January 19, 2014

"U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy has tweeted her concern at the 'inhumaneness' of a Wakayama Prefecture village’s traditional dolphin hunt."

The tradition: "Every year the fishermen of Taiji corral hundreds of dolphins in a secluded bay, select a few dozen for sale to aquariums and marine parks and then stab the rest to death for meat."

How "traditional" can something about aquariums and marine parks be?



I mean aquariums large enough for dolphins (presuming that there is such a thing).

Also... should an ambassador tweet? And if the ambassador tweets about dolphins, what should we say if she uses social media to express concern about something the Japanese are doing do birds? I think tweet : bird :: click : dolphin, so — being a fan of parallelism, I'd like to see it said that she's clicking her concern about birds.

On Chatter. 

ADDED: What's wrong with eating dolphin meat?

In most places, there is a taboo against eating marine mammals – because of their ‘cute’ factor, charisma and intelligence. But a decline in global fish stocks (in particular from the developing world to feed Europe) has driven many poor nation populations to eating bushmeat, including primates, and the ‘bushmeat of the sea’, including dolphins (which has a dark, gamey meat like venison)....

Only a handful of species of dolphins are listed as endangered...

Making the practice illegal doesn’t necessarily lower hunt numbers. When Peru took this path, it simply drove dolphin hunting underground, says Robards. “They’re still taking the same number each year,” he says. A better solution is to work with local populations to explore alternative food sources, and to educate people about the animals, he says. “In Bangladesh, people were moving to the coast from the interior who thought dolphins were a kind of fish,” he notes. A grass-roots project there used colouring books to teach children and parents that dolphins breathe air, can drown, and have their young like people. “That produces a real sense of wonderment,” Robards says.
It's good to be informed about biology, but unless you have a compunction about eating mammals, it's hard to see the problem. As for the "cuteness" factor, lambs are cute. 

59 comments:

MayBee said...

The tradition is killing them and eating them.

rhhardin said...

It's good that she's not ambassador to China.

They'll eat anything.

David said...

The whales had no comment.

David said...

"Should an ambassador tweet?"

Should Caroline Kennedy be an ambassador? To Japan no less.

SGT Ted said...

What is it with these progressive bumpkins that cannot handle foreign cultures, or think everyone shops at Whole Foods for their meals, because that's where food comes from?

SGT Ted said...

No tweets about the sashimi plate and the poor tuna?

mike said...

Good thing she's not ambassador to Afghanistan where she'd witness the annual traditional herding of the goats so as to separate the goats' heads from their bodies for the traditional sport. And the occasional Christian's, should supply be available.

Anonymous said...

Once again, a westerner forcing her morality on native peoples and their traditions.

When, oh when, will such oppression from white privilege stop?

The Drill SGT said...

Good thing she isn't in Laos, where they eat monkey brains.

Seriously, she isn't doing a great job for the US by pissing off her hosts over stuff like this. They aren't going to change...

Is this a Dem "Truth to Power" gig?

DEK said...

An ambassador should not make impolite comments about her host country. That they were made in a "tweet" only compounds the offense. Her behavior was immature and inappropriate for a diplomatic representative of our country. She is our ambassador to an important ally and this sort of thing will cause her to be neither taken seriously nor trusted, neither by the Japanese nor ourselves.

virgil xenophon said...

"Is this a Dem 'Truth to Power' gig?"

Unfortunately yes...they ABSOLUTELY CANNOT help themselves--it's built into their DNA..

Humperdink said...

Good thing the US doesn't have an ambassador to North Korea and she's not it. They eat dogs there. Of course, the the pooches get the last laugh if the Maximum Leader discovers he has a traitorous uncle.

The circle of life.

Meade said...

With all due respect, Senator, the fact is we had four dead dolphins. Was it because of a protest or was it because of Japanese guys out for a swim one night decided to go kill some dolphins? What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again.

Michael said...

The tradition was marred by concerned outsiders who brought the acquarium into the mix. The Japanese love their dolphin and their whales. Love them.

Michael said...

Maybe she can tweet in on Sumo. Or relations with Korea.

What a sadly unserious person to have chosen to represent us to a major ally.

Rusty said...

Maybe if they just looked cute like baby seals.
Oh. wait.

Laura said...

Were they stabbed humanely? Or was an Orca allowed to take chunks and pieces while the sharks circled?

PB Reader said...

When does the traditional culling of Kennedys begin? It's dangerous to let them breed too much and of course we'll want to stick a few in zoos and museums.

SGT Ted said...

She might as well tweet to complain that there's no WalMart in Japan and that she only eats at McDonalds, 'cause the food is weird.

Progressives = uneducated provincial bumpkins that thinks they are educated sophisticates.

Crimso said...

"Also... should an ambassador tweet?"

Nomura was tweeting, he just didn't realize it.

Paco Wové said...

"A grass-roots project there used colouring books to teach children and parents that dolphins breathe air, can drown, and have their young like people."

Like sheep, say. Or goats.

"That produces a real sense of wonderment"

...wonderment at what? "Can you believe what this stupid westerner wants us to get upset about?"

St. George said...

Let her flounder slowly, slowly in the tide. She serves no useful porpoise.

Paco Wové said...

"But a decline in global fish stocks (in particular from the developing world to feed Europe) has driven many poor nation populations to eating bushmeat, including primates, and the ‘bushmeat of the sea’"

Gotta get that dig in against evil whitey somewhere. It's all Europe's fault! Sorry, not buying it. Africans have been eating monkey meat for a long, long time.

Lyle said...

The Japanese should kick her out of Japan and tell Obama to get a knew diplomat.

What kind of ambassador tweets negativity about the country they're ambassador to?

Anonymous said...

Here's an excerpt from:

The International Dolphin Rights Handbook by EcoHumanity.gov.

***Designed for All Ages, Genders, and Grade Levels

****With a forward by Caroline Kennedy and includes an afterword by Peter Singer and pioneering female marine mammal trainer, Dottie West

"Ikiro squatted against the sea-wall, one hand pushing against it from time to time, for balance.
The other brought a cigarette to his weathered lips. He drew deeply, suddenly noticing the bright-pink streaks of dolphin blood covering the front of his shirt.

What have I done, he cried, what have I done?"

Oh the humanity. Why....why?"

Coming soon to a educational center and/or People's Legislative Pavilion near you!

Titus said...

We hate her.

SGT Ted said...

She might as well wear shorts and sandals with white socks and a Hawaiian shirt with a big camera on her chest.

Ugly American gets appointed Ambassador to Japan.

Deirdre Mundy said...

But.... but... FLIPPER!!!! Eating a Dolphin is like eating a Collie! Dolphins save children and fight smugglers... and you want to EAT them???

I mean, sure, you could make the argument that Flipper was fiction.... but... so was Lassie, yet you mock our president for eating dogs...

pm317 said...

Also... should an ambassador tweet?

Not diplomatic from a purported Diplomat. She needs training. This was pay off from Obama for her support in 2008 but I wonder why it took so long for her to get it but get it finally, she did.

Ann Althouse said...

"But.... but... FLIPPER!!!!"

Yeah, but don't forget Zipper.

Zipper is "surly" and "uncaring."

The Godfather said...

I assume that we are satisfied that "dolphin" means the marine mammal similar to a porpoise, and not the fish of the same name, sometimes called (and eaten as) mahi-mahi?

In any event, although tweeting may seem undignified for an ambassador, if Kennedy is expressing US policy in her tweet, then the medium doesn't seem to me to be all that important.

Bob Boyd said...

"A better solution is to work with local populations to explore alternative food sources...."

How about eating baby instead? I think the idea could get funded by the UN as an overpopulation/environmentalist concept. Its very Progressive.

The promotional ads could feature Buddy Holly's classic 'Maybe Baby'.

"Maybe Baby I'll have you"

Renee said...

Dolphins are cute. You can't eat cute.

Balfegor said...

RE: David:

Should Caroline Kennedy be an ambassador? To Japan no less.

They were actually very keen on her appointment when it was announced. Might be less so if she keeps up with this sort of rubbish.

David said...

pm317 said...

"This was pay off from Obama for her support in 2008 but I wonder why it took so long for her to get it but get it finally, she did."

Because even Obama understood that her background and temperament make her unsuited to any publicly responsible job?

SGT Ted said...

Dolphins are cute. You can't eat cute.

Rack of lamb comes to mind.

Joe said...

An awful lot of societal traditions are anything but. The fishermen of Taiji have been hunting whales for 450 years, but how long have they been hunting dolphins?

Real American said...

she's obviously a racist. she should apologize for her insensitive remarks.

Rob said...

A world without dolphins would be porpoiseless.

Anonymous said...

I love how we treat our allies.

Smilin' Jack said...

Speaking of traditions, another heartbreaking result of global warming is that many Eskimo tribes have had to abandon their traditional seal and walrus hunts because their snowmobiles keep breaking through the ice.

Michael K said...

"That they were made in a "tweet" only compounds the offense. Her behavior was immature and inappropriate for a diplomatic representative of our country."

After her Senate "campaign" does anyone think she has the mental horsepower for this, or anything other than preschool teacher? After all, that taxed Diana before she met Charles

traditionalguy said...

Call them mahi mahi. It's all in their minds. People eat animals, even ones anthropomorphized by TV fantasy.

She should defend human babies from SlaughterCrats. Dolphins are not the same.

DEK said...

Perhaps it would help if we revived the old name "mereswine".

southcentralpa said...

I know we're competing with Minke Whales for fish.

Terry Greene said...

Shouldn't it be "indelphineness" instead of "in humaneness"?

MadisonMan said...

Time to have a conversation.

Sam L. said...

Not "culturally sensitive", is she?

miss j said...

It's a tradition going back almost 350 years.

Anonymous said...

As if the US ambassador to Japan has no other, more pressing concerns? This is mind-boggling stupid. She should be concerned about Chinese maneuvers in Japanese waters in the light of US security guarantees, along with base relocation issues in Okinawa, and a host of economic and trade issues. Why jeopardize her ability to work with the Japanese government and people on these important matters over what is something that is not the business of the US government, and which cannot and will not be in any way changed by her comments? She comes across as a complete amateur.

Kirk Parker said...

TreeOfMamre*,

Why, you ask?

But why do you ask? Surely it's 100% obvious this person is in her position as a political favor (and just as sure if TEOTWAWKI happened and I got tapped for an ambassador position, I'd beg and plead for an assignment in East Africa--i.e. where I have just a modicum of knowledge about the area in question--and politely decline any appointments elsewhere.)

Kirk Parker said...

Tree,

Oops, forgot the footnote.

*That's just about the best BlogName i've come across in recent decades (second only, perhaps, to Occam's Toothbrush--and that's only because of the latter's clear lead in the Self-Deprecating-Humor category.)


Any chance I could get you to expound on your name, and your reasons for choosing it?


Laura said...

Forget about the dolphins. What was Caroline wearing when she tweeted? Prada? Calvin Klein? Dolce & Gabbana?

Isn't that what really matters?

Laura said...

Forget about the dolphins. What was Caroline wearing when she tweeted? Prada? Calvin Klein? Dolce & Gabbana?

Isn't that what really matters?

Unknown said...

Have you noticed that American diplomats aren't very diplomatic.

jaed said...

Does not the very phrase "Caroline Kennedy tweeted her concern" not just reek of emptyheaded celebrity?

Or is it just me?

I'm actually less worried about the rudeness than I am about the lack of seriousness in an ambassador.

tim maguire said...

How much we care should be at least partly based on what kind of dolphin they're rounding up. Some species have millions in the wild, other species only a few dozen.

submandave said...

The (very vocal) critics of the dolphin cull always fail to mention that this "tradition" started because at this time of year dolphins gorging themselves on local fish stocks had a severe effect on the fishermen's livelihood.

@Belfegor, the Japanese enthusiasm for her appointment was nothing more than the Western import of an unnatural fascination and undeserved admiration for anything Kennedy. Hopefully this stark example of brazen incompetence will help them get on the road to recovery.

Portia said...

She is an idiot as are/were most Kennedy's.