Typepad Import Image

This photo, credited to Reuters, shows a female minke whale and her calf being towed up the rear ramp of the Japanese whaling vessel Yushin Maru No. 2 in the southern Pacific Ocean. The image was among a group of images released on February 7 by Australia as part of an action challenging Japan’s whaling practices. Go here for details.
I titled this post as I did because the image is certainly a kind of graphic evidence of the reality of modern whaling. The image suggests that whaling now is less of a hunt than a harvest. It’s certainly not like Moby Dick, with intrepid men in long boats being towed around by leviathans. Like 19th century whaling ships the Yushin Maru No. 2 is essential a whaling factory, just infinitely more efficient.
I had briefly thought about titling the post “The Photo As Propaganda,” since its use as a handout was meant to stir public anger over whaling. I believe that would be unfair to the image and the power of the facts it contains. The picture speaks for itself, and viewers can draw their own conclusions. I have.—David Schonauer