Re: dolphin slaughter in Taiji/ strengthening nationalism
I honestly wouldn't have too much of a personal problem if there were a dozen or so whales killed each year, strictly for food and other resources; the Japanese have as much a right to claim 'historical' whaling as the Inuit or the Scandinavians. I personally dislike the industrialized killing based on bogus "science," and then the sort of selling-meat-to-the-powerful-and-wealthy thing. But whales eat lower on the food chain than dolphins do, so their meat isn't as dangerous for human consumption.
I dislike, as Hugh implied, the unreasonableness of the excuses being made: that the whale kill is 'scientific,' that the dolphin kill is 'traditional.' I guess I'd feel a tiny bit better about either if the heads of state would admit that both are problematic for various reasons; even if very little changed, I'd feel like they were at least considering multiple aspects of the issues: for example, a warning against pregnant women consuming the dolphin meat, and a more humane way of slaughter (in line with the human slaughter rules that Japan already has for other species, for example).
What would it be for Americans? Bacon? or cheese, or bread. Or corn. In California it might be salsa picante.