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Sting meets dolphin advocate Ric O'Barry; advocates debate

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Sting, in Asia for his “Symphonicity” tour, said he’s sympathetic to the save-the-dolphins view in “The Cove” but that the best approach is “through dialogue,” noting that many Japanese are also outraged by dolphin killing.

In other words we can force our opinion down their throats and the throats of everyone by showing some dolphins flapping about in the water. We want to shock people into making an emotional knee jerk reaction.

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Not quite, Mike. I read that Sting does not think "forcing an opinion down the throats of the Japanese" will work. His approach seems to be to expose the truth and let the Japanese people come to their own conclusions.

You seem to be forcing your opinions into others words, contrary to what they have explicitly stated. The flapping around of paniced, frightened, pain-stricken, slowly dieing dolphins seems to be an inconvenient truth that you prefer would not get out.

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perhaps his next album should be entitled 'sycophantia'...

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Have you seen the way these dolphins treat other fish? good riddance to bad rubbish.

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of course you know dolphins are not fish...but beyond that, how should predators treat their lunch?

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if it lives in the sea it is a fish as far as most people are concerned...and humans are predators

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but most Japanese have never eaten dolphin meat.

Is that true? They sell it at the grocery, so someone must be buying it. Anyway, the real solution is to show Flipper reruns. In just one generation, nobody will eat dolphins, and everyone will want to feed them.

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Shrkb8 at 07:30 AM JST - 20th January The flapping around of paniced, frightened, pain-stricken, slowly dieing >dolphins seems to be an inconvenient truth that you prefer would not get >out.

We kill alot of animals for food, far far more than any dolphins. And we don't openly display their paniced frightened painstricken slowly dying images all over the place because it's disgusting to watch, not an inconvenient truth.

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I would love to get an accounting of JapanToday posters who have actually seen dolphin meat at their local Japanese grocery store. I live in Saitama, and have never seen it at the local Tobu store. I check there pretty regularly for dinner things. haven't seen whale nor dolphin for sale. Maybe the Taiji people are eating it, but I'm not seeing anyone else buying it.

I wonder if Sting is gonna show video clips of Taiji in his concert. If he does, his following will likely drop really quickly in Japan.

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Japan's dolphin slaughter is a drawn-out process that lasts thruout the day. Fishermen use spears to repeatedly stab the dolphins, until they die a slow painful death. The spears are twisted once in the flesh, enhancing the pain, over and over. The Cove showed filmed evidence of near dead dolphins left to die slowly on Taiji's streets. Lovely.

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dolphins driven into a cove and stabbed by fishermen on small boats, turning the water red with blood, as the dolphins writhe in agony.

Could this have been worded any more biased? I doubt it.

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Old man Sting should stick to his music. Regardless even if he means well, this is a problem of another country and should stay out of it. Do you want Japanese citizens to go to England and point out all the problems? Brits will tell you this is a bunch of crap.

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It's disturbing the think 'We kill alot of animals for food' is enough for some people to turn a blind eye to the horror of Taiji.

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JeffLee at 09:04 AM JST - 20th January Seen it on film. Chickens have heads sliced off by rotating blades. >>Cattle have a bolt shot thru their brains. Both are instant and animals >feel relatively little pain

Nonsense. Have you ever seen the look in a cow's eyes when that bolt fails to kill it correctly the first time and has to be repeated over and over again. I don't subscribe to animal intelligence but you simply 'know" that animal understands what's happening. All killing of any animals for food or any reason is cruel. To think that some animals die in any more cruel a manner is a sign that one hasn't had much first hand exposure to animal deaths.

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Flipper was essentially a circus animal - trained & abused by the protagonist in this case - perhaps he is simply looking for absolution for his past sins ???

Good point. Ric O'Barry has no problems changing his stance on how animals should be treated whichever was it will get him money. Or does he think that the dolphin used for Flipper wanted to be in captivity, doing tricks to amuse man?

of course you know dolphins are not fish...but beyond that, how should predators treat their lunch?

Exactly. You just shot yourself in the foot there. Humans are predators, so how can you complain if dolphins are "stabbed by fishermen on small boats, turning the water red with blood, as the dolphins writhe in agony."

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The reality is that Ric O’Barry is not a lone force of good versus the evil, dark government of Japan. This infantile, fictional contrast hurts efforts toward the ending of whale and dolphin slaughter by reinforcing Western supremacist values and feelings. Whaling and dolphin slaughter is an activity that’s responded to global censure and is today a diminishing endeavor conducted by a minority population. It won’t stand up to a well-reasoned and heavily backed movement unfettered by racism, but such a movement cannot be led by sensationalistic propaganda of bleeding hearts and blind-folded patriots.

Moderator: Please leave racism out of this discussion.

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Did they feel paniced, frightened or pain-stricken I wonder

When an instantaneous method of death is involved, I'm not sure they have any idea what is going on until it's too late to be honest...

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if it lives in the sea it is a fish as far as most people are concerned...

aaah, the everyman. joe public. the man on the street. very average and not very smart. what's it like?

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Let's say the Taiji dolphinmen come up with a way of killing dolphins instantly. Would you be okay with that then? Is it the way of killing them and the prolonged death or eating dolphins?

What's wrong with eating dolphins?

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The Japanese government allows about 20,000 dolphins to be caught each year and defends the hunts as traditional, but most Japanese have never eaten dolphin meat.

Uh, so? Is the article inferring that minority groups and cultures don't count, or should not be tolerated and respected?

People who use this argument ought to think about the implications...

As for Sting, yeah I think one of my Uncle's likes some of his music so I guess Sting is OK, but if he wants to use his celebrity to bring change to the world I suggest he ought to make sure he's properly informed before rushing into things. The Cove for example was misleading "propaganda", from even just the short sequences that I have so far bothered to watch. If that is the basis of his opinion then he has been sadly misled.

Anyway, maybe Sting is against farming of animals too, in which case I can accept his viewpoint as being consistent at least, rather than just bigoted. But good on him for preferring a more respectful approach to his idea of bringing about change, as opposed to the lowlifes who made The Cove etc.

USAkuma,

I have never seen anything labeled as dolphin, but I have seen "kujira" that I believe was dall's porpoise meat. I can find canned whale products and bacon in my local (Tokyo) supermarkets.

cleo,

It's disturbing the think 'We kill alot of animals for food' is enough for some people to turn a blind eye to the horror of Taiji.

The reality is that a lot of people whinging about cetacean eating do turn a blind to how food gets on their own plates, that is what is really disturbing. That's what I'd like to hear Sting's opinion about, before we start picking on and discriminating against minority groups and cultures.

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Good luck to Sting, has lots of fans, let hope the bloodthirsty slaughter can be stopped soon.

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cleo at 09:13 AM JST - 20th January It's disturbing the think 'We kill alot of animals for food' is enough >for some people to turn a blind eye to the horror of Taiji.

Why cleo? It's called being "unbiased".

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Famous celebrities are such hypocrits. You didn't see Sting advocating debate on anything during the height of his popularity and record sales in Japan. He and nearly every other Hollywood celebrity keep quiet when they want to make money in Japan. It's amazing how they suddenly become so righteous after becoming multi-millionaires.

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Sting is right. Dialogue is prpobably the only way to convince Westerners.

And Westerners dialogue among themselves. Google "eat the whales" for PETA's (yes, PETA's!) take on whale hunting, which i think can be applied to dolphin hunting; dolphins may take a day to die in Taji but before that they are free, but many or most cows and pigs are born to live their whole lives in battery farm hell.

USAkuma "I would love to get an accounting of JapanToday posters who have actually seen dolphin meat at their local Japanese grocery store." I have never seen anything labelled "dolphin (ikura)" but I hear that "kujira ('whale')" is cetacean, and that some of the packs labelled "kujira" contain dolphin meat.

While I approve of whaling and dolphin hunting, it might be a good idea to have labels giving the species of cetacean so that consumers can make an informed choice. Not that it would affect me, but we hear (from the Cove) that many Japanese are against eating dolphin.

Is there any independent data on the number of people that approve of eating dolphin? Personally my guess is that while few of my students want to, or do eat dolphin, very few would approve of banning it. I should do a survey.

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america bengoshi; Sting has been campaigning for over 30 years and has donated a lot of time and money to causes. He is also not a Hollywood celebrity but a former British teacher turned musician.

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Could those animals be killed quicker and less painful, yes most likely but so far no-one has offered a better option or shown data for one that is realistic.

IMO, to find a better method various techniques would need to be tested and guess what they would need to be tested on to get the relevant data? But some people won't allow the testing to be done.

So the people that say kill them more humanely(they are not humans) also don't provide a realistic method to do so, etc.

All we get to hear is don't kill, don't , don't, don't.

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Go Sting! Expose the truth and let the Japanese public weigh in. I am sure they are not that different than the rest of the world when it comes to cruelty to these intelligent creatures.

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O'Barry was a trainer for the TV show flipper and he enjoyed his success, but the house that was featured in the TV show was his. What changed his view on Flipper was the fact that one of dolphins, (I think that her name was "Cathy") died in his arms because she commited suicide. Dolphins have to think about breathing, we as humans do it automatically, so when she died that changed his life from being a trainer to being a defender of dolphins. I for one admire this man and I do hope to meet him in person. As for myself, I hate going to sea parks that have dolphin shows.

Yes, we are a higher form of life and the most dominate species on this planet, but don't you think that we should respect life in all forms?

One last thing, the dolphins that are hunted in Taiji are wild and free dolphins not farm animals. Dolphins have also been known to save the lives of humans. I know them to be an intelligent form of life in the sea, and I respect them and I love to see dolphins swimming in the ocean swimming around boats and jumping though the waves. Dolphins love to have fun like we humans do.

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As the dolphin killers have said multiple times their killing methods are fast and painless. It wasn't true when they filmed the Cove and as Sea Shepherd showed, it is no more truer today. Don't try to say it is fast and humane when it is not. No one can trust their statements anymore since they've clearly misrepresented the truth twice now. And please, drive kills are not a tradition. Capturing dolphins for shows is not tradition. Lame excuse.

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Zenny11,

You say "to find a better method various techniques would need to be tested and guess what they would need to be tested on to get the relevant data? But some people won't allow the testing to be done". Since when do the Japanese fishing industry care about what the outside world say! If they wanted to find more humane ways to kill the dolphins they would and they would test it regardless of anyones opinion. They are using the same arguements they use to justify whaling "its cultural, its racism by western countries against Japan, etc etc." If the Japanese cannot handle critism from outraged people then maybe they need to stop and have a look at what they are doing.

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would brutally be the correct description?...ask the farmers.

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Having worked on farms growing up and having hunted as a teenager, I never witnessed the cruelty and brutality that I have witnessed in the dolphin drive kills in Taiji. The dolphin killers in Taiji have attempted to mislead then world calling their methods swift and humane when they clearly are neither. And then trying to call recent modern activities "tradition". They have no credibility. They hide behind tarps in a vain attempt to shield the public from the truth.

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Zenny11,

Could those animals be killed quicker and less painful, yes most likely but so far no-one has offered a better option or shown data for one that is realistic.

All we get to hear is don't kill, don't , don't, don't.

Absolutely spot on, but the killing method complaint is just a smokescreen. If they really cared as you say they'd offer realistic improvements.

What it all comes down to is that some people, including Sting apparently, think that:

“We should not be eating dolphins.”

That's his pre-conceived conclusion, and any old excuses to "justify" it will be employed.

His intolerance and lack of respect for cultural diversity is the source of this problem.

thekeykeeper,

don't you think that we should respect life in all forms?

Absolutely... how about you?

One last thing, the dolphins that are hunted in Taiji are wild and free dolphins not farm animals.

I disagree, I think farmed animals deserve respect too... Why should they be regarded as "different" just because some humans have locked them up? It says more about the humans that do that than it does about the animals themselves.

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I wish Sting much success. I respect Japanese culture, but there are a lot of things or some things morally wrong with every culture I can think of, so I am not just picking on these particular Japanese people. We should all make an effort to improve living conditions on this planet, and not just for ourselves, but for other living creatures also.

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"His intolerance and lack of respect for cultural diversity is the source of this problem."

Geez,how do you know all this stuff ??? Do you know him personally ?

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Who is Sting?

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What is this "tradition of hunting"? Go get the dolphins the old fashioned way, then, with little boats and harpooners. A lot of dolphin meat, by the way, is falsely labeled as the more expensive "KUJIRA" or "whale" meat. That's what I have seen in Tokyo stores, to my grief.

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I think intelligent people can agree that some traditions do not deserve to continue... maybe hunting dolphins should all become a thing of the past?

american bengoshi - celebrities are not just silent when they want to make money in JAPAN - they are silent ANYWHERE they think speaking out might affect their sales...

Despite all the syllables, sting did not really say much of significance...

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Shrkb8 at 01:35 PM JST - 20th January Go Sting! Expose the truth and let the Japanese public weigh in.

So you agree with Sting who says; "the best way is by starting a debate, not by forcing foreign opinion." And therefore disagree with the approach taken by O'Barry and Psyhoyos?

Shrkb8 at 03:51 PM JST - 20th January Having worked on farms growing up and having hunted as a teenager, I >never witnessed the cruelty and brutality that I have witnessed in the >dolphin drive kills in Taiji.

I'll respond to this as soon as I can stop laughing.

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ossan

You put words in my mouth. As usual there are many approaches taken by different groups that are opposed to dolphin drive kills and capture. I think there are many paths to the same end. having witnessed the drive kills, I support those who oppose these heinous practices, and I support multiple approaches that do not risk injury of humans.

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Potsu, I read it is straight out of his comment that dolphins should not be eaten.

Shrkb8, just posting stuff repeatedly over and over and over on JT isn't going to save any dolphins. Just FYI. But if it makes you feel good about yourself doing so, then I guess it's OK if you continue.

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David,

Not sure what your comment has anything to do with the article. Sting, Rick and Sea Shepherd continue to keep the issue in public eye. As long as folks like Sting keep it in the limelight, the tarps of the dolphin killers will fail to hide the atrocities. I believe the Japanese people are more sophisticated than the advocates of dolphin drive kills. If you believe the culture angle, do a statistically significant and valid poll of the Japanese people and ask: Do you eat dolphin meat? Do you support drive killing to get the dolphin meat?

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The spears are twisted once in the flesh, enhancing the pain, over and over.

Actually, it would make the dolphins die faster, which does not enhance the pain. If you're going for melodrama, at least draw the correct logical conclusions.

Anyway, kudos to Sting. I support his approach. It's especially brave after his involvement in that environmentally dubious real estate development a while back, if I recall correctly.

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"Potsu, I read it is straight out of his comment that dolphins should not be eaten."

Obviously,what's that got do with it ??? So you don't him personally and really don't know. "His intolerance and lack of respect for cultural diversity is the source of this problem." Bizarre stuff bro.

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Potsu,

What is bizarre is public subsidization of whale hunts that the world is against when there is not demand enough for the hunts to be self sustaining. What is bizarre is the lack of empathy for a method of hunting that regularly results in a cruel, slow, painful death. Sting is obviously sensitive to Japanese "culture" if you call eating whale a definitive "cultural" element , otherwise, I am sure he would be less supportive of the "dialog" approach.

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Shrkb8 - What is bizarre is public subsidization of whale hunts that the world is against.....

Correction - "Your" world is against. Several thousand, vocal, animal-rights activists who demand that the rest of the world bow to their demands. The reality is that most of the real world doesn't care about whale or dolphin hunts. More people are concerned with the violence used BY the animal-rights activists than they are about whale or dolphin hunts.

Sting is against "forcing foreign opinion" on a country. He disagrees with O'Barry's methods. Many people disagree with O'Barry's confrontational methods. You can't even accept the fact that eating whale is a "cultural" element. You refuse to believe it's cultural so everyone else must be wrong. You're not convincing anyone to change their minds about what's "cultural".

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