Every season from September to March in Taiji, Japan, around 23,000 dolphins, and other small cetaceans are slaughtered or sold to dolphinariums in the name of a 400-year-old tradition. The word ‘tradition’ is often used to rationalize and justify the terrible acts of animal cruelty, as seen in many countries such as bullfighting in Spain, fox hunting in Britain, Thanksgiving in America, and drive hunting in Japan. However, just because something is deemed as a tradition, does not mean it should not be challenged and judged against the standards of morality. Whale and dolphin hunting has stopped becoming a proud cultural tradition of small-scale subsistence whaling and has become a business run on wholesale slaughter and the exploitation of another species. The disconnect between the past and present has led to an evil distortion of the past.
However, this event cannot simply be explained by blaming solely greed and selfishness for driving this long-lasting tradition. By analyzing poems by Misuzu Kaneko, early hunting methods, memorial services, and graves built in the past and comparing them to the current hunting methods, dolphin shows, and the Taiji Whale Museum, one can determine the variety of factors driving these actions and find the point in time when the intentions of these practices shifted. By having a better understanding of the past and the present, one can follow a once-proud tradition becoming a source to justify unethical and cruel behavior.
Included in this item (2)