Wednesday, December 29, 2010

History Doomed to be Repeated?

Traditions are important to many parts of the world. Without history there would be no progress. There would be no Statue of Liberty, no knowledge of our round Earth and no Wrigley Field. Of all our traditions from history however, how would we do without slavery? Perhaps you would prefer the tradition of holding women back from voting? Maybe the Dark Ages of flagellation and burning books would be more enjoyable?

When reading an article by ABC's Blog titled, "Hunting For the Truth," by Tony Barrell, from April 15, 2009, I found something remarkable. The Japanese have tried to make whaling and whale meat a tradition from the years in the past.

"The 1911 riot is analysed by Hiroyuki Watanabe, research fellow at Kyoto university, who says his compatriots had little long term experience of the cetacean, cooked or otherwise, until industrial scale whaling was introduced into Japan. Watanabe did his research in 2002 but it has just been published and updated in an English version. He says he is neither pro nor anti-whaling, but suggests we stop thinking that Japanese 'tradition' justifies it," said Barrell.

Not only are some of the Japanese people able to whale over 800 a year for "scientific research" said Barrell but most of the meat caught is given away to schools, unwanted.

"If you accept the idea that a 'tradition' has to have been part of a culture for many generations, or centuries, then whales have never been a "traditional" food for the majority of Japanese. Nor has whaling as we know it been a 'traditional' activity," said Barrell.

As the whaling laws become more strict some countries want to keep their traditions. In the United States a popular phrase of, "save the whales," has survived. Popular television shows such as Whale Wars which is promoting their new season, "The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's ongoing struggle to end Japanese whaling will continue on Season 4 of Whale Wars premiering Summer 2011."

How do we let other countries know that the only way to save the fish, to produce food, to keep the ocean alive, to keep our industries flowing is to protect the ocean?

picture from

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for such an informative article.

    “We must cultivate a universal responsibility toward each other and extend it to the planet that we have to share.” – Dalai Lama