Friday 20 January 2012

Animals: A Market Proposal for Saving Whales?

A minke whale is processed in Hvalfjörður, Iceland. Photo: Dagur Brynjólfsson/Flickr
Image from Wired Science

Is putting a price tag on all animals right to do? If whales have a price tag, can they be saved?

I was reading this news article titled A Market Proposal for Saving Whales the other day and was quite disturbed by the photo above, a murdered minke whale, which got me to think, why are people so cruel?

The article suggested putting a price on the right of killing whales and allow the price to float according to the market demands, similar to the carbon emission trading, thus transforming the genocide into a battle of cash. Ideally speaking, it should work, but the question is, what if the whalers buy the rights and decide to execute their rights -- to kill the whales?

A cute free minke whale should look like the one below, and not the one above. The sight of killing such a majestic warm-hearted animal is disheartening and simply a disgrace to mankind.
Minke whale. Photo: Martin Cathrae/Flickr
Image from Wired Science
But am I wrong?

Many others believe that killing anything on this planet is a right as long as it is legally right to do so, as such the law is the guide book to their actions, a definite line drawing what's right and wrong, a boundary which decides the life and death of all other living things.

Moral values? It Is an abstract subjective concept.

We humans, all 7 billions of us [1], cannot stop killing the remaining 103,000 minke whales and classified them as Least Concerned of the conservation status on the IUCN Red List [2], and there are still the sperm whales, dolphins and others.

Unlike fish, these animals have very slow reproduction rate, usually one calf in one pregnancy, and some reach sexual maturity slower than us, meaning that it takes some of them at least 13 years before they have the ability to reproduce [2], let alone the rare chances of finding the right partner in the huge oceans.

Poor whales, can we just look at how few there are and stop the killing without thinking about law?

Why can't all whale-slaughters become whale watching (tourism)?
Whale watching off the coast of Bar Harbor, Maine
Image from Wikipedia

genocide -- (n) [U] the murder of a whole group of people, especially a whole nation, race or religious group
majestic -- (adj) beautiful, powerful or causing great admiration and respect
disheartening -- (adj) to make a person lose confidence, hope and energy; to discourage
be a disgrace to sb/sth -- to be so bad or unacceptable that you make people lose respect for the group or activity you are connected to
calf -- (n)  [C] (plural calvesa young cow, or the young of various other large mammals such as elephants and whales
slaughter -- (n) [U] the killing of animals for meat
whale watching -- (n) is the practice of observing whales and other cetaceans in their natural habitat.

A Market Proposal for Saving Whales @ Wired Science

Carbon Emission Trading @ Wikipedia

[1] World Population @ Wikipedia

[2] Minke Whale @ Wikipedia

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