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I am getting tired of reading pro-whaling arguments. And of reading that whaling proponents just can’t understand what anti-whalers object to. So I am going to make this very simple: Whales are magnificent, intelligent animals and should not be killed. They are not fish! The “debate” has nothing to do with sustainable quotas, the right to eat whale meat, etc. These magnificent animals should not be slaughtered. Period.

“Scientific” whaling? What a tatemae farce. You don’t kill animals to study them. It’s simply commercial whaling — 4,000 tons a year. And 99 percent of Japanese don’t even like whale meat. Schools have to grind it into hamburger to get kids to eat it. Don’t even try to compare whales to cows. No one goes on cow-watching tours. Whales should not be killed and eaten for the same reason that elephants and lions are not killed and eaten.

Humpback whales sing complex songs that last for 20 minutes, are repeated for hours, and are revised year after year. Humans have yet to figure out what they mean. Maybe they are epic poems of humpback whale history. There is even an album of humpback whale songs. There are no albums of the songs of the Jersey cow.

In the movie “Earth,” now playing in Japan, a humpback mother and her calf travel thousands of kilometers to their feeding grounds. When the calf gets tired, the mother supports it near the surface so it can breathe. When the sea is rough, they slap the surface with their fins so that they can hear and keep track of each other. As I was watching the movie, I thought that if a Japanese whaling ship was there it would happily kill the mother, then sell the meat to the whale restaurant in Shibuya near the theater.

bob poulson