U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy tweets against Japanese dolphin hunt
The town of Taiji in Wakayama prefecture is conducting another dolphin hunt, and the animal rights activists are sending out press releases to the international media. Once again, we see headlines about the dolphin “slaughter,” and calls for protests against Japan.
U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy has joined those who are speaking out against the dolphin hunt. How did she get her message out?
She didn’t call a press conference and tell the Japanese media. Instead, she used Twitter. It was posted in both English and Japanese.
Her expression of “concern” appears to be based on the “inhumanity” of the method used to hunt the dolphins. In pointing out the U.S. government’s opposition to that method of hunting, she might leave some readers think that America might support the hunts if they used a more “humane” method. In fact, the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 effectively outlaws the hunting of marine mammals in America, regardless of the method used to kill the animals. It doesn’t make any distinction between endangered an un-endangered species of dolphin: it is simply illegal to kill them. It is also illegal for Americans import whale meat that was obtained through Japan’s IWC-sanctioned hunts.
It would be better if dolphins could be killed in a quicker way that didn’t cause as much pain and suffering. But the adoption of a more “humane” method would probably have little effect on foreign opposition to dolphin hunts. It all seems to come down to a cultural view that dolphins are super special animals that should not be hunted.