PACIFIC OCEAN (Rooters Underwater agency) – Part of the upcoming Gathering of Sealife looks to be highly contentious, due to the proposal by some species and genera to impose a moratorium on the practice of hunting and eating Homo sapiens.
While the differences are often described as being based on genera or even orders of Sealife, the reality is that there are opposing views even within species. This, at least in part, reflects different experiences of contact with Homo sapiens, or humans.
For example, shark delegates arriving for the Gathering are quick to point out that the proposed moratorium, usually referred to as “the whale proposal,” is not supported by many whale pods, especially as it applies to particular groups of humans, such as those from Japan and Norway.
However, the pods behind the proposal argue that Sealife must look beyond the accidental interactions with humans in different places and recognize that humans – and perhaps even other Landthings – possess consciousness, possibly of a level near our own, and should therefore not be treated as a mere food source. As evidence, they cite the fact of humans sometimes attempting to help return to the sea numbers of whales who have accidentally stranded on land.
Sharks, and the whales who agree with them, argue that such seemingly helpful behavior by humans is simply a low-order semi-instinctive response. Those humans, they say, have enough brain power to realize that an entire dead pod would rot away before they could eat it all, so that whales they might catch and eat later should be pushed back into the water. But humans generally, they continue, show no consciousness of real Sealife welfare – or even the welfare of their own species. And they cite what we know about what humans do to each other.
The differing views do not seem to be likely to be compromised. A proposal by a minority of squid delegates, to approve the eating of humans only if they have died by drowning or some other non-intentional event, has received little support. And since Sealife seems to be fairly evenly divided on the proposal, a consensus at this Gathering seems unlikely.
Of course, eating or not eating humans is a fairly minor question among those being weighed at this Gathering. Few of the delegates would ever have eaten a human or have any desire to do so. Even one of the sharks opposing the proposal told Rooters Underwater: “I only ever ate one, and it was an accident; I thought it was a surfboard. Humans aren’t all that tasty. But eating them is a part of my culture.”