Ah yes, those sweet sweet dangerous topics. Today Edward and I stage a debate about the Taiji Dolphin Hunt. Come listen!
Keiran: What's up Edward? Good to have you back on the podcast. How is it going?
Edward: Things are going well. How are you doing Keiran?
Keiran: I'm pretty good you know teaching, podcasting, having a crappy birthday parties.
Edward: Okay, well, two out of three ain't bad.
Keiran: Yeah. So I hadn't spoken to you in a while. What's new with you?
Edward: I've been pretty busy teaching, editing, doing some different stuff back in Toronto now and was in Montreal for thanksgiving.
Keiran: Did you have any crappy birthday parties?
Edward: Not yet but maybe in another eight to ten months.
Keiran: Okay. Oh, he's hoping.
Keiran: Okay. So, today on the podcast we're going to do something a little bit fun here that we have never tried before. We're going to have a... a fake debate and... By fake debate, Edward and I are going to present a debate topic and we're going to take stances which may or may not be the way we really feel on the topic. And then, we're going to just have a little bit of a debate between ourselves. But before we start the debate, I'm going to just fill you in a bit about this topic. It is quite controversial so, I hope you don't find it upsetting but this is Uncensored English podcast and these are the kind of things that we can do.
Edward: We are here to upset you.
Keiran: Yes, we're here to upset you and help you learn. Okay, so we're going to be debating The Taiji Dolphin Hunt which happens in a fishing village in Japan. And I'm going to read a little bit of an article it's form Wikipedia, and might not be completely accurate but just to fill you in, okay?
So, The Taiji Dolphin Hunt is a dolphin drive hunt that that takes place in Taiji, Wakayama in Japan every year from September to March. According to the Japanese Fishery Research Agency, a thousand six hundred and twenty three dolphins were caught in Wakayama prefecture in 2007 for human consumption or resell to the dolphinariums and most of these were caught at Taiji. The annual dolphin hunt provides income for local residents and has received international criticism for both the cruelty of the dolphin killing and the high mercury level of the dolphin meat.
Okay, so that's as much as we're going to give the listeners. Now, we're just going to have a debate. So, Edward what's your feeling' on this topic? Are you for this historical... its kind a… of a cultural activity in Japan or are you against it?
Edward: In this case, I am going to say that I'm against it. And you know as far as traditional killing goes, I guess I'm traditionally opposed to a traditional killing but especially recently, I've been reading about dolphins just unrelated to this fake debate but I've been reading about dolphins and just about how intelligent they are and really how amazing they are and it does seem pretty horrible to think about killing them in any fashion. So, that's kind of what is influencing' my feelings on that matter.
Edward: And especially they want to think about... what I've been reading about it's in terms like dolphins language abilities and you know like millions of years ago, actually dolphins were smarter than our ancestors. So, just form... I don't know ow many million years ago. Let's say 10 million years ago, dolphins actually had the potential to be smarter than we are today. Just things kind of took different directions and our ancestors ended up becoming humans and dolphins ended up being dolphins.
Edward: To me...
Keiran: I guess they should have got smarter faster because now there are food.
Edward: Yeah, but I mean... but do we really need to eat dolphins? It's like the… you know what I normally hear about the cases of humans eating dolphins, it’s by mistake. It's when they're tuna fishing and dolphins are always around tuna, so they end up getting kind of caught in the nets and then they're ground down into whatever becomes canned tuna.
Edward: You know. So, it's like if 99% of the time, we are purposely avoiding dolphins in our consumption then why can't we just make it 100% at the time?
Keiran: Well, I mean, basically the argument is dolphins are highly intelligent animals therefore, we should not eat them. I mean, my argument is going to be that, an animal is an animal is an animal. If you're eating animals then who are you to tell other people which animals they can eat? And there are other animals that are consumed on a regular basis which are also highly intelligent animals such as pigs. So, if we're going to go around eating pigs, then why do we get to tell other people not to practice their cultural tradition which provides food for a lot of people you know, I mean that's everything about being dolphins. It's a big animal, right? And...
Keiran: And that's going to provide food for lots of people. I don't...
Edward: Can I...
Keiran: I don't know if an eating the dolphin is worse than eating a pig or if it's worse than eating a cow, to me. I don't know. Yeah, your purpose is to eat the animal and to keep living, not to be aware like I don't... what does intelligence have to do with anything? It's just survival.
Edward: I'll tell you what it has to do with it. And I'm going to go to an example that I don't even really like but Keiran, I know you have a dog. And how do you feel about people eating dogs?
Keiran: Well, mine, I don't actually like that dog very much to be honest.
Edward: Okay, well then I'm going to pull on your heart strings and I'm going to say that you had a dog before this dog.
Edward: And how would you feel about people eating that dog?
Keiran: Yeah, I mean you can grow emotionally attached to anything but if came to the worst case scenario and I was starving and all I have with my old dog then I guess I would have to eat it.
Edward: Okay, so are we saying that this traditional hunt is because these people are starving?
Keiran: No, I mean it's not... that's a good question. I don't think I [inaudible] it enough about that city and maybe the wealth of that city and whether this is just the best way for them to eat. But It's... but then if that's why we're not going to let them hunt those animals, than I guess we got to stop eating pigs or cows because cows are very soft, gentle, sensitive animals, right?
Edward: Yeah, you know what...
Keiran: Your argument is that dolphins are intelligent but cows are not creating problems out there.
Edward: Honestly, I don't really argue too much against that point because I think probably in another hundred years, we will be eating fewer and fewer animals. Just in terms of like you know we always talked about the water and the energy that goes into getting one cow.
Edward: For our consumption right? So, probably you are right that if we don't eat dolphins, we should not also eat cows or pigs.
Edward: But for the time being, people didn’t feel the same way about cows and pigs as they do about dogs and dolphins. So, I am going to argue that dolphins are actually smarter than dogs and those humans can have a better relationship with the dolphin than a dog if they had you know the opportunity to do it like we do with domesticated animals like cats and dogs. So, if people are so outraged with the idea of eating dogs, which some country still do, and I will say right now that I have eaten dog. But I can also say that... no because I 'm also going to say that I won't do it again and that I'll never eat a dolphin. And this is a fake debate.
Keiran: Well, it is a fake debate but I don't like the arguments so...
Edward: I'm trying to come at it from as many different angles as possible. This is why probably people prepare for debates.
Keiran: Well, I mean it's... to me I think the main reason people are against eating dolphins is just because of their intelligence and I think that's the argument that you decide to take and it's a strange thing because when you're eating something, you've already decided to not respect it and I just... I see a problem put in one animal in front of another animal like what... who's to decide that intelligence is a factor that forces us to respect an animal? Why it has a high IQ makes something more, more valuable to... not humanity but to the universe? You know like human being s are supposed to be the most intelligent animals on the planet but we're probably the most destructive. So, maybe we should just start eating each other and leave the dolphins alone.
Edward: Okay, see that's a very interesting point to take. I don't know how many people will agree with that but I will disagree with the idea that people don't respect animals if they eat them because if you think about someone who puts all of their energy and all of their time into raising an animal, but that a animal is going to be eaten to provide food for their family, I think they show nothing but respect for that animal like they are devoting their lives to that animal's well- being and they care for that animal up until to the point where they decide kill it, to eat it.
Keiran: To kill when I need it. Yeah.
Edward: But I think, I mean that's a crazy idea but I don't think that, that takes away any respect that they have for those animals.
Keiran: Well, I mean it's... that depends I mean who... if you know the person is raising the animal, fine like so my wife's family they have a farm in Mongolia and they have about 700 sheep and...
Keiran: I would say or honestly, that's probably the only meat I'm comfortable eating now after doing research on factory farms like the way pigs are brought up in the U.S. is deplorable. So, these are not animals that are the most of the meat are [inaudible (11:34) ] North America's not coming from animals that are being treated with respect. So...
Edward: Oh, I agree. I agree, yeah.
Keiran: And by the way, those dolphins are living in the wild. Those dolphins are probably healthier meat to eat than the pigs and the cows that we raise in North America.
Edward: I don't disagree with that either there. And...
Keiran: So, basically you're saying you would like to have some dolphin for supper tomorrow?
Edward: I'm saying I'm going to go hunting for a wild dog in the near future.
Keiran: Okay, I hope dog... well, dog is a real bony and you going to have to kill a few than to get anything.
Keiran: Alright, great. That was fun. That was a good fake debate.
Edward: Yeah, I know. I enjoy flip flopping from side to side.
Keiran: I mean, I...
Edward: Going back and forth.
Keiran: I think my senses is actually real though like I don't I mean, I'm for the most part of it I am against the killing of animals for eating but I see the point of this city doing it because it's just a convenient way to go hunt and then get a lot of food, you know.
Edward: Right. All for...
Keiran: And don't think the way they do it is good but they need to eat and it's something their culture has been doing for a while.
Edward: Yeah. Well, for this fake debate, I was on the side of the dolphins. I think primarily because of the kind of research that I've been doing recently about just how intelligent they are, right? And we actually have in Canada a very similar issue with a traditional hunt that is very controversial and that's the seal hunt.
Edward: And do you know... yeah, I don't know how I feel about the seal hunt because again it's like it's a tradition that's been going on for let's say thousands of years.
Edward: And it's just when people start to... attention to what is actually happening then they decided those people can't do it anymore even they'll has nothing to do with them.
Keiran: Yeah, it's weird.
Edward: It's just... It's tough to tell a group of people all that their traditions are wrong.
Keiran: Right, right and that's...
Edward: Because they're not our traditions.
Keiran: That's the big issue but I'm in seals I think our ways worse than dolphins like.
Edward: Way worse in terms of?
Keiran: Seals... seals I know that seals like the father seal will like drown the baby seal and force the mother seal to give it food or something and seals rape each other and I mean, I never read the whole article about seals and the terrible things that they do but so I would have to say more up for killing seals than for killing dolphins but...
Edward: Okay. Well, alright.