I don't know, in my opinion it's just the way of nature. People may not see it like that but we are actually part of nature. So are brick walls, skyscrapers and everything else we build. As for killing intelligent life... well... pigs are among the most intelligent animals out there and we don't care. If it's in their culture to hunt whales then let them hunt whales, dolphins, polar bears, whatever. Who are we to tell them they're wrong? Foxhunting is no different and was even called a sport until it was banned a few years ago. Bullfighting is still legal in some parts of Spain, Portugal and France. Is hunting whales really that much worse than intensive livestock farming just because there are not as many whales as there are chickens and pigs?
Should they have used the earthquake money? Hell, no.