Πέμπτη, 15 Δεκεμβρίου 2011

When dolphins cry

Αυτή η φρίκη αποτελεί όντως «παράδοση» σε κάποιες περιοχές της Ιαπωνίας και της Ευρώπης. Αλλά το γεγονός ότι αποτελούν παραδόσεις δεν τους δίνει την παραμικρή ηθική νομιμοποίηση για να διατηρούνται και να συνεχίζονται. Ποιος σας είπε πως κάθε λογής παράδοση είναι καλή και σεβαστή μόνο και μόνο επειδή είναι παράδοση; Ποιος σας είπε ότι κάθε λογής παράδοση και έθιμο πρέπει να συνεχίζεται ανά τους αιώνες έξω από ιστορικά πλαίσια, αναγκαιότητες και κοινό αίσθημα; Μήπως ο κανιβαλισμός, η δουλεία, η κατωτερότητα των γυναικών, η παιδεραστία, κλπ ευρέως καταδικασμένα έθιμα και βάρβαρες παραδοσιακές πρακτικές δεν θα έπρεπε να καταργηθούν μόνο και μόνο επειδή ήταν «παραδόσεις»; Οι παραδόσεις των λαών και των πολιτισμών δεν είναι ipso facto καλές και ευγενικές πρακτικές και δείγμα πολιτισμού. Κάποιες είναι όντως καλές και προάγουν τον πολιτισμό, κάποιες όμως είναι απεχθέστατες και ευρέως απαράδεκτες σήμερα.

This horrible stuff is unquestionably a tradition, in some places in Japan, Europe, etc. But the fact that they are traditions doesn’t give them a single excuse to be preserved and continued. Who told you that any kind of tradition is good and respectful for the reason because it's a tradition? Who told you that any kind of tradition must be kept intact through the ages, out of historical context, necessities and common sense? Do cannibalism, slavery, pederasty, female inferiority, and various old violent customs, widely condemned nowadays, keep on being in practice today because they were traditions? Traditions are not ipso facto good and noble. Some traditions are good and noble and some are bad, disgusting and widely inacceptable.

Whale and Dolphin hunting has been the tradition of the inhabitants of Faroe Islands (near Denmark) since the 10th century. And most of the descendants of the medieval whalers have passed this tradition from generations to generations. For the record, there are 17 villages in the island that have these kind of scenario every year which are authorized to conduct such massacre. After killing the whales in methods so gruesome, the villages part take the meat of their hunt and distribute them among the inhabitants. Some carcasses or what has been left from meat scraping and fat extractions of the killed whales and dolphins are laid right on the pier where most birds and flies scavenge on what is left of the poor creature, skin and bones.

This Tradition has met worldwide outrage and criticism that even Greenpeace Activists tried to stop this from ever occurring again. But the islanders insist that the outsiders doesn’t know the implication of this tradition to their identity and culture as Faroe islanders. Activists however argued that during the medieval times, Faroe islanders have shortage of food comphttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifare to this time of ours that food is already abundant and that using tradition as an excuse for the slaughter of these gentle animals is truly unacceptable. (Romuald Matthieson)

The Jananese small town of Taiji, located in the Higashimuro District of Wakayama, is a place of picturesque beauty and hidden horrors. To travelers not aware of its dark secret, Taiji could easily be viewed as just another quaint, historic Japanese village. However, this is not the case. Beginning in September of every year dolphins and small whales are corralled by fisherman and slaughtered in the coves that dot the Taiji shores. Hundreds of dolphins are killed in these coves between September and March. Fishermen slay the dolphins by driving a pin into their necks, by slashing their throats with knives or by spearing them with long harpoons from their boats. In addition, members of the international dolphin display industry attend these dolphin slaughters to purchase show-quality dolphins for use in captive dolphin shows and dolphin swim programs; the dolphins not selected are slaughtered. This is the largest scale dolphin slaughter in the world and unfortunately very few know it even takes place. Even in Japan, not many people are aware of this atrocity occurring.

How is it possible for these acts to continue to take place? The answer is not simple, yet it is fair to say that in large part this problem persists due to lack of education, and a lack of knowledge about what is taking place in Japan. Basically, the Japanese government does not want the international community to become aware of the annual slaughter. It is up to everyone, especially travelers visiting Japan, to spread the word.

Japan is not alone in hunting cetaceans, which are any of an order of aquatic mammals that includes whales, porpoises, dolphins, and related forms. But it’s fair to say that Japan is a global leader when it comes to continuing these practices. It has been argued that the Japanese are keeping an ancient tradition alive by allowing these slaughters to continue, but the case that they are killing dolphins for “the preservation of tradition” isn’t a strong one.

Travelers are not allowed anywhere near the coves where the killings take place and are not encouraged to seek information about this “cultural tradition” of dolphin hunting in the town of Taiji. Also, harsh punishments can result if travelers are too inquisitive around the Taiji coves. It is recommended that you don’t get involved in any protests or activist movements when visiting Japan, because arrests and imprisonment may result, followed by deportation. (Charles Timko)





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