by Michael dEstries
Categories: Animals, Causes
Tags: .
Photo: SaveJapanDolphins.org

Today makes the start of the infamous dolphin slaughter season in Japan. Around the world, activists are gathering in their own ways to mark the day with protests, prayers, and initiatives aimed at spreading awareness on the issue.

Ric O’Barry, one the world’s leading dolphin activists, ventured to Taiji, Japan this morning to view the killing cove and lead a prayer group in marking the occasion. “With the rain pouring down, we made a circle and bowed our heads for a moment of silent prayer for the souls of the dolphins that would be killed in Taiji this season,” he wrote.

Despite the regional police conducting drills earlier this summer in an effort to control “foreigners” protesting the hunt, O’Barry said they were nothing but respectful towards the group. “I am very happy to report that the Wakayama police acted in a very professional and friendly manner,” he added.

Earlier this week, Sea Shepherd announced “Operation Infinite Patience: Return of the Cove Guardians“, saying that they once again intend to have a second-wave of volunteers come to Taiji over the next six months to non-violently “intimidate, intervene, harass, and considerably slow down the dolphin killing.”

“Sea Shepherd will provide the leadership and the advice required to maintain the operation within the working guidelines and parameters of Japanese law,” a release reads. “It is a delicate line to walk, managing to push the envelope, while being aggressive yet lawful, but most importantly, demonstrating to Japan and the rest of the world that the dolphins of Taiji will never again be slain out of sight and out of mind.”

Those willing to partake at their own expense and risk, should visit this page for more details.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • AnimuX

    Hopefully protests will continue to grow around the world, and within Japan, until the brutal and unnecessary slaughter of dolphins and whales is finally and permanently stopped.

  • Bob

    Why does Japanese killing dolphins represent anything more egregious than the legal, well accepted killing of animals like cows, pigs, chickens and others in North America? Why don’t those hypocrites stay home and protest that if they have a problem with animals being killed? They are an pathetic embarrassment to western culture and probably do much to harm cooperation between Japan and other countries on real environmental and conservation issues. I guess the scam artists at Sea Shepherd don’t mind as long as it helps them get a little publicity and suck a few more pennies out of their gullible followers.

    • Marcie

      Seriously, did you just say what I think you said!!!!!!! We have all types of groups in the US protesting the slaughtering of animals. These dolphins have no one to speak for them

      Harm relations with Japan? Japan has forgotten it’s soul. It’s bad enough what we do in America and around the world. Dolphins have such a greater intelligence, kindness, Joy and unconditional love to them. Not a human in the world can stack up against it.

      I do hope someday you can expand beyond just the environment and realize that we are stewards of the land and the animals..

      Look inside yourself for some compassion.

    • Janice

      Bob…You must of read a different article then I. Where did or do the protesters say they support the killing of cows, pigs, chickens etc? I can assure you that many of these people DO protest at home against animals being killed. Can I also ask you why you are trolling a site such as this if you have issues with people speaking out and spreading awareness.

    • AnimuX

      This is one of the most common and irrelevant straw-man arguments from pro-whalers who seek to misrepresent the position of protesters. Notice how they ALWAYS fail to mention the scores of environmental and animal rights protesters who already focus specifically on cruelty in agriculture?

      Another common straw-man argument is the allegation that groups like Sea Shepherd are just in it for the money. However, independent charity evaluation has awarded Sea Shepherd high ratings for putting the vast majority of its funds toward operational expenses rather than administrative overhead.

    • pip

      These are two more common examples of AnimuX not understanding what a straw man argument is. Many people have tried to get him to understand what the term means but he stubbornly resists.

      • AnimuX

        Unfortunately for pip, the definition of a straw man argument is quite clear.

        The antagonist presents a tangentially linked and weak argument in place of his opponent’s in order to misrepresent the position of the opponent – a straw man argument: In this case claiming “the dolphin protesters are OK with the killing of cows and pigs”.

        Instead of debating the issue of the protest, which is the slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, and the merits of the opponent’s argument, the antagonist has attempted to deviate the subject of debate to a separate animal rights/conservation issue in order to claim the protesters don’t actually care about animal cruelty (ie: to misrepresent their position).

    • pip

      So Donald just proves my point. He knows what a straw man argument is and then goes on to describe why his claim of a straw man argument is false. It really is laughable.

      Donald it would only be a straw man if he claimed that the protesters where against killing cows, pigs, chickens, etc.

      “The Straw Man fallacy is committed when a person simply ignores a person’s actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position.”

      Bob doesn’t claim the protesters have a different position than stopping the dolphin hunt and he doesn’t claim they are OK with killing of cows, pigs, chickens, etc. He just questions why they are travelling half way around the world rather than protesting similar situations on their own doorstep.

      With no distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented claim there is no straw man.

      • AnimuX

        Unfortunately pip lacks basic reading comprehension skills.

        Bob says (summarized): “why is killing dolphins any different from killing cows and pigs” then “why don’t these hypocrites protest killing cows and pigs” then “they just want money from gullible supporters”.

        His entire statement implies that the dolphin protesters don’t care about animal cruelty in agriculture AND that they’re just interested in money.

        In fact, he only mentions the dolphin slaughter as an introduction to his clear misrepresentation of the position of anti-whaling protesters.

        So, thanks for allowing me to point the obvious out to you a second time.

      • pip

        Oh Donald, I will give you all the chances to prove your foolish that you want.

        Bob never claimed they didn’t oppose the dolphin hunt, thus he never misrepresented their position. He seems to be trying to better define their position, do they oppose all animal hunting/killing or just dolphins.

        I don’t think it is a good argument and it is off topic, but that doesn’t make it a straw man. But I know you will continue to bend and twist logic beyond its breaking point to try and show it is. It will be amusing to keep watching.

      • AnimuX

        Even when we break this down by your own post:

        “The Straw Man fallacy is committed when a person simply ignores a person’s actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position.”

        Ignore position against dolphin hunt… Check.

        “Why does Japanese killing dolphins represent anything more egregious than the legal, well accepted killing of animals like cows, pigs, chickens and others in North America? Why don’t those hypocrites stay home and protest that if they have a problem with animals being killed?”

        Substitute distorted, misrepresented version of position…. Check.

        “as long as it helps them get a little publicity and suck a few more pennies out of their gullible followers”

        Thanks for playing.

      • pip

        “Substitute distorted, misrepresented version of position…. Check.”

        No sorry Donald, that would be a No Check. Bob never substituted anything as the anti-dolphin protesters position.

        You can believe whatever you want Donald, but the simple fact is there was no different version presented thus no straw man exists except in your mind.

        Oh I really enjoy playing Donald, although always winning against you does get a little boring. But I am sure you will continue to find new humorous ways to display your foolishness and lack of logic.

        You should probably just stick with your old standby of cut & paste.

      • AnimuX

        Unfortunately for the pro-whaling pip…. once again….

        Bob did in fact substitute the anti-dolphin killing position as a scam to get “a little publicity and suck a few more pennies out of their gullible followers”.

      • AnimuX

        A cut & paste for pip…

        The straw man fallacy occurs in the following pattern of argument:

        Person A has position X: “killing dolphins is bad”.

        Person B disregards certain key points of X and instead presents the superficially similar position Y: “killing dolphins is no worse than killing cows or pigs”.

        Thus, Y is a resulting distorted version of X and can be set up in several ways, including:

        Presenting a misrepresentation of the opponent’s position.

        “those hypocrites just want money from gullible supporters because (I say) they don’t protest killing cows or pigs which is no different than killing dolphins.”

        Person B attacks position Y, concluding that X is false/incorrect/flawed.

        “it is hypocritical to protest dolphin killing and not cow & pig killing. Cow & pig killing is accepted, therefore dolphin killing should be accepted”

        This sort of “reasoning” is fallacious, because attacking a distorted version of a position fails to constitute an attack on the actual position.

  • Natasha

    @Bob: It defeats the idea of “protesting” if you stay at home, friend. Dolphins are blessed with more gray matter than most primates and the neocortex of their brain is just as complex as our own. While I agree with you that chickens, cows and the like should be spared the path down our digestive tract the matter here is more pressing due to the cognitive abilities of these creatures. We have the opportunity to communicate with this species as many scientists have found through their research. I really don’t want to consume any animal but the thought of eating one that can think, reason, and care in ways similar to my own species is too disturbing! Not to mention I wouldn’t want to eat it anyhow due to the high mercury levels…I’d like to keep my own cognitive abilities in tact, thank you. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeff-Jameson/100000333051462 Jeff Jameson

    Cetacean freedom no killing, no capture!

  • Username required

    Ha ha ha … it is only September 1st and the anti-Sea Shepherd trolls and whale industry shills are out fighting the cause for the boneheaded Taiji slaughtermen on the www already!

    Sorry “Bob”, did you get the reason why last season? Do we really have to repeat ourselves again? Boy, I guess Whale Wars IV on cable TV just got you SO angry.

    If you have not got it yet “Bob”, we are just starting with the whales and dolphins because it is a winnable fight … and then we are going to work right the way down the food chain stopping all the animal suffering and environmental devastation. Only insensitive morons are against it.

    Having said that, I am not Sea Shepherd and do wonder who writes their Press Releases. Why on earth did they used the word “aggressive”?

    It strikes me there is a conflict of self-image within the SSCS. The Cove Guardians have, for the most part, just been a bunch of really concerned sweethearts. I can think of a dozen other personal qualities that would be far more useful … intelligence, resourcefulness, courageous, persistent.

    If “aggression” is a requirement, it is just going to keep away the good volunteers … or at least drive them out to join Ric O’Barry’s ‘Save Japan Dolphins’ organization instead … and attract the idiot factor who might be tempted to give the Japanese police and media what they want; an excuse to clamp down on all protestors.

    • waenom1966iiss

      Die painfully okay? Prefearbly by getting crushed to death in a
      garbage compactor, by getting your face cut to ribbons with a
      pocketknife, your head cracked open with a baseball bat, your stomach
      sliced open and your entrails spilled out, and your eyeballs ripped
      out of their sockets.

      I would love to kick you hard in the face, breaking it. Then I’d cut
      your stomach open with a chainsaw, exposing your intestines. Then I’d
      cut your windpipe in two with a boxcutter.
      Hopefully you’ll get what’s coming to you.

      I really hope that you get curb-stomped. It’d be hilarious to see you
      begging for help, and then someone stomps on the back of your head,
      leaving you to die in horrible, agonizing pain.

      S T F U, before you get your face bashed in and cut
      to ribbons, and your throat slit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hart-Noecker/100001623066825 Hart Noecker

    Great point, Bob. Will you go vegan and help me protest killing all animals?

  • Yamato

    I’m a Japanese, but I have never eaten dolphin or whale in my life. So I don’t care if those fishermen stop hunting dolphins.

    And I respect how those protesters care about animal lives. I can see they are filled with warm heart.

    However, I have to ask why they bother what others eat….
    To me they are just pushing their point of view to those fishermen.
    I think those kind people are using their time and energy to a wrong doing. It’s too bad. I bet there are so many things they can do to make a good difference on this planet besides bothering what others eat.

    There are so many kinds of people and culture in the world. Some of them eat what you don’t eat, and some of them don’t eat what you do. How come can they be sure their way is definitely right and yell at others to follow their way?

    Hindu people don’t eat beef, because cows are holy animal in their religion.
    But I’ve never heard Hindu people complain not to eat beef to the rest of the world.
    I like when people respect how diverse we are.

    If the dolphin were in danger of extinction, yeah we should totally protect them.
    But I don’t see any sentence about the matter in this article.

    I hope those kind people will find better things to do. I appreciate goodness in their heart. I just don’t think they are in the right place.

    • AnimuX

      There are many reasons for the protest which are not limited to the “species” which is eaten.

      1) The inherent cruelty of the slaughter – The methods and killing tools used cause the animals to suffer a great deal.

      2) The necessity of the slaughter – It is economically unnecessary, dolphins are worth more alive than dead as successful wildlife tourism industries around the world have proven.

      3) Health concerns – The dolphins have been repeatedly shown to have levels of mercury, PCBs and other toxic chemicals in their meat which could result in acute and long term health consequences – levels which exceed international and Japanese limits under existing health standards.

      4) Environmental concerns – The Dall’s porpoise hunt in Japan has been repeatedly called unsustainable, not to mention the killing of rare beaked whales in Chiba and the still larger endangered whales hunted by Japanese whalers. Dolphins do not naturally experience this level of predation and serve an important role in the food web as predators themselves. Removing so many dolphins (up to 20,000 throughout Japan annually) can indeed have negative consequences on the environment in general.

      5) Other ethical concerns – Dolphins are now considered by many scientists to be the second smartest creatures on the planet. Some scientists have even argued that dolphins should be awarded special rights as non-human persons.

      • Kevin

        All of those points could legitimately be made by any non-meat eater coming to the United States about the red meat livestock industry here.

        It wouldn’t make them correct. It just means they have a different point of view. All peoples’ views should be treated with equal respect.

  • don_miguelo

    Yes it’s not literally a straw man argument there, but it is an implied one. I think an objective read of the post shows Bob meant to distort and put in a bad light these protesters and their cause, not simply ask completely innocent questions in a accidentally leading way. His post leads to the same effect as a straw man argument would have, which is what AnimuX was reacting to. To argue the letter of the law of a straw man argument is itself a distraction, ironically, from the article, which I’m certain you very well know.

    You said : “Bob doesn’t claim the protesters have a different position than stopping the dolphin hunt and he doesn’t claim they are OK with killing of cows, pigs, chickens, etc.” True, he doesn’t claim it literally. But I do have to wonder why that is so important of a point to you, where the other points brought up about the actual issue don’t seem to hit such a chord?

    It doesn’t help that Bob’s opinion is very similar to the usual script for anti-protester crowd. I assume it his real opinion and not the work of some blog-lobbyist trying to influence opinion for vested interest, but since he hasn’t defended any of this, we have really no idea.

    Bottom line though, these protesters care about dolphins, no matter the assumed, implied hypocrisy of not caring for US agricultural atrocities. If Japanese protesters held hands in front of a US slaughterhouse, would you say they have no validity because their country kills dolphins and they should be at home starting there first? Maybe you would, but that conditional perspective is an obstacle to actual change starting anywhere. That’s why I find Bob’s original post tired.

    • AnimuX

      Since this seems to be a problem…..

      The straw man fallacy occurs in the following pattern of argument:

      Person A has position X: “killing dolphins is bad”.
      Person B disregards certain key points of X and instead presents the superficially similar position Y: “killing dolphins is no worse than killing cows or pigs”.

      Thus, Y is a resulting distorted version of X and can be set up in several ways, including:

      Presenting a misrepresentation of the opponent’s position.

      “those hypocrites just want money from gullible supporters because (I say) they don’t protest killing cows or pigs.”

      Person B attacks position Y, concluding that X is false/incorrect/flawed.

      This sort of “reasoning” is fallacious, because attacking a distorted version of a position fails to constitute an attack on the actual position.

      • pip

        I see you have gone back to your cut & paste ways Donald.

        Yes if you cut & paste Bob’s words you can make his statements say something other than what he plainly wrote. But that is just your mind creating something that wasn’t there.

      • AnimuX

        Unfortunately for pip, reading comprehension is an important skill.

      • Bob

        Thanks for your admirable defence of my position Pip.

        I guess if we follow Donalds logic he must be making straw man arguments because he misrepresents the Japanese when he says things like the dolphin slaughter is “bad” and “unnecessary”.

        But lets not follow Donald’s logic because there is obviously a big disconnect between Donald’s thoughts and logic. Not unusual for a gullible SS follower.

        I can’t hang out here now because I am at work, I will probably post more here later.

      • AnimuX

        Bob, it would probably help if you’d stick to the subject in future pro-whaling posts.

      • Kevin

        The specific problems with your argument, AnimuX:

        to be a straw man Person B has to claim not that they believe “killing D’s is no worse than cows” but “Person A is claiming that killing D’s is no worse…”. Clearly no Person B is manipulating a Person A’s position on these pages.

        Second, you specifically said “Person B attacks position Y”. So Bob is attacking the premise that “killing dolphins is no worse than killing cows and pigs”, eh? Wow, attacking his own premise!! You really have your logic tap shoes on here my friend.

  • romika3

    Funny, In a CBC interview Paul Watson stated on the air that there was more money in seals than in Dolphins!! Will the ignorant man in the white beard be there, the one who demonizes the common Japanese fishermen?

  • Username required

    How many of these trolls are the same person posting with different names just to gum up any discussion with boring irrelevant drivel?

    These aren’t “common Japanese fishermen”.

    No one is complaining about “common Japanese fishermen”.

    They are protesting about a handful of individuals and the stubborn boneheads in the bureaucracy who are willing to do unlimited damage to a good nation’s reputation for the sake of a primitive slaughter no one needs and meat no one wants to eat.

    Now I read that on top of all the coastguard and secret service engaged in monitoring the cute, dolphin hugging, teenage activists and their Daddies, they are now employing 10 full-time cops to police them!

    How much is the budget for all this?

    Surely it would be cheaper just to give the 20 odd throwback slaughtermen a some pocket money and tell them to go off and do something that did not portray their country as a nation of ignorant savages?

    The real problems seem to be a lack of imagination in the government to come up with any alternative … like creating proper, sustainable jobs in a poor costal area with no other options; and the lack of balls amongst Japanese tax payers who seem willing to put up with funding all this ‘big government’ nonsense.

    As for the all the English shills on the internet, giving them ANY attention whatsoever is just taking another cut off the backs of the Japanese tax payers who have to pay them too.

    • romika3

      Sorry to burst your bubble but Watson and his sea shepherd terrorist are noted for selecting issues based on their media and money making potential. Blood in water (Faeroe Islands and Taiji) and blood on ice (Canadian seal harvest) are two examples. In the above the marine species are far from endangered and in fact have healthy sustainable populations but the harvest makes for good video and fund raising photos. In the Japanese waters its their whale harvest with Watson always forgetting to mention that the bulk of the whales harvested are from a healthy minke population. Here it attraction for Watson is being able to get away with unrestricted attacks on whaling ships. SSCS would get away with this any where else.

  • Username required

    Sorry … that should have read “English-speaking shills”.

    I’ve been reading that there are a number of people either paid by the whale lobbyists, or upset with Sea Shepherd because they got chucked out, that troll these topics for cash.

    It seems that the successes of the Whale Wars series have aroused a load of tiresome red-neck type sentiment amongst ‘big men’ whose best is to fire angry electrons across the internet at vegan tree-huggers.

    • romika3

      ” the successes of the Whale Wars series” one must keep in mind that Whale Wars is just a reality show that is embellished with pretend paint ball wars, a captain pretending to get shot, a 1 million dollar boat scuttled for the camera and the list goes on and on.

    • http://www.herwinsvegancafe.com herwin

      red necks ? vegan treehuggers ? :-P LOL
      actually we did have a redneck hanging around on the Razzi , defending the whales by badmouthing the trolls and replying to posts from educated women by calling them “baby” ! :-P
      this redneck whale defender his post were removed several times though, so all in all he actually made these dumb pro-whaling trolls look like inteligent and reasonable folks..

  • waenom1966iiss

    hope you get a nice bullet through your brain. Twat