Those of you who have read Shuya Nakatsuka's response to Emily Pompie's letter may of been surprised by some of the rather strange views expressed (you can read the full letter here) and so was Emily, she has taken the time to send her own response and we thank Emily for allowing us to share it with you here
Dear Mr. Ambassador,
I am writing back to you in response to the letter I recently received from Shuya Nakatsuka, First Secretary, Embassy of Japan. I was taken aback, to put it mildly, at what he wrote. Some of what he wrote was incorrect at best and disingenuous at worst. I quote from the letter: “mercury in seafood, including dolphin meat, which is from natural sources, should not be confused with high level industrial mercury which caused the tragedy of Minamata disease in the 1950’s.”
Where, pray tell, Mr. Ambassador, does this naturally occurring mercury come from? Where do all the PCBs that contaminate the food chain come from? You and I know the truth. It comes from human pollution. We are killing this earth and all the life within it to suit our wants and needs, regardless of the consequences to species and future generation.
People like to use “tradition” as an excuse or justification for continuing practices. I respectfully argue that just because something is a tradition, does not make it right, ethical or worth carrying on. Here in America, we once had a tradition of slavery and of not allowing women to vote. It is not a tradition we are proud of but they are also not “traditions” we continue to uphold today.
There are many cultures with many traditions all around the world and, yes, I agree that we should all learn about each other and respect each other but we should also stand up for what is right.
In ancient Rome, Christians were killed by animals for the entertainment of the public. Cruel traditions change. They must change and become cruel history in Japan as well. That is what the world is asking from you. It is the only way for Japan to become a more civilized country and gain more respect from the world and from her own citizens. Traditions are something that a country is proud of. Most of the Japanese people do not even know about this slaughter and obviously are not proud of it. Here are the quotes of some Japanese citizens:
"It's not tradition nor culture. It's shameful act."
"Tradition that needs to be protected must be a good tradition. Bad one must be stopped."
"While millions of people are starving in the world, in Japan we are dumping millions of tons of food. There is absolutely no need for such Japan to hunt wild mammals for food. From now on, we need culture to let wildlife live instead of killing. Please stop showing off shameful Japan to the world. Please make our culture to be called 'culture to respect life'."
The preceding quotes prove it absolutely unnecessary to hunt oceanic mammals for food because of need or tradition.
It is scientifically proven that dolphins are highly intelligent creature, one of the most intelligent species that live with us on this planet. They communicate with each other telepathically and do so intentionally and deliberately. This is something we “superior” humans have yet to achieve.
They are incredibly emotionally evolved, with strong family ties and live together in extended families. They take care of each other when they are sick and old. They do not cast out “undesirables” from their pods. They respect each other and all other creatures.
They are self aware, like we are, and do understand when they are mistreated and slaughtered mercilessly — that is the worst of it, the absolute worst of it. When they are driven relentlessly across the sea and into a cove, their terror is unfathomable. When their loved ones are separated from them, the fear and horror is unimaginable.
Can you even begin to imagine their pain? Can you for even a single moment, open your heart and your soul, and truly put yourself in their place? Imagine that your family is rounded up. Your beautiful daughters, nieces, granddaughters, sisters, perhaps even your mother, is taken from the group. You know in your heart, that something beyond your worst nightmares is going to happen.
Then, the people that have rounded you up and taken you from your homes in the most brutal manner, begin to murder you and every single one of your family that is left. You feel the searing pain of the attacks, feel your blood and your life leave your body and all the while, you hear the screams of your loved ones and see them going through the same thing.
You pray that the ones who were separated from you earlier will be spared this, and they will be. They face a different kind of hell. They will spend the rest of their days, enslaved where they will be forced to perform, to entertain upon demand. It is no different than the kidnapping and selling of children into the underground sex trade.
We humans like to consider ourselves to be the most intelligent, the most evolved, the most sophisticated species on Earth. I say that we are not. We merely create newer and more exciting ways to kill each other and this planet we live on. We have no regard for life. We have no respect for those that we share this world with, whether fellow man or beast. We are the only creatures on Earth that will line up in groups and genuinely try with all of our might to wipe each other out of existence. I don’t think that is very intelligent or evolved, do you?
I am begging you personally, Mr. Ambassador, to stand up for what is right. These hunts for dolphins and whales must end. The never-ending worship of money must stop. We must respect the Earth and the life within or we will all surely perish. We must all learn to live with each other with love and respect.