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Queen guitarist Brian May protests Taiji dolphin hunts

59 Comments
By YURI KAGEYAMA

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59 Comments
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Then I am assuming he is a vegetarian/vegan. Otherwise, he is a hypocrite. And I love Queen anyway.

-19 ( +9 / -28 )

Stop slaughtering dolphins!

21 ( +26 / -5 )

@Camman80, it's a cultural thing. How would you feel if someone told your countrymen to stop doing some cultural thing, like stop carrying guns in the US? You'd be on them like white on rice, no?

-22 ( +11 / -33 )

Well, May is British, Qinghai, so the carrying of guns in the US is Irrelevant to his "culture".

14 ( +21 / -7 )

Quick as a flash without delay, watch the timing Brain May!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

How old is this supposed tradition? 80 years?

Sounds more like hubris to me. I don't see much money coming from the killing‥……

16 ( +20 / -4 )

It's a cultural thing.

Don't make it right.

20 ( +24 / -4 )

The hunters in Taiji and their supporters defend the custom as tradition, although eating dolphins is extremely rare in Japan.

Then its not tradition

The Japanese government also defends whaling as research.

Well, which is it, tradition or reseach? Can't have it both ways.

These are mammals, highly intelligent sensitive creatures, bringing up their children like we do, and they are being slaughtered and tortured

exactly.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

“I know Japanese people — so many. They’re decent. They’re kind. They’re compassionate, but they don’t know this is going on,”

Um, sorry Brian, but they do know it's going on. It's just convenient for the to say they don't know about it.

I think his stance is a bit off the mark though. The way he talks about the slaughter of animals would include everything, right down to fish. The point with the Taiji massacre is, it is macabre, cruel and unnecessary. It's been proven many times that dolphin meat is not fit for human consumption, which these foolish people choose to ignore. There is also the trade in live dolphins. This is where the tradition stops and the money is made, making the tradition argument a load of hogwash! They have admitted they don't make enough money from the sale of the meat to make it a viable industry, which is their tradition point. They make the money from the sale of live dolphins. Tradition? My foot! It's money!

10 ( +13 / -3 )

I think Dr. Brian May has a PhD in physics, with a chair at some university in the UK, and I think he is Vegan. He kind of leans that way. Anyway, I am pretty sure, as respected as Dr. Brian May is, his protest is not going to do much good. The issue is already well exposed and it is earning plenty of tourist dollars for the community.

This is one of those issues that has backfired for environmentalists. Just as shutting down nuclear has driven Japan to coal, trying to save these dolphins has simply led to a hardening of the stance of those Taiji sadists against foreign influence based on a "cultural" reason. It is a major fail for environmental protesters. It is probably great for fund raising though.

I sometimes wonder if some of these groups really want to solve these "problems" at all. Does anyone believe that, if the dolphin killings stopped, that the related organizations would just declare victory and disband? No way! They would take their money and organization and find some new problem.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

How old is this supposed tradition? 80 years? Sounds more like hubris to me. I don't see much money coming from the killing‥

Less than that. My recollection is that the current hunt style dates from the 1960s.

They make their money from selling dolphins to aquariums. There's little or no market for dolphin meat in Japan unless it gets passed off as whale and even then the market is extremely limited.

That this is allowed to continue shows just how spastic government (lack of) decision making is in some areas. Spend enormous sums on promoting Cool Japan while letting a tiny number of old farts in a tiny town at the butt end of nowhere create immense bad publicity for Japan.

But, before anyone launches into their stock anti-Abe anti-LDP diatribe, I would point out the the DPJ did absolutely nothing on this or the research whaling farce when they held power.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Mmpff. Surely all the Taiji fellas will have sleepless nights from now on. Gotta watch it. Immigration at Narita is listening carefully. Don't really need these midnightly mindtwisting tickle tiddle cesspit philosophers in this country. He would be far better of sitting in his castle in the glorious United Kingdom and worry a bit more about the cruelty against humans his aristocratic superhuman brothers and sisters have committed and are still busy committing.

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

But, before anyone launches into their stock anti-Abe anti-LDP diatribe, I would point out the the DPJ did absolutely nothing on this or the research whaling farce when they held power.

Very true. Noda, who is Renho's second in command was very pro whaling. One of the many reasons I hated him. Sapporodenki- what on earth are you talking about??

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Bullfighter - agree with your sentiments.

But I will present a stock anti-LDP poke. The DPJ's chaotic 3 years in reign - firstly with inept leadership, followed by the quake/tsunami tragedy left little time for much else at all. Taiji didn't feature strongly on the radar.

The LDP however, have had decades of "in power", at times absolute - but their members and associates have so many fingers in so many vested interest pies, that they have no interest in divorcing themselves from this marriage.

And the pies are topped with "OB pride icing", so no-one is going to slice through that.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

See, that's how you do it.

You can be against what certain elements of a nation do, but not engage in demonizing the entire race/nation.

Brian clearly has nothing against Japan or Japanese in general, in fact he wouldn't be constantly touring in Japan if he didn't enjoy his time there.

Huge difference from the likes of Greenpeace and their ilk that incite racial hatred towards all things Japanese.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I sometimes wonder if some of these groups really want to solve these "problems" at all. Does anyone believe that, if the dolphin killings stopped, that the related organizations would just declare victory and disband? No way! They would take their money and organization and find some new problem.

Then trade unions, charities against slavery and exploitation, in fact anyone fighting anything unjust or exploitative in the world would, by your logic, since they appear to have an interest in simply perpetuating the wrong to guarantee their existence, be highly suspect. Now, I admit, I have a streak of cynicism but you win hands down.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Dolphin hunting used to be big business in Futo Harbor off Tokyo, also. Especially the sale of live dolphins for aquariums and dolphin swim-with programs. Now they support the economy through scubu diving and eco-tourism. Even the Japanese have laws that would prevent the drive method from being acceptable in a slaughterhouse or if used to slaughter cows or other livestock in their own country. So they aren't just ignoring world norms and conducting themselves arrogantly. they are hurting themselves by doubling down on a few narrow and bizarre practices that turn the entire country from environmental protector to environmental outlaw for the very flimsy excuse of tradition and culture

8 ( +8 / -0 )

it is impolite to discuss 'difficult' topics because it will offend others

Kind of. It's not that it will definitely offend, it's that Japanese avoid topics that could potentially cause offense. That's why it can be hard to find someone to have deep talks about religion and politics with. It's usually easier if the person has spent some time overseas in their life, but even that is not necessarily a guarantee.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Thankyou Brian May. I must agree with Disillusioned - its not that japanese people dont know, its simply that it is, unfortunately, not an issue with them.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

he should save some time and protest at his country's cow slaughter house

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

A bunch of foreigners, even if they are rock royalty, protesting such things will not get the job done. You need Japanese people to tell these people to stop, or at least exercise their voting rights to purge the government of anyone who supports these hunts.

That said, there are two problems...

1 - Though many Japanese are well aware of what's going on, there is not enough concern among them to do much more than bat an eyelid.

2 - The number of Japanese who are concerned about their area government Dietician's particular policy stances in general is as low as the people who care about the dolphin hunts.

So, all the foreign community can really do is talk to each of their Japanese friends about the problem and show them that what these Taiji "fishermen" are doing is affecting the reputation of Japanese people in general. Same goes with that whaling "research."

After being asked a gajillion times "What do you think of Japan?", it's clear that one thing many Japanese are concerned about is their reputation.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

There need to be stronger international protections for dolphins that would allow legal moves like taking Japan before the International Court of Justice as they were with whaling. The difference is that dolphins are not endangered so that is sadly probably on the back burner for now.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There need to be stronger international protections for dolphins that would allow legal moves like taking Japan before the International Court of Justice as they were with whaling.

There were two reasons that was able to happen:

1) Japan is a signatory to the moratorium on whaling

2) Whales are/were endangered, which is what led to the moratorium.

I don't see Japan signing a moratorium on dolphins, as they aren't endangered, as for the same reason, I don't see a moratorium on dolphin hunting emerging.

The difference is that dolphins are not endangered

So there isn't any reason to limit hunting them.

The Taiji hunt is brutal, and I can understand opposition on that level. But vegetarians/vegans are the only people who have a moral right to oppose killing dolphins for food.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

I don't see Japan signing a moratorium on dolphins, as they aren't endangered, as for the same reason, I don't see a moratorium on dolphin hunting emerging.> They most likely wouldn't, the dolphin hunt isn't in international waters either, but it would offer the world community a more organized platform to apply pressure.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

it would offer the world community a more organized platform to apply pressure.

But why would other countries create a moratorium on dolphin hunting when they aren't endangered? Shall we create a moratorium in cow killing and pig killing as well? There's just as much justification for those moratoriums as there is for a dolphin moratorium.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

@stranger

The Taiji hunt is brutal, and I can understand opposition on that level. But vegetarians/vegans are the only people who have a moral right to oppose killing dolphins for food.

Is the Taiji dolphin drive really about food though? These guys mainly profit from the capture pods of dolphins by picking out the most desirable individuals for sale to aquariums around the world. They do then hack up the rest of the dolphins for their meat, but that seems really to be a side-product of the live dolphin sales. I may not be a vegan or veggie, but I am vehemently opposed to the capture of wild animals for display purposes.

Agreed on the brutality; I am also vehemently opposed to the slaughter techniques used in Taiji - methods that would also cause outrage if used on farmed cows or pigs. I don't agree with removing dolphins from the ocean ecosystem for niche food tastes; but if they're going to do it, they should be held to the same standards of 'humane' slaughter as Japanese cow & pig slaughterers are. No abattoirs would get away with that in Japan.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Is the Taiji dolphin drive really about food though? These guys mainly profit from the capture pods of dolphins by picking out the most desirable individuals for sale to aquariums around the world.

It's about both isn't it.

I also don't like zoos/aquariums much. But again, pretty much every country has them, with many animals in pitiful conditions. And if they are the problem, then start protesting zoos. The fact that people are protesting Taiji shows that for the protestors, the zoos take a lesser priority.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I wonder if these Taiji killers will continue their hunt during the 2020 olympics?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Brian May, guitarist of British rock group Queen, is taking a stand against Japan’s dolphin killing, saying the slaughter of animals should end in the same way society has turned against slavery or witch-burning

Not quite.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

But I will present a stock anti-LDP poke. The DPJ's chaotic 3 years in reign - firstly with inept leadership, followed by the quake/tsunami tragedy left little time for much else at all. Taiji didn't feature strongly on the radar.

The DPJ had a window of oppotunity that they did not use. When they were holding their hearings on wasteful government spending just after they got in, many Japanese expected whaling to come up. It didn't and when it did not Japanese started asking "what is the DPJ policy" on whaling. It refused to make a response and refused to provide a list of pro-whaling members.

I did a fair amount of reading on this, looking at Japanese language blogs and activist sites. I, like many Japanese, thought that if the DPJ is really against wasteful government spending, one of the first things to go should be "research whaling." Not only did the DPJ do absolutely nothing, it dodged the whole question.

Basically the DPJ was LDP Lite and its current version is no better.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

“Every species, and every individual of every species, is worthy of respect,

Just not cows, pigs, chickens, and of course, fish.

His music was good in the 1970's and his intolerant views belong there too.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

bullfighter - thanks. But...!

DPJ was never going to save the country in it's short term - let alone dolphins.

No matter what you think about lukewarm dpj 6 years ago, ldp have had chance upon chance upon chance. No 2 ways about it. They just don't want to. And what does that have to do with dpj now? No connection - as much as the rightists try to draw one.

Bringing up dpj is not even on the table. Only naive people would think that dpj had an opportunity to change the country under the circumstances. Some believe if they had a 6yr tenure - without the calamities - much more would have been achieved.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Readers, please keep the discussion focused on the story.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Fox and other animals killing for fun is good in Europe and what? What is he saying?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Geeesh Brian. How about the £3.3 billion (42 billion USD) in weapons sold to Saudi Arabia in the last 18 months?

Hmmmmm.....Yemeni women and children......dolphins.....

Another great musician bites the dust

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@jj1067

No, killing foxes for fun is not good. That's why it got banned. I would expect that May was on the protesters' side rather than the hunters' side on that one too.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If dolphins have the intelligence they are said to have, wouldn't they avoid hanging around the Taiji area?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

“This is not about countries. It’s about a section of humanity that doesn’t yet understand that animals have feelings, too.”

The Japanese know all animals have feelings. Does he know pigs or cows or chickens have feelings?

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

The Japanese know all animals have feelings. Does he know pigs or cows or chickens have feelings?

Well, he's a vegetarian, so he probably thinks they do.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Listen up now.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Well, he's a vegetarian, so he probably thinks they do.

I don't think so. He isn't complaining about other meat eaters. He is dicriminating other animals.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

Forget it. who gave you the right to the foreign culture? You guys are self justifying dogmatista barbarians.   Stop eating anything and then I will listen.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I don't think so. He isn't complaining about other meat eaters.

You should probably make sure you know what you're talking about before making claims like that Tina: http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/703115/Queen-legend-Brian-May-Government-badger-cull-disgrace

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Setting aside the debate on whether the dolphin hunts are right or wrong, the fact remains that the publicity of them has been a net negative for Japan's image.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

So? He is discriminating other animals like cows, pigs, chickens, fish, etc.

-13 ( +0 / -13 )

Haha I give you credit Tina, even when you are shown you are entirely wrong, you'll still try to pretend like you're not.

I guess if it makes you feel better about yourself, there's no harm.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The fact of life.... we "live" because others "die" and by our death many others "live". That is the cycle which for now we know as eternal.

The "value" we place on certain type of plants and animals including us humans is definitely "prejudicial", "biased" and any other negative and bad words you may want to use. The fact is that all living beings in one way or another is "food" for some other living being (including plants).

We give ourselves a special status and role in nature and the Universe. We also give special status to those other living beings based upon "our" own personal values and perspective on what we ourselves value "life" to be. That is perfectly a normal part of existence as we know it, because we all have the power of "choice".

Whether to state one"s thoughts and opinions and values is acceptable desirable or permissible as in this case, or to force such thoughts and opinions and vales upon others is the key question here.

That is the reason why there is Freedom of Speech and expression but NOT a Freedom to to Force and take Action that may hurt another living being. The only exception being to survive and to sustain life.... to live.

Then there is a question of "degree" which everyone here is arguing over.

That is like discussing politics and religion, which really has to do with idealized thought versus idealized action. The thing is... we are physical living beings... we must be rational, practical and pragmatic for our survival... to live.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Depending on the type of dolphin, it would probably be a good idea to appeal to their species intellect and figure out a way to put up beacons for them not to go near that area. But then again dolphins have also been known for intentionally committing suicide, sexually assaulting other dolphins and other species, and torturing other dolphins (and other species) for fun. They're just like us, so why hunt them? Only difference is dolphin values aren't human values... there is no bill of dolphin rights.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@stranger

I also don't like zoos/aquariums much. But again, pretty much every country has them, with many animals in pitiful conditions. And if they are the problem, then start protesting zoos. The fact that people are protesting Taiji shows that for the protestors, the zoos take a lesser priority.

Fair points, but not sure about that last sentence. As you've pointed out to Tina, Brian May is on record protesting about various animal rights issues, including zoos. And the usual protestors in Taiji - Sea Shepherd - are most definitely opposed to aquariums and dolphin sales, and not just the Taiji slaughter.

@serendipitous

If dolphins have the intelligence they are said to have, wouldn't they avoid hanging around the Taiji area?

They don't hang around there; they get captured as they pass by. After that, they're dead or in an aquarium tank. The fact that each pod of dolphins to disappear this way doesn't warn all the others out there with a quick Tweet as they die does not constitute evidence of a lack of intelligence.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Oooh No, NOW you've done it...he said you have to STOP now, so that's it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In "the cove" the fisherman clearly said they do the hunt to cull the Dolphins since they are competing for fish. The institute of cetacean research makes a similar point about whales consuming so much fish. This doesn't go over well in the west, but Japanese whale "research" is to calculate how much fish they eat, and to help derive what is a safe number that can be culled? Again, it's pest control.

This is no different than farmers in North America who are currently killing endangered wolves that kill their livestock. Weed vs Crop. If Japan wants to make a point about this, they should make movies about other animals that get killed for these reasons. No one's made a movie about the Arctic wolves that get shot from helicopters in Alaska that compete with hunters seeking trophy caribou. (I think Sarah Palin did this too as a political stunt) No one makes movies about save the thousands of deer / kangaroos / wild pigs that get culled each year or the hundreds of koalas that get euthanized each year.

Did you know sea shepherd has the most support from countries that export beef to Japan? Now why might this be?

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

And whilst we are at the hunting, culling and whatever means of getting rid of creatures for whatever purpose, perhaps we should not forget all the game fishers with their shiny boats who for pure exhilaration and excitement torture tonnes and tonnes of fish and let it rot or drown. Some of these boats, and believe it or not, are flying the sea shepherd banner. As seen in great 'ol Aussi.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

what these Taiji "fishermen" are doing is affecting the reputation of Japanese people in general.

The reputation among 3 or 4 countries out of 196 countries in the world. In fact it is those 3 or 4 countries who would be hurting their own reputations by telling the Japanese what to eat.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

He is a hypocrite. Why doesn't he complains about pig slaughterhouse? The sight is more horrible and the sound pig makes are more heart breaking than Taiji dolphin. He won't because he eats bacon every morning. Hypocrite wants to be on spotlight. In fact I would say all meat eating activist are hypocrite even the one who produced movie Cove but it's no one's fault as I guess we human being are born to complain.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

He's a vegetarian.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

He is a hypocrite. Why doesn't he complains about pig slaughterhouse?

As lucabrasi says, he's a vegetarian. If you think he's not complaining about slaughterhouses as well, you're almost definitely mistaken.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Even if he is a vegetarian that is his choice of life. People in different parts of world live in different way and he should respect the way they live. Other people should not complain about what other people are doing just because they don't do it. I am a vegetarian as well but I do not complain about why people eat meat.

Dolphin hunting is a source of food and also income for people in Tajiri, so if someone complains about this then I guess they have to provide them with alternative source of income.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Spoils the image of him drooling over a plate of bacon, though, eh?

Anyway, he's a Tory, so deserves any negative press he gets.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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