Why do the Japanese kill so many dolphin?



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    Japan Dolphin Day is a tradition where they cull several thousand dolphins (20,000 by some counts). Some explanations for this tradition are that it reduces competition for fish between fishermen and the dolphin populations. In some villages, dolphin meat has also been a traditional source of protein. Nowadays, though, they have cut down on consumption of dolphin meat because of mercury contamination.

    One of the big ideas in this controversy is that dolphins are very charismatic creatures. Especially to Americans, this seems like a cruel and terrible thing to do. However, when you compare our practices, we kill many more mammals and fish than the Japanese kill dolphin. We have seriously devastated many fisheries, and other seafood. I’m not defending the practice, but I would like us to look at ourselves too.

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