The whale slaughter is an annual event where thousands of whales are driven into shore where they can be slaughtered, staining the ocean red with blood. This is a traditional cultural event, but like Gunther, I am not really interested in the excuses. The Islanders are so proud of what they are doing though, they are getting the kids involved. That is what is so shocking about the pictures are the kids so happily killing gentle harmless animals.
This tragic slaughter of intelligent creatures — so intelligent, in fact, that researchers proclaim that dolphins should be thought of as “non-human persons” — is not only renowned as cultural tradition, but celebrated as a community festival. Children often get the day off from school, and anyone in the community is welcome to grab a hook and join in on the stabbing. Talk about a ridiculous field trip. As it appears, the Faroe Islands are doing a great job of breeding the next generation of senseless animal killers.
Some people in the Faroe Islands try to pull the “tradition” and “culture” cards when criticized for this practice. I agree that, as a rule of thumb, traditions should be judged within the context of that culture, but when it comes to mass murder, I think someone needs to draw a line in the bloody sand.
Of course, I can think of an American holiday where the families gather around the dead body of a certain bird…Is it good that we hide children from the transition of a gobbling turkey to gobbling up turkey? Or should we excuse kids from school a la the Faroe Islands so they can see how our favorite Thanksgiving bird makes its way from farm to plate?
Rituals of animal slaughter and celebrations centered around violence and killing are no way to celebrate togetherness, and killing live animals is no way to prove courage or maturity. Whales and dolphins need protections — documentaries like The Cove highlight the dolphin slaughter happening on the coast of Japan, but it’s important to remember that dolphins aren’t the only cetaceans in danger, and Japan isn’t the only country where boats await to corral them into a perilous cove or bay.
Filed Under: Animal & Plant Life