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efreysson
02-20-2009, 11:37 PM
I'm Icelandic, and today I was listening to the news and heard a debate about how international contempt for whaling would wreak havoc on Iceland's image, at a time when we're trying to rebuild it after the economic collapse.

It got me curious enough to ask: Why? What is it about whaling that makes it less acceptable than the killing of any other animals? I'm not looking to start a debate or an argument, I just want to hear people's thoughts on the matter.

Fenika
02-20-2009, 11:46 PM
Whales were overhunted

A movement was started

Perceptions change slowly

*But* there have also been plenty of fuel for the fire. Clips of whales being tortured. Natives that demanded the right to hunt whales as their ancestors did but then did so in power boats with harpoons.

And while we slaughter cute piggys and happy cows, we don't chase them down and hunt them. Okay, we hunt wild pigs, but that just doesn't get international hackles raised. And there are more deer hunters than deer activists, so good luck there.

Nope, whales have an image. Hurt the whales and you are evil.

And while I say this tongue in cheek, I do believe whale hunting needs to go with caution or not at all. We already overfish (some areas), clear forests, and so on and so forth.

CaroGirl
02-20-2009, 11:49 PM
Aren't many species of whales threatened because of whaling? Or, certainly, many species are dwindling, perhaps due to environmental factors, but a lot of people perceive that their diminished numbers can't be sustained or replenished while whaling continues.

Also, there's a perception that whale carcasses aren't fully used. Like, only blubber and meat are taken and the skeleton and skin are discarded. I don't know if that's true, but it's a perception I have.

Harpooning also seems like an inhumane way to kill a creature, sort of akin to bullfighting. Like it's torture.

I don't know how much of that is truth and how much myth. But I suspect Iceland will have to dispel whatever is untrue in order to change the image of whaling and make it palatable to most people.

Kitty Pryde
02-20-2009, 11:56 PM
There are a lot of things people perceive in whales that they mostly don't perceive in, say, cows and pigs:

-great intelligence (and a big brain)
-wisdom
-gentleness, maternalness
-whales 'sing' to each other so they are perceived almost as mystical beings
-most people haven't seen a whale, or have only seen one at Sea World, so they are also more 'exotic' or novel

All these things make them more person-like, so we are less happy about killing them for commerce.

veinglory
02-21-2009, 12:00 AM
My top issue would be that it is not possible to kill a whale humanely. They die slowly and horribly even using state of the art methods. Added to that they are particularly amazing creatures and the products made from whales can be made just as easily from renewable sources of domesticated animal and plant stocks. It is hard to think of any commercial, large scale hunting of mammals that has a good reputation these days.

James81
02-21-2009, 12:23 AM
And while we slaughter cute piggys and happy cows, we don't chase them down and hunt them. Okay, we hunt wild pigs, but that just doesn't get international hackles raised. And there are more deer hunters than deer activists, so good luck there.



Yeah because it's way more humane to cage them up in little fields or pens all their lives than to go out and actually hunt them.

regdog
02-21-2009, 12:27 AM
There is no longer a need for whale oil for lamps of fuel in today's world. There are many other food sources besides whale meat. Many species have been hunted to the brink of extinction. They die a painful, torturous death after being hit by an exploding harpoon.

Whales are family creatures. If one whale is hit, the family will stay by the wounded animals side and thus the whole family will be slaughtered.

Whales talk, think, have emotions and feelings. They are highly intelligent and have complex family groups. They play for fun, grieve the loss of a family member and are compeltely helpless to protect themselves from being hunted. They must surface to breathe and are killed when they do.

Wayne K
02-21-2009, 12:29 AM
I'm against it because Whales are good people. We really don't starve for the things we get from them anymore, so leave them alone. They're magnificent animals.

justsomeguy
02-21-2009, 12:33 AM
I've spent time both working and volunteering (and even doing some paid volunteering, which I was surprised to learn existed when I was first offered that particular position) in environmental education, wildlife education and zoos.

There are certain animals that are more likely to capture people's hearts and minds, to evoke sympathy and protective feelings. They're referred to, collectively, as charismatic megafauna. These are the animals used to "give a face" to attempts to protect wildlife or its habitat. Examples include (among many others) pandas, gorillas, giraffes, elephants, polar bears, dolphins and whales.

There are plenty of other factors at work here, and lots of reasons to (in my opinion) be opposed to whaling. As far as disgust though, whales are just one of the animals that (for reasons already detailed in posts above) inspire warm fuzzy feelings in people. Their image has been used, very successfully, to raise money and lobby for legislation to protect the health of our oceans.

Of course actively hunting them down and killing them is often met with widespread disgust.

Death Wizard
02-21-2009, 12:33 AM
To me, whales are in the top 5 among the most magnificent creatures on our planet. Their intelligence, grace, and beauty are almost unmatched. Plus, humans as a species can easily survive without the products secured by butchering whales. The only reason we do it is to profit by it. Only a rare few kill whales so that they can avoid starvation by eating blubber.

efreysson
02-21-2009, 12:36 AM
I'm against it because Whales are good people..

. . . good people?

maxmordon
02-21-2009, 12:38 AM
I'm Icelandic, and today I was listening to the news and heard a debate about how international contempt for whaling would wreak havoc on Iceland's image, at a time when we're trying to rebuild it after the economic collapse.

It got me curious enough to ask: Why? What is it about whaling that makes it less acceptable than the killing of any other animals? I'm not looking to start a debate or an argument, I just want to hear people's thoughts on the matter.


Same thing happens here with bullfighting, there's a heated argument weather is part of our Hispanic culture and tradition or just a savage and outdated entretainment.

scarletpeaches
02-21-2009, 12:38 AM
I'll kill anything that tastes good.

Angie
02-21-2009, 12:39 AM
I'll kill anything that tastes good.

:roll:

Atani
02-21-2009, 12:41 AM
I'll kill anything that tastes good.

Does whale meat taste good?

Seriously though, what do they use the whales for? Meaning the ones still killed in Iceland, of course. I thought whaling didn't happen anymore.

scarletpeaches
02-21-2009, 12:41 AM
Except Colin Farrell of course.

TerzaRima
02-21-2009, 12:48 AM
What is it about whaling that makes it less acceptable than the killing of any other animals?

Offhand, I can't think of anything we need dead whales for. It seems like an excuse to torture and kill lovely creatures. Ditto for bullfighting.

GeorgeK
02-21-2009, 12:50 AM
Why? What is it about whaling that makes it less acceptable than the killing of any other animals? .

Because they're endangered and the only way we have to improve their chances of survival as a species is to stop killing them. We can't pen them and protect them. We can't raise them in captivity. They are big and slow to breed.

Hunting whales is probably much like the now long dead civilization that logged the last trees on Easter Island. "We need logs and firewood!"

But if you cut down the last trees, they can't make more trees. Then they are gone permanently. Nobody will have firewood."

"We need firewood now!"

They burned the last of the trees, then they couldn't make boats, they couldn't fish, they got hungry and ate each other to death.


What is killing the last of the whales going to do? All that would do is delay a sustainable economic solution. Whaling is not a long term viable solution to anything, and oh yeah, it would kill the whales. If you want to eat your own livestock, I support your right to do so, but you don't own the whales. Nobody does.

scarletpeaches
02-21-2009, 12:51 AM
Whales aren't the only creatures which are endangered. Where's the fuss made about the lesser-spotted twatfinch?

Wayne K
02-21-2009, 12:53 AM
. . . good people?
Better than most.

Wayne K
02-21-2009, 12:54 AM
Whales aren't the only creatures which are endangered. Where's the fuss made about the lesser-spotted twatfinch?
I was wondering the exact same thing.

GeorgeK
02-21-2009, 12:56 AM
Does whale meat taste good?

Seriously though, what do they use the whales for? Meaning the ones still killed in Iceland, of course. I thought whaling didn't happen anymore.

The Japanese still do whaling. Of course they say it is in the name of science...gastronomic science possibly.

GeorgeK
02-21-2009, 12:57 AM
Whales aren't the only creatures which are endangered. Where's the fuss made about the lesser-spotted twatfinch?

They don't have as good of a lobby.

Dangit Peaches! Now you made me google that just to see if it really was a silly named creature.

GeorgeK
02-21-2009, 01:06 AM
Same thing happens here with bullfighting, there's a heated argument weather is part of our Hispanic culture and tradition or just a savage and outdated entretainment.

They're your bulls. It's your country. It doesn't affect me or my family. It's your decision.

scarletpeaches
02-21-2009, 01:07 AM
And how are you personally affected by whales being killed?

Mac H.
02-21-2009, 01:07 AM
Their intelligence, grace, and beauty are almost unmatched.Why do people say things like this?

Sure, whales are intelligent .. probably as intelligent as pigs, or many other equally beautiful animals. Yet people are sure they have a special level of 'intelligence'. Why? And there are thousands of equally beautiful animals we have no problem with killing and eating.

I think they simply have really good PR. Like dolphins.

Dolphins are carnivores that rape and kill other animals - and don't just kill for food. Yet people are convinced that they are magical and peaceful.

Why ?

If you had a choice between killing 5,000 animals (chickens), 1,000 animals (beautiful, intelligent pigs) or 1 animal (a whale) for food, which is more ethical ?

I think the 'disgust' people feel has nothing to do with which animals are endangered or not. Even if you could show that the particular species wasn't endangered, people would still have the emotional revulsion to it.

Mac

Atani
02-21-2009, 01:11 AM
The Japanese still do whaling. Of course they say it is in the name of science...gastronomic science possibly.

That's true. They also kill blue fin Tuna and other sea creatures that are rare and slowly becoming much rarer.

But still, why are the Iceland whales being killed? I'm just curious what is profitable about killing the whales there (well or really anywhere really). Personally I'm against killing any endangered creature on land or sea. Now as for deer... we have plenty of yummy venison around here!

James81
02-21-2009, 01:12 AM
And how are you personally affected by whales being killed?

Everytime a whale is killed, I get this tingly sensation at the tips of my fingers. It's annoying.

scarletpeaches
02-21-2009, 01:13 AM
Carry on eating venison and those beasts will eventually become endangered too. It's cyclical.

It's also cultural. Nothing to do with the intelligence or beauty of the animals involved.

I mean look at the pig. If it came down to a fight between me and a pig, the porker gets it every time. I love my bacon rolls.

Atani
02-21-2009, 01:13 AM
Why do people say things like this?

Dolphins are carnivores that rape and kill other animals - and don't just kill for food. Yet people are convinced that they are magical and peaceful.

Mac

They rape other animals?

Otherwise, you have a point. But aside from any emotional appeal whales may have for some people, killing a whale is not necessarily economical. They are big, sure, but much more costly to procure than say, 5,000 chickens, etc.

scarletpeaches
02-21-2009, 01:14 AM
Whales are killers.

I mean...going about, randomly swallowing disobedient prophets...

GeorgeK
02-21-2009, 01:15 AM
And how are you personally affected by whales being killed?

The extinction of any species may ultimately result in a loss of scientific knowledge and therefore impact me or my descendants in ways that I can not calculate. If whales bred quickly or were not endangered then it wouldn't be as much of an issue. The fact that they are being harvested from disputed waters is also an issue. Should Canada be allowed to log Oregon? Would Canada be justifiably concerned if everyone in America decided to shoot the Canada geese that land near their property?

Death Wizard
02-21-2009, 01:16 AM
Why do people say things like this?

Sure, whales are intelligent .. probably as intelligent as pigs, or many other equally beautiful animals. Yet people are sure they have a special level of 'intelligence'. Why? And there are thousands of equally beautiful animals we have no problem with killing and eating.

I think they simply have really good PR. Like dolphins.

Dolphins are carnivores that rape and kill other animals - and don't just kill for food. Yet people are convinced that they are magical and peaceful.

Why ?

If you had a choice between killing 5,000 animals (chickens), 1,000 animals (beautiful, intelligent pigs) or 1 animal (a whale) for food, which is more ethical ?

I think the 'disgust' people feel has nothing to do with which animals are endangered or not. Even if you could show that the particular species wasn't endangered, people would still have the emotional revulsion to it.

Mac

IMO, there are a lot of reasons, scientific and otherwise, why people believe whales rank extremely high in the intelligence scale. You ask why people say things like that? I'm equally baffled why someone wouldn't be offended by the slaughter of whales. Must be yet another conservative/liberal thing.

Atani
02-21-2009, 01:17 AM
Carry on eating venison and those beasts will eventually become endangered too. It's cyclical.

It's also cultural. Nothing to do with the intelligence or beauty of the animals involved.

I mean look at the pig. If it came down to a fight between me and a pig, the porker gets it every time. I love my bacon rolls.


Hehe. Bacon makes everything better!

Anyway, you'd have to eat ALOT of venison to make a dent in the deer population in central Texas. The problem started with killing off all their natural predators. Now there are so many deer, there aren't enough resources to support them and too many survive (no one to pick off the sick, weak and genetic abbhorations). It's a real problem...

James81
02-21-2009, 01:17 AM
Carry on eating venison and those beasts will eventually become endangered too. It's cyclical.



Not necessarily.

There's a certain balance to it, of course, but a lot of the hunting of venison is actually helpful to the deer population. It sort of weeds out the weaker deer, to allow the more healthy deer to breed.

It also cuts down on the number of deer prancing through the woods eating the food they find, which can be scarce.

You get an overpopulation of deer, and they are going to die way less humanely on their own than if you hunt them.

scarletpeaches
02-21-2009, 01:17 AM
Why does no-one get so het up about the fact 25% of vertebrate species died out between 1970 and 2005?

James81
02-21-2009, 01:19 AM
Why does no-one get so het up about the fact 25% of vertebrate species died out between 1970 and 2005?

Personally, I could give two shits less when a species goes extinct.

I don't think we should be killing animals for sport, and that we definately need to take certain measures to protect our environment so that animals can coexist with us more peacefully, but at the end of the day there are some species that will go extinct whether we are here or not.

That's the whole frikin POINT of evolution. Everybody wants to believe in evolution, but nobody wants to apply it to all life forms.

Captshady
02-21-2009, 01:20 AM
What is killing the last of the whales going to do?

There will be no one to answer the alien hail.

GeorgeK
02-21-2009, 01:22 AM
Carry on eating venison and those beasts will eventually become endangered too. It's cyclical.


If you are referring to the predator prey relationship, yes. However deer are not endangered (yet). When they are, I would support them too.




It's also cultural.


No, extinction is extinction.


Nothing to do with the intelligence or beauty of the animals involved.


To some people, yes, but cuteness is not a reason to not eat something in my book. That's not what it's about.




I mean look at the pig. If it came down to a fight between me and a pig, the porker gets it every time. I love my bacon rolls.

I've probably killed close to a hundred. They are cute when they are little. Pig farming is a sustainable practice. Whaling is not simply because they've been over hunted. There needs to be a moratorium until they've recovered.

GeorgeK
02-21-2009, 01:24 AM
Why does no-one get so het up about the fact 25% of vertebrate species died out between 1970 and 2005?

They do. You've just not been paying attention.

scarletpeaches
02-21-2009, 01:24 AM
Like I care. I've been too busy killing whales and eating venison.

rugcat
02-21-2009, 01:25 AM
Why does no-one get so het up about the fact 25% of vertebrate species died out between 1970 and 2005?I do.

We are systematically wiping out almost every other species on this planet.

Whales are high profile, because they're both rare, awe inspiring, and intelligent.

It's sort of a litmus test issue for many people. For example, it's clear to me that anyone whose attitude is "so what?" has a world view I find repulsive. Period.

Death Wizard
02-21-2009, 01:27 AM
I do.

We are systematically wiping out almost every other species on this planet.

Whales are high profile, because they're both rare, awe inspiring, and intelligent.

It's sort of a litmus test issue for many people. For example, it's clear to me that anyone whose attitude is "so what?" has a world view I find repulsive. Period.

I could not agree more.

James81
02-21-2009, 01:30 AM
For example, it's clear to me that anyone whose attitude is "so what?" has a world view I find repulsive. Period.

I'm just the opposite.

I think we take on a certain arrogance as humans, believing we are having more of an effect on this planet than we really are.

We are an insignificant blip on a giant ball of energy and power. To think we're doing any major damage is outlandish.

I also believe in the theory of evolution. I'm not going to, in one breath, say "Survival of the fittest" and then in the next breath say "Except for this small list of cute animals that are entertaining to me."

Granted, I think we need to take measures to ease our affects on the environment (like recycling and stuff like that) where we can, but at the end of the day I know that my footprint on this planet is insignificant. The planet is having more of an affect on me, than I am on it.

efreysson
02-21-2009, 01:31 AM
Because they're endangered and the only way we have to improve their chances of survival as a species is to stop killing them. We can't pen them and protect them. We can't raise them in captivity. They are big and slow to breed.

SOME species of whale are endangered. And the annual Icelandic quota is only 39 animals, which makes the Icelandic stock quite sustainable.

GeorgeK
02-21-2009, 01:31 AM
Like I care. I've been too busy killing whales and eating venison.

Hunting takes too much work. Put up a fence, let the pigs eat the acorns and when you want dinner yell, "Here piggies!" Toss some corn on the ground and the first one there get's some high velocity lead poisoning. Much less work in the long run, not so dependent upon weather...cheaper, easier, more reliable, long term viability...well except for the ones you shot.

efreysson
02-21-2009, 01:35 AM
Why do people say things like this?

Sure, whales are intelligent .. probably as intelligent as pigs, or many other equally beautiful animals. Yet people are sure they have a special level of 'intelligence'. Why? And there are thousands of equally beautiful animals we have no problem with killing and eating.

I think they simply have really good PR. Like dolphins.

Dolphins are carnivores that rape and kill other animals - and don't just kill for food. Yet people are convinced that they are magical and peaceful.

Why ?

If you had a choice between killing 5,000 animals (chickens), 1,000 animals (beautiful, intelligent pigs) or 1 animal (a whale) for food, which is more ethical ?

I think the 'disgust' people feel has nothing to do with which animals are endangered or not. Even if you could show that the particular species wasn't endangered, people would still have the emotional revulsion to it.

Mac

I do agree that people tend to 'humanize' animals to an excessive and sometimes even dangerous level. Cute ones, anyway, or those who exhibit traits humans can identify with, such as playing with one another. It's that kind of thinking that leads to people getting mauled by chimps or pandas, or utterly shocked at seeing killer whales live up to their names by viciously killing other whales.

GeorgeK
02-21-2009, 01:37 AM
SOME species of whale are endangered. .

True, but how can you guarantee that whalers will only hunt this or that particular species? My point is that it is an international issue, not just a local one.

scarletpeaches
02-21-2009, 01:38 AM
I think the solution is to fill the oceans with viagra, let the whales get jiggy, then in a few years we'll have lots of cute baby whales to kill.

GeorgeK
02-21-2009, 01:42 AM
If you had a choice between killing 5,000 animals (chickens), 1,000 animals (beautiful, intelligent pigs) or 1 animal (a whale) for food, which is more ethical ?


It would be most ethical to kill the ones that belonged to you. Also I've raised pigs. They are not intelligent. Chickens are smarter, but that doesn't matter at the dinner table.

scarletpeaches
02-21-2009, 01:43 AM
If whales were that [bleep] intelligent they'd figure out how to get away from the harpoons.

GeorgeK
02-21-2009, 01:45 AM
I do agree that people tend to 'humanize' animals to an excessive and sometimes even dangerous level. Cute ones, anyway, or those who exhibit traits humans can identify with, such as playing with one another. It's that kind of thinking that leads to people getting mauled by chimps or pandas, or utterly shocked at seeing killer whales live up to their names by viciously killing other whales.

Agreed

GeorgeK
02-21-2009, 01:48 AM
... fucking intelligent ....
A whale Kama Sutra?

scarletpeaches
02-21-2009, 01:49 AM
Well if there was more of that, like I said...more baby whales to kill. Everyone's happy.

Atani
02-21-2009, 01:56 AM
I'm just the opposite.

I think we take on a certain arrogance as humans, believing we are having more of an effect on this planet than we really are.

We are an insignificant blip on a giant ball of energy and power. To think we're doing any major damage is outlandish.



Perhaps we are not causing significant climate changes as many believe, but we are having a major impact in the world as a species. Take a look a the planet from space... we've made some serious changes to this place, and we've certainly affected the balance of many of the ecosystems on land. To say we have no significant impact is a bit naive.

I would just like the human species to try and take steps to regain or at least maintain some sense of natural balance with our environment. If that means being aware of overkilling of certain species, then that's one thing. It's going to take much more than that, though. Overconsumption and overpopulation are huge issues with no easy answers.

Keyan
02-21-2009, 01:58 AM
I'm just the opposite.

I think we take on a certain arrogance as humans, believing we are having more of an effect on this planet than we really are.

We are an insignificant blip on a giant ball of energy and power. To think we're doing any major damage is outlandish.

The giant ball will retain its energy and power, no matter what we do. We are messing with the biosphere, the thin skin on the giant ball's surface, which constitutes the space in which we the mammals can survive. If we screw that up, the giant ball will orbit its merry way without "higher" life forms, somehow unfazed by the whole messy episode of humanity.

NeuroFizz
02-21-2009, 02:03 AM
Endangered great whales: Northern Right Whale, Southern Right Whale, Bowhead Whale, Blue Whale, Fin Whale, Sei Whale, Humpback Whale, Sperm Whale.

The Blue Whale is the largest animal to ever have lived on earth (up to 31 meters in length). It's current population has been reduced to about 10% of it's best known numbers--due to whaling. These animals are slow moving (hence they can't get away from harpoons regardless of their intelligence--try to go fast and be agile when you are 31 meters long. It's kind of a big target. Mr. Magoo could hit one.). And they have extremely long generation times, which means they are slow to give birth and slow to sexual maturity. All that boils down to a bad outcome when they are hunted to near extinction.

Some people believe humans should be stewards of this globe, primarily because we are the one species capable to screwing it up so much.

Why should people give a shit about biodiversity and protecting engandered species as long as there is bacon in the frying pan and McDonald's on the corner? It's a question each of us has to answer for ourselves. Seems several people posting here have done so, in clear couldn't-give-a-shit fashion.

scarletpeaches
02-21-2009, 02:05 AM
MY point is I don't see why whales should be singled out. They're no more special than any other animal on this planet. Certainly no cuter.

NeuroFizz
02-21-2009, 02:07 AM
Whales make up a very small number of animals and plant species on the endangered species list. The topic of the thread highlighted whales instead of all endangered and threatened speceis. If the topic of the thread is whales, why are you getting upset because other species don't get equal attention. They do outside of this thread. And whales are magnificant animals. Saying that doesn't make other animals and plants any less magnificent.

scarletpeaches
02-21-2009, 02:09 AM
Yes, the title specified whales, by asking why people are so disgusted by the killing thereof.

Bottom line is I'm no more disgusted by whaling than I am by the killing of rabbits, pigs, geese and chickens.

If that makes me a bloodthirsty hunter, so be it. I just can't bring myself to find a moral difference between killing this animal and that one.

NeuroFizz
02-21-2009, 02:11 AM
Are you vegetarian? Do you wear leather? Is it okay if someone else does your killing for you in some cloistered warehouse somewhere?

scarletpeaches
02-21-2009, 02:12 AM
No, yes and I'd be willing to do it myself.

ETA: I was a vegetarian for around two years in my teens...not really on moral grounds. Just to see if I could, what it would be like. I fell when I caught a whiff of my mum's corned beef hash one day.

Anyway. I answered part #3 of your question as I did because I believe if you want to eat it you have to be willing to at least watch - even do it yourself - what needs to happen for the cute fluffy lamb gambolling around a field to end up on your George Foreman grill.

NeuroFizz
02-21-2009, 02:16 AM
And for the vegetarians out there (even vegans), does it make a difference that when you drop your asparagus into the steamer that it is just as traumatic to the asparagus cells as it is for the lobster cells when we drop that magnificent beast into boiling water. And "the plants can't feel it" doesn't cut it. Plants are living organisms just like animals.

We (humans) need to eat living organisms. In so doing, we kill animals and plants. There are plenty of potential victims on earth. Do we really need to kill some into extinction, or should we concentrate on the ones we can culture and raise specifically for food, or catch in numbers that don't threaten their survival? That's where stewardship comes in.

James81
02-21-2009, 02:18 AM
I would just like the human species to try and take steps to regain or at least maintain some sense of natural balance with our environment. If that means being aware of overkilling of certain species, then that's one thing. It's going to take much more than that, though. Overconsumption and overpopulation are huge issues with no easy answers.

I can agree with that.

I think environmentalists go WAY overboard with it, though.

We DO need to take measures that our waste is as clean as possible. That we recycle where we can. That we respect the environment where we can. We should take stock as to whether the new strip mall is actually needed. That kind of stuff.

Beyond that, life is meant to be lived and live it fully with no regrets. Other animals in our system are not thinking about this stuff. They are acting on their instinct, with no remorse or regret to the affects that their actions are taking.

Trouble is, that OUR instincts as a people have been skewed. We place high value on waste and consuption. We want want want want want. We need more...bigger...better. And then we wonder why we aren't happy. It's because our values and instincts have been comprimised. We stopped recognizing the things that make life good.

Don Allen
02-21-2009, 02:20 AM
I'm just the opposite.

I think we take on a certain arrogance as humans, believing we are having more of an effect on this planet than we really are.

We are an insignificant blip on a giant ball of energy and power. To think we're doing any major damage is outlandish.

I also believe in the theory of evolution. I'm not going to, in one breath, say "Survival of the fittest" and then in the next breath say "Except for this small list of cute animals that are entertaining to me."

Granted, I think we need to take measures to ease our affects on the environment (like recycling and stuff like that) where we can, but at the end of the day I know that my footprint on this planet is insignificant. The planet is having more of an affect on me, than I am on it.

James, i got to be honest with you, I usually find some basis of fact in all your comments but this bewilders me for too many reasons to list.

CaroGirl
02-21-2009, 02:22 AM
I agree that it's hypocritical of meat eaters and leather wearers to stand up against the fur industry and say, this chicken is less worthy than that mink. Or for vegetarians to wear leather yet look at me sideways for eating lamb.

The point here, for me, is whales are endangered. Chickens are not. I wouldn't want to see whales disappear. It might be difficult to explain why, I just wouldn't.

And you can kill all the Canada geese you want. They're ubiquitous, smelly, messy and mean. Kill 'em, roast 'em and eat 'em. As many as you can before the RCMP catches you.

James81
02-21-2009, 02:23 AM
And for the vegetarians out there (even vegans), does it make a difference that when you drop your asparagus into the steamer that it is just as traumatic to the asparagus cells as it is for the lobster cells when we drop that magnificent beast into boiling water. And "the plants can't feel it" doesn't cut it. Plants are living organisms just like animals.

We (humans) need to eat living organisms. In so doing, we kill animals and plants. There are plenty of potential victims on earth. Do we really need to kill some into extinction, or should we concentrate on the ones we can culture and raise specifically for food, or catch in numbers that don't threaten their survival? That's where stewardship comes in.

There is no true vegetarian anyway. Farming actually kills and deters animals from the crops they grow. How many mice, snakes, turtles, and other small animals and insects get destroyed by the plows that till the earth or harvest the crops? You can't in one breath say that one animal is more precious than the other. You can't say that eating meat is morally wrong because you are killing an innocent life form but are ok with killing the bugs that are in your house. That's hypocricy at it's finest. And arrogant.

NeuroFizz
02-21-2009, 02:25 AM
I think environmentalists go WAY overboard with it, though.

I agree with this to a point, but we (all other humans) have forced them to go to that extent to just get the measly concessions they've earned. I can stand with you and pull out examples that seem (are) totally bizarre. In general, though, positive things have come from the environmental movement. I take a "bell curve" view of it, in this way.

Death Wizard
02-21-2009, 02:27 AM
The giant ball will retain its energy and power, no matter what we do. We are messing with the biosphere, the thin skin on the giant ball's surface, which constitutes the space in which we the mammals can survive. If we screw that up, the giant ball will orbit its merry way without "higher" life forms, somehow unfazed by the whole messy episode of humanity.

So true.

NeuroFizz
02-21-2009, 02:27 AM
There is no true vegetarian anyway. Farming actually kills and deters animals from the crops they grow. How many mice, snakes, turtles, and other small animals and insects get destroyed by the plows that till the earth or harvest the crops? You can't in one breath say that one animal is more precious than the other. You can't say that eating meat is morally wrong because you are killing an innocent life form but are ok with killing the bugs that are in your house. That's hypocricy at it's finest. And arrogant.
Better yet are the old estimates of the number of microscopic nematode worms in plants. Some say (without huge exaggeration) if we were able to remove all of the plant tissue from a lettuce leaf, we'd still be able to see the shape of the leaf from all of the nematodes.

I have to run to dinner how--to eat something someone else killed for me (both plant and animal). I hope there's bacon...

Don Allen
02-21-2009, 02:34 AM
Back to the original op, if I can get past the Jona reference which was positively hysterical.

Humans are the only creature on this planet with future forsight. That's why we make up all kinds of religions and Gods to help us with the whole dying thing, we know we will die.

The burden of responsibility to safeguard all creatures under are domain is omni-potent and critical to our survival as well. We eat chickens, cows and what not, because we can produce sufficient numbers to replentish our supply. As Mr Spock said in Star Trek IV "It is illogical to hunt a speices to extinction"

As others have said nothing is gained from Whale product that can't be reproduced through artificial means, therefore it is illogical to kill whales for product.

In most cases hunters are extremely concerned with the economy of the product they hunt, therefore hunting whales for sport would be out of the question for ethical hunters do to the low numbers of exsisting whales, and the fact that unless you have a whaling vessel equiped with cranes and such, you probably won't be taking a whale steak home with you.

So, that begs the question, why hunt a species to extinction or near extinction for no gain,,,,and that is why most civilized people condemn hunting whales. It's a cruel killing for no practical purpose, I witnessed a whale slaughter, and the animal is usually skinned alive with large sickle like blades to keep the fat from coagulating, the animal lives until de-gloved of fat when the crew will final puncture a vital organ for death.

It's an ugly, in humane practice, and the bad name that comes with it fits... So why do it????

Atani
02-21-2009, 02:42 AM
NeuroFizz! Yea! I've finally found someone who shares my view of food. I've always argued to vegetarians, etc., that to live we must consume life, no matter what form. It's pointless to make distinctions about one type of life over the other. I also agree that humans should take an active role in monitoring our level of impact on the environment as much as possible.

I'm sure we could go on and on. This is no small issue after all! But it sure makes for an interesting thread... we've moved well beyond whales!

Aristocrazy
02-21-2009, 02:46 AM
oh god... pseudo-intellectual veg talk~ run to the hills

Atani
02-21-2009, 02:47 AM
oh god... pseudo-intellectual veg talk~ run to the hills

Hehe. Let's stop before it goes too far!!!

scarletpeaches
02-21-2009, 02:48 AM
Carrots have feelings too.

Don Allen
02-21-2009, 02:54 AM
Carrots have feelings too.


Paul McCartney, says no.... He was on the Colbert report, I don't know if you guys get that in Scottland, but if you google the show, there's this hillarious McCartney interview where Paul claims he has talked to veggies and can positively say they don't mind being eaten one bit, it was great.....

GeorgeK
02-21-2009, 03:18 AM
oh god... pseudo-intellectual veg talk~ run to the hills

I ain't afraid of them's pod people. I'll just sick the sheep on em.

GeorgeK
02-21-2009, 03:21 AM
Paul McCartney, says no.... He was on the Colbert report, I don't know if you guys get that in Scottland, but if you google the show, there's this hillarious McCartney interview where Paul claims he has talked to veggies and can positively say they don't mind being eaten one bit, it was great.....

Just like "The Restaraunt At The End Of The Universe", I'd suggest the left flank.

TerzaRima
02-21-2009, 03:26 AM
You can't say that eating meat is morally wrong because you are killing an innocent life form but are ok with killing the bugs that are in your house. That's hypocricy at it's finest. And arrogant.


Boys and girls, can anyone think of other reasons for vegetarianism other than "SQUEE, the baby cows!"? Think carefully, and raise your hand when you are ready.

scarletpeaches
02-21-2009, 03:27 AM
Just like "The Restaraunt At The End Of The Universe", I'd suggest the left flank.

Hotblack Desiato!

NeuroFizz
02-21-2009, 03:46 AM
oh god... pseudo-intellectual veg talk~ run to the hills
Cell damage due to actute heating isn't pseudo-intellectual, although if you'd prefer, we could talk about denaturing proteins and about heating way too fast to activate heat-shock proteins or other forms of heat-adaptation. Would that bring it to a level more consonant with your lofty intellect?

Silver King
02-21-2009, 04:40 AM
A couple of years ago, I came across a humpback whale a few miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. Such a sighting is exceedingly rare in this area (West Central Florida), and I found out later there hadn't been a confirmed sighting in nearly forty years. It didn't occur to me to kill the whale, but I did try to tempt her with a frisky live bait attached to the end of a fishing rod. She sniffed the morsel a couple of times but refused the offering. Had she taken the bait, I would have let her go unharmed after she was landed. It would've been my largest catch to date, several tons or so.

Whale hunting doesn't disgust me as much as it seems disrespectful to the animals. The further you move up the food chain, the greater the respect becomes. It's natural, I think, to have more feelings for whales or hammerhead sharks than you would for a minnow or a crab.

I'd die a thousand deaths before ever setting foot on a whaling vessel. There simply is no way to justify the slaughter of some of the greatest beasts that have ever inhabited our planet. And to think that our friends in Iceland would do so merely for profit is shameful beyond comprehension.

Death Wizard
02-21-2009, 04:46 AM
Boys and girls, can anyone think of other reasons for vegetarianism other than "SQUEE, the baby cows!"? Think carefully, and raise your hand when you are ready.

Huh?

Mac H.
02-21-2009, 09:22 AM
NeuroFizz! Yea! I've finally found someone who shares my view of food. I've always argued to vegetarians, etc., that to live we must consume life, no matter what form. It's pointless to make distinctions about one type of life over the otherWonderful - You will also agree with my modest proposal ...

I've always argued to non-cannibals, etc., that to live we must consume life, no matter what form. Since you agree that it's pointless to make distinctions about one type of life over the other, we can agree that killing and eating and humans is no different to killing and eating the microbes living in yogurt.

My solution would solve the population problem too !

Mac

cooeedownunder
02-21-2009, 09:43 AM
It is because they risk becoming extinct... although some cultures may rely on the slaying of them, there are others that do not.

The town I come from witnesses and anual migration of 6000 whales each year, and it is a big part of our tourisism. We are one town in Australia that have heavily apposed the killing of whales...not sure about iceland as such, but specically some Asian countries.

Joe270
02-21-2009, 09:55 AM
MY point is I don't see why whales should be singled out. They're no more special than any other animal on this planet. Certainly no cuter.

The reason I single them out is because they are being hunted to extinction for no reason, as opposed to those other species which lose habitat, etc.

There is no reason to hunt whales any longer. With the exception of whale bubble gum, only available in Japan that I know of, there is nothing that a whale can provide which isn't provided in abundance elsewhere.

It's stupid to kill a huge, rare animal which is mostly fat for chewing gum (which is a nasty thing anyway, and it just makes subway stations and sidewalks disgusting) and nothing else worthwhile.

In fact, the whale puke is very valuable and is the key ingredient to the most expensive perfumes, as noted:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambergris

So, to sum this up in a nutshell, these magnificent, intelligent animals are being hunted to extinction for nothing less than bubble gum, which will result in the end of high-dollar perfume and cosmetics.

Fucking stupid, when you think for just a few minutes about the situation.

One more thing, for my personal interaction with whales from a life led mostly at sea, they are much more intellegent than anyone suspects.

Medievalist
02-21-2009, 11:11 AM
Why? What is it about whaling that makes it less acceptable than the killing of any other animals? I'm not looking to start a debate or an argument, I just want to hear people's thoughts on the matter.

1. There's a great deal of evidence that suggests that whales are as intelligent as chimps, at least.

2. We've managed to hunt several species to extinction and near extinction.

3. We don't need whales for food, or other uses; we have alternatives.

Mac H.
02-21-2009, 03:03 PM
1. There's a great deal of evidence that suggests that whales are as intelligent as chimps, at least.Citation needed.

NeuroFizz
02-21-2009, 04:05 PM
Citation needed.
Animal Social Complexity: Intelligence, Culture, and Individualized Societies. F.B.M. deWaal and P.L. Tyack (eds). Harvard University Press. 2003

C. Roth and U. Dicke (2005) Evolution of brains and intelligence. Trends in Cognitive Science 9: 250-257.

M.P. Simmonds (2006) Into the brains of whales. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 100: 103-116.

Doing a species-to-species comparison of "intelligence" is difficult since it's difficult to define something as subjective as intelligence. But based on available evidence, whales are right up there with some of the best of non-human mammals (including primates).

This was just from a quick look--there are pages of references (searched in GoogleScholar)

oswann
02-21-2009, 04:16 PM
Boys and girls, can anyone think of other reasons for vegetarianism other than "SQUEE, the baby cows!"? Think carefully, and raise your hand when you are ready.

Shouldn't that be squeeze the baby cows? Or are you afraid of the thread being bumped over to the Erotica forum?

Os.

oswann
02-21-2009, 04:17 PM
3. We don't need whales for food, or other uses; we have alternatives.

Like dolphins!


Os.

Wayne K
02-21-2009, 04:55 PM
Last year I finally caught the fish of all fishes. It was a tiny little pond and the fish belonged in the ocean. Noboby was going to believe how big this thing was, and a thousand words fall on deaf ears with fishermen. I let him go, and I let him go because we sampled the fish from Little Pond Road and they tasted like mud. I don't think it makes me better than the person who would have taken the fish home because I've known fine and decent people who wouldn't have had a problem with doing it. It does make for a good debate though.

benbradley
02-22-2009, 12:27 AM
I'm Icelandic, and today I was listening to the news and heard a debate about how international contempt for whaling would wreak havoc on Iceland's image, at a time when we're trying to rebuild it after the economic collapse.

It got me curious enough to ask: Why? What is it about whaling that makes it less acceptable than the killing of any other animals? I'm not looking to start a debate or an argument, I just want to hear people's thoughts on the matter.

Then there's the possibility of extinction. Can whales be hunted without being hunted to the brink of extinction? The following thread just got bumped, and the OP reminds me of how activities such as whale hunting can easily get the point where they are hunted to extinction:
Magical Tragedy of the Commons
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3313899

But the point of being in hard economic times brings up thoughts on whether and how the current and most recent views on morality might slip away in the interest of "getting the money to buy food to feed people." If whale products are expensive and in demand, even illegally, it's certainly an "idea"to go whale hunting. The "slippery slope" (thread drift warning) can go from ... to ... (I'll let others fill in the blanks) and could make for a novel titled "Al Gore Shrugged."

But we do live with some sort of "relative moralism" where more intelligent animals are deemed more valuable (as entities unto themselves, as opposed to food or other sources to fill human needs) than less intelligent ones. One would think that human life would have absolute value, but while it is indeed highly valued, we do make tradeoffs. For one, setting roadway speed limits of at most 25 mph (40 kph) would greatly reduce automobile related deaths, one of the most common causes of death in modern society.

(the following post edited)

Citation needed. http://xkcd.com/285/

sadron
02-22-2009, 12:29 AM
Whaling should be stopped. I love them as dolphins. They are great mammals. They might die and stop existing if people keep whaling!

Snowstorm
02-22-2009, 12:44 AM
Whale hunting doesn't disgust me as much as it seems disrespectful to the animals. The further you move up the food chain, the greater the respect becomes. It's natural, I think, to have more feelings for whales or hammerhead sharks than you would for a minnow or a crab.


Very interesting point, Silver King. Your comment reminds me of people who go out of their way to kill snakes for no reason other than they're ugly or "scary". A hierarchy of animals on the "cute" scale, those that are interesting, or a hierarchy of intelligence seems to lend itself to human protection.

robeiae
02-22-2009, 01:03 AM
"To hunt a species to extinction is not logical."--Mr. Spock, The Voyage Home


And really, do you peeps want to doom the future of the human race by killing off all the whales and pissing off an alien culture?

scarletpeaches
02-22-2009, 01:04 AM
Imagine if pigs were as big as whales. Imagine how many bacon rolls that'd get you.

Magdalen
02-22-2009, 01:17 AM
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/05/0520_050520_tv_aliens.html

Robaeeieiaiaiaia! Sounds like a whale song. I am so with you on the whales as aliens thingy. And just to prove it, I've composed a new verse for that famous 60's protest song:

Where have all the whales gone?
Long time passing.
Where have all the whales gone?
Long time ago.
Where have all the whales gone?
Gone to parfum, everyone.
When will they ever learn?
When will they ev-errr learn?

Mac H.
02-22-2009, 01:19 AM
Animal Social Complexity: Intelligence, Culture, and Individualized Societies. F.B.M. deWaal and P.L. Tyack (eds). Harvard University Press. 2003 [etc...] That looks like a fascinating book.

(The others do too .. but that first one looks particularly interesting)

I'll see if I can find a copy.

There is a good summary in the last review article (http://cmbi.bjmu.edu.cn/news/report/2004/Neuro/1.pdf) :



If we define animal intelligence as the degree of mental or behavioral flexibility resulting in novel solutions, either in the wild or in the laboratory, we can conclude that among tetrapods, mammals and birds are more intelligent, and among mammals, humans are more intelligent than
members of other taxa.

Differences in intelligence among the great apes, cetaceans and elephants are not sufficiently tested, but these taxa all appear to be more intelligent than monkeys, and monkeys more intelligent than than prosimians and the remaining mammals.

I'll read up more on this subject.

Thanks again !

Mac

Death Wizard
02-22-2009, 02:14 AM
Imagine if pigs were as big as whales. Imagine how many bacon rolls that'd get you.

Really! Imagine the size of the knife it would take to butcher such a huge pig. And how loud the squealing would be when the huge pig writhed in agony as the knife ripped through hide, flesh and sinew. And the pools and pools of blood, guts and feces spilling everywhere -- splashing, stinking, steaming. And the pile of bones, some as thick as the trunks of trees.

After all that hard work, that bacon would taste great!

Aristocrazy
02-22-2009, 03:17 AM
Cell damage due to actute heating isn't pseudo-intellectual, although if you'd prefer, we could talk about denaturing proteins and about heating way too fast to activate heat-shock proteins or other forms of heat-adaptation. Would that bring it to a level more consonant with your lofty intellect?

I simply find that most points raised by both sides on the ethics standpoint to be ridiculous~ especially on forums. What's the point of discussing when both sides are bigoted and willing to resort to ad hoc arguments the second their views are challenged?

Plus, since forums are not in person debates on such heated matters tend to get out of hand quickly~ thankfully there are no ethic focused vegetarians in this thread so they can be harped on without being able to defend themselves.

and yes, I find your point to be a joke rebuttal to a joke point.

NeuroFizz
02-22-2009, 03:49 AM
I simply find that most points raised by both sides on the ethics standpoint to be ridiculous~ especially on forums. What's the point of discussing when both sides are bigoted and willing to resort to ad hoc arguments the second their views are challenged?

Plus, since forums are not in person debates on such heated matters tend to get out of hand quickly~ thankfully there are no ethic focused vegetarians in this thread so they can be harped on without being able to defend themselves.

and yes, I find your point to be a joke rebuttal to a joke point.
OP is where we can cut loose and have some fun as well as engage in those strange discussions that don't have the same focus as some of the more serious forums at AW and elsewhere. It's also where we can express our bigoted stands on ethics if we so choose, even if the arguments forwarded don't satisfy your donnish needs.

Perhaps you'd prefer one of those Mensa sites where you could hang out with people who do hourly IQ checks to see if they've gained anything between breakfast and their mid-morning bowel movement. Or is that just too yesterday, in a bigoted sort of way?

Aristocrazy
02-22-2009, 04:05 AM
*sweating bullets*

Actually I'd prefer to stay away from forum based debates altogether~ or else this jazz starts to happen

may we have peace, peace, and perfect peace neuro

scarletpeaches
02-22-2009, 04:16 AM
OP is where we can cut loose and have some fun as well as engage in those strange discussions that don't have the same focus as some of the more serious forums at AW and elsewhere. It's also where we can express our bigoted stands on ethics if we so choose, even if the arguments forwarded don't satisfy your donnish needs.

Perhaps you'd prefer one of those Mensa sites where you could hang out with people who do hourly IQ checks to see if they've gained anything between breakfast and their mid-morning bowel movement. Or is that just too yesterday, in a bigoted sort of way?

I lost 3 IQ points doing that.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
02-22-2009, 04:16 AM
http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q172/liadano/Comeandstay.jpg

NeuroFizz
02-22-2009, 04:29 AM
*sweating bullets*

Actually I'd prefer to stay away from forum based debates altogether~ or else this jazz starts to happen

may we have peace, peace, and perfect peace neuro
It's all good. But if your goal is to stay away from forum based debates, doing the insult-and-run thing isn't the best strategy. And when the jazz starts to happen, to weigh in with an overtoned set of riffs is yet another interesting way to stay out of it all.

Most important, though, in the OP spirit, I'll offer to sit down and share a nice piece of muktuk and a six-pack of Labatt's.


**And we were hoping to pull SoccerMom in for little early-supermod action--no offense, OFG.**

CaroGirl
02-22-2009, 04:59 AM
Perhaps you'd prefer one of those Mensa sites where you could hang out with people who do hourly IQ checks to see if they've gained anything between breakfast and their mid-morning bowel movement. Or is that just too yesterday, in a bigoted sort of way?
Hee hee. Neuro said *bowel movement.*

Ol' Fashioned Girl
02-22-2009, 05:24 AM
**And we were hoping to pull SoccerMom in for little early-supermod action--no offense, OFG.**

None taken. ;)

WerenCole
02-22-2009, 09:25 PM
I like whale. . . .





with a lot of butter and garlic, of course.

WerenCole
02-22-2009, 09:29 PM
Animal Social Complexity: Intelligence, Culture, and Individualized Societies. F.B.M. deWaal and P.L. Tyack (eds). Harvard University Press. 2003

C. Roth and U. Dicke (2005) Evolution of brains and intelligence. Trends in Cognitive Science 9: 250-257.

M.P. Simmonds (2006) Into the brains of whales. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 100: 103-116.

Doing a species-to-species comparison of "intelligence" is difficult since it's difficult to define something as subjective as intelligence. But based on available evidence, whales are right up there with some of the best of non-human mammals (including primates).

This was just from a quick look--there are pages of references (searched in GoogleScholar)


I, for one, think human "intelligence" is subjective. I think the rest of the animal world thinks we are blathering idiots.

regdog
02-22-2009, 10:47 PM
I, for one, think human "intelligence" is subjective. I think the rest of the animal world thinks we are blathering idiots.

I'll second that

Jean Marie
02-22-2009, 11:32 PM
I'll kill anything that tastes good.
Not surprised.

This offers, what to the OP's comment. Just curious.


Offhand, I can't think of anything we need dead whales for. It seems like an excuse to torture and kill lovely creatures. Ditto for bullfighting.
Me either and ditto on the bullfighting. Both are torturous to no good end.


And how are you personally affected by whales being killed?
It's a useless and disgusting practice. If I'm to be a steward to this land, then it does affect me.


Hehe. Bacon makes everything better!

Anyway, you'd have to eat ALOT of venison to make a dent in the deer population in central Texas. The problem started with killing off all their natural predators. Now there are so many deer, there aren't enough resources to support them and too many survive (no one to pick off the sick, weak and genetic abbhorations). It's a real problem...
I don't support sport hunting, either. I find it equally disturbing.

If you're hunting to feed your family, that's completely different.

No, I don't eat venison. It's not necessary and I've never even tried it. Again, it's never been necessary.


Not necessarily.

There's a certain balance to it, of course, but a lot of the hunting of venison is actually helpful to the deer population. It sort of weeds out the weaker deer, to allow the more healthy deer to breed.

It also cuts down on the number of deer prancing through the woods eating the food they find, which can be scarce.

You get an overpopulation of deer, and they are going to die way less humanely on their own than if you hunt them.
Survival of the fittest is the norm for all wildlife.

Btw, deer don't prance.


I do.

We are systematically wiping out almost every other species on this planet.

Whales are high profile, because they're both rare, awe inspiring, and intelligent.

It's sort of a litmus test issue for many people. For example, it's clear to me that anyone whose attitude is "so what?" has a world view I find repulsive. Period.
It's the "so what" attitude that wiped out many other species.

I too find this exact view incredibly repulsive as well as arrogant. Typical of many, too.

Excellent post, rugcat.


Endangered great whales: Northern Right Whale, Southern Right Whale, Bowhead Whale, Blue Whale, Fin Whale, Sei Whale, Humpback Whale, Sperm Whale.

The Blue Whale is the largest animal to ever have lived on earth (up to 31 meters in length). It's current population has been reduced to about 10% of it's best known numbers--due to whaling. These animals are slow moving (hence they can't get away from harpoons regardless of their intelligence--try to go fast and be agile when you are 31 meters long. It's kind of a big target. Mr. Magoo could hit one.). And they have extremely long generation times, which means they are slow to give birth and slow to sexual maturity. All that boils down to a bad outcome when they are hunted to near extinction.

Some people believe humans should be stewards of this globe, primarily because we are the one species capable to screwing it up so much.

Why should people give a shit about biodiversity and protecting engandered species as long as there is bacon in the frying pan and McDonald's on the corner? It's a question each of us has to answer for ourselves. Seems several people posting here have done so, in clear couldn't-give-a-shit fashion.
Bolding is mine. I'm one of those who take to heart the stewardship. If each of us did our part in protecting our corner of the globe, maybe some species wouldn't be nearing or extinct.

The couldn't give a shit spirit, again is no surprise, sadly.

Excellent post, Neuro.


And for the vegetarians out there (even vegans), does it make a difference that when you drop your asparagus into the steamer that it is just as traumatic to the asparagus cells as it is for the lobster cells when we drop that magnificent beast into boiling water. And "the plants can't feel it" doesn't cut it. Plants are living organisms just like animals.

We (humans) need to eat living organisms. In so doing, we kill animals and plants. There are plenty of potential victims on earth. Do we really need to kill some into extinction, or should we concentrate on the ones we can culture and raise specifically for food, or catch in numbers that don't threaten their survival? That's where stewardship comes in.
Clear definition of stewardship, Neuro. Maybe, some will listen.



As others have said nothing is gained from Whale product that can't be reproduced through artificial means, therefore it is illogical to kill whales for product.

That remains the key question.


Boys and girls, can anyone think of other reasons for vegetarianism other than "SQUEE, the baby cows!"? Think carefully, and raise your hand when you are ready.
It's a healthy way to live. You can still glean protein w/o eating meat.

What do I win?


A couple of years ago, I came across a humpback whale a few miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. Such a sighting is exceedingly rare in this area (West Central Florida), and I found out later there hadn't been a confirmed sighting in nearly forty years. It didn't occur to me to kill the whale, but I did try to tempt her with a frisky live bait attached to the end of a fishing rod. She sniffed the morsel a couple of times but refused the offering. Had she taken the bait, I would have let her go unharmed after she was landed. It would've been my largest catch to date, several tons or so.

Whale hunting doesn't disgust me as much as it seems disrespectful to the animals. The further you move up the food chain, the greater the respect becomes. It's natural, I think, to have more feelings for whales or hammerhead sharks than you would for a minnow or a crab.

I'd die a thousand deaths before ever setting foot on a whaling vessel. There simply is no way to justify the slaughter of some of the greatest beasts that have ever inhabited our planet. And to think that our friends in Iceland would do so merely for profit is shameful beyond comprehension.
You're a smart, sensitive man.

'Course, that would have been an incredible photo op!


Citation needed.
You seriously questioning Lady Medi? The brains on this board...Neuro knows bunches, too...


*sweating bullets*

Actually I'd prefer to stay away from forum based debates altogether~ or else this jazz starts to happen

may we have peace, peace, and perfect peace neuro
Door's not far away...


Hee hee. Neuro said *bowel movement.*
Noooo....where? I seriously wouldn't want to miss that :D

veinglory
02-22-2009, 11:38 PM
Vegetarianism has many underlying philosophies--google would be a help there. Examples would be 1) not wanting to kill sentient beings when it is not necessary, 2) one simple rule that produces a healthier or weight loss diet in most cases, 3) giving up a hedonist enjoyment for religious reasons, 4) saving money, 5) eating locally or more sustainably, 6) oppoition to current large scale farming practices such as confinement or use of chemicals, 7) just don't like the taste, 8) because other people are the household are vege and it is easier to share one meal.

Wayne K
02-22-2009, 11:43 PM
Hee hee. Neuro said *bowel movement.*
I found that the most entertaining part of this thread(well that and my posts)

Jean Marie
02-22-2009, 11:54 PM
Vegetarianism has many underlying philosophies--google would be a help there. Examples would be 1) not wanting to kill sentient beings when it is not necessary, 2) one simple rule that produces a healthier or weight loss diet in most cases, 3) giving up a hedonist enjoyment for religious reasons, 4) saving money, 5) eating locally or more sustainably, 6) oppoition to current large scale farming practices such as confinement or use of chemicals, 7) just don't like the taste, 8) because other people are the household are vege and it is easier to share one meal.
Google's not really necessary. I know there's many and varied philosophies regarding vegetarianism as well as cultural.

My comment was more playful than anything.

Personally, I eat very little meat due to an inability to digest it. When I do, it's mostly chicken. Even that I have trouble w/. It certainly isn't b/c I don't like it :)

veinglory
02-23-2009, 12:36 AM
I was referring back to scarlet's comment that suggested no one could offer a reason other than calves being cute. Which is a subset of #1 anyway. :)

scarletpeaches
02-23-2009, 01:34 AM
Not surprised.

This offers, what to the OP's comment. Just curious.

Well if you're not surprised, you must have already decided I'm an evil whale-killing bitch, so why ask what my comment adds to the discussion?

What does it add? The same as everyone else's posts. My personal opinion. If we only ever posted 'nice' replies to any OP AW would be full of very short threads.

Why did I so answer? Because I see no moral difference between killing a whale and killing a pig. If it's wrong to kill one, it's wrong to kill the other. If it's okay to kill one, it's okay to kill the other.

"I need to kill for food," doesn't wash because as has been shown, humans can live without eating meat. [I]No-one needs to kill pigs, cows, chickens, whatever, to survive. So the moral argument doesn't wash. Those who condemn whaling but happily tuck in to a T-bone steak confuse me. They're still eating an animal's dead flesh. If there were more whales on this planet, would it be acceptable to kill them? No? Why not? Because they're noble, intelligent beasts?

Well so are all animals in their way. This 'level of morality' according to how intelligent, noble and attractive a creature is disgusts me to be honest, not the whaling itself. (Or the killing of any animal). I thought it was humans we judge by looks, not all living creatures.

So judge me if you will; I don't much care. If you want to think my lack of vegetarianism or lack of righteous indignation over whaling makes me a bad person, I can live with that too. It just makes me laugh that so many people claim to be stewards of this earth when they still eat meat or wear leather shoes and possibly in some cases own pets who would be better off undomesticated, or drive pollutant vehicles. Some stewards.

Mr Flibble
02-23-2009, 01:39 AM
Cows farts are the number one contributor to greenhouse gases

If I eat a cow, I am therefore helping in the fight against global warming.

Whale's farts, while bigger, are less in number ( because there are less of them duh) so in my efforts to improve the environment, I'm better off eating cows. Oh and pigs. Pigs farts are pretty bad too.


If there were more whales on this planet, would it be acceptable to kill them?

Yes. As long as they figure a way of doing it that's humane. Do you know how long it takes from a pig getting off the lorry to being dead? Seven seconds. Not a lot of time for 'Oh my god, I never told my mother I loved her! Crap that really bloody stings!' angst.

scarletpeaches
02-23-2009, 01:41 AM
I can't believe you're using farting as an argument for your case.

What's more, I can't believe it sounds reasonable. :D

Mr Flibble
02-23-2009, 01:43 AM
Did you know they are trying to genetically modify cows with kangaroo genes? Because kangaroos don't fart.

What a way to save the world...

scarletpeaches
02-23-2009, 01:43 AM
Do you know how long it takes from a pig getting off the lorry to being dead? Seven seconds. Not a lot of time for 'Oh my god, I never told my mother I loved her! Crap that really bloody stings!' angst.

I saw the show where Gordon Ramsay had his pet pigs killed and was amazed by the public outcry afterwards.

I mean...how the hell did people think the damn creatures got onto their plates? Did they think bacon grows on trees?

Mmm, bacon...

rugcat
02-23-2009, 01:50 AM
Well if you're not surprised, you must have already decided I'm an evil whale-killing bitch, so why ask what my comment adds to the discussion?

And how are you personally affected by whales being killed?


I'll kill anything that tastes good.

Your views are clear.

scarletpeaches
02-23-2009, 01:52 AM
As are yours.

(I'm still amused that people are so offended by my 'I'll kill anything that tastes good' because yeah...I stalk the streets with a carving knife looking for puppies to slaughter...)

Aristocrazy
02-23-2009, 02:42 AM
It's all good. But if your goal is to stay away from forum based debates, doing the insult-and-run thing isn't the best strategy. And when the jazz starts to happen, to weigh in with an overtoned set of riffs is yet another interesting way to stay out of it all.

Most important, though, in the OP spirit, I'll offer to sit down and share a nice piece of muktuk and a six-pack of Labatt's.


**And we were hoping to pull SoccerMom in for little early-supermod action--no offense, OFG.**

ya sorry~ I've managed to stay out of the topic threads here till now just cause the title interested me in a moment of weakness.

I've been part of enough forums to know that veg talk leads to trouble more often then not so I just felt a need to warn everyone while at the same time wanting to vent cause I've seen the whole IMO mood ruining basically pointless discussion too many times.

No Mukluk for me though! we must preserve it for the rough months ahead!

KikiteNeko
02-23-2009, 03:11 AM
Animal hunting of any kind disgusts me, but in this case it's because they are peaceful creatures and humans do not NEED anything from them.

ErylRavenwell
02-23-2009, 03:35 AM
I'm Icelandic, and today I was listening to the news and heard a debate about how international contempt for whaling would wreak havoc on Iceland's image, at a time when we're trying to rebuild it after the economic collapse.

It got me curious enough to ask: Why? What is it about whaling that makes it less acceptable than the killing of any other animals? I'm not looking to start a debate or an argument, I just want to hear people's thoughts on the matter.

If by "animals" you mean humans as well then there's nothing wrong with killing whales. After all, like us, they feel just as much pain and recognise each other by name. Sadism, immorality or amorality is such a great virtue.

Jean Marie
02-23-2009, 03:50 AM
Well if you're not surprised, you must have already decided I'm an evil whale-killing bitch, so why ask what my comment adds to the discussion?

What does it add? The same as everyone else's posts. My personal opinion. If we only ever posted 'nice' replies to any OP AW would be full of very short threads.

Why did I so answer? Because I see no moral difference between killing a whale and killing a pig. If it's wrong to kill one, it's wrong to kill the other. If it's okay to kill one, it's okay to kill the other.

"I need to kill for food," doesn't wash because as has been shown, humans can live without eating meat. [I]No-one needs to kill pigs, cows, chickens, whatever, to survive. So the moral argument doesn't wash. Those who condemn whaling but happily tuck in to a T-bone steak confuse me. They're still eating an animal's dead flesh. If there were more whales on this planet, would it be acceptable to kill them? No? Why not? Because they're noble, intelligent beasts?

Well so are all animals in their way. This 'level of morality' according to how intelligent, noble and attractive a creature is disgusts me to be honest, not the whaling itself. (Or the killing of any animal). I thought it was humans we judge by looks, not all living creatures.

So judge me if you will; I don't much care. If you want to think my lack of vegetarianism or lack of righteous indignation over whaling makes me a bad person, I can live with that too. It just makes me laugh that so many people claim to be stewards of this earth when they still eat meat or wear leather shoes and possibly in some cases own pets who would be better off undomesticated, or drive pollutant vehicles. Some stewards.
Um, I didn't refer to you as an evil whatever, you did.

I don't however, understand nor comprehend any of your nonsensical arguments, which have nothing to do w/ "nice" replies.

IMO, they neither added, nor detracted to the op's initial comment. Actually, they were distracting.

It's also patently clear that you don't care what others think outside of yourself as well as sit in obvious judgment of them, too when you don't really know them.

There is no clear purpose to whaling as has been proven by many posters in thread much more knowledgeable than I.

scarletpeaches
02-23-2009, 03:52 AM
It's also patently clear that you don't care what others think outside of yourself as well as sit in obvious judgment of them

Really?


when you don't really know them.

Ditto.

robeiae
02-23-2009, 04:02 AM
Who wants an orange whip?!?

Orange whip? Orange whip?

Three orange whips, please.

rugcat
02-23-2009, 04:05 AM
It's also patently clear that you don't care what others think outside of yourself as well as sit in obvious judgment of them


Really?


when you don't really know them.

Ditto.After you've read a few thousand posts by someone over a number of years, you do get a pretty good sense of where they're coming from and what they're like.

robeiae
02-23-2009, 04:08 AM
After you've read a few thousand posts by someone over a number of years, you do get a pretty good sense of where they're coming from and what they're like.
Yet, I still like and respect you. Go figure.

:tongue

scarletpeaches
02-23-2009, 04:08 AM
Like I said, "Ditto." Works both ways.

Angie
02-23-2009, 04:08 AM
Who wants an orange whip?!?

Orange whip? Orange whip?

Three orange whips, please.


http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd134/mymotherwasahamster/orangewhiplogo.gif

robeiae
02-23-2009, 04:09 AM
Yet, I still like and respect you. Go figure.

:tongue


Like I said, "Ditto." Works both ways.
Ditto.

NeuroFizz
02-23-2009, 04:12 AM
Muktuk, anyone?

http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:VOLoOBoOla0yeM::http://birds.cornell.edu/bigyear/photo-gallery/alaska/MuktukSlice_Vyn.jpg (http://www.google.com/url?source=imgres&ct=tbn&q=http://birds.cornell.edu/bigyear/photo-gallery/alaska/MuktukSlice_Vyn.jpg&usg=AFQjCNH1T_4Pw0P7MSmepAcEBmZeqPY3nw)

ErylRavenwell
02-23-2009, 04:19 AM
I do agree that people tend to 'humanize' animals to an excessive and sometimes even dangerous level. Cute ones, anyway, or those who exhibit traits humans can identify with, such as playing with one another. It's that kind of thinking that leads to people getting mauled by chimps or pandas, or utterly shocked at seeing killer whales live up to their names by viciously killing other whales.

Killer whales, like many apex predators, serve a crucial role in nature: They weed out the weak and sick prey from a herd, and hence keep then healthy in a long run. On the other hand, the weak and sick orcas starve to death. Eventually both preys and predators evolve to become stronger, faster etc to adapt to the constantly changing situation. In this natural arm race, while some individuals end up as losers, entire species on both sides of the hunt usually emerge as victors over time. Do you expect those animals to cope with the high-tech equipments human hunters employ against them?

M.R.J. Le Blanc
02-23-2009, 04:25 AM
The only problem I have with whaling is when it's anything other than for food (in a responsible sense, of course - hunting what you need and not what you want). For the most part. Any place that considers whale meat as a delicacy and not a staple food source can live without it. The excuse of 'for research' is absolute crap. We don't need to kill things in this day and age in order to study them. And we don't need to kill them to necessarily provide for our daily lives anymore.

Once upon a time the inuits hunted the whales, and not only did they make sure as much was used as possible but they did not hunt more than they needed. They understood their place in the world, and understood that if they overhunted the whales that one day they would be gone. We as a human race seem to have forgotten this mentality for the most part, and now look who's suffering. Not just whales but practically every species of animal. I don't think there's a species of whales alive that isn't on the endangered list at least. So why should we keep hunting them when in most cases there's no need?

Jean Marie
02-23-2009, 04:33 AM
Ditto.
Ditto.


Muktuk, anyone?

http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:VOLoOBoOla0yeM::http://birds.cornell.edu/bigyear/photo-gallery/alaska/MuktukSlice_Vyn.jpg (http://www.google.com/url?source=imgres&ct=tbn&q=http://birds.cornell.edu/bigyear/photo-gallery/alaska/MuktukSlice_Vyn.jpg&usg=AFQjCNH1T_4Pw0P7MSmepAcEBmZeqPY3nw)
I'll get back to on this...

Jean Marie
02-23-2009, 04:35 AM
Yet, I still like and respect you. Go figure.

:tongue
Yeah, go figure.

Medievalist
02-23-2009, 05:03 AM
Oy.

Look.

There's a perfectly rational discussion happening; let's not screw with it, OK?

For instance; wrt the reasonable argument that killing a pig is no different than killing a whale, well, actually it is.

Pigs, even archaic and non-domesticated species are not in danger of extinction in the same way as many species of whales are in danger of extinction.

Secondly, the pigs = whales raises the argument of

pigs = humans.

The difference between pigs and humans is essentially one of intelligence. Why then not expand that exclusion? We do not kill and eat animals that are so very near human in intelligence as great apes/primates, whales, (and I'd add octopi).

I would further note, as someone who has raised pigs, that they are extremely intelligent, and almost as vicious as humans.

Some pigs deserve killin'

Silver King
02-23-2009, 05:04 AM
Animal hunting of any kind disgusts me, but in this case it's because they are peaceful creatures and humans do not NEED anything from them.
Most whales would appear peaceful, but there are some species, including killer whales, that are downright menacing and will eat their own young as well as the calves of other whales. They hunt in packs mostly and are tenacious predators, and will kill a whale many times its size merely to gorge on its tongue while the rest of the carcass is never touched.

Someone mentioned early on in this thread that dolphins are also misunderstood as cuddly creatures. In the wild, the bottlenose variety is anything but cute, cruising along more as gangs of thugs than peaceful mammals. I've seen pods circle and decimate schools of fish almost for the sheer thrill of killing, leaving behind a bloodbath of sea death they could not possibly consume even if they came back every day for a week. The males are notorious for kidnapping females of other pods, holding her captive and gang raping her into submission. And if she had a calf tagging along, it would have been disposed of to make her more sexually receptive.

You could say some dolphins are blessed with a pleasant facial expression, but don't let that fake smile fool you. They're usually up to no good!

Angie
02-23-2009, 05:24 AM
I would further note, as someone who has raised pigs, that they are extremely intelligent, and almost as vicious as humans.

Some pigs deserve killin'

They're also cannibalistic; they'll chew each other's tails completely off and chew the hell out of each other seemingly for the fun of it.

Sows, while usually good mothers, will lay on their pigs, listening to them scream in pain but ignoring them until they die rather than get up off them. Yes, they're intelligent, but that hardly makes them "noble" creatures.

However, lovable or not, if it were the pigs that were near extinction I would be against killing them too. I just don't think it's right to hunt any animal to oblivion, whether it's cute or not. The repercussions to the ecosystem ripple far beyond the loss of one species.

Jean Marie
02-23-2009, 05:25 AM
Pigs are indeed wonderful creatures, Lisa. A friend of mine has 2. She's got several kinds of animals on her farm, horses, etc. I agree they're quite intelligent, but nowhere near the level of extinction that whales are. Therefore, not to be equated in the same argument of being hunted.

As vicious as humans? I'd agree w/ you there, too.

Similarly w/ the bottle nose dolphin, too, SK. But then, a serial killer, dare I say it, can have a killer smile, too.

ETA: hunting to extinction of any species is wrong, imo.

ErylRavenwell
02-23-2009, 05:57 AM
Most whales would appear peaceful, but there are some species, including killer whales, that are downright menacing and will eat their own young as well as the calves of other whales.

Killer whales are not whales but part of the dolphin family. It is the largest dolphin.

http://www.topnews.in/files/killer%20whales%20internet%202.jpg

veinglory
02-23-2009, 06:04 AM
Cows that didn't fart would explode :/

ErylRavenwell
02-23-2009, 06:10 AM
Sows, while usually good mothers, will lay on their pigs, listening to them scream in pain but ignoring them until they die rather than get up off them. Yes, they're intelligent, but that hardly makes them "noble" creatures.



"Noble creatures"? Are you suggesting humans or any other species of animal is more "noble" than pigs? Lips twisting into a sneer of contempt. At least pigs have no notion of evil or good and as such are blameless creatures.

Captshady
02-23-2009, 06:23 AM
Most whales would appear peaceful, but there are some species, including killer whales, that are downright menacing and will eat their own young as well as the calves of other whales. They hunt in packs mostly and are tenacious predators, and will kill a whale many times its size merely to gorge on its tongue while the rest of the carcass is never touched.

Someone mentioned early on in this thread that dolphins are also misunderstood as cuddly creatures. In the wild, the bottlenose variety is anything but cute, cruising along more as gangs of thugs than peaceful mammals. I've seen pods circle and decimate schools of fish almost for the sheer thrill of killing, leaving behind a bloodbath of sea death they could not possibly consume even if they came back every day for a week. The males are notorious for kidnapping females of other pods, holding her captive and gang raping her into submission. And if she had a calf tagging along, it would have been disposed of to make her more sexually receptive.

You could say some dolphins are blessed with a pleasant facial expression, but don't let that fake smile fool you. They're usually up to no good!

Additionally, the "thinning the herd" mantra holds truths. An overpopulation of deer can result in deer starving to death.

veinglory
02-23-2009, 06:47 AM
"Noble creatures"? Are you suggesting humans or any other species of animal is more "noble" than pigs? Lips twisting into a sneer of contempt. At least pigs have no notion of evil or good and as such are blameless creatures.

Having spent a lot of time with pigs I think they have about the same range of personality and virtues (or lack thereof) as people.

veinglory
02-23-2009, 06:48 AM
Additionally, the "thinning the herd" mantra holds truths. An overpopulation of deer can result in deer starving to death.

The alternative might be to reintroduce native predators such as has occured in bringing wolves back to yellowstone.

benbradley
02-23-2009, 06:51 AM
Cows farts are the number one contributor to greenhouse gases

If I eat a cow, I am therefore helping in the fight against global warming.

Whale's farts, while bigger, are less in number ( because there are less of them duh) so in my efforts to improve the environment, I'm better off eating cows. Oh and pigs. Pigs farts are pretty bad too.



Yes. As long as they figure a way of doing it that's humane. Do you know how long it takes from a pig getting off the lorry to being dead? Seven seconds. Not a lot of time for 'Oh my god, I never told my mother I loved her! Crap that really bloody stings!' angst.


I can't believe you're using farting as an argument for your case.

What's more, I can't believe it sounds reasonable. :D
It doesn't sound reasonable to me. Buying and eating cow meat (in a capitalistic society, which most of the world still is, at least enough for this example) encourages the growing of MORE cows, causing more cow uh, methane.

I'd suggest veggie burgers, but they might make YOU fart.

Captshady
02-23-2009, 07:08 AM
The alternative might be to reintroduce native predators such as has occured in bringing wolves back to yellowstone.

While I'm not against this, hunting is a tastier solution.

Silver King
02-23-2009, 08:48 AM
Killer whales are not whales but part of the dolphin family. It is the largest dolphin.

http://www.topnews.in/files/killer%20whales%20internet%202.jpg


That's true, and very lame of me not to make that distinction earlier. The killer whale attribute is a misnomer of sorts, along with other large dolphin species.

Thanks for bringing it up here.

NeuroFizz
02-23-2009, 09:17 AM
Killer whales are not whales but part of the dolphin family. It is the largest dolphin.



This is not exactly true. The Order Cetacea includes the Suborder Mysticeti (baleen whales), which includes most of the great whales, and the Suborder Odontoceti (toothed whales), which includes the many types of dolphins, killer whales, pilot whales, beluga and narwhal, but also sperm whales. A little more detail here:

http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/classification/Cetacea.html

ErylRavenwell
02-23-2009, 09:21 AM
This is not exactly true. The Order Cetacea includes the Suborder Mysticeti (baleen whales), which includes most of the great whales, and the Suborder Odontoceti (toothed whales), which includes the many types of dolphins, killer whales, pilot whales, beluga, but also sperm whales. A little more detail here:

http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/classification/Cetacea.html

Not all toothed whales are considered whales, but all baleen whales are whales. Whales as in the common English language. Dolphins (including orcas), porpoises and pilot whales are excluded.

NeuroFizz
02-23-2009, 09:28 AM
Sorry, at the family level, you are right, but at the next higher level, the suborder level, all of the dolphin families are in the Odontoceti--the toothed whales. This is the biological classification scheme (as shown at the link). In less formal terms, all of the dolphins are not called whales. If you make the distinction that the families within the Odontoceti are not whales, that means that sperm whales are not really whales. The distinction between the scientific classification and the common nomenclature is why I said it is not "exactly" true. Ask a non-biologist if dolphins are whales, and the answer is no. Ask a biologist who is familiar with cetaean classification and the answer is that they are a family of the toothed whales.

ErylRavenwell
02-23-2009, 09:29 AM
That's true, and very lame of me not to make that distinction earlier. The killer whale attribute is a misnomer of sorts, along with other large dolphin species.

Thanks for bringing it up here.

Dolphins are predators by nature, unlike whales. You're right, Killer whale is such a misnomer; I prefer to call them orcas. They have been known to tear white sharks into shreds. Check it out on youtube.

NeuroFizz
02-23-2009, 09:33 AM
Dolphins are predators by nature, unlike whales. You're right, Killer whale is such a misnomer; I prefer to call them orcas. They have been known to tear white sharks into shreds. Check it out on youtube.
So, sperm whales are not predators?

And baleen whales are also predators. They just don't eat big animals--they eat smaller planktonic animals.

I'm not trying to be a jerk--I'm trying to make sure the biology here is accurate.

ErylRavenwell
02-23-2009, 09:37 AM
Sorry, at the family level, you are right, but at the next higher level, the suborder level, all of the dolphin families are in the Odontoceti--the toothed whales. This is the biological classification scheme (as shown at the link). In less formal terms, all of the dolphins are not called whales. If you make the distinction that the families within the Odontoceti are not whales, that means that sperm whales are not really whales.

You must not confused "toothed whales" and "whales" as such. A sperm whale is a whale even though it is also a toothed whale like the dolphins. Whale is an English common name sometimes used as a crude form of classification by scientists, and this group excludes dolphins, porpoises and pilot whales. Modern taxonomy obviously doesn't recognize such group.

ErylRavenwell
02-23-2009, 09:42 AM
So, sperm whales are not predators?

And baleen whales are also predators. They just don't eat big animals--they eat smaller planktonic animals.

I'm not trying to be a jerk--I'm trying to make sure the biology here is accurate.

Sperm whales are predators; they feed on squids etc. But in general whales aren't considered predators as true predation is not involved. At best it's a very low level predation.

Lyra Jean
02-23-2009, 09:42 AM
There will be no one to answer the alien hail.
:ROFL:

NeuroFizz
02-23-2009, 09:43 AM
You must not confused "toothed whales" and "whales" as such. A sperm whale is a whale even through it is also a toothed whale like the dolphins. Whale is an English common name sometimes used as a crude form of classification by scientists, and this group excludes dolphins, porpoises and pilot whales. Modern taxonomy obviously doesn't recognize such group.
Yes, I am confused, if common english language usage takes precedence over scientific classification. No matter how you cut it, a dophin is a form of toothed whale (suborder Odontoceti - odonto = toothed, ceti/cetacea = whale). If you want to call it a toothed not-really-a-whale, that's fine with me. And I've been agreeing with you all along--that in common non-scientific terms, dophins are not called whales. What they are called (outside of scientific taxonomy) and what they are (within scientific taxonomy) are not in agreement.

NeuroFizz
02-23-2009, 09:47 AM
Sperm whales are predators; they feed on squids etc. But in general whales aren't considered predators as true predation is not involved. At best it's a very low level predation.
Please define "true predation" and then compare it to a formal, biological definition of predation. Does the relative size of predator and prey determine the "level" of predation, or it if is "true predation?" Is it the relative trophic levels involved? Is there such thing as pseudo-predation, then? Animals don't have to have sharp teeth to be predators because there are a whole lot of invertebrate predators that don't even have tooth-like structures.

ErylRavenwell
02-23-2009, 09:49 AM
Please define "true predation" and then compare it to a formal, biological definition of predation. Does the relative size of predator and prey determine the "level" of predation? Is it the relative trophic levels involved?

I retract the former statement; but you're still wrong on orcas being whales.

NeuroFizz
02-23-2009, 09:52 AM
So killer whales are not members of the Suborder Odontoceti (the toothed whales)?

ErylRavenwell
02-23-2009, 09:52 AM
Yes, I am confused, if common english language usage takes precedence over scientific classification. No matter how you cut it, a dophin is a form of toothed whale (suborder Odontoceti - odonto = toothed, ceti/cetacea = whale). If you want to call it a toothed not-really-a-whale, that's fine with me. And I've been agreeing with you all along--that in common non-scientific terms, dophins are not called whales. What they are called (outside of scientific taxonomy) and what they are (within scientific taxonomy) are not in agreement.

For Christ's sake, man, whales only exist in the common English language not within the scientific taxonomy! Toothed whales are not the same as whale.

NeuroFizz
02-23-2009, 10:00 AM
For Christ's sake, man, whales only exist in the common English language not within the scientific taxonomy! Toothed whales are not the same as whale.
For christ sakes, man, toothed whales are not the same as whale in the common English language, but they certainly are in scientific taxonomy. That's what Odontoceti means. It's the scientific classification that puts them in the group of toothed whales, not common English usage. If you want to say toothed whales are not really whales, that's fine, but that's not a scientific distinction, and it leaves all of the types of sperm whales hanging out there as not real whales. People mistake the "great whales" with whales in general. How you want to use it in a common terms is fine with me, but don't tell me killer whales are not toothed whales in a scientific classification scheme. I didn't put them there--taxonomists did.

NeuroFizz
02-23-2009, 10:10 AM
The following is a passage from the following website:

http://graysreef.noaa.gov/tw/whales.html


"Toothed whales have cone-shaped teeth in their mouths for catching food. The most common foods for these whales are fish and squid. Toothed whales include the sperm whale, narwhal, pilot whale, beluga, porpoises, killer whales and dolphins. Yes, dolphins are whales! Do not confuse dolphin, the whale, with dolphin the fish. Dolphin, the fish, is a favorite dish in seafood restaurants. Dolphin, the whale, is not caught for food."

ErylRavenwell
02-23-2009, 10:15 AM
For christ sakes, man, toothed whales are not the same as whale in the common English language, but they certainly are in scientific taxonomy. That's what Odontoceti means. It's the scientific classification that puts them in the group of toothed whales, not common English usage. If you want to say toothed whales are not really whales, that's fine, but that's not a scientific distinction, and it leaves all of the types of sperm whales hanging out there as not real whales. People mistake the "great whales" with whales in general.

Listen, man, I'll explain it to you one last time. "Whale" is an English common name with no equivalent in the taxonomic tree. If used by a scientist, it includes the toothed whales—excluding the dolphins—and the baleen whales; pilot whales and porpoises are also not considered as whales. As you can see the term "whale" involves more than one suborder, but does not include all members in the toothed whales suborder, despite the suborder being called toothed whales. Therefore toothed whales != whales.

ErylRavenwell
02-23-2009, 10:19 AM
The following is a passage from the following website:

http://graysreef.noaa.gov/tw/whales.html


"Toothed whales have cone-shaped teeth in their mouths for catching food. The most common foods for these whales are fish and squid. Toothed whales include the sperm whale, narwhal, pilot whale, beluga, porpoises, killer whales and dolphins. Yes, dolphins are whales! Do not confuse dolphin, the whale, with dolphin the fish. Dolphin, the fish, is a favorite dish in seafood restaurants. Dolphin, the whale, is not caught for food."

Well I guess, you and the person writing this have the same level knowledge on the matter. Look at the brilliant title Whales and Dolpohins. More amazing considering you yourself, a neuroscientist, has closed yourself to the voice of reason.

http://www.thebigzoo.com/Animals/Killer_Whale.asp

The killer whale is actually not a whale. It is the largest member of the dolphin family. Killer whales have a very distinctive black and white coloration. They are black on their upper surface with a while spot behind each eye.

National Geographic

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/print/2005/04/orcas/chadwick-text

Strictly speaking, orcas are not whales. They are the world's largest, brawniest dolphins, found in every ocean. With enormous reserves of speed and strength, one of the biggest brains in existence—four times the weight of a human's—and no natural enemies as adults, they have staked a claim as the supreme predators across 71 percent of the planet.

NeuroFizz
02-23-2009, 10:33 AM
The difference between our web citations is that mine is written by NOAA scientists and yours appear to be written by popular writers of science. In the classification scheme in the first one, the Suborder Odontoceti is not even mentioned (conveniently). I think the problem is one of scientific taxonomy and scientific jargon. In the former, dolphins and killer whales are toothed whales. There is no way that can be denied. In the less strict scientific jargon, a distinction can be made (which doesn't make it accurate in any way, but makes it somewhat acceptable). If one goes to the formal scientific literature, as with a Google Scholar search, we see this kind of thing:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VJ1-3TDR5P1-7&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=d4598c6447223d482617bb2571de94e8

where the study is about toothed whales, including sperm whales and dolphins.

And neuroscientist is one of my two scientific hats. The other is Marine Biologist (by training and by practice).

ErylRavenwell
02-23-2009, 10:42 AM
The difference between our web citations is that mine is written by NOAA scientists and yours apprear to be written by popular writers of science. In the classification scene in the first one, the Subfamily Odontoceti is not even mentioned. We are making a distinction between common usage and scientific usage, saying the same thing, but it seems you are reversing the two.

I've had enough of this nonsense. Good-bye.

not_HarryS
02-23-2009, 10:44 AM
Yeah! Goddamn you and your... making sense, Fizz. And knowing what you're talking about because it's your profession.

The nerve!

Medievalist
02-23-2009, 10:47 AM
The following is a passage from the following website:

http://graysreef.noaa.gov/tw/whales.html


"Toothed whales have cone-shaped teeth in their mouths for catching food. The most common foods for these whales are fish and squid. Toothed whales include the sperm whale, narwhal, pilot whale, beluga, porpoises, killer whales and dolphins. Yes, dolphins are whales! Do not confuse dolphin, the whale, with dolphin the fish. Dolphin, the fish, is a favorite dish in seafood restaurants. Dolphin, the whale, is not caught for food."

What Neuro said.

Note too that Dolphin-the-whale has live birth for its young, which it also nurses; Dolphin-the-fish does neither. Dophin-the-whale has skin, not scales, and lungs, not gills, because it's a mammal.

MacAllister
02-23-2009, 11:14 AM
Jeez, Medi, Neuro, you academic types can turn anything into a barroom brawl, cantcha. You're so stuck on, y'know, facts and reality and stuff.

:)

Eryl, what on earth are you on about? You might as well be trying to make a case for a flat earth, or the moon being made of green cheese, frankly, for all the sense you're actually making. This is an elaborate joke, right?

ETA: ErylRavenwell will be leaving us permanently, after a couple of PMs that leave no question whatsoever about his/her motives or ability to function as any part of this community.

MacAllister
02-23-2009, 11:59 AM
And let us not forget that other toothed whale, the narwhal (http://whalecity.com/2009/02/14/bbc-arctic-unicorn-footage/), btw. *g*

BBC News posted some VERY cool footage (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7870300.stm) recently of the narwhal migration.

Aristocrazy
02-23-2009, 12:31 PM
bizarro...

MacAllister
02-23-2009, 12:40 PM
bizarro...
Nah. Pretty mild, actually. Just wait until Rolling Thunder comes back. It's always a party, around that guy.

Wayne K
02-23-2009, 12:47 PM
Which one was the whale again?

Aristocrazy
02-23-2009, 12:47 PM
I gnaw on eager knuckles?

@Wayne: the english one I think.

Medievalist
02-23-2009, 12:51 PM
And let us not forget that other toothed whale, the narwhal (http://whalecity.com/2009/02/14/bbc-arctic-unicorn-footage/), btw. *g*

BBC News posted some VERY cool footage (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7870300.stm) recently of the narwhal migration.

You want narwhal? Here's your narwhal--in Norse, even:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQvVVsq6vYY

robeiae
02-23-2009, 04:26 PM
I offered orange whips.

No one listened...

Angie
02-23-2009, 08:10 PM
I offered orange whips.

No one listened...

Somebody say something?

CaroGirl
02-23-2009, 08:48 PM
I speak whale.

Wayne K
02-23-2009, 08:51 PM
I speak whale.
My best friends cousin's mechanic spoke whale. I never met him though.

Medievalist
02-23-2009, 09:22 PM
I met a man who knew a man who knew the Oxford girl.

She spoke whale.

Or maybe that was Spock . . .

robeiae
02-23-2009, 09:30 PM
I am your father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate!

http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k155/robeiae/Dark_Helmet.jpg

And he spoke whale...

Aristocrazy
02-23-2009, 11:13 PM
*croons*

How many teeth must a whale have,
before you can call him a whale?

Wayne K
02-23-2009, 11:25 PM
Wasn't it Leona Helmsley who had the Slap The Whales bumpersticker?

benbradley
02-23-2009, 11:51 PM
Wasn't it Leona Helmsley who had the Slap The Whales bumpersticker?
I recall a Nuke The Whales bumper sticker. There was also Imagine Whirled Peas.

Helmsley's bumper stick probably said Slap The Poor People.

Wayne K
02-24-2009, 01:03 AM
I recall a Nuke The Whales bumper sticker. There was also Imagine Whirled Peas.

Helmsley's bumper stick probably said Slap The Poor People.
You gotta slap someone.

Angie
02-24-2009, 04:57 AM
*slaps Wayne*

Death Wizard
02-24-2009, 05:58 AM
I don't know. I guess this won't have much of an effect.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMk6KvXyNDE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5L4EqozXKrE&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmjNaf6ddF0&feature=related

Bayou Bill
02-24-2009, 06:36 AM
I'm Icelandic, and today I was listening to the news and heard a debate about how international contempt for whaling would wreak havoc on Iceland's image, at a time when we're trying to rebuild it after the economic collapse.

It got me curious enough to ask: Why? What is it about whaling that makes it less acceptable than the killing of any other animals? I'm not looking to start a debate or an argument, I just want to hear people's thoughts on the matter.
In a very real sense, this commercial for an insurance company symbolizes just how much the general public is down on whaling. For good or bad, whales have captured the public imagination.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FF9YOXK6LnY

Bayou Bill :cool:

Joe270
02-24-2009, 06:44 AM
The difference between our web citations is that mine is written by NOAA scientists and yours appear to be written by popular writers of science. In the classification scheme in the first one, the Suborder Odontoceti is not even mentioned (conveniently). I think the problem is one of scientific taxonomy and scientific jargon. In the former, dolphins and killer whales are toothed whales. There is no way that can be denied. In the less strict scientific jargon, a distinction can be made (which doesn't make it accurate in any way, but makes it somewhat acceptable). If one goes to the formal scientific literature, as with a Google Scholar search, we see this kind of thing:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...17bb2571de94e8

where the study is about toothed whales, including sperm whales and dolphins.

And neuroscientist is one of my two scientific hats. The other is Marine Biologist (by training and by practice).

So does this mean we can or can't harpoon dolphins and orcas? If they aren't whales, then they aren't protected by all the 'Save the Whales' stuff and we can start blasing away, right?

NeuroFizz
02-24-2009, 09:27 PM
As a word on the previous discussion on what is and what isn’t a whale, I just had a good discussion with a colleague who is a world-class cetacean biologist. She and her grad students not only publish regularly on aspects of cetacean biology (skeletal and muscle organization and muscle mechanics, and on other aspects of the anatomy and physiology of the live animals), but she also is head of the regional marine mammal stranding program, servicing the coast of the Carolinas and into southern Virginia. Her team is on call 24-7 to go out and try to rescue stranded marine mammals, to euthanize those that can’t be saved, and to do the appropriate autopsies and collect tissue samples to try to determine the cause of death and the cause of stranding (also the carcasses are used in other aspects of their research).

I put the “what is a whale” question to her and the answer isn’t simple. I’ll try to summarize the points she made.

From a taxonomic point, all cetaceans (Order Cetacea) are “whales.” This includes those in the suborder Mysticeti (the baleen whales) and the suborder Odontoceti (toothed whales). This point has been made upstream.

The point of popular distinction within the Cetacea of what is and what isn’t a whale (and some of the points Eryl made) has gained acceptance, but not at the taxonomic level. That’s because the origin of the more popular distinction is based primarily on size (which is not a very reliable taxonomic characteristic, much less important than, for example, skeletal and soft tissue anatomy, and genomic characteristics). The origin of the more popular usage is believed to be from whaling and other forms of observation, and may have grown out of the hunting of the “great whales” (meaning those large enough to be of commercial value)—that distinction again being made based on size. The phrase “great whales” was gradually shortened to “whales” and all smaller cetaceans were excluded, being referred to by their common names (dolphins, porpoises, etc). There are problems with this, such as the killer whale which is not considered a whale in this scheme, but which retains the taxonomic-based “whale” name, and the Minke whale, which is a baleen whale, but is smaller than killer whales and was never commercially hunted to any great extent because of that. The Minke is not considered a great whale, but it is a whale. Also, a sperm whale is one of the great whales, but pygmy sperm whales are not, yet they are both considered whales. The two are in different families within the Odontoceti—the same taxonomic division that separates the sperm whales from the dolphin/killer whale family. These kinds of incongruities illuminate how the more popular jargon-based classification totally breaks down in strictly scientific terms.

In fairness to Eryl, however, the more popular jargon or concept-based classification has percolated into scientific terminology, so saying a dolphin is not a whale is fully understood by scientists even though they know it is not taxonomically accurate (based on the most critical of structural and functional taxonomic characters). Through time, this type of popular classification “settles” with all of the incongruities and exceptions being either ignored or smoothed over to allow widespread acceptance.

So, we both were right. Where we locked horns was how far into the scientific base (taxonomic base) the less formal (but more popular) classification extends, and it’s not very far as I argued upstream and upthread. But the common use may be of more value to the non-scientific population. So, is a killer whale really a whale? Yes and no. In strict scientific and taxonomic sense, of course it is. In the more common lay sense, of course not. But calling it a “killer dolphin” loses some of its fearsome persona, which is part of the popular fascination with these beautiful animals.

CaroGirl
02-24-2009, 09:41 PM
I kind of wish we hadn't lost a member over it. Although I'm sure it's all more complicated than I've been privy to (as usual).

MacAllister
02-24-2009, 10:33 PM
I kind of wish we hadn't lost a member over it. Although I'm sure it's all more complicated than I've been privy to (as usual).We didn't, in fact. We lost a member over a pattern of posting history that's troubling at best, and abusive at worst -- and over that poster's PM to me, inviting me to fuck off.

BenPanced
02-24-2009, 10:42 PM
And let us not forget that other toothed whale, the narwhal (http://whalecity.com/2009/02/14/bbc-arctic-unicorn-footage/), btw. *g*

BBC News posted some VERY cool footage (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7870300.stm) recently of the narwhal migration.
Causing a commotion cos they are so awesome! (http://www.weebls-stuff.com/toons/Narwhals/) (Not really SFW, though.)

robeiae
02-24-2009, 10:44 PM
*hurriedly deletes unsent PMs*

Don't want to hit that send button by accident...

Bayou Bill
02-24-2009, 11:25 PM
I offered orange whips.

No one listened...
"Blessed are the peace makers," for they offer Orange Whips.

Bayou Bill http://bestsmileys.com/religous/1.gif

Wayne K
02-24-2009, 11:32 PM
I've changed my profile. My greatest writing dream is the best ever.

Joe270
02-25-2009, 03:05 AM
In fairness to Eryl, however, the more popular jargon or concept-based classification has percolated into scientific terminology, so saying a dolphin is not a whale is fully understood by scientists even though they know it is not taxonomically accurate (based on the most critical of structural and functional taxonomic characters). Through time, this type of popular classification “settles” with all of the incongruities and exceptions being either ignored or smoothed over to allow widespread acceptance.

So, we both were right. Where we locked horns was how far into the scientific base (taxonomic base) the less formal (but more popular) classification extends, and it’s not very far as I argued upstream and upthread. But the common use may be of more value to the non-scientific population. So, is a killer whale really a whale? Yes and no. In strict scientific and taxonomic sense, of course it is. In the more common lay sense, of course not. But calling it a “killer dolphin” loses some of its fearsome persona, which is part of the popular fascination with these beautiful animals.

Okay, I get it. We can harpoon concept-based Orcas, but we can't harpoon taxonomic Orcas. Got it.

If you ask me, and, of course, no one is, but that's beside the point, that is sorta a bottom line. I would hope they would be all recognized as the whales they truly are to help prevent the killing of any of them, from the larges blue whale to the smallest porpoise.

How 'bout Cheetahs? I've heard some folks consider them more canine than feline. I saw some about it on a Discovery Channel show, but I didn't catch the end and don't know if they are reclassifying Cheetahs or not.

Medievalist
02-25-2009, 03:29 AM
I heard Cheetahs never prosper.

:D

NeuroFizz
02-25-2009, 03:46 AM
Okay, I get it. We can harpoon concept-based Orcas, but we can't harpoon taxonomic Orcas. Got it.

If you ask me, and, of course, no one is, but that's beside the point, that is sorta a bottom line. I would hope they would be all recognized as the whales they truly are to help prevent the killing of any of them, from the larges blue whale to the smallest porpoise.
Actually, they are all protected by the Marine Mammal Protection
Act, which was originally approved in the 1970s and updated a couple of times since then. It protects more than cetaceans as well. The exception is if you are an indigenous Alaskan Native.

And as far as I know, Cheetahs are still in the Felidae, but in a subfamily (Felinae, I think) that includes cougars, lynxes, and housecats. The other subfamily is the Pantheridae (not 100% that the spelling is correct), with the big cats.

My favorite Cheetah is on a bag of puffed cheese balls (Cheetos).

Wayne K
02-25-2009, 03:50 AM
I heard Cheetahs never prosper.

:D
Especially that one who rubs cheese on people in the commercials.

Joe270
02-25-2009, 11:08 AM
And as far as I know, Cheetahs are still in the Felidae, but in a subfamily (Felinae, I think) that includes cougars, lynxes, and housecats. The other subfamily is the Pantheridae (not 100% that the spelling is correct), with the big cats.

Yes, but they have no retractable claws, they have canine denature, and they have a skeleton which is remarkably similar to a greyhound's skeleton. They also have litters more like canines than felines, and their denning habits and the way their raise their litters are more like canines as well.

I dunno, I just heard there was some discord on what Cheetahs really are, that they got pigeon-holed because they have spots and look sorta cat-like when they really aren't.

NeuroFizz
02-25-2009, 05:00 PM
What you point out, Joe, is extremely interesting and provides a good test of historic taxonomic classification. However, look below for a research paper on claw retraction of Cheetahs in comparison to other Felids and to the wolf (as a representative of the Canids). The bottom line is that Cheetahs are definitely Felids, and the similarity in paw morphology is a case of convergent evolution due to similar hunting strategies (between Cheetahs and Wolves). What is interesting is Figure 10 of the paper where two cladistic analyses put Cheetahs smack in the middle of the Felids, and totally separate from the Canids. One of the "trees" is based on a distinct morphological characteristic of the groups (skull morphology) and the other is based on genomic analysis (mitochondrial 12S RNA and cytochrome b DNA sequences).

Here is the link to the paper:

http://journals.cambridge.org/download.php?file=%2FZOO%2FZOO254_01%2FS0952836901 000565a.pdf&code=a7e67d06e500651915bc15f69c7fae16 For some reason the link isn't working. Go to the bottom of this post and I'll explain how to find the paper.

In my mind, convergent evolution is one of the coolest things to find in comparing sometimes very different animals (from a taxonomic viewpoint). Similar solutions are found to similar challenges, and those solutions are remarkable considering they happened in parallel instead of via a straight-through lineage.

The paper reference is:

Russell, A.P. and H.N. Bryant (2001). Claw retraction and protraction in the Carnivora: the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) as an atypical felid. J. Zool. Lond. 254: 67-76.

If you do a Google search by typing in the first part of the title (to the colon) you should get the full paper. Use the second (indented) link that comes up in the search.

Mythical Tiger
02-25-2009, 05:06 PM
IMO I think it's wrong to kill whales when we've already killed enough......



~Sam

CaroGirl
02-25-2009, 05:09 PM
Is it arrogant for us humans to believe we can decide what kind of animal something is? I mean, who the hell are we anyway? It's interesting, intellectually, I suppose, but what classification we decide a creature belongs in doesn't change its nature.

jubileerocker
02-25-2009, 05:12 PM
Aren't whales endangered?

NeuroFizz
02-25-2009, 05:38 PM
Is it arrogant for us humans to believe we can decide what kind of animal something is? I mean, who the hell are we anyway? It's interesting, intellectually, I suppose, but what classification we decide a creature belongs in doesn't change its nature.
Arrogant is kind of a strange tag to put on it. Humans are curious beasts. We seem to have a need to find out about our world and the creatures that inhabit that world. We also seem to have an emotional attachment to classifying things, putting them in bins, in neat little piles, and this goes way beyond scientific investigations and includes everyday life. I certainly don't equate active (and investigative) curiosity with arrogance. What should we be turning our wonderful computational minds to? Solving some of the world's ecological and environmental problems? Well, that requires knowledge of the organisms that inhabit the globe and how those organisms interact with the physical characteristics of the globe. How to feed a burgeoning population? We need knowledge of animals and plants there, too. But some scientific work is done just because we want to know things, to categorize things, to place them in nice little bins. The cool thing is we never know when one of these seemingly obtuse experimental thrusts might find some aspect of animal biology that leads to the next breakthrough in applied science that directly benefits humans or the human condition. The list of "left field" research that has led to important discoveries in human health and medicine is a long one.

The field of Comparative Physiology (and more generally Comparative Biology) has yielded incredible insights that have been important for determining how all animals react to physical and environmental stressors. August Krogh was the pioneer of this research approach, and he received the 1920 Nobel Prize for this work. He suggested we study organisms that live in extreme conditions to help define the adaptational abilities of living organisms. It may come in handy if the various environmental changes facing the globe today turn out to be even partly true.

CaroGirl
02-25-2009, 05:45 PM
It's not that I don't agree with the idea of classification. Curiosity is a natural human trait. The "arrogance" part comes from the concept of declaring a living creature, or any type of thing really, to be what it already is. A cheetah is what it is, whether we decide it's a cat or a dog. And we can vacillate between cat or dog all we like, a cheetah is still a cheetah. You can debate all day about whether a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable. You know what it is for sure? A tomato. That's all I'm saying. And probably not very clearly, either. :)

Arrogant is possibly the wrong word. It's just the only one I could come up with that seems apt.

GeorgeK
02-25-2009, 06:13 PM
How 'bout Cheetahs? I've heard some folks consider them more canine than feline..

Watch the way they drink. They use their tongue to spoon out the water. They don't stick their face in it and bite the water...very stealthy, very cat. Their hair is fne and sleek and floats easily in the air, very cat. They climb trees, very cat. Their bone stucture of the skull is virtually identical to the household cat. Take a picture of a cheetah and splice its head onto any other cat (except for maybe a lion) and adjust only the coloring. It will fit. Put the skull or tail of a cheetah on any canine and it won't look right.

NeuroFizz
02-25-2009, 06:16 PM
It's not that I don't agree with the idea of classification. Curiosity is a natural human trait. The "arrogance" part comes from the concept of declaring a living creature, or any type of thing really, to be what it already is. A cheetah is what it is, whether we decide it's a cat or a dog. And we can vacillate between cat or dog all we like, a cheetah is still a cheetah. You can debate all day about whether a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable. You know what it is for sure? A tomato. That's all I'm saying. And probably not very clearly, either.

Arrogant is possibly the wrong word. It's just the only one I could come up with that seems apt.
I understand, but it sort of brands Science, in general, as an arrogant endeavor since the kind of classification you're talking about is scientific classification. I don't know a single scientist who pushes his/her work with an air of arrogance-of-purpose. Everyone I know is in the business of research in the hopes that he/she will break new ground that will ultimately help humans or help us better understand and/or manage our world. Don't get me wrong. There are some very arrogant people in the business, but no more than in other competitive and creative endeavors. And being an arrogant person is different than engaging in an arrogant activity.

And for those studying any aspect of biology that includes Cheetahs, it is important to know if the Cheetah phylogeny is with the Felids or the Canids since rarely are individual organisms studied totally in isolation of their environment and their ecosystem. And the continual development of new tomato varieties that have improved environmental adaptations and improved pest and disease resistance does require a solid foundation of information of what exactly a tomato is. One can't ignore the basics of tomato phylogeny if one wants to produce new hybrids or strains that can better feed our greedy guts. Otherwise, the work would be totally trial-and-error, and therefore very slow and inconsistent at its best, and likely unproductive.

CaroGirl
02-25-2009, 06:22 PM
...And being an arrogant person is different than engaging in an arrogant activity.
I absolutely agree with you on that. I'm pleased that you, as a scientist, understand my point, even if I didn't feel I made it as clearly as I wanted to.

selkn.asrai
02-25-2009, 07:00 PM
There is no no longer a need for whale commodities. We no longer consume whale meat or use spermaceti for lanterns. The slaughter of whale species (as well as countless others) is largely useless.

We've driven whales to the point of extinction. They are vital parts of the oceanic ecosystem. It's revolting and ignorant to continue destructive, cruel practices for the sole sake of tradition. This is not population control; it's massacre. And if a country's identity will shatter simply because it can no longer drive a harpoon through a blowhole, then it is a whimsical and weak identity. Soz.

Wayne K
02-25-2009, 07:18 PM
I loathe that human beings are the ones who get to decide who or what is killed. If there's some classifying to do then lets get down to it. I'd like to nominate a few candidates.

David Conner
02-25-2009, 09:53 PM
I'm Icelandic, and today I was listening to the news and heard a debate about how international contempt for whaling would wreak havoc on Iceland's image, at a time when we're trying to rebuild it after the economic collapse.

It got me curious enough to ask: Why? What is it about whaling that makes it less acceptable than the killing of any other animals? I'm not looking to start a debate or an argument, I just want to hear people's thoughts on the matter.

I am politically conservative, I am a hunter and a fisherman, and I consider PETA to be the silliest organization to hit the scene since the United Nations, but when it comes to cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) my traditional inclinations come to a screeching halt. These amazing creatures occupy a place just short of humanity on my "Sacredness of Life" scale---right up there with my girlfriend's Chocolate Labrador Retriever.

I make part of my living as a crewman on tour-boats and offshore fishing charters. One of the fringe benefits of this work comes in the form of Bottle Nosed Dolphins when they occasionally join us to ride the pressure wave as our hull passes through the water. Through my most objective lens, it is obvious that they are playing. They roll onto their sides and look up at us as they effortlessly match the pace of the boat. Through a thousand forms of deliberation, they demonstrate awareness. If I am drifting into the subjective, I do not care. Anyone who attempts to harm these beautiful creatures will incur my wrath and adamant opposition. The very thought of striking any cetacean with a harpoon is abhorent to me.

Furthermore, these animals are worth far more as tourism attractions than as material resources. So the commercial argument breaks down at the bottom line. Their survival is our sustenence. Let them live.

CaroGirl
02-25-2009, 09:58 PM
...These amazing creatures occupy a place just short of humanity on my "Sacredness of Life" scale---right up there with my girlfriend's Chocolate Labrador Retriever...
You mean you love a dog made of chocolate as much as you value the existence of whales?

Joe270
02-25-2009, 11:05 PM
In my mind, convergent evolution is one of the coolest things to find in comparing sometimes very different animals (from a taxonomic viewpoint). Similar solutions are found to similar challenges, and those solutions are remarkable considering they happened in parallel instead of via a straight-through lineage.

I get it, and I understand the conclusions. Still, I think it was a good, original thinking to re-examine the Cheetah to be sure of its origins. A better understanding of them may help preserve them.

Obviously, I'm a big Cheetah fan.

Now that I get that they are one of those convergent species, like sea lions and seals, I consider them even more precious for us to preserve than before.

oswann
02-26-2009, 08:22 PM
I loathe that human beings are the ones who get to decide who or what is killed.

I grew up on the coast of the most Great White Shark-infested waters in the world and believe me if you are paddling around one of those big boys you aren't deciding anything.

Os.

oswann
02-26-2009, 08:23 PM
I understand, but it sort of brands Science, in general, as an arrogant endeavor since the kind of classification you're talking about is scientific classification. I don't know a single scientist who pushes his/her work with an air of arrogance-of-purpose. Everyone I know is in the business of research in the hopes that he/she will break new ground that will ultimately help humans or help us better understand and/or manage our world. Don't get me wrong. There are some very arrogant people in the business, but no more than in other competitive and creative endeavors. And being an arrogant person is different than engaging in an arrogant activity.

And for those studying any aspect of biology that includes Cheetahs, it is important to know if the Cheetah phylogeny is with the Felids or the Canids since rarely are individual organisms studied totally in isolation of their environment and their ecosystem. And the continual development of new tomato varieties that have improved environmental adaptations and improved pest and disease resistance does require a solid foundation of information of what exactly a tomato is. One can't ignore the basics of tomato phylogeny if one wants to produce new hybrids or strains that can better feed our greedy guts. Otherwise, the work would be totally trial-and-error, and therefore very slow and inconsistent at its best, and likely unproductive.

Holy crap, we just want to know if we can eat cheetahs or not?

Os.

Wayne K
02-26-2009, 08:59 PM
I grew up on the coast of the most Great White Shark-infested waters in the world and believe me if you are paddling around one of those big boys you aren't deciding anything.

Os.
To me it's just a good decision to stay out of the water.

cray
02-26-2009, 09:01 PM
To me it's just a good decision to stay out of the water.


i'm with you.








*crosses baths and showers off of list*

David Conner
02-27-2009, 01:07 AM
One can't ignore the basics of tomato phylogeny if one wants to produce new hybrids or strains that can better feed our greedy guts. Otherwise, the work would be totally trial-and-error, and therefore very slow and inconsistent at its best, and likely unproductive.

...and we could end up with spotted tomatoes that can run 70 mph.

David Conner
02-27-2009, 01:32 AM
I grew up on the coast of the most Great White Shark-infested waters in the world and believe me if you are paddling around one of those big boys you aren't deciding anything.


This reminds me of the interviews I've seen where the victim (who just had both legs bitten off) says something like: "I don't blame the shark one bit, he was just following his instincts. I was the intruder in his territory."

Part of me admires such people for their spiteless attitudes, but another part of me wants to follow my instincts by going out there to troll for that S.O.B. so I can bring it back and stock the freezer of the poor fellow whose legs it ate. After all, our canines didn't just get there by accident, and turn-about is fair play.

Me and Ted Nugent see eye to eye on such matters as this.

robeiae
02-27-2009, 06:58 AM
Killer whales aren't whales. They're dolphins.

MacAllister
02-27-2009, 07:00 AM
Which are whales. But toothed whales. And that's only the whale kind of dolphin, not the fish kind of dolphin, which aren't.

robeiae
02-27-2009, 07:02 AM
But it goes up to eleven...

Pilot
02-27-2009, 07:12 AM
Which are whales. But toothed whales. And that's only the whale kind of dolphin, not the fish kind of dolphin, which aren't.

Yep, yep, yep. http://www.websmileys.com/sm/happy/962.gif

Silver King
02-27-2009, 07:54 AM
I was thinking of this thread last night when I saw a show I taped from Discovery. They were talking about blue whales (Planet Earth), which can grow up to two hundred tons! They feed almost exclusively upon krill, eating about four million of them per day. (That's bad news if you're a fan of krill.) ;)

But what struck me most is that blue whales are twice as large as any animal we know of, including dinosaurs, that have ever existed. And they are still with us today, in small numbers at least, thanks to efforts to stem their slaughter.

How cool is that? The greatest beast known to mankind, in size anyway, is still among us thanks to efforts to save its existence.

David Conner
02-27-2009, 08:49 AM
Between my teens and my late thirties, I devoured tons of information about whales and dolphins (no pun intended). I am resisting the temptation to spit out binomial names and classifications that would put you all to sleep. Besides, you would just think I looked it up.

But I will divulge one tidbit of information: Cetaceans have echolocating systems so sophisticated that they (many if not all) read sound waves like we read light waves. In other words, they "see" sound. A bottlenosed dolphin can tell the difference between a ping pong ball and a golf ball from across the length of an olympic sized pool. They can detect objects burried several inches beneath the sand, and they can emit a burst of sound so powerful that it will stun a small fish from several feet away.

OK that was several tidbits, but Cetaceans are absolutely fascinating creatures. Some of them have a brain to body weight ratio greater than humans, and this ratio is considered by many in the scientific community to be a reliable indicator of intelligence. Perhaps the reason that they did not ruin this planet long before we got here is only because they are content and they do not have thumbs.

robeiae
02-27-2009, 08:52 AM
Fa loves Pa...

Medievalist
02-27-2009, 09:40 AM
es, you would just think I looked it up.

But I will divulge one tidbit of information: Cetaceans have echolocating systems so sophisticated that they (many if not all) read sound waves like we read light waves. In other words, they "see" sound. A bottlenosed dolphin can tell the difference between a ping pong ball and a golf ball from across the length of an olympic sized pool.

One summer, a post grad friend researching bottlenosed abilities had me toss my sunglasses and his in the tank.

The dolphin brought mine to me.

benbradley
02-27-2009, 10:22 AM
But it goes up to eleven...
Ahem... (http://fawm.org/img/misc/to14shirts.png)

Medievalist
02-27-2009, 10:33 AM
But what struck me most is that blue whales are twice as large as any animal we know of, including dinosaurs, that have ever existed. And they are still with us today, in small numbers at least, thanks to efforts to stem their slaughter.

You know that they used to live on land, right? That they still have vestigial toes/fingers in the skeletal structure?

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/12/photogalleries/whale-pictures/

And this one, especially:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2001/09/0919_walkingwhale.html

Wayne K
02-27-2009, 03:00 PM
Which are whales. But toothed whales. And that's only the whale kind of dolphin, not the fish kind of dolphin, which aren't.
Exactly.

CaroGirl
02-27-2009, 05:00 PM
How cool is that? The greatest beast known to mankind, in size anyway, is still among us thanks to efforts to save its existence.
Well, more like efforts to halt their wholesale slaughter by other humans.

David Conner
02-27-2009, 06:41 PM
One summer, a post grad friend researching bottlenosed abilities had me toss my sunglasses and his in the tank.

The dolphin brought mine to me.


That is so cool. Those creatures are amazing!

By the way---I see you are from Seattle. If you ever get a chance to visit Friday Harbor in the San Juans, I've read that there is an Orca museum there worth seeing. Dr. Ken Balcomb pioneered photo-identification techniques in that area that have enabled revealing studies over the years of resident pods in Puget Sound.

Medievalist
02-27-2009, 09:41 PM
If you ever get a chance to visit Friday Harbor in the San Juans, I've read that there is an Orca museum there worth seeing. Dr. Ken Balcomb pioneered photo-identification techniques in that area that have enabled revealing studies over the years of resident pods in Puget Sound.

It's on my list of places. I've never been on a whale watch on this coast, and there are places you can see them from land. I've seen orcas already, off the coast of Oregon.

There's a whaling museum in Maui which has one of the land-dwelling fossils mounted next to a mock up of what the whale would have looked like--it's surprisingly similar to a Tasmanian devil. I'll go see if I can find a link . . .

NeuroFizz
02-27-2009, 10:13 PM
I've been going to the Friday Harbor Labs in the summers since 1980(University of Washington's marine station--situated on the harbor). I missed one year in that stretch, although I may not be able to get there this summer. The Whale Museum is small, but informative. There are commercial whale-watching boats that go out from Friday Harbor, with airplane spotters to make sure they find the beasts, but the trips are expensive. On the west side of the island Lime Kiln Point State Park is also known as the whale-watching park since the killer whales frequently cruise by there, sometimes within twenty yards of shore. The best bet to see whales without paying for the boat trips is to cruise the island watching where the boats go. If there are whales, there will be a gaggle of boats around the spot, with the large whale-watching boats front-and-center. It kind of pisses me off because the poor beasts can't go anywhere without attacting a crowd. There are rules about how close the boats can come to the whales, but boaters pay as much attention to those rules as most drivers pay to speed limits on roads and highways.

Don't forget to stop in at Herb's Tavern (just down the hill from the Whale Museum). Except it's just called Herb's now--they can't call it a tavern anymore since they started serving hard liquor. If Shelley's cooking, have one of their burgers...

Wayne K
02-27-2009, 10:40 PM
I say we print up this thread and send it to Publish America. I hear they're looking for interesting book ideas.

Alan Yee
02-27-2009, 10:48 PM
I say we print up this thread and send it to Publish America. I hear they're looking for interesting book ideas.

*shakes head*

susangpyp
02-27-2009, 10:48 PM
I agree with those who say that whales are magnificent animals and, as such, should be left alone.

But I also abhor the hunting of sharks because they, too, are magnificent creatures and have been ruthlessly hunted as though they are evil personified. Peter Benchley said he regretted penning Jaws for this reason.

Another magnificent fish is the swordfish which people eat without regard. It's just a magnificent fish and should be left alone.

But you can make a case for swordfish as food (though with so many other choices, why?), but sharks? No and DEFINITLEY not whales.

There is a hierarchy of food and there's also a "no reason to kill this spectacular being" and the latter applies, without exception, to whales.

NeuroFizz
02-28-2009, 12:36 AM
One of the most perfectly adapted groups of animals in terms of locomotory performance (biomechanics, neuromuscular adaptation, streamlining, and energy conservation) are the tuna. They are truely incredible swimming machines. And we eat 'em up in huge numbers.

When we look at the beauty in any animal's adaptations to its particular ecological niche, it's wonderful. That includes that fu**ing mole that has been chewing up my back yard for the last two years. If I ever get my hands on that magnificently adapted mammal...

In others words, we get cuddly with some animals, we hate others, and we relish some on our dinner plates. But they all are biologically beautiful in one way or another. Even those flying bloodsuckers who hassle us so on those warm summer evenings.

Pilot
02-28-2009, 12:46 AM
True. I think the distinguishing characteristic is intelligence. You begin to think of cannibalism with intelligent creatures. Or at least I do.

Edit: Perhaps cannibalism is the wrong word, but I suspect you catch my drift.

Wayne K
02-28-2009, 01:03 AM
lorena bobbit is standing there and Jeffrey Dahmer says "Are you gonna eat that?"
{Insert cricket noises here}

Ambrosia
02-28-2009, 02:13 AM
They're also cannibalistic; they'll chew each other's tails completely off and chew the hell out of each other seemingly for the fun of it.Interesting. I have been raising pigs for two years and they have yet to dock each other's tails or take chunks out of one another. The pigs at my place seem to prefer digging in the dirt for plants and grubs over eating each other. Must be an environmental thing.


"Noble creatures"? Are you suggesting humans or any other species of animal is more "noble" than pigs? Lips twisting into a sneer of contempt. At least pigs have no notion of evil or good and as such are blameless creatures.How do you know this? It boggles the mind what humans can come up with regarding animals. This animal thinks this or that animal feels that, etc. Animals, regardless their intelligence, do not communicate with humans (except for a couple rare occurances) and that is why I believe humans do what they will with them. A pig is not going to come up to you and say, "hey, what do you think about this whole methane overload from cow's butts thing?" I can guarantee if one of mine struck up a conversation with me I would be very hesitant to send it to the butcher. Not saying I wouldn't, but it would give me pause.


I agree with those who say that whales are magnificent animals and, as such, should be left alone.

But I also abhor the hunting of sharks because they, too, are magnificent creatures and have been ruthlessly hunted as though they are evil personified. Peter Benchley said he regretted penning Jaws for this reason.

Another magnificent fish is the swordfish which people eat without regard. It's just a magnificent fish and should be left alone.

But you can make a case for swordfish as food (though with so many other choices, why?), but sharks? No and DEFINITLEY not whales.

There is a hierarchy of food and there's also a "no reason to kill this spectacular being" and the latter applies, without exception, to whales.'Em's good eatin'. I have had shark steak. It is delicious. Shark is not to my knowledge endangered. A shark is an eating machine, period. There is nothing magnificent or spectacular or good about it. Nothing evil, either. It is a fish. With tasty meat.

I haven't had swordfish. Someday, if they do not wind up on the endangered list, I hope to so I can see what the excitement is all about. But, if you are going to say no to shark or swordfish, then by all means say no to fish period. All fish are magnificent creatures, without exception, even the ugly ones.

You could always go with PETA's newest ploy and call them 'sea kittens'. I have a nice recipe here for some sea kitten chowder. Yummm... think I will have that tonight.



I'll kill anything that tastes good.
:roll: I have spent a goodly amount of this the thread on the proverbial floor laughing due to your zingers, SP. Gotta love your wit. ;)


I'm Icelandic, and today I was listening to the news and heard a debate about how international contempt for whaling would wreak havoc on Iceland's image, at a time when we're trying to rebuild it after the economic collapse.

It got me curious enough to ask: Why? What is it about whaling that makes it less acceptable than the killing of any other animals? I'm not looking to start a debate or an argument, I just want to hear people's thoughts on the matter.
I think a lot of good answers have been given as to why people abhor the practice of whaling. For me, it is because of the endangered status and the way they are killed.

I have a farm and my husband processes rabbits for sale to our customers. I would not want anyone else doing the dispatching because I know my husband treats these animals with genuine compassion and care, that he dispatches them in the most humane way he can, as quickly as he can, with the least amount of stress for the rabbit possible. If a rabbit is frightened he will hold it and pet it and talk to it to calm it down before he 'does the deed'. He and I raise these animals on our farm with love and kindness and it is hard when it is time for them to go. But it is that life that we provide for them while we raise them, and the understanding that the end will be as quick and humane as possible, that allows us to raise animals for meat. We also do the Native American thing of thanking the animal for giving its life for our sustenance. It is respectful. It feels right.

I could not imagine cutting an animal up alive as they do the whales. That is torture and inhumane and regardless if the whales are endangered or not, it is not right. I am not talking about the natives that take animals to live, but going out in whaling boats and hunting these animals down for profit. It saddens my spirit. Also, every animal, plant, or insect species that goes extinct is one less possibility for the cure to some dreaded disease. Kind of scarey to think about how much is being wiped out currently.

I'm a bit curious about how this issue affects your country's economic recovery. It is all well and good for those of us who are not economically affected to give our opinions, but what does the whaling debate mean for you personally?

selkn.asrai
02-28-2009, 09:06 PM
Shark is not to my knowledge endangered. A shark is an eating machine, period. There is nothing magnificent or spectacular or good about it. Nothing evil, either.

I agree that no animal is evil, but I disagree on another point.

Every animal is an eating machine. It is the primary method of survival. Rarely is food in surplus (except when one species hordes AND wastes it.)

And talk about ironic. Homo sapiens is the ultimate, heartless super-predator. This thread is discussing the unnecessary slaughter of other animals--slaughter to the point of extinction. Unnatural eradication of an entire species. We devour everything. Food, land, water, fuel. Everything.

Tigers in the Sundarbans think we're simply prey with tasty meat too. But we deem that horrifying, and we are ready to set out and kill all the many maneaters. But a shark's just a delicious feeding machine. It's flawed logic.

Agree or disagree with me--this is my view. Humans = most devastating creature with worst superiority complex on this stunning blue planet.

Ambrosia
02-28-2009, 10:27 PM
I agree that no animal is evil, but I disagree on another point.
I never said no animal was evil. I said sharks are not evil. I have ran into a couple animals in my life that I think may have indeed been evil incarnate by the way they acted. But not the species, just that particular one.


Every animal is an eating machine. It is the primary method of survival. Rarely is food in surplus (except when one species hordes AND wastes it.) Every animal eats to survive. Not every animal is an eating machine like the shark. FWIW, I did not come up with that phrase. It was from a Discovery Channel show on sharks where they went into an indepth analysis of why they said it. I am assuming you are referring to humans when you are talking about species that horde and waste food. If you observe other animal species you will find time and again that those animals often both horde and waste food in times of plenty. It is not unique to the human race.


And talk about ironic. Homo sapiens is the ultimate, heartless super-predator. I believe that depends what environment the said Home sapien is in. If a human is in another predator's environment, said human had better be exceptionally careful or that human will become 'lunch'. You sound here like you don't like the species you were born into. "Heartless super-predator" seems harsh, don't you think? I know many people who are neither heartless nor super in their 'predatory' skills. Do you paint yourself with the same brush you paint the rest of mankind?


This thread is discussing the unnecessary slaughter of other animals--slaughter to the point of extinction. Unnatural eradication of an entire species. Actually, that was not the reason the author started this thread. You may wish to reread the OP.


We devour everything. Food, land, water, fuel. Everything. The human animal has needs just like any other animal and will strive to meet those needs. I am encouraged by the increasing raised consciousness of humanity, those humans who have enough food in their stomachs to think about the greater good of the Earth, at least. It gives me hope.


Tigers in the Sundarbans think we're simply prey with tasty meat too. But we deem that horrifying, and we are ready to set out and kill all the many maneaters. But a shark's just a delicious feeding machine. It's flawed logic."We" are not horrified by tigers in the Sundarbans at all. I can tell you, though, that I support putting down an animal that is a known man-eater. Tigers do not naturally prey on humans. There is an innate fear animals have regarding humans and an animal that has overcome that fear and begins preying on humans is a danger to every man, woman, and child in the area. In that instance, I agree with hunting that specific animal down and killing it. Not every tiger in the world, but that one animal that is guilty of becoming a man-eater. The same way I believe a dog that attacks and kills a child should be put down. Period. Sad for the dog, sad for the owner, but innocent people deserve to be protected too.


Agree or disagree with me--this is my view. Humans = most devastating creature with worst superiority complex on this stunning blue planet.Superiority complex? Have you met my cat? :D