Every time I read another story of Japanese whaling, it makes my blood boil. For such an advanced, seemingly civilized culture, it is shocking and astonishing that they still allow this cruel, barbaric practice.
Warning: the descriptions that follow are disturbing.
Most of us don't want to know what goes on in animal-processing plants, but at least there is an attempt at humane slaughter techniques in most countries. But with whaling, it's torture, pure and simple. There is no humane way to kill a whale. Instead, the animals, which are known to be highly intelligent and social, are harpooned with an explosive device, which crushes their lungs. Then they suffocate in their own blood. Sometimes, the whales are hoisted onto the ship's butchering platform and cut apart before they are even dead.
The Japanese like to think of themselves as culturally and technologically advanced, but their whaling practices are a blight on their civilization. Whaling is something from centuries past, and should have died out long ago.
As humanity loses its childish religions, the ones that assert that the Earth was put here for our pleasure, and the animals for our unfettered use, we need to replace them with the rational ethics that thoughtful men and women have been refining for over two millenia, both in Europe and in the Far East. Japanese whaling might have seemed OK when there were emperors, kings, shoguns, knights, and peasants, and human life was cheap. But most of the civilized world has move on to a more ethical philosophy, one that recognizes that cruelty to any living creature is unacceptable.
Every Japanese citizen should hang his or her head in shame. Or better yet, speak up, and tell your lawmakers to end this horrifying torture of innocent animals.