Makah Whaling neg brag lab ndi 2014 Topicality t-its

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Empirics prove

Thompson 99

(Wendy-Anne Thompson, journalist, “This was one expensive meal: the aboriginal-green alliance is shattered by the Makah whale hunt,” Alberta Report. 26.25 (June 14, 1999), Lexis)//BB

Environmentalists have long portrayed the noble Indian as high priest of the ecosphere. The myth benefited both parties. It provided a spiritual cloak to the greens' anti-development campaigns, while the Indians received organizational muscle for their land claims. But the alliance was wounded, perhaps mortally, when Makah Indians killed a single gray whale last month off-shore Washington. Canadian greens responded with racist vitriol not heard in public for decades. The Vancouver Province, for instance, compared Indian whale-hunting to female genital mutilation in Africa. As B.C. Indians also asserted their traditional right to hunt whales, Premier Glen Clark balked. He is perfectly willing to have the province carved up by First Nations, but First Nations carving up whales remains intolerable. On May 17, the 50-foot beast was killed in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, just off the tip of Washington's Olympic Peninsula, about 60 miles west of Victoria. As members of the tribe watched, the Makah (reserve population, 1,200) harpooned a gray whale for the first time in 70 years. It was dispatched using a combination of traditional and conventional equipment: a cedar canoe with hand-carved paddles, harpoons, .50-calibre rifles and motor boats. Under misty skies, the seven-man crew stalked their prey about 250 yards off-shore. The canoe's long, narrow bow, carved to represent a wolf's head, was steered directly above the mammal, while animal rightists hurled themselves between the harpoons and the whale in an effort to save its life. Shortly after dawn, blood surfaced on the water after hunters repeatedly stabbed the mammoth mammal. The whale tried to swim away, dragging the canoe behind it. Hunters in power-boats then shot it at least twice within 10 minutes of the initial hit. Indians on the beach then organized a celebration at their community centre seven miles away. Four thousand Makah and members of other bands feasted for two days, stripping the meat from the carcass and consuming it as tribal drums were beaten. "The whole thing brought the tribe together," says Makah band member Kirk, who wishes to be known only by his first name. "We view this as having cultural significance and is in a way part of religious freedom. People who don't understand us call us savages. I call them extreme missionary zealots." Zealotry was certainly in the air. B.C. newspapers printed hundreds of letters from the outraged, who referred to the whale as a "gentle, peaceful giant," "completely trusting," "spiritual" and "intelligent." The hunt was described as "disgraceful," "sick" and "disgusting." Telephoned death threats poured into the reserve. Kirk relates that one fanatic told him he hoped that all of the Makah, adults and children, died "just like the whale." The Makah began planning the hunt four years ago. Interest in reviving it had grown after an archeological dig at the nearby village of Ozette in 1970, which uncovered thousands of artifacts bearing witness to a 2,000-year whaling tradition. Many Makah believe health problems on the reserve are the result of the loss of their traditional diet of seafood and sea mammal meat. They also believe that delinquency among the band's young people stems from a lack of discipline and pride which the hunt could restore. Commercial whaling of the western Pacific gray whales did not begin in earnest until the animals' calving areas off Baja California were discovered in 1847. By the 1920s grays were almost extinct, prompting a hunting ban in 1937. The gray whale population gradually recovered, and the species was removed from the endangered list in 1994. Its numbers are now estimated at 26,000. Only subsistence hunting of 140 grays a year by Indians in Alaska, Siberia and Washington is permitted by the International Whaling Commission. An 1855 federal treaty, the only one in America, allows the Makah to hunt whales. The tribe is authorized to take up to five per year over a five-year period. The hunt is sanctioned by the National Marine Fisheries Service and the IWC. Canada imposed a moratorium on the commercial whale hunt in 1972 and pulled out of the IWC in 1982, arguing there was no further reason to remain a member since the commission's mandate is to ensure the orderly development of the commercial whaling industry. University of Calgary anthropology professor Milton Freeman argues the Makah have a cultural right to their hunt, which is no threat to the gray whale species. He points out that Norway has a sustainable whaling industry (they take 760 minke each year) and that Canada is the world's third-largest whaling nation in the world, with 47 communities killing whales for food and ceremonial purposes. That the gray whale is no longer endangered is completely irrelevant to animal rightists. To them, whales are not just another species struggling to survive on this planet--they are deeply spiritual, even sacred beings, equal to, if not superior to, human beings. The urban environmentalist fascination with the whale (and sea mammals in general) began in the 1960s. Many of the various species were then endangered, and sensitive folk were sickened by pictures and descriptions of these prehistoric survivors butchered by commercial whalers. White environmentalists now claim their erstwhile Indian allies have betrayed them. Greenpeace co-founder Bob Hunter wrote in the Georgia Straight, "So much for one of the abiding myths of the environmentalist movement, namely that the natives could be counted on to treat nature with more respect than the white man. Some activists have long argued that environmentalists should support all native land claims because the aboriginals will automatically do a better job of preserving the wilderness than the rest of us...Oh well, another lovely hippie fantasy bites the dust." Judith Stone, president of the Animal Advocates Society of B.C., goes so far as to call the Makah "savages that threw the harpoon." She says she now realizes that "No spirituality is superior to another--especially when it requires killing the helpless and the innocent. It was so untrendy to tell the truth--that natives are just humans, warts and all. They were never superior in any way, at any time." She warns, "No more innocents sacrificed to money and power. If it is necessary to take up arms to protect the innocents, then how many are ready?" Prof. Freeman argues an approach based on animal rights rather than science is irrational. He says that whales have been studied for decades and there exists no strong scientific evidence they are particularly more intelligent than other species. In response to the "savages" charge, he contends the best society can hope for in killing animals is that death is as quick and as painless as in the food industry that kills billions of cattle, sheep, pigs and chicken every year. The anthropologist characterizes the outrage at the Makah hunt as "cultural imperialism." He says of animal rightism, "It's grown into an urban movement that tends to attract people who are culturally insensitive. They are basically saying, `We don't eat whale meat and therefore you can't.' "

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