Sociological Perspectives Unit 1
Animal Culture vs Tradition and Capitalism
An intelligent animal. Capable of seeing right through you. Able to see if you are pregnant, to see your heart beating, or even your bones. The only species in the world apart from ourselves who are so self aware. Dolphins. I believe it is unnecessary, unethical, and dangerous to kill and consume dolphins. In this essay I will compare and contrast two different cultures, that are advocates of dolphin hunting. The fishermen of Taiji Japan, employed by the whale museum of Taiji, and the local people of Lebata Lamalera Indonesia. This essay will present a critique of the slaughter of dolphins in both of these places, public deception, and toxicity of dolphin meat. In relation to sociological perspectives, I will not only show the culture of the fishermen, but that of the dolphins as well. I will challenge key points, from both instances, to see if there is any ethical guideline they both follow. I will also highlight the capitalist nature of the Taiji dolphin drives, and the religious beliefs of the Lembata people. I will also look at who is affected by these ‘catches’, and alternative sustainable resources. I will start with an overview of the surrounding factor of gold mining, and subsequent mercury pollution, as it plays a key part in both cultures choice to hunt dolphins.
Gold mining in Indonesia ranks 9th in the world (statistics of 2011) and is responsible for the pollution of bodies of water, surrounding the mines. The pollutant? Mercury, a highly toxic global air/water contaminate. A neuro-toxin, capable of destroying a humans nervous system. It is used by the Indonesian miners to retrieve gold from its ore, and is used by the gallon in the shallows where the gold is found. Gold mining is the occupation of choice for most Indonesians, and for some, the only choice. In relation to Taiji, mercury pollutes the air surrounding the industrial plants, that use it. In turn this...
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