This questions requires an opinionated answer because I’m not sure how one can be less horrible than the other. I think that the idea of killing animals for their parts is nothing new in our world, however it seems much more brutal when we see how it is done. Not only is Japan killing large quantities of porpoises, which people are often anthropomorphizing, but they are killing large mammals, which makes it seem much more brutal. With the illegal trading, the animals that they are killing are on the brink of extinction. In this case, it is very hard for me to understand how anyone can continue to kill something to such an extreme. All in all, I think both are equally bad.
This is a tough question. Japan is a much smaller country than China, so if the slaughter is proportional to the population, China would have a bigger impact overall. Additionally, Japan seems to take into some account a plan for the number of dolphins or whales they want to kill in a season, which means they will probably use what they take, rather than have any waste. As far as the illegal market of endangered species in China, it is unknown how big this operation is, and how many of the more endangered species are being taken. While it is hard to pick which is worse, it is clear that for an entire country to have such little regard for the delicate place of different species is not good for animals and the stability of food webs.
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