I'm not arguing that whale hunts shouldn't end. It's the mechanized scale of those hunts, in particular, that is troubling. I don't think any of us would argue that hunter-gatherers in the arctic circle are 'cruel' for their whaling... they live in an environment where there most of the year there's nothing BUT meat to be found.
It's just that my alarms go off when I read statements declaring that entire races are 'cruel'.
It's one thing to say that subsets of a culture are cruel... it's another to say that 1.5 billion people are, by virtue of the ethnicity that they were born into, are "cruel".
I think it's important to remember that the vast majority of the Chinese population eat FAR less animal protein than we do in the west, for example.
It's not the scale. It's the fundamental principle. I can't see a moral corallary between the two concepts, awful as they both are.