The Macksey Journal


From pre-historic to modern times, whales remain an exploitable resource—though in recent decades the controversy surrounding whaling has yielded economical, political, and social “double-standards” on a domestic and global scale. Through reading anti-whaling and international organization statements, government documents, and statistical data, this paper examines the history of three countries—Japan, Norway, and the U.S.—to compare the “double-standards” presented against Japan. While Norway whales with relatively little backlash, Japan ostensibly faces the brunt of the criticisms. Similarly, the U.S. which once maintained a burgeoning whaling industry now supports ending whaling, and this change reflects whaling’s shift from acceptable to controversial. Conflicts arise as a result of Japan’s choice to whale seen through its conflicts with anti-whaling organizations such as Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society; international organizations such as the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and United Nations (UN); and other countries such as Australia and the U.S.A. By examining these conflicts, the nuances of each relationship construes the current climate surrounding whaling and presents the effects of domestic “double-standards” on indigenous tribes in Japan and the U.S. Additionally, this paper compares whaling with certain western food practices, including foie gras and veal, to demonstrate how Orientalism affects the practices of those controversies.