Humans have hunted whales from time immemorial, but as our opinions and feelings towards our environment have changed so to have many people’s attitudes towards hunting these ocean-dwelling beasts. Much of…
People thought the animal would be made extinct unless the hunt was regulated.
Many proponents of the idea of banning the whale hunt point out that the when the hunt was unregulated, several species of whales were made extinct by over-hunting. They say that we have forever lost a number of animals that were unique in their biodiversity. They point out the same thing would happen if the hunt was made legal in certain areas again. However, the damage done to whale stocks occurred almost entirely before the advent of the International Whaling Commission. That is to say, that whale stocks were depleted in the days before there was any real regulation whatsoever and that the current system is quite sustainable. Also very few of the species that animal-rights activists claim are endangered actually are. The numbers are very unclear. Few people no the real dimensions of the whale population today. There is no clear-cut evidence that a regulated return to the whale hunt by countries that currently ban it would have a devastating impact on whale stocks. And without this evidence it is hard to suggest that continuing the whale hunt would be a negative thing.
Many of the other arguments made by whaling conservationists are similarly flimsy. While few would argue that the methods for hunting are especially humane—for example the use of the exploding harpoon is a bit cruel—these things can easily be improved and suffering can be reduced. Just as in Canada, Canadian sealers must use more humane methods, so can whalers stop exploding whales and instead start killing them more humanely. No one is arguing for a completely unregulated hunt—that is a red herring. The animal rights activists have created a false dichotomy. It is part of rhetoric trick on their part when they argue that to hunt whales means to have no rules whatsoever. A properly regulated hunt can reduce the suffering of whales and bring rogue, illegal hunters (who are inclined to use cruel ...
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