purpose is genuinely scientific?

--
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
-- George Orwell


options... (none / 0) (#57)
by coderlemming on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 05:26:08 PM EST

Well, I don't see an option for "if there are restrictions, and the species in question is not endangered", so what should I vote?  Option #2 doesn't feel specific enough to me.

(FYI I abstained)


--
Go be impersonally used as an organic semen collector!  (porkchop_d_clown)
[ Parent ]

That was the intent (none / 1) (#59)
by imrdkl on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 05:50:09 PM EST

I didn't feel it necessary to specify that endangered species should not be included - perhaps that was overly optimistic of me.

[ Parent ]
well... (none / 0) (#72)
by coderlemming on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 11:07:10 PM EST

It was more the restrictions part that I felt was missing.  Maybe I was being overly pedantic.


--
Go be impersonally used as an organic semen collector!  (porkchop_d_clown)
[ Parent ]
they are cooler living than dead n/t (none / 1) (#65)
by thankyougustad on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 10:03:23 PM EST



No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Ah, a vegan 'rebuttal' (none / 1) (#66)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 10:12:02 PM EST

Valid if you really are a vegan. FYI, becoming a vegan is not a real choice in the large scale or even possible for the vast majority of the world population.

If you are not a vegan, why are whales cuter than cows? Or sheep, I mean, seriously, what is cooler/cuter/cuddlier than a lamb?

--
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
-- George Orwell


[ Parent ]
I'm not a vegan (none / 1) (#67)
by thankyougustad on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 10:17:23 PM EST

and whales being cool has nothing to do with them being cute. For the record, I find cows are also cooler alive than dead, though I concede that their skin is handy.

I'll ask you this: why are humans cuter than animals? Why can westerners kill animals but not humans?

There is a whole barrage of answers to these questions, but they are just as arbitrary as any reason for being against the killing of whales. People love and care for each other as a result of their mutual humaness(ie, it's a 'false' perception). Some people recognize the same traits they see and love in humans in animals.

A kitten is cuter than a lamb, in my opinion

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
You missed my point (none / 1) (#68)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 10:27:13 PM EST

which was that unless you're a vegan, you have no valid reason to oppose whaling of non-endangered species or hunting/slaughtering other animals for food.

Why is it ok to openly deplore slaughtering of cute animals (dogs in China/Korea) but at the same time it's perfectly ok to kill chicken the way they are killed, brutally and often with much pain involved?

--
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
-- George Orwell


[ Parent ]
Your logic isn't as cool as you think it is (none / 0) (#69)
by thankyougustad on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 10:33:17 PM EST

which was that unless you're a vegan, you have no valid reason to oppose whaling of non-endangered species or hunting/slaughtering other animals for food.

So the fact that I don't like it, on a purely emotional level, and thus it disturbs me well being (albiet slightly) is not a reason?

You are going to have to realize that not everyone looks at these things as you do. Not all of their rationales are based on cold, hard, spurious logic, as yours is.

You are not the first person to reduce these things to a question of 'cuteness.'

And maybe you missed the part where I said I found all killing to be deplorable (in not so many words. So if you ask me about your chinese dog and chicken problem, I'm going to tell you they are equally deplorable, in my opinion.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Oh, it's cool alright (none / 0) (#71)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 10:51:09 PM EST

You wrote:
So the fact that I don't like it, on a purely emotional level, and thus it disturbs me well being (albiet slightly) is not a reason?
[snip]

It is a reason, just not a valid reason.

I am aware that not everyone can look at these things with "cold, hard, spurious [sic] logic." Hell, I wouldn't eat cat meat because I wouldn't be able to look at cats in the eye after that. All I'm saying it is entirely unacceptable for an entire lobby (anti-whaling in this case) to base its assertions on such feelings.

BTW, you sure sound like a vegan. I'm not saying that to attack you (I have great respect in vegans for they go to great lengths to abide by their own maxims), but you do.

--
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
-- George Orwell


[ Parent ]
But it is a valid reason. . . (none / 2) (#74)
by thankyougustad on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 11:21:05 PM EST

it is as valid as any reason. You can jump through logical hoops all you want but at the end of the day not killing humans is as reasonable as not killing animals. There is no cosmic law that prevents you from doing either, it is simple personal preference. My reasons for disagreeing with the hunt is valid, and as good as it needs to be for me. It just isn't important to you, is all.

If I sound like a vegan, so be it. I am not.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Cows vs. Whales (none / 1) (#106)
by hatshepsut on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 05:44:43 PM EST

Last I checked, we don't feed the whales, provide shelter or medical attention to them, or otherwise demonstrate responsible ownership.

Cows are bred for people to use (whether or not you would agree that is the right thing to do), the whales are wild creatures going about their own business (and not interfering with ours). I can see some pretty significant differences in going to great lengths to hunt down (possibly maim) and kill wild animals on a commercial level (the Inuit still do hunt whales, legally, but certainly not on anything remotely resembling the commercial "harvesting" that went on before the current bans) compared to killing animals that have been bred and cared for, for that very purpose.

We aren't going to accidentally overhunt the cows. We know how many cows there are, where they are, and what breed they are. Cows aren't migratory and so don't continuously move across territorial boundaries (bringing up "who gets the cow" arguments). If countries want to kill whales on a commercial scale (again ignoring aboriginal groups that are permitted to hunt them on a limited basis), then they should try to do what has been done with cows: breed them in captivity and farm them. I wouldn't be in line to buy the meat, but it certainly would wipe out most of my rational objections.

I don't think "cuteness" has anything to do with it.

[ Parent ]

Thank you, sir (none / 1) (#107)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 08:14:28 PM EST

For a first try at actually answering my question.

I agree with you on most points. Comparison to cows is easy to refute and you did so, so let's forget the bovines.

While I don't know how much research has been done about the number of whales out there, judging from other comments here it seems as though there's some serious research done and we know for a fact that at least some species of whales are not endangered. For these species, we should allow whaling just as we allow hunting of moose and other wild game.

We aren't going to accidentally overhunt the whales. Just as hunting game, whaling should have restrictions and the number of whales should be closely monitored. I am sure both will be very easy to implement since there'd be conservationists lining up to do that. And I'd like to remind you that modern hunters are probably the most eager conservationists out there!

I'm certain whales can't be bred in captivity or 'farmed.' I know this was said in jest, but nevertheless, we do hunt down many animals that behave like whales, are migratory and can not be domesticated for various reasons. As long as this hunting (or whaling in this case) is done in a responsible manner, I still don't see a rational excuse to outright ban all whaling.

--
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
-- George Orwell


[ Parent ]
They got brains (none / 0) (#86)
by Highlander on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 03:35:54 AM EST

They got pretty big brains, about 5 to 6 times the weight of a humans brain. They might use it just to check that all their fat is still there, fact is, we don't know what they do with it, or what they could evolve to do with it.

If we ever encounter aliens, we should have at least have demonstrated the capability to stay at peace with possibly intelligent lifeforms on Earth.

Of course, it would also be cool to modify their genes to grow giant spaceships out of whales but I guess that is science fiction ;-)

Moderation in moderation is a good thing.
[ Parent ]

Try again (none / 1) (#90)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 06:07:14 AM EST

That's a weak support. Pigs and dogs are some of the smartest animals we know, but we still eat them (Chinese and Koreans eat dogs).

For the nth time: I (nor I believe anyone here) am not advocating whaling to extinction. I'm advocating reasonable whaling of non-endangered species.

Oh, and if we ever encounter the Tooth Fairy, we should have at least have demonstrated the capability to hide our fallen teeth under the pillow.

--
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
-- George Orwell


[ Parent ]
Next try: monkeys and fairies (none / 2) (#92)
by Highlander on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 07:31:12 AM EST

That some people do something is not an argument that tells whether its a good thing to do or bad thing. People have eaten other people, and not only out of necessity. You can see people eating the brains of a living monkey on video.

But clearly you yourself don't wish to get eaten that way. So you will want to draw the line between "yummy" and "disgusting, do not eat" somewhere, preferably with yourself on the right side. Where you draw the line is up to you - but people who e.g. want to save rabbits and at the same time eat whales don't know how to draw a straight line.

And regarding the tooth fairy compared to aliens.
Aliens are a low probability, but high impact event, while the tooth fairy is a no-probability, average impact effect, (unless you think getting that special gift from the tooth fairy is high-impact to you. I wonder if she got teeth.)

Moderation in moderation is a good thing.
[ Parent ]

Reenactment of the solution (2.37 / 8) (#53)
by K5 ASCII reenactment players on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 03:34:01 PM EST

      _--___--_
     /## ___ ##\
    / __/...\__ \
   / -  \_o_/  - \
  / /           \ \
  |o|           |o|
  |_|           |_|


      Say hello to my little friend.
 _  _      |
~\\// ~~~ __  ~~~~~~~~~
~~\ \~~~~/o// ~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


I can usually figure these out... (none / 1) (#109)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 11:02:19 PM EST

But is that a Klingon Warship hovering above the whale? Is that the whale's little friend--and the Kingon is going to attack the whalers? Or is he going to pull out a big gun and fire a grenade at the Klingon because they support whaling?

[ Parent ]
Star Trek IV (none / 0) (#121)
by nollidj on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 09:07:45 AM EST

Wrath of the Whales

Remember the ending scene where the crew is about to rescue the whales when some Evil Whalers come to kill them? The Bird of Prey decloaks and chases 'em off, IIRC.

muahaha. MuaHaHA! MUAHAHAHAHAHAAAHAHAHAA!!!!
[ Parent ]

Wow (none / 3) (#55)
by Armada on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 03:48:57 PM EST

Wow. What a totally pointless topic to comment on.

Yet I do anyway.

Save the whales! (none / 2) (#58)
by grouse on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 05:33:02 PM EST

But wait, aren't some of the whales already saved? What's the justification in continuing to "save" them?

You sad bastard!

"Grouse please don't take this the wrong way... To be quite frank, you are throwing my inner Chi out of its harmonious balance with nature." -- Tex Bigballs

The justification (none / 3) (#63)
by godix on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 09:26:16 PM EST

is that they're animals that are semi-cute and western cultures don't eat them. I imagine cultures that do eat whale look on that arguement about the same way a McDonalds worker looks on an Indians claims that cows should be saved. But who cares, western culture has power in this world so everyone else damned well better stop eating animals we find cute and start saving them.

"Kerry's brother, Cameron, remembers their father's putting down John's "sophomoric" ideas while discussing foreign affairs around the dinner table." - New
[ Parent ]
Well that is what I kind of thought myself (none / 0) (#83)
by grouse on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 03:05:38 AM EST

But you are just preaching to the choir. I was hoping from an explanation from a Save-the-Whales apologist.

You sad bastard!

"Grouse please don't take this the wrong way... To be quite frank, you are throwing my inner Chi out of its harmonious balance with nature." -- Tex Bigballs
[ Parent ]

Show me the whale farm (none / 2) (#105)
by Deagol on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 04:25:30 PM EST

I don't think it's a cute thig -- it's a limited resource thing.

When the population of an animal can be measured (or statistically calculated) to be in the thousands, I say we need to worry. Sure, if all whales were killed off (and don't think they wouldn't be if whaling went unchecked), it may not have any tangible effect on the ecosystem (probably ot true, but you never know), isn't there value to simply having them around?

If I were to walk into a fine Japanese restaraunt (which happens to hypothetically serve whale) and tell the chef that I'm concerned becuse there are under 10,000 of those animals left, I may have a point.

If I made that same point about salmon (while wild species may be in danger -- are they anymore? -- they are farmed) or cows, I wouldn't have a leg to stand on.

Aside from the fact that the jury's still out about large marine mammal intelligence, I have no problem with farming of whales, if such a thing were feasible. But with the relative scarecity of these great creatures, I say leave 'em alone.

From a "Western" cute perspective, if more people know of how cattle are treated -- calves being pretty damned cute -- they may rethink their position on beef consumption. That is, if they could get over their "need" for ribs, burgers, and franks at the family summer picnic.

The cute argument doesn't fly with me. While the PC Manifesto may make some valid pokes at society, I don't think it can be carried that far.

[ Parent ]

A Norwegian's opinion (2.66 / 6) (#62)
by egeland on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 09:23:14 PM EST

As a Norwegian, I'm opposed to whaling for any reason.

The Norwegian whaling industry was dead, as a result of Norway joining the ban on whaling.
Then, the geniuses in government decided to allow it again, so a new whaling industry started up.

If whaling in Norway is banned again, this new industry would cease, putting a small number of opportunists out of business. I see no problem with that. Social support for unemployed people in Norway is excellent, so they won't be disadvantaged while they seek new employment.

We don't need whale products, we've survived fine without any, and so has most other countries in the world.
I'm Norwegian, and I have never consumed or seen for sale any whale products.

Killing whales is a pointless endeavour.

--
Some interesting quotes

Try again (none / 2) (#64)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 09:58:36 PM EST

You wrote:
We don't need whale products, we've survived fine without any, and so has most other countries in the world.
[snip]

This is an extremely spurious argument. We don't 'need' a whole plethora of products but we still consume and acquire them. We can survive fine without most foodstuffs.

Just because you believe whales should not be hunted doesn't mean everyone else should abide by your faulty and disjointed reasoning. I'm sure you agree with me when I say I wouldn't want Muslims telling me what I can or can not eat (mainly because I'm not a Muslim). But still you insist on people abiding by your stance. A stance you provide no valid support for.

You really need to provide better reasons than what you do in your comment, ie. assume everyone is as blindly (and wrongly) against all whaling as you are. This seems to be the case on k5: your comment is a prime example of the reasons why no one has even tried to provide an answer to my earlier question.

--
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
-- George Orwell


[ Parent ]
Choice vs Destruction (none / 1) (#70)
by egeland on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 10:37:42 PM EST

You really need to provide better reasons than what you do in your comment...

You're right, my earlier comment was just a quick one, fired off without thinking that I'd be attacked for expressing my opinion. Then again, this is k5, so I guess I should assume nothing..

OK, so some reasons why I'm against whaling, in no particular order:

  1. Ethics. It's my personal opinion that killing animals is wrong. I will only except killing in self-defence or the defence of others as a last resort.
  2. Bio-diversity. Killing whole species will affect the environment negatively.
  3. Plethora of products. Our industrial society is wasteful. We produce too much, drawing on finite resources to do so, and at the expense of others (other people and other animals).
  4. Health and Physiology. The human body is not designed to eat the flesh of other animals. We have the physical characteristics of herbivores, not carnivores. Eating meats (or blubber) cause fatty deposits to accumulate in our blood vessels. This does not happen in carnivores (your dog or cat won't need a double bypass operation).
    For example, carnivora do not sweat through their skin; body heat is controlled by rapid breathing and extrusion of the tongue. Vegetarian animals, on the other hand, have sweat pores for heat control and the elimination of impurities.
    Carnivora have long teeth and claws for holding and killing prey; vegetarian animals have short teeth and no claws.
    The saliva of carnivora contains no ptyalin and cannot predigest starches; that of vegetarian animals contains ptyalin for the predigestion of starches.
    Flesh-eating animals secrete large quantities of hydrochloric acid to help dissolve bones; vegetarian animals secrete little hydrochloric acid.
    The jaws of carnivora only open in an up and down motion; those of vegetarian animals also move sideways for additional kinds of chewing.
    Carnivora must lap liquids (like a cat); vegetarian animals take liquids in by suction through the teeth.
    There are many such comparisons, and in each case humans fit the vegetarian physiognomy. From a strictly physiological perspective, then, there are strong arguments that humans are not suited to a fleshy diet.

OK, that's just four, but it's a start.
Now I'd like to see you justify killing whales, as your position appears to be that it's ok to do so.

--
Some interesting quotes
[ Parent ]

Choice and destruction (none / 3) (#73)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 11:20:26 PM EST

You felt you were 'attacked' for expressing your opinion? So these days expressing one's disagreement is now an 'attack'? Yes, I expressed my opinion strongly (nothing new there). Yes, this is k5 so get a thicker skin and don't go crying to mom when a weak argument is shot down.

But you did a much better job on the second try! To the real issues:

  1. Good point and I respect that. But that is a poor argument to base anti-whaling laws/regulations on since earth's population as a whole can not feed itself without eating meat. Veganism is fine for us affluent westerners who have the means to overgo all the hurdles involved, but it's just not an option for the vast majority of people.
  2. I am not advocating bindly whaling all species. I'm advocating reasonable whaling of non-endangered species. Just like hunters hunt only animals which are abundant. So your point is not really an argument in this context. Additionally, I don't think any reasonably civilized person these days seriously would advocate hunting down a whole species.
  3. This sounds like communist/treehugger dogma which doesn't have much to do with whaling. And all our food is produced "at the expense of others."
  4. Ok, maybe humans are herbivores. I really don't know although you piqued my interest and will look into this later. Even if this is the case, this is another spurious argument: humans are not 'meant' to do many other things in addition to eating animal flesh. We are not 'meant' to screw on light bulbs, build space ships or write poetry. Just because we are not meant to do something doesn't make it wrong or right in itself.
I can justify killing whales in just one sentence: controlled whaling of non-endangered species is justified because we can. Only vegans are on the moral high ground to oppose whaling because they are against all killing of animals for food. But as I have pointed out, the vegan POV is a marginal one.

Since all societies kill animals for food, one has to come up with valid reason(s) to oppose killing a certain species against all others. It is a sad state of affairs that in our western societies the guiding principle seems to be the "awww"-factor, ie. "if my daughter thinks it's cute, we won't eat it." I have yet to see one to support anti-whaling propaganda.

--
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
-- George Orwell


[ Parent ]
Point 1 (none / 0) (#94)
by pmgolz on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 09:11:59 AM EST

I'd like to disagree with your point 1 - the earth's population cannot feed itself without eating meet. Although there are arguments against the commonly held mis-conception that we could produce more food if the world went vegetarian, there is no evidence that the world's population could not subsist in a vegetarian world. Admittedly we'd have to re-engineer a lot of society but from a theoretical point of view it could be done.

BTW I think there is an argument for not eating animals for the cute factor. Humanity shows many similar traits - we collect works of art, we maintain an architectural heritage, etc. These things are done just to keep us happy, and if keeping whales alive keeps us happy then why not?

------
Enthios
[ Parent ]

Did you read my comment? (none / 0) (#96)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 09:38:33 AM EST

Quoting from my point 1 above: "earth's population as a whole can not feed itself without eating meat."

Or are you replying to some other comment?

--
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
-- George Orwell


[ Parent ]
can cannot (none / 1) (#113)
by gdanjo on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 11:56:18 PM EST

I can justify killing whales in just one sentence: controlled whaling of non-endangered species is justified because we can. Only vegans are on the moral high ground to oppose whaling because they are against all killing of animals for food. But as I have pointed out, the vegan POV is a marginal one.
Why must morality be an all-encompassing "either you're with us or you're bovine" type doctrine? "We can" do a lot of things, but we don't.

Since all societies kill animals for food, one has to come up with valid reason(s) to oppose killing a certain species against all others. It is a sad state of affairs that in our western societies the guiding principle seems to be the "awww"-factor, ie. "if my daughter thinks it's cute, we won't eat it." I have yet to see one to support anti-whaling propaganda.
So we need a rational, logical reason to "not kill" because it's in our genes to kill? Do you even realise how ridiculous such a statment is? I may as well say "since you kill 1 animal, you MUST kill 1 of EACH animal to be on the moral high ground; can't do that? well, then you can do whatever you want! doing whatever we want is in our genes, don't you know? it's the only rational thing to do!" And this is simply a moral assertion that "there is no morality." Catch-22, repeat.

If that's your argument, then we may as well allow people to kill and eat humans too - since we can.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

Distorted semantics (none / 0) (#117)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 07:15:15 AM EST

What kind of mental process produced your second paragraph? Nowhere do I even imply that you MUST kill one of EACH animal. What I express is that you CAN kill ANY animal as long as it's justified (for example, it is not endangered and has a certain value to us dead or for self-defense).

I'm not even touching the issue why killing animals is ok but killing humans is not. If you really think I need to actually support that assertion you're a misanthropist in my book and therefore I don't care about your opinion in this matter.

--
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
-- George Orwell


[ Parent ]
nah (none / 0) (#132)
by gdanjo on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 08:41:31 PM EST

What kind of mental process produced your second paragraph? Nowhere do I even imply that you MUST kill one of EACH animal. What I express is that you CAN kill ANY animal as long as it's justified (for example, it is not endangered and has a certain value to us dead or for self-defense).
You said that only vegans have a moral high ground because they reject the killing of ALL animals. I'm ridiculing this because, by the same mechanism, if I kill one of EVERY animal, I, too, will be on a vegan-like moral high ground (that is, I don't discriminate between killing a whale and killing a flea, by killing equal amounts of each).

I'm not even touching the issue why killing animals is ok but killing humans is not. [...]
Of course you did, by asserting that "since we kill X, we can kill Y." Humans are animals too, no? So if you are to accept this, you should also accept "since we kill pigs, we can kill humans."

If you really think I need to actually support that assertion you're a misanthropist in my book and therefore I don't care about your opinion in this matter.
No, I'm saying you're a misanthrope, since you, by your arguments, have a morality that does not distinguish between one animal (a pig, say) and another (a human or a whale, say) when it comes to killing. Unless you believe humans aren't animals. *shrug*

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

whatever (none / 0) (#134)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 10:35:51 PM EST

Yes, humans are animals by the broad definition. But saying "since we are allowed to kill pigs, we are allowed to kill humans" is misanthropism, and I'm not one. The fact that we kill pigs without a second thought relates extremely remotely to killing humans.

You can stretch the definition of animal and parallels between killing mice vs. cows vs. humans all you want, but I won't concede to being inconsistent in saying it is ok to kill all non-human animals while at the same time saying killing humans is usually wrong. And I'm sure I'm in the vast majority.

And I do distinguish between killing of one animal (non-humans) and another (humans).

What you are trying to get me into (and succeeded to some degree) is an academic ethical circle-jerk. Do you really, really believe that we are no different from non-human animals and that a human life is no more worthy of saving than that of, say, a dog? If you do, I sincerely hope you don't procreate since we don't need those genes and memes of yours to spread around: us humans have enough problems as it is.

--
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
-- George Orwell


[ Parent ]
specialness (none / 0) (#135)
by gdanjo on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 12:29:47 AM EST

You can stretch the definition of animal and parallels between killing mice vs. cows vs. humans all you want, but I won't concede to being inconsistent in saying it is ok to kill all non-human animals while at the same time saying killing humans is usually wrong. And I'm sure I'm in the vast majority.
And that view is fine with me - in fact, it's my view too. But you had said previously:

I can justify killing whales in just one sentence: controlled whaling of non-endangered species is justified because we can.

What I'm saying is that such reasoning is faulty, cause it traps you into categorising humans and animals in an arbitrary manner.

And I do distinguish between killing of one animal (non-humans) and another (humans).
Do you also distinguish between, say, a pig and a whale when it comes to which we "should" be allowed to kill? No (see quotation above), so the question is, why is the above separation (human/non-human) allowed, and yet another (whale/non-whale) not?

What you are trying to get me into (and succeeded to some degree) is an academic ethical circle-jerk. Do you really, really believe that we are no different from non-human animals and that a human life is no more worthy of saving than that of, say, a dog? If you do, I sincerely hope you don't procreate since we don't need those genes and memes of yours to spread around: us humans have enough problems as it is.
Of course I consider there to be a difference between human and non-human, and by the same token there's a difference between whale and non-whale. But my question is, why does one type of categorisation afford some form of protection (human/non-human categorisation decides whether you "should" be killed or not) but not another (since being a whale is no better than being a non-whale (unless you're human))?

My personal opinion is that whales, like humans, are special and should be treated so - and therefore should not be killed, even though we do kill pigs and stuff; and if you tell me I'm contradicting myself by allowing pigs to be killed but not whales, then I'll ask you again why humans are special.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

Ah (none / 0) (#139)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 07:51:06 AM EST

Thanks for clearing this muddled convo up.

Difference between humans and non-humans is that humans are like me. Cows, pigs, rats, whales, etc. are not like me. It's that easy.

Yes, I'm a speciesist and proud of it.

--
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
-- George Orwell


[ Parent ]
Not really (none / 1) (#143)
by egeland on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:31:43 PM EST

I guess I simply misunderstood your "strong opinion" and saw it as an attack. But don't worry, I left my mum alone and didn't go crying to her about this.
I like k5 because of these discussions, where I can get other peoples' views and opinions (strong and otherwise) on a variety of topics.

I'd like to ask you why you feel the earth's population cannot be fed without meat (your point number 1)?
Something like 80% of grains are fed to animals which (in most cases are beef) go to make hamburgers for us affluent westerners. Valuable topsoil is lost as land is cleared for and used to grow mono-cultures of grasses and grains for animal consumption. This same land could grow thousands of pounds of potatoes and carrots, rather than supporting a few cows.

  1. - I'm glad you don't advocate whaling all species, even if "we can". So we have some common ground here, in that you also believe some (most?) whales should be protected.
  2. - I'm disappointed that you feel the need for labeling and name-calling. Yet you agree that we are wasteful. All our food is not produced at the expense of others. It's mainly because of agribusiness corporations that this seems to be true. Organic, sustainable agriculture is possible and does not exploit anyone.
  3. - Another point on this is that our digestive tracts match those of herbivorous animals, being quite long (3x bodylength) vs carnivores 1x bodylength. I found this, and associated studies on meat eaters' much higher tendency to get colon cancer, to be very interesting. It helped, along with reading about a lot of studies where meat eaters have much higher rates of cancers, heart disease and many other illnesses, to change my view to a more vegetarian/vegan one.
The "awww" factor: I think there's a lot of truth that babies know that adults forget. I read this example somewhere (and probably mangle it here with my paraphrasing):
"Put a child in a playpen with a rabbit and an apple. If it eats the rabbit and plays with the apple, I'll give you $1,000"

I think I read it in Diet for a New America by John Robbins.
I'm reading his Food Revolution at the moment, and can recommend both books to everyone.
Even if you disagree, it's interesting to see "the other side"'s points of view, right?


--
Some interesting quotes
[ Parent ]

Re: Choice vs Destruction (none / 1) (#76)
by drsmithy on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 12:32:55 AM EST

Ethics. It's my personal opinion that killing animals is wrong. I will only except killing in self-defence or the defence of others as a last resort.

Well, there's really little point in you saying much past that, because if you can't at least compromise on the idea of eating meat, then everything else is moot.

Bio-diversity. Killing whole species will affect the environment negatively.

Note that hunting does not imply extinction. Many, many species are used for produce and are not extinct.

Plethora of products. Our industrial society is wasteful. We produce too much, drawing on finite resources to do so, and at the expense of others (other people and other animals).

So why do whales deserve special treatment in this context ?

Health and Physiology. The human body is not designed to eat the flesh of other animals.

Rubbish. Humans have been omnivores for thousands of generations.

We have the physical characteristics of herbivores, not carnivores. Eating meats (or blubber) cause fatty deposits to accumulate in our blood vessels. This does not happen in carnivores (your dog or cat won't need a double bypass operation).

If my cat led the sedentary lifestyle of the average westerner it probably _would_ need a double bypass.

From a strictly physiological perspective, then, there are strong arguments that humans are not suited to a fleshy diet.

Which surely makes you wonder why, then, humans have been eating meat for all of recorded history and almost certainly long before that.

Humans are omnivores, we eat meat *and* plants. Our physiology has evolved to allow that. A meat-free diet to sustain a healthy human requires significant effort and would be quite difficult were it not for the infrastructure of modern society.

You can try and justify a meat-free diet philosophically if you want, but the physiological argument is bogus. If meat weren't a component of a natural and normal human diet, then living (healthily) without it would be easy, eating it would only have negative effects and eating it _at all_ would be a recent historical development.

Now I'd like to see you justify killing whales, as your position appears to be that it's ok to do so.

The justification is identical to that used for killing any other animal. They're there and we're higher up the food chain.

[ Parent ]

a few things. . . (none / 1) (#101)
by thankyougustad on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 02:17:12 PM EST

A meat-free diet to sustain a healthy human requires significant effort and would be quite difficult were it not for the infrastructure of modern society.

This is not entirely true. I do not eat meat and I make no special 'efforts.' I don't shop at specialty stores. I buy all of my food at the grocery store and cook most of it myself. I am in very good shape and health

Having said that, it may be difficult in some parts of the world to obtain a diet so easily varied as mine. That I will not argue with. But for the record, there are primitive and third world societies that do not typically eat animals.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Re: a few things. . . (none / 0) (#128)
by drsmithy on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 06:55:37 PM EST

This is not entirely true. I do not eat meat and I make no special 'efforts.' I don't shop at specialty stores. I buy all of my food at the grocery store and cook most of it myself. I am in very good shape and health

As I said, the infrastructure of modern society *makes* it relatively easy - how much of the food you eat could make completely yourself (don't forget, for example, nut-based meat substitutes if you eat them - we have one in Australia called "Nut Meat" (which is quite tasty) but I've no idea what they might be where you are) or find growing naturally within, say, a 5km radius of your home ?

Please note I'm not saying it's impossible, I'm saying that in general and without the trappings of modern society it's significantly more difficult.

Having said that, it may be difficult in some parts of the world to obtain a diet so easily varied as mine. That I will not argue with. But for the record, there are primitive and third world societies that do not typically eat animals.

I must admit to only skimming over those two articles, but the first appears to support my argument, not yours (that is, a diet containing meat is quite normal and that a diet lacking any animal "products" impacts negatively on health). The second seems to be concerning vegetarian diets influenced primarily be religious or other belief systems, which do not support your "physiology" argument (that asserts meat is bad for *all* humans' diets).

If you wish to hold ethical beliefs that say eating meat is wrong, then that's your decision - but your "physiology" argument is completely bogus.

As an aside, I'd be interested to hear why - according to your ethical beliefs - eating meat (ie: killing animals) is wrong but easting plants (ie: killing plants) is ok. How about "dumber" animals like fish, crustaceans, molluscs, insects, etc - where do they fit into your beliefs ?

Is it only the cute animals you don't believe in eating ?

[ Parent ]

Wait a second. . . (none / 0) (#129)
by thankyougustad on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 07:13:19 PM EST

I didn't make the famous physiology argument. . . that was some guy from Norway.

My articles were merely to present some societies that are vegetarian. I am not concerned with why they are, or its health affects, be they positive or negative. I'm simply showing you that contrary to your argument that
Humans are omnivores, we eat meat *and* plants. Our physiology has evolved to allow that. A meat-free diet to sustain a healthy human requires significant effort and would be quite difficult were it not for the infrastructure of modern society.
it is found in places outside of 'modern society.' And in my experience, it is easy. I don't buy fake meat very often because it is very expensive. It is a rip off, even. There is a lot to cook out there. . . not all menus need meat on them.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Re: Wait a second. . . (none / 0) (#133)
by drsmithy on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 10:08:41 PM EST

I didn't make the famous physiology argument. . . that was some guy from Norway.

My apologies, I just assumed it was the same person without checking.

My articles were merely to present some societies that are vegetarian. I am not concerned with why they are, or its health affects, be they positive or negative. I'm simply showing you that contrary to your argument that
[...]
it is found in places outside of 'modern society.'

I never said it wasn't - I was just pointing out that trying to say humans are physiologically incompatible with eating meat is just silly when humans without any meat in their diets are a tiny minority of all humans, and they are that way because of religious and/or environmental conditions, not physiology.

I added the part about maintaining a healthy diet without meat because, in my experience at least - both personally (although that's mostly because there are so few plants I don't dislike either the taste or texture of) and from talking with vegetarian friends - it's nowhere near as easy as doing so *with* meat.

And in my experience, it is easy. I don't buy fake meat very often because it is very expensive. It is a rip off, even. There is a lot to cook out there. . . not all menus need meat on them.

Again, look at your diet and see how much of it would be feasible if the infrastructure of modern society didn't exist to transport in non-native plants or grow them locally, outside of their native habitats. It may well be 100%, but IME at least, that's uncommon.

I've got nothing against a vegetarian diet, but I do get annoyed by people who try to claim it's "more natural" or that eating meat is "not natural", when clearly neither of those statements are true.

[ Parent ]

default arguments don't work (none / 3) (#112)
by gdanjo on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 11:42:02 PM EST

The justification is identical to that used for killing any other animal. They're there and we're higher up the food chain.
Except that you fail to take into account the Paradox of Vagueness. That is, killing and eating humans is wrong, yes? Killing and eating Pigs is OK, right? So, when does "killing one is right" turn into "killing the other is wrong"? (the actual paradox is stated as "One grain of sand does not make a Heap. Adding one grain of sand does not turn it into a Heap. Therefore, no amount of grains of sand will ever make a heap.").

There's a line in there somewhere, and for every argument you use to divide humans and animals, I'll counter it by fuzzying the line until you make a contradictory assertion.

I'm afraid morality is not relative - it just doesn't "relativise" very well. So you're going to have to make an argument (e-gad, you mean I gotta do some work?!) to counter what the previous poster said, and not just default to "yeah, many years we eat meat, therefore we can eat anything and do anything we like cause we are kings."

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

Re: default arguments don't work (none / 1) (#119)
by drsmithy on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 07:45:16 AM EST

Except that you fail to take into account the Paradox of Vagueness. That is, killing and eating humans is wrong, yes?

Whether or not killing humans is wrong is a matter of perspective (and timing), however, cannibalism is well known to be a biologically bad idea (from a long term sustainability point of view).

Killing and eating Pigs is OK, right?

If it's a matter of survival, killing and eating anything you have to is "OK".

So, when does "killing one is right" turn into "killing the other is wrong"?

A subjective moral decision, hence a personal choice.

Not to mention, define "wrong".

(the actual paradox is stated as "One grain of sand does not make a Heap. Adding one grain of sand does not turn it into a Heap. Therefore, no amount of grains of sand will ever make a heap.").

A conclusion that only holds in the absence of a definition for "heap".

There's a line in there somewhere, and for every argument you use to divide humans and animals, I'll counter it by fuzzying the line until you make a contradictory assertion.

I doubt that. There's no more that separates "humans" and "animals" than there is separating "animals" from "other types of animals".

OTOH, I'd love to see some arguments to support your assertion that morality is not relative.

I'm afraid morality is not relative - it just doesn't "relativise" very well.

Of course it is - and does. If morality were absolute and objective, then there would be a set of universal "taboos" that every animal, human and culture held to. Clearly, there is not.

"Morality" is a construct of society, rounded off by each individual's perspective. It's pliable, open to revision and *always* relative. Heck, you should only have to see how the average westerner reacts to asians eating cat and dog meat to realise that.

So you're going to have to make an argument (e-gad, you mean I gotta do some work?!) to counter what the previous poster said, and not just default to "yeah, many years we eat meat, therefore we can eat anything and do anything we like cause we are kings."

The parent poster asserted eating meat was physiologically incompatible with humans. I was pointing out that this is absolute bunk by means of the example that humans have been doing so since the dawn of time. Continuing on the physiological/biological line of reasoning, I also pointed out that there's no *objective* reason why whales should be treated differently to any other animal.

The rest of the post is personal philosophical musings, which by definition cannot be answered objectively.

[ Parent ]

jungle (none / 1) (#131)
by gdanjo on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 08:24:12 PM EST

A conclusion that only holds in the absence of a definition for "heap".
Huh? The point is not to prove that "heap" doesn't mean anything, but to show that the jump from "non-heap" to "heap" is a vague one (kinda like state transitions at the quantum level - we don't know (cannot know) the intermediate states).

Of course it is - and does. If morality were absolute and objective, then there would be a set of universal "taboos" that every animal, human and culture held to. Clearly, there is not.
Morality is something that we (humans) created to make for better (and advantageous) environment for life. But the utility of morality is completely nullified if you allow "relative" morality.

Morality says: "You should do such and such, and you should not do this and that." If you say "my morality tells me your morality doesn't exist" then what you have done is you have rejected the concept of morality, it's back to the jungle rules (animals, after all, are "relatively moral" ie: not moral at all).

A "relative morality" is a self-contradiction.

Morality" is a construct of society, rounded off by each individual's perspective. It's pliable, open to revision and *always* relative. Heck, you should only have to see how the average westerner reacts to asians eating cat and dog meat to realise that.
The evolution of morality is relative (the evolution of anything is relative, simply through the mechanics of cause and effect), but the application of morality is not.

And there may be many different "morality systems" but this does not negate their underlying reason for existence: to be a "universal" set of rules.

The parent poster asserted eating meat was physiologically incompatible with humans. I was pointing out that this is absolute bunk by means of the example that humans have been doing so since the dawn of time. Continuing on the physiological/biological line of reasoning, I also pointed out that there's no *objective* reason why whales should be treated differently to any other animal.
You're right. By that same reasoning, there's also no *objective* reason why we don't kill humans and feed them to animals. And I was merely pointing out that this lazy evaluation of the situation brings you to absurd conclusions.

But if you understand this and still accept your [non]-moral stance, then that's fine. Then you agree that we should go back to "jungle rules", where anything goes 'cause it can.

The rest of the post is personal philosophical musings, which by definition cannot be answered objectively.
That's a snooty whip at philosophy. Am I supposed to infer from this that "objectivism" is your philosophy of choice?

*cracks knuckles* Bring it on! :-)

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

hmm.. (none / 0) (#145)
by egeland on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 11:14:06 PM EST

Well, there's really little point in you saying much past that, because if you can't at least compromise on the idea of eating meat, then everything else is moot.
How so? I merely stated my personal opinion. I don't see how this detracts from making an interesting debate.

Note that hunting does not imply extinction. Many, many species are used for produce and are not extinct.
Yes, we keep cattle, etc for produce, and the clearing of land to keep them destroys thousands of acres of rainforest (like the Amazon) and other native environments (like the American "west", where ranchers are allowed to let their herds eat everything on the grasslands, leaving very little) - newsflash: this is causing the extinction of many species.
As for hunting in the past, well, let's just say the human race has a good record of migrating to a new area and wiping out those animals that were too docile (maybe no native predators) or too hostile (can't let them live, they eat our goats).

If my cat led the sedentary lifestyle of the average westerner it probably would need a double bypass.
Excuse me? Most of the cats I see/know are much lazier than the average westerner. But their physiologies are designed to handle the fats and cholesterols and other gunk that comes along with the flesh of their prey, and so they don't get heart disease like we do.

Which surely makes you wonder why, then, humans have been eating meat for all of recorded history and almost certainly long before that.
Actually, eating a lot of meat is a recent development. Early humans ate a lot more fruits and vegetables than meat, and they got a lot more exercise. In regions where there is still very little consumption of meat, rates of heart disease , cancer, stroke, etc, are much lower than in our western society. When people from those regions move to our western diets (maybe by moving to one of our countries), they develop the same health problems as the typical westerner.

If meat weren't a component of a natural and normal human diet, then living (healthily) without it would be easy, eating it would only have negative effects and eating it at all would be a recent historical development.
Eating healthily without meat is very easy. There are plenty of "newbie veggie" guides out there. I think the only hard part is shaking off the powerful hold that advertising and inherited beliefs have on your eating habits.
Eating meat does only have negative effects. Having said that, the human body has an amazing capacity to delay the ill effects of many things, and so allows you to abuse it for years before symptoms show. Did you know that for 50% of heart attack victims their first indication of a problem is a fatal heart attack?

The justification is identical to that used for killing any other animal. They're there and we're higher up the food chain.
So why convict murderers who are also cannibals?
Surely, they are even higher up on the food chain and as such deserver to be able to kill and eat at will?


--
Some interesting quotes
[ Parent ]

Bogus physiological argumentations (none / 2) (#88)
by bml on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 05:56:01 AM EST

It is pretty obvious that we share physiological traits with both herbivores and carnivores. It is not surprising that, as an omnivorous species, we don't fit nicely into any of those two categories. By pointing out the differences with just one of them, as you did, it's equally easy to "prove" that we are strictly herbivores or that we are strictly carnivores.

The strongest argument for our being prepared to eat meat, I think, is the presence of hydrochloric acid and meat-digesting enzymes in ur digestive system. There are of course many others. But there are also a couple of them you can check right now while reading this post:

Turn off your computer monitor. Watch your reflection on the black screen. Where are your eyes located in your head? To the sides? In the front?

Herbivores normally have eyes located to the  sides of the head in order to give good all-round
vision and environment awareness to protect them against approaching predators. Carnivore predators, in turn, have front-facing eyes that provide depth and distance perception and allow them to focus on the prey they are chasing. Which category do we fall in, judging from this feature alone?

Now run a finger over your upper teeth. Notice  the short pointy ones? These are called canines and are also a distinct feature of meat-eating animals (some herbivores have them too, for fighting, but in those cases they are much longer than their other teeth).

Being a vegetarian is an entirely valid an respectable option. But please don't adhere to it for wrong pseudo-scientific reasons.

The Internet is vast, and contains many people. This is the way of things. -- Russell Dovey
[ Parent ]

Teeth (none / 0) (#142)
by egeland on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 09:22:28 PM EST

The short pointy ones are called canines, but they bear only a marginal similarity to true canines as exhibited by, say, dogs or cats.
The canines of carnivores are much larger than ours and typically a lot sharper, for piercing and rending the skin and flesh of their prey.

I haven't read much about the human development of forward-facing rather than side-of-head eyes, so I'll leave that point for someone more educated than myself.
I do know that chimp have forward-facing eyes too, and have a mainly vegetarian diet.


--
Some interesting quotes
[ Parent ]

Chimps vegetarian? (none / 0) (#157)
by Nursie on Mon Aug 02, 2004 at 10:06:59 AM EST

They hunt, kill and eat smaller primates.

Dude, like us the chimp has a varied diet, but also like us they hunt, kill and eat the flesh of other animals.

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
Your physiology arguments is bullshit. (none / 0) (#126)
by arcade on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 05:37:06 PM EST

The human body is not designed to eat the flesh of other animals. [arguments deleted]

Okaaay? As others has pointed out, a similiar list of arguments could be made on why we are not herbivores.

Humans are omnivores. We got out of the trees and onto the steppes (or whatever) a long time ago. We started out by eating dead animals / leftovers from other animals.

Then we moved up the food chain. Since we were bipeds and good runners - we could run down various hairy animals such as antilopes/whatever. We were slower, but they couldn't efficiently shed their sweat. So - we could run, and run, and run - until the beast collapsed. Then we could just kill it and eat it.

If you take a look at our evolutionary history, make a note that humans grew shorter, fatter and started having more lifestyle-diseases when we started eating grain and so forth.

.. but I'm not an expert in this field. This is mostly from my biology professor. ;-) I may even be misquoting him a bit.

--
arcade
[ Parent ]

I don't know (none / 0) (#127)
by thankyougustad on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 06:09:23 PM EST

but are you implying that a mostly meat diet was sustaining a taller, thinner, and less disease ridden population of humans beings? About how much of their diet was made on foraging in the forest for vegetable matter? Wasn't it a very low percentage of animal/vegetable matter, according to your bio proffessor?

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Say what? (none / 0) (#144)
by egeland on Wed Jul 28, 2004 at 10:47:48 PM EST

If you take a look at our evolutionary history, make a note that humans grew shorter, fatter and started having more lifestyle-diseases when we started eating grain and so forth.

I don't know about shorter, but the fatter and more diseases part of that statement seems more than a little off-kilter to me.
In a huge number of studies, people eating meat are much more prone to obesity and lifestyle diseases than those on a plant-based diet. The pure vegetarians (vegans) were best off. Lower cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, lower incidents of cancer, much lower rates of heart disease and atherosclerosis.

As others has pointed out, a similiar list of arguments could be made on why we are not herbivores.

Please provide this list.
In another comment, I've already confessed ignorance about our forward-set eyes, so feel free to skip that one, and move on to the other items you were thinking of. Thanks. I appreciate getting all the information, as I'm just a recent "convert" to veg*anism. I'm sure your professor will have the info. You might want to ask him why the diseases mentioned above are so much higher in meat eaters than vegans, I'd be interested in his views.


--
Some interesting quotes
[ Parent ]

On being an Omnivore (none / 0) (#151)
by Jah-Wren Ryel on Sat Jul 31, 2004 at 11:16:26 PM EST

Offhand, it seems that having incisors is a pretty strong indication that putting meat in our mouths is part of the plan.

Furthermore, I question your belief that diets with substantial portions of animal protein lead to all those various ailments.  Some of the benefits of the low-carb diets include substantial reductions in blood pressure and cholesterol.  What's-his-face, the guy who really started off the low-carb fad was a heart doctor who prescribed the diet to reduce the  risks of heart disease and atherosclerosis.  There seems to be a lot of evidence to suggest that it is diets that contain a lot of refined carbs (white sugar, white bread, etc) that are primarily responsible for a lot of the ills that beset the modern western man.  Traditional european and mediterranean diets are loaded with meat and fat and non-refined carbs (and wine), yet those populations have significantly less rates of heart problems than Americans.


[ Parent ]

Low carb? (none / 0) (#154)
by egeland on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 08:43:37 PM EST

What's-his-face, the guy who really started off the low-carb fad was a heart doctor who prescribed the diet to reduce the  risks of heart disease and atherosclerosis.

Atkins?
The guy who was overweight when he died from heart disease?
You need to read some more info on that dangerous fad diet.


...yet those populations have significantly less rates of heart problems than Americans.

Comparing to Americans is an exercise in futility, as Americans are in the leading group of countries with high heart disease. Compare instead low meat diets in places like Japan and China, where (until they started emulating the Western diet) heart disease was virtually unknown, with high meat diets like Inuits (Eskimos), where meat and fish are the major components of their diet and the death rates from heart disease are astronomical.


--
Some interesting quotes
[ Parent ]

Correction and more info (none / 0) (#155)
by egeland on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 08:58:29 PM EST

The correction:
I just did a little googling on Atkins and his death.
The heart disease was from before he died, and apparantly had "little to do with" his death, which was from complications associated with a fall.
Personally, after reading the reports where his condition was covered, I can't help but wonder how many of the complications could have been avoided if he didn't have "one blocked artery" from atherosclerosis.

As for the more info: read this about protein based diets.

--
Some interesting quotes
[ Parent ]

Why is whaling so important to the Japanese? (none / 1) (#75)
by Nimey on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 12:02:27 AM EST

Could a Japanese person explain that to me? It seems like the Japanese goverment is the most pro-whaling body I've heard of.
--
Never mind, it was just the dog cumming -- jandev
You Sir, are an Ignorant Motherfucker. -- Crawford
I am arguably too manic to do that. -- Crawford
I already fuck my mother -- trane
Nimey is right -- Blastard
i am in complete agreement with Nimey -- i am a pretty big deal

I think (none / 1) (#84)
by Highlander on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 03:13:15 AM EST

I think Japanese are sick of all the rice, so they are eager for fish, or anything that comes from the seas, like GodZilla.

Oops, I'm not japanese, but you asked for one.

Moderation in moderation is a good thing.
[ Parent ]

Not Japanese (none / 0) (#98)
by Nursie on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 11:02:07 AM EST

Nor do I have an explanation.

But I saw one of the Japanese delegates interviewed on TV the other day. When asked "Why do Japanese people want whale hunting so badly?" or some similar question, he was heard to reply "Japan is an island nation, we need protein, whatever protein we can get from the sea."
Which is so totally bogus.

The mind boggles as to why there is such an obsession with whaling. AFAICT whale is a delicacy of some sort. Though they also refer to them as the "Rats of the Sea" which gives away a totally different outlook on whales to that usually expressed by people in western nations.....

So to repeat the parent's request, anyone know exactly why it's so important to the japanese?

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
Not Japanese (none / 1) (#99)
by Nursie on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 11:02:44 AM EST

Nor do I have an explanation.

But I saw one of the Japanese delegates interviewed on TV the other day. When asked "Why do Japanese people want whale hunting so badly?" or some similar question, he was heard to reply "Japan is an island nation, we need protein, whatever protein we can get from the sea."
Which is so totally bogus.

The mind boggles as to why there is such an obsession with whaling. AFAICT whale is a delicacy of some sort. Though they also refer to them as the "Rats of the Sea" which gives away a totally different outlook on whales to that usually expressed by people in western nations.....

So to repeat the parent's request, anyone know exactly why it's so important to the japanese?

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
Rats (none / 0) (#114)
by Flippant Chicken on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 12:11:59 AM EST

The mind boggles as to why there is such an obsession with whaling. AFAICT whale is a delicacy of some sort. Though they also refer to them as the "Rats of the Sea" which gives away a totally different outlook on whales to that usually expressed by people in western nations.....

But it is difficult to know what that means, because they have a completely different outlook on rats as well. . .

[ Parent ]
Well... (none / 0) (#123)
by BJH on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 11:52:23 AM EST

Not Japanese, but living here for more than a few years. The general arguments I hear for the practice of whaling generally fall into the following categories:

1) Traditional
The Japanese people have been eating whale meat for centuries! (BZZT: True in some coastal viallges, but it didn't become widespread until after WWII when whale meat was used as a supplementary source of protein)

2) Economical
Without whaling, many fishing villages will not be able to support themselves! (BZZT: There are no fishing villages that currently support themselves through whaling alone, or have whaling as their main source of income)

3) Practical
There's plenty of whales out there, so why shouldn't we be allowed to hunt them? (The hardest to refute, because whale population statistics are so heavily manipulated by both sides that it's impossible to find "reasonable" estimates)

4) Paranoid
The IWC is a fascist organization aimed at preserving Western nations' superior status in international society! (BZZT: The only people besides the Japanese who are particularly interested in whaling are Western)

Personally, I don't think there's any reason to hunt whales, but reasonable debate on the subject is almost impossible. People here either don't care or take a position at the extreme end of the above categories, making it difficult to find a compromise. I generally don't bother discussing it.
--
Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
-- Oscar Levant

[ Parent ]

Why? Well... (none / 0) (#150)
by awful on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 02:05:27 AM EST

... because like so many industries in Japan, the whaling industry is a protected industry, in the sense that the Japanese Government will do everything in it's power to make sure that industry survives. It's the same thing that drives them to protect their vastly inefficient farmers from cheaper foreign imports by using non-tariff barriers. There isn't really a great demand for whale meat in Japan, and the period in which is was eaten in great quantities was after the war, when it was cheap and a staple in most school lunches. The whaling industry in Japan should have succumbed to market forces long ago, but the govt just won't let it die. PS - I've eaten whale - it's not bad.

[ Parent ]
legal whaling options (none / 3) (#81)
by m a r c on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 01:44:46 AM EST

while i don't condone uncontrolled whaling, there should be a compromise whereby individuals rightly seeking to hunt the animal for sport should be allowed to do so. After paying a whaling leisure sport fee they would be permitted to hunt. The proceeds of these fees can go towards whale preservation.
I got a dog and named him "Stay". Now, I go "Come here, Stay!". After a while, the dog went insane and wouldn't move at all.
Go visit a shrink (none / 0) (#85)
by Highlander on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 03:27:55 AM EST

People who think that hunting for fun should always be allowed even when its not allowed for food should go visit a shrink. You probably have much the same psychological profile as the Unabomber.

And the profits from hunting shall go towards what ? Preservation of whales ?? I think whales pretty much preserve themselves when they are not killed by hunters nor whalers.

Moderation in moderation is a good thing.
[ Parent ]

lol (none / 1) (#91)
by Hide Teh Hamster on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 06:38:08 AM EST

I've never killed a thing in my life, but I find your viewpoint pretty fruitloops.


This revitalised kuro5hin thing, it reminds me very much of the new German Weimar Republic. Please don't let the dark cloud of National Socialism descend upon it again.
[ Parent ]
Save Willy-Nilly? (none / 1) (#87)
by dimaq on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 04:29:36 AM EST

yeah, whatever!

Norway only hunt the Minke Whale (none / 3) (#89)
by bojwolb on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 05:59:26 AM EST

According to Wikipedia, the population of the Minke Whale in the North Atlantic is estimated to be around 150,000.  The quota for 2004 is 670 animals.

To me, it sounds like the Minke family is nowhere near extinction, and every single scientific report I've read seems to say the same thing.  Some even go so far as to say that if the Minke whale population isn't controlled, it could endanger other fish species.

We do not «Fry Willy», although I get the impression that that's exactly what some of the environmentalist groups wants the general populace to believe.

endanger? (none / 0) (#95)
by boxed on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 09:33:22 AM EST

Endanger human fishing of some species perhaps, but hardly the species itself.

[ Parent ]
There is a reason for this problem (2.80 / 5) (#97)
by Julian Morrison on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 10:52:18 AM EST

Whales were over-fished, practically to extinction. Faced with the the end of their industry, the whaling commission banned hunting to let stocks recover.

Also in the sea: atlantic cod are an endangered species. Bluefin tuna are practically extinct. Haddock are endangered. A whole lot of fish stocks are on the brink of being overfished. Government quotas are worked around, ignored, or set unsustainably high via political pressure.

Cows, sheep and pigs are not endangered. There is no need for a cow quota.

None of the above is an accident.

The problem with whaling is the same as the problem with other types of fishing: a lack of private property. Here is an amusing flash applet to illustrate my point.

If the law that stupidly makes the sea unownable were revoked, and an "enclosure" principle for fisheries set up, then fishery owners would have a vested interest in protecting stocks, rather than just taking them before the competition arrives.

loved the flash applet (none / 0) (#120)
by Shren on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 08:08:55 AM EST

bunnies! bunnies!

[ Parent ]
We kinda need to stop killing/eating everything... (2.20 / 5) (#100)
by Nursie on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 11:41:59 AM EST

in the sea.

The EU is constantly embroiled in debate over fishing quotas and surrounding controversy. Nations argue over fishing territory. There's always stuff in the UK papers about "those damned spaniards coming to our traditional fishing areasand taking all the fish", regardless of the fact that various EU treaties open up all fishing areas to all nations....
Anyway, the sea around the EU is overfished, to the extent that cod and various others are dying out. Whenever anyone proposes completely stopping cod fishing however, we get shouting from the fishermen about the fact that they can't make a living out of fishing with all these quotas. They complain about catches being down in recent years, and the suggested solution? Being allowed out at sea more days a month (currently restricted by quota system) and being able to use ever more destructive fishing methods. This astounds me. Catch down because there's less fish in the sea? Lets get busy with hunting down the last few then!
The authorities then have to make plans to compromise, which is in noone's best interests, neither fish nor fishery.
The result of all this is that fishing goes on at much the same rate it did before, both sides bitch about it and the fish still die.
More worrying still is that as a consumer I'm noticing more and more bizarre and exotic fish in the supermarkets. Why does this worry me? Well if I go to the local Sainsbury's, and instead of cod they have "Antarctic white ice fish" (not making this up) then it means that we are not only fishing and eating the fish in our own seas to destruction, but through market forces are going to do it to everywhere else too. Especially in places less regulated and less conservation minded.

We seem to have reached a point where the human populatin has grown to the level where to fill everyone's hunger for fish we would have to damage or kill the life in the sea.

If whaling is allowed to start back up then it will be subject to exactly the same pressures, only on a worldwide scale. There will be whaling whiners ("But we need our jobs!!") and compromise between whalers and environmentalists, most likely weighed down on the side of the whalers (politicians seldom listen to conservationists when there's jobs and money involved).

Solution?
Well I for one have decided not to eat any fish that aren't farmed, to take the pressure off the wild species in the sea. I don't think it's unreasonable either. We can farm salmon these days, why not everything else? Why not leave as much of the sea as we can to flourish naturally and just use what waterways we need to farm the species we like? Much the same way we do with cows. comments?

(Personally I still wouldn't eat whales and would disagree with farming them too, but that's a cute-factor, majesty and brain-complexity thing and as such is not logically defensible)

Meta Sigs suck.

Farmed fish? (none / 1) (#149)
by awful on Fri Jul 30, 2004 at 02:00:30 AM EST

Only eating fish that are farmed is one solution, but there is a fundamental problem with it. What do fish eat? And what do you think they feed farmed fish? The answer to both questions is "fish". Usually in the form of fish meal pellets. And the pellets are made from fish that are caught in the open sea. So you're just forcing the problem down the food chain. It's a shame - fish are wonderful to eat. But we all need to a lot smarter about how we manage our fisheries.

[ Parent ]
Indeed (none / 1) (#156)
by Nursie on Mon Aug 02, 2004 at 10:01:11 AM EST

fish do eat fish......

This problem has more complexity to it than perhaps I thought! Still, at some point you have to able to unwind the problem of the food chain - feeding plant matter to shrimp bred in tanks, which then go on to be salmon food? There must be a way.

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
High explosives are not used in seismic surveys (3.00 / 4) (#104)
by shambles on Mon Jul 26, 2004 at 04:25:23 PM EST

I think you're vastly overstating the danger from seismic surveys. While it is true that a shock wave is generated and directed down though the earth, significant charges of high explosives are not used to generate it and the shock wave is much smaller than you imply.

In marine surveys, the shock wave is generated using compressed air guns towed behind the same seismic vessels that tow the detectors or geophones. To give you an idea of how small a shockwave is needed, land surveys have been carried out within LA and Hollywood in the last 10 years with no loss of property, injury or litigation (this is LA after all). Burying and detonating high explosives along Santa Monica Boulevard would have caused a few problems.

There are different opinions on how much the air guns effect whales;

The little effect viewpoint

The significant effect viewpoint

and the sensible compromise from the UK goverment's wildlife advisor, Joint Nature Conservation Committee

Seismic surveys at sea do not necessarily constitute a threat to marine mammals, if care is taken to avoid situations which could potentially harm the animals.

People are more important than Truth - Edgar Malroy

Yes, I stand corrected (none / 0) (#125)
by imrdkl on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 03:53:03 PM EST

It's been many years since I first heard about the procedure, from a good friend in Texas who worked one of the blasting crews. Apparantly, the technology has come a long way since then - these airguns seem to significantly decrease the impact of a geo survey.

In fact, just since I submitted this article, I read a report from the the American Geophysical Union which discusses the investigations currently being conducted in regard to underwater seismic pulses. The report states that:

Only one event of stranding of beaked whales that might be related to airgun activity has been recorded, Tolstoy writes, but there is solid evidence that some other species of whales avoid the acoustic output of seismic systems at distances up to 20 kilometers [10 miles].
I believe that the area in question, on the Russian coast, is of both limited size and (almost as importantly), depth, so as to be considered within the "avoidance" range in this case.

[ Parent ]
On Animal Rights. (none / 1) (#118)
by brain in a jar on Tue Jul 27, 2004 at 07:34:13 AM EST

It is clear that a lot of the objections within the IWC are moral rather than practical objections. It is likely that some kind of managment plan could be found that would allow for limited hunting without driving whale species to extinction. There are significant forseeable problems in doing this, especially the difficulty in enforcing quotas on the high seas, but it could be done.

Thus I think it is fair to say that some IWC members are morally opposed to whaling, but are often choosing to make practical arguments against it rather than trying to win the moral argument. Essentially because the moral argument is difficult.

As soon as we start giving non-human animals rights we have to have a mechanism for deciding what happens when different sets of rights collide. The consensus is that the rights of native people to hunt, to provide for themselves trump those of animals to life (if such rights are held to exist). However there seem to be a significant body of opinion at the IWC which thinks that killing whales for commercial gain, is not OK.

So the fundamental question is. How pressing must a human's interest be, for the killing of a whale (or any other animal) to be justified?

Furthermore, how do we decide on the amount of weight that we should give the rights of on species against that of another? Do dogs have more rights than sheep? Predators more than prey? is cuteness important, or intelligence or usefulness?

These are the hard questions, and they are far from comprehensively answered by most animal rights advocates. All too often people argue that all animals, and even ecosystems have rights, but say nothing about how conflicts between sets of rights can be resolved. Thus ignoring the most difficult, and important part of the question.


"The ships hung in the air the way that bricks don't." Douglas Adams.

Whaling Commission meeting wraps up with a compromise | 157 comments (155 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
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