Monday, June 21, 2010


AGADIR, Morocco (AP) - The International Whaling Commission began its most important meeting in decades debating whether to scrap an ineffective 25-year ban on commercial hunting and instead allow for limited whaling under a more enforceable regime. Though environmental groups say the 1986 moratorium has been one of the most successful animal conservation measures in history, it has failed to prevent Japan, Norway and Iceland from killing hundreds of whales each year in defiance of the commission. A proposal before the 88-member commission would allow the three countries limited whaling in exchange for removing their rogue status and imposing a 10-year period of international monitoring. Allowing for limited hunting might also reduce the harassment by conservationists trying to disrupt whale hunts — sometimes leading to violent clashes at sea. Within minutes of opening the annual conference, the commission's deputy chairman, Anthony Liverpool, adjourned the open sessions for two days to give pro- and anti-whaling countries a chance to discuss whether a compromise was possible.

The suspension of the normal agenda was unprecedented in recent decades, and reflected the contentiousness of the proposal to lift the ban. The meeting ends Friday. Environmentalists attending as observers denounced the move to hold closed-door negotiations. Calling it “fundamentally unacceptable,” Wendy Elliott of WWF International said all the preparations for the meeting were held in secret, and “now is the moment to open up a transparent and honest discussion.” Many commission members oppose sanctioning any whale hunting at all. Others might agree to a deal that imposed tough conditions to protect the most endangered species and that demanded Japan halt its forays into the Antarctic Whaling Sanctuary, where some 80 percent of the oceans' whales go to feed.

The Vedic scriptures say that having passed through 8,000,000 of births, we have only 400,000 of births remaining, which comprise the different human species. Now, as we have obtained this extremely difficult to obtain human birth, it is time to stop acting like animals, avoid eating sensitive creatures - such as whales - and do something different.

One may get this precious human birth, which is very difficult to obtain, after numerous births (bahu-sambhavante). Specifically, we come to this human birth after 80 lakhs (8,000,000) of births in various species. ... You must take birth as an aquatic animal: fish, crocodile, shark, whale, etc. How many times? Nine lakhs (900,000). Those who eat a fish will be killed as a fish two times. You will find many people catching fish and killing them. We also, at some time, have been caught and devoured by them. So much suffering is there! Big fish in the sea eat the smaller fish for their sustenance. ... But even the big fish are not safe in the sea. In this way, we pass through nine lakhs of life of aquatic animals. Do we think about this? As fish, we experience extreme, unbearable suffering.

Śrīla Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Mahārāja :
“A Taste of Transcendence”
‘The Welfare of the Living Being’
Mandala Publishing Group
Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math

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