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EDITIONS
Friday, 24 May, 2002, 12:32 GMT 13:32 UK
Should whaling be permitted?

What do we want to show to our children - a soap factory or a living ocean?
Frederico Marques, Portugal

To kill things without need is simply wrong. Whaling these days is a luxury that should never be indulged in again. As for the argument that people "need" whaling to make a living: times change! That is a fact of life that can't be avoided. What's wrong with learning a new way to trade? It should be seen as an opportunity to grow and change for the better.
Livia McRee, USA

All countries must stop the practice of whaling immediately. Hunting endangered or threatened species for "cultural" or "scientific" reasons is wrong. Greed and ignorance are depleting the world of its natural wildlife and permanently altering critical ecosystems. There is absolutely no reason to continue whaling. It is a morally, spiritually and ethically bankrupt policy.
Carla S., USA


Has anyone ever considered the role the whales might be playing in the larger picture of life on our planet?

Naia, Canada
Yes, we should be part of the guardianship of this planet. But we are not doing a very good job of it. Has anyone ever considered the role the whales, with their sonic influence on the waters of the world, might be playing in the larger picture of life on our planet? Studies have been done on water by a Japanese professor on the consciousness of water and has shown in a published work photographs of water that change their shape into beautiful crystalline forms particularly after being sonically charged by dolphins and whales. Fascinating information to ponder as we slaughter these beautiful creatures.
Naia, Canada

I never understand the people who say whaling should be banned. Rare species must be kept alive? Yes, I definitely agree with it. Then, we should save fishes such as saury and mackerel from excessive numbers of mink-whale. Mink whales eat 150kg of fish per day. Therefore you should have no doubts about catching them to save mackerel. This way is already done by Australia, that is anti-whaling country, by killing 5 millions of kangaroos. Is there any difference in killing a mink-whale and a kangaroo?
In my culture, we eat whale, so we need to kill whales. but, in your culture, you don't eat whales so you don't need to kill whales. I bet you would eat whales if you were born in a culture where the whale are usually eaten. Please calm down and trust us. We would never extinguish the species.
oraoradesuka, Japan

I am in no way advocating the imposing of so called 'Western views' on the rest of the world but whale hunting was stopped for a valid reason. Japan violated the ban by hunting under the guise of 'scientific research' (collecting tissue samples) in blatant disregard to a worldwide treaty. Whales are still endangered, they are not providing a cure for a disease or famine, just an unnecessary ingredient for make up and a culinary delicacy without which people will not suffer. Through hunting though, the suffering of these beautiful creatures will be immense - wake up you lot and have some respect for ALL animals.
Vicki, UK

I cannot believe there are people in the world who think there is nothing wrong with brutally killing endangered species. There is absolutely no need for whaling to continue, it is a sad image of how greedy this world, and the people in it have become.
Debbie Coleman, England


We need to stop exploiting animals for human gain

Jeff, USA
Whales are incredibly sensitive animals, not only to what is happening to themselves, but also to what is going on with the planet. We need to stop exploiting animals for human gain.
Jeff, USA

Will these pro-whaling countries only be satisfied when every last whale in the oceans has disappeared?
Anne, Australia

The ideal would be to set an appropriate quota. The problem is that previous history dictates that this is difficult to manage. The issue is broader than simply banning whaling, humans need to take note of how supply and demand attitudes will impact on the future of our world.
Dalice, New Zealand

I just don't understand why most westerners assume that whales are magnificent creatures and others such as cows, pigs and chickens are not.
Shinto, Japan

To answer Shinto in a purely non-emotional way. I really don't see how you can compare cows, pigs, and chickens to whales, when all 3 have relatively quick breeding cycles compared to the long cycle of whales. Maybe if you could domesticate whales, and farm them, and speed up their life cycle then you would have a feasible argument. I feel the fish vs whale arguments have more weight, but then again I don't real agree with current fishing method either.
Michael, USA (ex New Zealand)

There can be few moral reasons to slaughter these magnificent creatures. The part of the whale the pro-whaling countries want is that which will be used for the cosmetics industry, products including lip-stick and soap. Why should these gracious and intelligent animals be pushed to the brink of extinction for so little a dividend as that? When will human greed and ignorance cease to ravage the planet of its treasures and beauty? I fear it never will, but rather we will continue the process of extinction and environmental damage until there is no planet left to plunder, then we will become the extinct ones and serve us right too.
Mick Deal, UK


Do other nations have a right to impose a set on conditions on Japan or Norway?

Kit, UK
While I'd have to be a fool to accept whaling as anything but another example of human's destroying the planet, the issue is complex. Do other nations have a right to impose a set on conditions on Japan or Norway? The US is free to act with blithe disrespect to the environment, in a potentially much more damaging fashion. In that context forcing the Japanese to ignore their cultural mores is arguably unreasonable. For me, though, two wrongs don't make a right.
Kit, UK

In Canada, the only peoples who are allowed to hunt whales are the Inuit and Native peoples of Canada. They only take what they need to survive for the season. The Japanese and Icelanders want to reopen a market that is unsustainable. Whales take long to reproduce and to come to sexual maturity. We have too much food from on shore resources that goes to waste as it is. Why add more? Does anyone remember what happened to the cod fisheries?
Heather Brennan, Canada

Obviously we should never hunt any animal to the point where its numbers are endangered. But as long as the whale population is not in any danger there is no reason why whales should not be eaten. Those who find the idea of eating whales unsavoury should consider whether they are guilty of "cultural colonialism" - assuming that the European/US view must be more important than anyone else's and imposing those cultural values on the rest of the world. If you don't like whale, fine don't eat it, but don't impose your view on people who have been eating it for thousands of years.
James, Japan (UK)

 VOTE RESULTS
Should whaling be permitted?

Yes
 66.95% 

No
 33.04% 

30261 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

See also:

20 May 02 | Asia-Pacific
20 May 02 | Science/Nature
08 May 02 | Science/Nature
20 May 02 | Asia-Pacific
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