Kill the Seals and the Dolphins!
Dear Reader, some mornings I wake up and ask myself: "Self, how much are hated, really hated?". Invariably the answer that comes back is "Not nearly enough". This morning, I'm going to take the first step towards changing that.
Over the weekend, I saw this video of pretty people trying to save pretty animals, dolphins in this case. Seems that the Japanese like to catch and eat dolphins. Several actors, including Hayden Panettiere -- better known as Claire Bennet, to fans of NBC's "Heroes" -- tried to swim out and save the dolphins. They were shockingly unsuccessful. Apparently Japanese fishermen don't hold actors and surfers in the same high regard that Americans do.
After her brush with evil, Hayden had this to say:
It was so incredibly sad. We were so close to them and they were sky hopping, jumping out of the water to see us. One little baby dolphin stuck his head out and kinda looked at me and the thought that it's no longer with us is really hard to take."
She broke into tears at this point.
Here's where I draw the hate (if I haven't already!). I see no moral distinction between killing cows, chickens, pigs, or eels and between killing dolphins. I've never eaten eel or dolphin, but I have eaten chickens, cows, and pigs. They're all quite tasty. I'm not a fan of seafood, generally, so I'm not optimistic about dolphins or eels. But I see absolutely nothing wrong with killing them -- or with baby seals for that matter.
I think that seals and dolphins attract an inordinate amount of love solely because they're cute. I'll acknowledge it: they are cute. But if cuteness is our sole defining criteria of what life is worthy to save and what life isn't, we are messed up in a major way.
Right now, there are poor kids in Vietnam whose parents would love to sell Vietnamese catfish to American diners. They can't, because American trade regulations are designed to protect catfish sellers in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas. Hayden, do you cry for those poor children nearly as much as you cry for the cute baby dolphin?
Let the hating begin.