Monday, April 19, 2010
Violence Only Begets Violence
The Japanese whaling fleet has returned home from the Southern Ocean and according to Shigetoshi Nishiwaki, head of the Japanese Institute for Cetacean Research, the fleet was only able to ‘catch’ half of its 1,000 whale ‘research’ goal. Euphemisms aside, he means they were only able to 'slaughter' and 'butcher' half the tonnage targeted for restaurants in Japan, South Korea, and elsewhere including the U.S. as occurred recently in California. Nishiwaki cited the acts of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society as the primary reason for this failure. As brave and well-intended as Sea Shepherd’s sailors may be, their actions are seen as an assault on the Japanese culture, and ironically, in saving the lives of 500 whales this season, they have further entrenched the Japanese government’s support for whaling. As such, they are hurting the very cause in which they so passionately believe. The only way to get Japan, Iceland and Norway, to stop this brutal practice is to reach out to ordinary citizens of these countries and get them to work against whaling from within their own society. As with other aspects of human society, in the case of whaling, violence only begets violence. We must ignore the tyranny of the few and instead appeal to the compassion and reason of the many.