A whale of a time

“This really must stop!”

“What?” Councillor Toshu rose from his seat in the mock-indignation that he had played time and time again in these chambers, whenever his treaty was up for review.

“These ‘research expeditions’, as your organisation calls them, have to stop.” Toshu didn’t immediately recognise the speaker. He must be a newly elected and eager to make a name for himself by courting controversy.

“I will have you know that my organisation is well within our rights to send out ships to hunt and capture a small sustainable number of specimens for scientific research, as specified in the treaty under review and which I am sure this wise council will pass, today.” Toshu smiled, his voice as well-oiled as the greased the machinery of government.

“Scientific research? What absolute rubbish! The only research your organisation does is on how to best serve them. Raw, grilled or maybe smoked or slow cooked in a warm bath? What’s in vogue now?”

“No sense in wasting the carcasses once the experiments are done, is there?” Toshu quipped, to chuckles from fellow councillors.

“Just listen to yourselves trying to justify the slaughter of an endangered, sentient species.”

“Come on, there are enough of them. Our treaty ensures that. And as for sentient, yes they are mammals, yes they can communicate with each other but sentience? They are so primitive, so brutish, do you really believe they are on the same level as us, or could ever be?” Toshu paused for effect.

“And there are 6 billion of them. That’s hardly endangered. I would suggest the honourable councillor turn his attention to more pressing matters, like maybe the state of scientific education among the youth today,” Toshu finished with a flourish.

Applause drowned out the protesting councillor’s retort of how six billion were trapped on a dying planet.

The Secretary General moved to vote. Toshu smiled. Their heritage was safe.

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