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In his Dec. 27 letter, “Human existence demands sacrifice,” Misao Nakayama asks why we should make a distinction between farmed animals and fish, and wild animals and fish? I would have thought the answer was obvious. Farmed animals and fish are produced for the purpose of eating them, and their numbers are sustainable. However, wild animals and fish can become extinct if they are harvested at numbers greater than their natural rates of reproduction. Once they become extinct, nobody can eat them again. If you don’t believe this can happen, please research the great auck, the passenger pigeon and the Stellar’s sea cow, to name just a few species that were eaten out of existence by human beings.

If whales can be hunted at sustainable numbers, then there should be no problem with eating them. Actually, I think whale meat is delicious. And I love tuna sashimi as much as any Japanese person, but I am aware that at the rate most tuna species are being fished at present, the days of enjoying tuna may be numbered, either because of a moratorium on fishing or because of tuna’s extinction. Personally, I would prefer to stop eating tuna because of a moratorium.

Cattle raised on a ranch belong to the rancher and are his to do with as he pleases, as long as he is not inhumane. However, wild creatures belong to no one and thus are the responsibility of everyone to jointly manage and preserve, particularly if they live in international waters. Therefore, isn’t it arrogant to insist upon hunting a resource that doesn’t belong to you, while the majority of other people with whom you share this planet disagree?

ronald sabatini