Opinion: Real Tragedy of Taiji Is Our Inhumanity Toward Animals

Since the 1980s, when commercial whaling was finally banned worldwide, we’ve come to know a great deal more about the minds of marine mammals and many other animals. What we’ve learned suggests that, like the human animal, many other species, including all whales and dolphins studied to date, are thinking, emotional creatures, and are conscious.

We also know that common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), such as those who were killed or forcefully separated from their families at Taiji, have societies and rules, and some sense of empathy, and right and wrong.

via Opinion: Real Tragedy of Taiji Is Our Inhumanity Toward Animals.

This article on animal cognition, altruism, and (irony intended) humanity, seems very relevant to the discussions we’ve been having on morality and instincts.  Many of the more intelligent animals, particularly the social ones, show signs of what we would call morality.

The real thrust of this article is about the Japanese dolphin hunters.  It seems inconceivable to me that anyone would accept the defense that it’s a tradition.  It’s the same excuse usually thrown out to support bull fighting and other animal cruelties.

The tradition defense has been used throughout history to defend abominable practices (such as slavery) and the world would be a much better place if that defense was recognized for the incoherence that it is.

15 thoughts on “Opinion: Real Tragedy of Taiji Is Our Inhumanity Toward Animals

  1. There should be an outright ban on all meat production from fellow mammals. I really hold out hope that we have In vitro meat on the market in sizable quantities within 10 years. It seems the only way we can stop the ecological disaster we rain down daily on the planet just to get the protein we need.


      1. No doubt, but I for one will be the first in line to purchase it. It would be astonishing if we could pull this off inside the next 20 years, including the mass production of stem cells so we can also do away with all live animal testing once and for all, across the board. Doesn’t solve our overpopulation problems, but its unquestionably a step in the right direction.


        1. I’ll be in line right behind you and if mass production of stem cells will make animal testing obsolete I’m there too!


      1. Hey, I’m Australian, so the Aborigines have been telling me that since i was a kid. I’ve eaten many a honey ant, never a grub (not deliberately at least, quite a few accidentally) and my mother tells me i had a serious obsession with eating snails when i was a baby.


        1. I can’t imagine that mealworms baked with a bit of butter, garlic, and sprinkled with parmesan cheese until crispy would be anything less than a delicious crunchy snack!

          Mark in Maine, USA here, and not nearly so red or furry as my picture might portray me – pleasure to make your aquaintance. I’m somewhat envious as Australia is home to some of the most unique fauna on the planet and I’ve a soft spot for koalas and spiders among other things, not to mention one of *the* reefs I’d love to dive.


          1. Nice to meet you, Mark, I love our snakes, but not a great fan of the spiders. They’re big, and fast, and the standing agreement i have with them is we leave each other alone. I’m living in Brazil now, so another wash of unusual animal types. Haven’t seen a jaguar or sloth yet, but a Toucan did come for a visit last year which was astonishing. Surprisingly big bird.


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