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Environmental Ethics

Volume 23, Issue 3, Fall 2001

Ronnie Hawkins
Pages 287-306

Cultural Whaling, Commodification, and Culture Change

Whaling is back on the international stage as pro-whaling interests push to reopen commercial whaling by overturning the moratorium imposed in 1986. Proponents of ending the ban are using two strategies: (1) appealing to public sentiment that supports indigenous subsistence whaling by attempting to cloak commercial whaling in the same guise and (2) maintaining that reopening commercial whaling is the “scientific” option. I reject both ploys, and instead shift the focus for global debate to scrutinizing the industrial economic model that Western culture is currently imposing on the rest of the world, a model which ultimately reduces all life forms to mere commodities for the marketplace.

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