Having had a few days off, over the festive period, I’ve had the chance to watch the entire series of Whale Wars: Viking Shores about an operation to stop the slaughter of Pilot Whales in the Faroe Islands.
The annual Grind, the driving of pods of Pilot Whales inshore followed by their wholesale slaughter, adults and calves alike, has been going on for centuries. The islanders say that is a tradition, and it is their right to continue it.
It is a fact that, at present, Pilot Whales are not an endangered species, and that the whales killed each year for food, generally in the low hundreds, may not cause that to change. But is that any reason to continue such a barbaric practice?
In the face of opposition, from people like Paul Watson and the Sea Shepherd organisation amongst many others, the islanders have adopted more humane practices, but the hauling of beached animals out of the water by inserting a hook into their blowhole, followed by the cutting of their spinal chord in front of their family members can never be called humane.
Traditions are something we all hold dear, in many ways they make us who we are as a nation, but surely there are some that must be allowed to fall by the wayside. In the time of the Roman empire, Christians were fed to lions for entertainment, I’m not sure that would be allowed nowadays.
The bloody scenes on the beaches of the Faroe Islands are just the public face of animal slaughter the world over. Images from slaughter houses and meat processing plants show just how barbaric eating other creatures really is.
Whilst I have given up eating all meat and dairy products, for a combination of health reasons and humane principles, and would like others to follow that path, I hope that any who get the opportunity to watch the series via Sky On Demand will lend their support to the Sea Shepherd and help put a stop to any form of whaling, wherever it may be happening, under any excuse.