Commentary by Paul Watson
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Hiroshi Hatanaka, the Director General of the Institute of Cetacean Research, is now accusing Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Greenpeace Foundation of causing suffering to whales by interfering with the killing of the whales by the Japanese whalers.

Hatanaka is saying that it is the whalers who are humane and the conservationists who are the cruel party. According to Hatanaka, the Japanese whalers care so much about the suffering of the whales that they need to stop the interference with the killing by the people "really" responsible for the agony inflicted on the gentle giants.

I know something about Mr. Hatanaka. This is a man who sliced up live dogs in the laboratory and bragged to his friends how much fun it was to torture the animals. Yes, Mr. Hatanaka, the following e-mail was sent to me recently (source wishes to remain anonymous).

This is the same Hiroshi Hatanaka that I knew back in the 60's. He was a Japanese national, a scientist, studying at Harvard and he briefly dated my apartment mate. His manner was very abrupt and pompous, and pretty soon we all decided he was not someone we wanted to spend time with. One incident: we were seated at a table and suddenly Hiroshi brought his knees up against the bottom of the table so forcefully that the table made a sharp cracking sound. It turned out that my small dog had brushed against his leg, and Hiroshi was apparently frightened. Instead of being embarrassed, he laughed nastily and said that in his laboratory he would cut a little dog like that into pieces.

We all decided then that he was a nutcase - unfortunately his career has probably put him in the position of hurting and killing plenty of animals.

So, we have a sadistic vivisector accusing whale defenders of cruelty. Furthermore, Hatanaka makes the following statement: "Why is Greenpeace using their Zodiac inflatables to prevent us from conducting our non-lethal program? "

If a man can describe the harpooning of a whale as non-lethal, it reveals how he can describe the interference with the killing of the whales as the cause for the suffering by the whales.

Hatanaka then states the "statistics from the Antarctic fleet have shown that the
average time it takes to dispatch a whale has increased as a direct result of Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd's activities."

Yet, Sea Shepherd activists have never interfered with a harpoon shot. The reason for that is because the Japanese whalers have run like cowards each time we intercepted them. Additionally, Sea Shepherd activists are not interested in blocking harpoons. Our intention is to destroy the harpoons.

Hatanaka states that 52 percent of the whales harpooned die instantly. This is a ridiculous statement that is not backed up scientifically at all. But even if it were true, he is saying that 48 percent do not die instantly. Abattoirs in Europe and North America would be shut down if they made the claim that only 52 percent of cows are killed instantly and the remainder is forced to suffer. It is hard to believe the man is proud of, and is bragging about, such an outrageous statistic.

Mr. Hatanaka could have defended the actions of the Nazis with his twisted logic: Jewish citizens in the Warsaw Ghetto could have died peacefully and without suffering if they had just cooperated and did not resist the soldiers.

Hatanaka is obviously a student of Nazi Propaganda Minister Josef Goebbels who said that if you keep telling a lie often enough people will begin to see it as the truth.

This warped logic is deliberate and is being used more and more. In Canada, we have the Seal Protection Act which makes it illegal to protect a seal from a sealer. The Canadian logging companies defend their clear-cutting under the slogan "Forests Forever."

George Orwell predicted this with his Ministry of Truth that distributed lies and his Ministry of Love that carried out torture and execution.

Mr. Hatanaka also says that the whales are being killed for research, yet the Japan Whaling Association president Keiichi Nakajima in an interview with Josh Massoud of the Daily Telegraph said, ""There are enough whales for both those who want to eat them and those who want to watch them."

Slip of the lip or what? Nakajima is saying that Japan wants whales for food not research, and lets get real here - what is it exactly that they are researching? Enough whales have been slaughtered to know what they eat, what their insides look like, what the fetus they rip from the wombs look like. Why are the numbers escalating every year? No one has ever explained just what this "research" is all about?

When a slaughterhouse worker smashes a hammer over the head of a cow - is that research? When the throat if a pig is slit, is that research? Are slaughterhouses really laboratories?

Sometimes I feel like Alice having fallen down the rabbit hole with Hatanaka dressed as the Red Queen telling me that we are cruelly trying to prevent the shooting of humane harpoons for the purpose of torturing whales. Does he mean what he says or is he saying what he means? Who knows? It's all public relations mumbo jumbo anyway.

What Hatanaka is asking the public to believe is that whalers love whales and are humane by killing them, and conservationists cause suffering to whales by trying to save them from being hit with harpoons.

What is sad about this is that some people will actually believe this nonsense.

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