dolphin slaughter in Taiji/ strengthening nationalism
Soooo everyone knows that there's this thing in Japan with the slaughter of dolphins that, from a western viewpoint, is pretty horrific. There's also the ongoing whaling. I won't go into the moral aspects of that; I disapprove, morally, on a very profound level, but that's not my point here.
A possibly as-disturbing point is that, unlike baleen whales, toothed whales and dolphins feed at the top of the food chain; these animals are ***loaded*** with mercury and other heavy metals, and their flesh is sold for human consumption. It is literally poison. Despite that, the slaughter and consumption is justified as 'historical tradition.' It seems like an obstinate denial of reality on a par with what we see in some branches of American politics, and seems to jibe in perfect synchrony with some of the current Japanese political nationalism that makes politicians say that 'comfort women' (i.e. rape victims in Nanking) were necessary for soldiers away from home, and saber-rattling with China over a few uninhabited rocks in the sea between the two countries.
From the perspective of an outsider who gets my news from the mainstream press, it's disturbing to see the apparent strengthening of this attitude. Anyone have other perspectives or comments?