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Japanese and Saving Whales

June 25, 1989

The Times reported the shocking discovery of a blue whale population so small (200 to 450) that the species may no longer be able to survive (Part I, June 13). The blue whale is the largest animal ever to have lived on earth--larger, even, than the dinosaurs--and their demise will be directly attributable to whaling. Before commercial whaling began, there were 250,000 blue whales. Hurray for mankind!

The report came out at a meeting of the International Whaling Commission in San Diego. Japan, which continues whaling on a massive scale to this day, stated, "What has developed here is the dominance of the meat-eating culture over the fish-eating culture." What a preposterous statement!

Does the Japanese spokesman realize that there are millions of cattle around? Does he realize that they are not an endangered species? Does he realize that whales are endangered? Is Japan aware of reality in this matter? Apparently not!

The real question beyond this is the following: Does anybody else really care? Do we really care about the natural world around us? If so, what is the rest of the world going to do to protect the remaining whales in the face of the continued slaughter by Japan and Iceland?

BRUCE BARNBAUM

Somis

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