Before you read on, do look at this video in question where it shows Japan fishermen killing Dolphins by the tens. In fact, the video may make you feel that their methods are too extreme.
I had a discussion, or rather, my friends had a discussion about this dolphin video, and I just kept quiet throughout the process because I disagreed with quite a few points, just that I didn’t want to start a heated argument in the canteen @ NUS. I took note of some of the comments I disagreed with and I thought I should just let it out here, if not I will be bottling it up and it’s unhealthy.
Firstly, one of the remarks was “People who tell you not to be cruel to animals are hypocrites when they turn around and have a meat burger”. Now, I think to use it in terms of this context is totally wrong. In fact, having a meat burger does not mean cruelty to animals. Animals that are reared for human consumption can be killed humanely, from the brief idea I had of Islam, I believe that the food can only be considered to be Halal if there is minimal suffering done to the animal during the slaughter. As such, the slaughter is done in a quick manner to deal immediate death so that the animal does not suffer. If you look at the video, the fishermen cuts the dolphin neck, letting the dolphin bleed and move, whilst he continues hacking at the dolphin. The dolphin suffers, doesn’t it? I don’t think these people are hypocrites when they tell you not to be cruel to animals.
Secondly, it is said that it has been the tradition of the Japanese to kill dolphins for food, and it has been going round for centuries, so why make a fuss? Now, doing something for a very long period of time does not make something right. We see some countries who sentence women to death for being raped. Does that mean that their law is right and should not be changed? Even when human perception and understanding has evolved, we should just let things be?
Thirdly, dolphins are compared to sardines. We catch sardines and eat them anyway, so why feel so much for dolphins? Well I honestly do not know what to say. Can we even compare them this way? I think the sardine dies faster than the dolphins, and dolphins are not our normal food on the plate, just for the Japanese. Besides, I think they are selling them as whale meat, which makes everything seem more, unethical?
Fourthly, there are other things that we should spend more time to protect, why waste time on dolphins? Now that is shallow thinking. I mean, how can we judge if we should spend more time to protect something over another? Should we focus more on cats and neglect the dolphins? Now I think these people who are trying their best to stop this practice are very nice and dedicated people. In fact, I think it is their freedom to decide what cause they want to support. Other species may be more endangered, but should we wait till dolphins become endangered before we do something? Anyway, the main point is not why they are killing dolphins, but why they are doing it in a inhumane fashion, dragging the poor mammal on the road for miles to the slaughter place.
Lastly, that animals are being killed for food anyway. Again I emphasize that it is the way those dolphins are treated, not whether they are used for food. Imagine dragging a cow for miles. I would be alarmed too. Meat is in our diet and we are used to it. We just want to minimize the suffering necessary and not cause to much pain.
Anyway, what’s up with respecting those who go vegetarian? As if vegetarians do not cause harm to animals or life. Now, when those tractors go through to harvest those grains, do you think those rabbits who live there come up alive? Every one of them? There is a definite risk to animals too.
Now, if only veggies can yell in pain.