The Taiji hunts are not about tradition – it’s all about the money

Aug 20, 2015 by afdadmin
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One of the most common excuses we hear from those who justify the cruel Taiji dolphin hunts is that they are a “tradition”.

Tradition is often used to rationalise terrible animal cruelty, such as the Gadhimai Festival of Sacrifice in Nepal. Until recently, up to 500,000 goats, chickens and buffalo were decapitated every year in the annual festival. But this year, officials stepped in to stop the slaughter, stating they wanted to turn it into “a momentous celebration of life” instead.

animal sacrifice Nepal

Tradition can be used to justify all manner of sins, from foot binding to female genital mutilation. However, just because something is cast as tradition, it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be judged against standards of morality.

Even if the Taiji dolphin hunts were tradition, it wouldn’t excuse the breathtaking cruelty that takes place there every year from September through to March.

Please sign AFD’s global petition calling on the Governor of Wakayama to save thousands of dolphins and stop these cruel, profit-driven hunts.

However, the hunts clearly AREN’T a tradition. In fact, according to Taiji’s own historical records, they only started in 1969, in response to demand for dolphins from aquariums.

The reason why the hunts continue is not because of culture or tradition, but for money.

dolphin in sling Taiji

Hunting dolphins is not a cultural activity. It’s a greedy business that makes a few local “fishermen” wealthy. So wealthy, in fact, dolphin exports exceeded $15 million between 2002-2012.

But this concentrated wealth comes at a great cost to many, and impacts heavily on Japan’s standing in the eyes of the world.

Please make your voice heard add your name to AFDs global petition and stop the Governor giving this seasons hunts the go-ahead.

As long as the Governor of Wakayama is issuing permits, he is making it clear that the very few getting rich from capturing dolphins are worth more than the many that could be supported by a sustainable eco-tourism industry.

Photo credit: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Photo credit: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Permits to capture dolphins in Taiji are not issued out of any sense of cultural identity. Nor are they issued for the benefit of the majority of people who live in Taiji.

They are about making a few greedy people exceedingly wealthy. And that’s a real shame.

Please, add your name now to the global petition calling for an end to this senseless bloodbath.