Sunday, August 22, 2010

"Social Contract"

...Been enjoying catching up on This American Life.

Also watched "The Cove". Very moving, all (review here). Meanwhile the more publicized "Whale Wars" has been growing less sappy/sentimental and more effective of late, thankfully. One wonders how the September slaughter season in Taiji is shaping up this year. I'm not sure I'll ever eat sushi again (there was never any danger of going to Sea World).

Update: According to the mini-series now airing, Blood Dolphins, the Taiji slaughter is still in operation (only now monitored by police cameras, covered with razor wire and carried out even more covertly behind tarps)...much more here.

The vast majority of Japanese people do not knowingly eat dolphin meat (it is often packaged and sold, deliberately mislabeled as something more desirable, much like Pollock in America), which contains scandalously high levels of mercury poison (cf. Robert F. Kennedy, mercury and autism). Nor do they know about the illegal, misguided and completely unnecessary dolphin slaughter taking place in Taiji and elsewhere on their shores.


Craig said...

Glad you are reconsidering some animal consumption! However, the case stands that if you reject the consumption of dolphin (and, apparently, fish) there is no good reason to not reject all other consumption of animals--the only reason you have available is personal preference. Hope all is well, Matt.

Matt Christie said...

Thanks, Craig.

Matt Christie said...

By the way I agree with you, I think, philosophically, if the analysis with which I still feel closest in spirit would probably be along the lines of Mark Greif's discussion of Pollan and Glassner ("On Food" n+1 #7) when he writes:

"I speak as a non-vegetarian. (Non-vegetarian because I am immoral, not because I think there is any good argument for carnivorousness. It is not true, what some philosophers say, that genuinely to hold a belief is necessarily to act on it. I hope I will learn to be moral, by and by.)"

Assume you've read it.

Perezoso said...

When the eco-veggie types convince wolves not to eat elk (or sharks not to lunch on seals), he'll have sold me on the idea--then and only then will tasty soy products be appearing on our menu.

that said I agree tentatively the dolphin slaughter's wrong. One doesn't have to be a Peter Singer to realize that some qualitative difference holds between tuna, salmon, shellfish etc and...dolphin (ones tempted to call it...higher mammalness, but that'd probably offend an ecocrat).