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Apologies if you guys have already discussed this today, but have just caught sight of pages 28 and 29 of today's Daily Mail and am disgusted to see pictures of a huge whale slaughtering session taking place on the Faroe Islands.

140 whales.  Loads of blood and hundreds of people having a good loo and making a day out of it.  I'm not exactly what I'd consider a tree-hugging type, but this sickens me.  Am I alone?

(insert really p****d off emoticon here)
 

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<font color='#810541'>There's an article about it on the BBC news website - try this link:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1....494.stm

It's been going on for years, seems the international moratorium on whaling did not include this traditional hunt?

I'm not sure which way to go on this - 90% of the pilot whale is consumed, so perhaps it's more defensible than 'catch and throw back' or 'catch and leave dead' type of animal sports that exist and are very popular in this country?

There is also the point that at about 1/4th of a percent (2000 out of 800,000) of the pilot whale population taken per year, whilst the photographs are horrific it's not as ecologically important as the codfish crisis?

I AM a bit of a closet tree hugger, but I get less wound up about the Faroese pilot whales than I do about Pate de Foie Gras.

EDIT:
I've just re-read what I originally wrote and it's a bit pro Whale hunting, and that was NOT what I intended.  I personally don't agree with, and wouldn't participate in hunting / slaughter of any kind, but taken in the context of other animal related sports or capture for food (or worse, for trophys, or reputed sexual potency increases), the Faroese whale hunt seems less damaging.
 

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It's not the threat to the whale population as in this case its insignificant, so much as the fact that they are slaughtering such highly inteligent animals.
Most people in the UK would give outcry to someone killing a cat or a dog in this fashion and they are nowhere near as inteligent as a whale.
Looks like our radioactive pollution may eventually bring this to an end anyway though.
 

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As I unerstand it, there is only the Japanese and the Norwegians who still try and keep up the transparent pretense and shoddy veneer that there is any 'scientific' merit in hunting and killing  whales - there is nothing of the sort. If the Japs can reduce transitors down to the size of fitting 500 of the buggers onto the size of a pin-head (and growing the damned things from scratch in silicon), then what ever it is they are looking for in killing whales can be achieved in/by other means - and those which don't necessitate the wholesale and industrial-scale butchery of a living thing. Senseless slaughter of, in the words of Jon Andersson, "our last heaven beast..." (From Yes's song "Don't Kill the Whale", I think from their album 'Tormato').

The Japs' Kharma will come back to haunt them and, if the Norwegians can stop committing suicide in droves for five minutes (something to do with the large number of hours of darkness), then they will understand that there is more to be learnt from studying live 'specimens' than the butchered carcass of an amazing creature.

Shame on them, and I am far from being a tree-hugger.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (DanG @ Sep. 15 2003,18:27)]Most people in the UK would give outcry to someone killing a cat or a dog in this fashion and they are nowhere near as inteligent as a whale.
Such a view is as much to do with society and culture, rather that objectivity. There are people who are quite happy to eat dog, but I don't know about cats.

If whales are more intelligent than cats, which allows us to feed them and which allows us to slaughter them?
We have problems measuring 'intelligence' in ourselves, let alone other animals. Tests on animals can only be influenced by our own perceptions of intelligence.

As Douglas Adams once wrote
[b said:
Quote[/b] ]It is an important and popular fact that things are not always what they seem. For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much -- the wheel, New York, wars and so on -- whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man -- for precisely the same reasons.
I tend towards what Aclivity wrote. I have enjoyed sailing with whales and dolphins for several days, yet would kill one if I had to to survive. The Faroese eat 90% of the animal, none is sold. They make no pretence of killing for science, just food.

Adrian
 

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Ah, survival, now that's a 'kill anything that moves, clip its horns, wipe its ass and serve the puppy up' kinda gig.

I have no probs with the Innuit (Eskimos) catching, killing and eating whales, it's not like they can just nip down to the nearest Tesco for some Colcanon and ******* in gravy now, is it? I would eat whale, but I doubt I could eat a whole one.......at one sitting  
 

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<font color='#810541'>
[b said:
Quote[/b] ] If whales are more intelligent than cats, which allows us to feed them and which allows us to slaughter them?
If we suddenly started shooting cats then I would assume that you would say the cats were "allowing" that too? I just thought that this comment was a little absurd. Whales don't "let us" kill them, they just can't get out of the way of the harpoons!! If I shot you with a gun and you weren't Keanu Reeves and didn't manage to dodge my bullet, I'd say you were allowing me to kill you and therefore weren't all too intelligent! Whales are indeed intelligent. They can migrate thousands of miles and find food in the deepest places of the ocean. Domestic cats, which man have created by selective breeding on the other hand only know where their food bowl is and how to get home from a couple of streets away and maybe catch a bird or two. Yet, I do agree with you that human measures of animal intelligence are extremely subjective. When dealing with wild animals, it really depends what you mean by "intelligence". Are you talking about cognitive thinking? Or, adaptive instinctive behaviours which enable an animal to be masters of their ecological niche. Most animals show some degree of suffering and pain and I don't care if it's a whale, a cow, turtle, sparrow or salmon or even something without a backbone! No animal deserves to be treated in a cruel way, kept in a cage, forced to get fat, treated with hormones, made to stand in their on excrement... etc.

So I don't see why a whale should suffer any less than a cat or anything else




If the death of a pilot whale is sudden and as painless as possible and the islanders can justify their needs for this hunt then I am not so concerned about this slaughter. I doubt however that these whales are killed as humanely as possible. That is sad. My point is though that, this is not what people should be most concerned about! This is only a taste of what humans are capable of and what they are indeed doing to animals and the enviromnment.

As others have pointed out. What Japan and Norway and Iceland do to whales is far far worse! And also, the effects of low frequency sonar, which the US navy is using, on marine mammals is pretty horrific!

There are also many more animals suffering great cruelty in factory livestock farms, fish farms, dairy and egg farms. There's also ongoing illegal poaching of endangered animals, the tropical bird trade, the furr trade, the overharvesting of the oceans e.g cod and salmon fishing, shrimp trawling which kills turtles and many other marine animals... there's so many things that cause horrific suffering of animals.

There's cruelty to animals, intelligent and not so intelligent and that is something to think about. But there is also the danger of so many entire species going extinct and some that have already. It is not justifiable for man to do this, to force other animals off the face of the planet, to degrade the environment in such a selfish way ....Not IMO!! Please check out the ecologist magazine for updates on issues to be really concerned about and advice on what we can do to help.  www.theecologist.co.uk

Sorry for being preachy.... but when I see people getting upset about a few cute animals getting killed I'm like ...
 Grrrrrr!!

lizardfish x
 

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The pilot whale hunt in the Faroes is a tradition that goes back to viking times. These days, it has nothing to do with their needing to hunt the whales in order to survive. It's just an ancient tradition, like our eating turkey on Christmas Day. I don't know whether pilot whales are more intelligent than turkeys (or, indeed, cows) but I find it hard to get worked up about the hunt, especially as they are a far from threatened species, although it is a bloody affair and would probably turn my stomach if I witnessed it in reality. The Japanese and Norwegian "scientific" whale-hunting is a completely different story.
Here in Sweden, the autumn elk hunt will start in a few weeks and the forest wil be full of people shooting elks and deer. I certainly couldn't shoot an elk or deer and even less skin and gut one (although I do enjoy eating the meat), but tens of thousands of Swedes, including many women, look forward to it immensely. It's just another ancient tradition that goes back centuries and an important part of country people's culture.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (lizardfish @ Sep. 15 2003,19:53)]
[b said:
Quote[/b] ] If whales are more intelligent than cats, which allows us to feed them and which allows us to slaughter them?
If we suddenly started shooting cats then I would assume that you would say the cats were "allowing" that too? I just thought that this comment was a little absurd. Whales don't "let us" kill them, they just can't get out of the way of the harpoons!! If I shot you with a gun and you weren't Keanu Reeves and didn't manage to dodge my bullet, I'd say you were allowing me to kill you and therefore weren't all too intelligent! Whales are indeed intelligent. They can migrate thousands of miles and find food in the deepest places of the ocean. Domestic cats, which man have created by selective breeding on the other hand only know where their food bowl is and how to get home from a couple of streets away and maybe catch a bird or two. Yet, I do agree with you that human measures of animal intelligence are extremely subjective. When dealing with wild animals, it really depends what you mean by "intelligence". Are you talking about cognitive thinking? Or, adaptive instinctive behaviours which enable an animal to be masters of their ecological niche. Most animals show some degree of suffering and pain and I don't care if it's a whale, a cow, turtle, sparrow or salmon or even something without a backbone! No animal deserves to be treated in a cruel way, kept in a cage, forced to get fat, treated with hormones, made to stand in their on excrement... etc.

So I don't see why a whale should suffer any less than a cat or anything else
Lizardfish

I agree with you. My post is not at clear on the point, but I was trying to imply that intelligence should have nothing to do with the issue of killing animals for food. Assigning labels of 'cuteness' or 'intelligence' is just emotional dressing up.

I doubt it's easy to humanely kill a whale, it may depend on size, I just don't know. Nature does not appear to kill quickly. Toxins that dissolve the conscious insect to killer whales playing catch with seals.

Cats have been known to find their way home over hundreds of miles. Whales beach themselves, but we link to think ouy activities cause this. Maybe, in all their intelligence, whales get depressed...

Adaptive instinctive or cognitive thinking, can we really know until we can have a full two way conversation with these creatures? And that would only happen if two species can even share concepts and ideas. Explain blue to a bat...

Maybe one day.

Adrian
 

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I was told by someone else who had had it that it was delicious, a bit like steak but really tender.
Never tried it myself
jules
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>Warning: This post, though not meant for anyone in particular, will pi55 some people off. So be it.

Being a Norwegian I thought I'd jump in give you good people a face to your target...

I don't eat whale normally, but it does taste good. I don't kill whales. I do go hunting for grouse and moose, though I'm a terrible shot so lately I've left that to others.

Whales are intelligent so we shouldn't kill them? COME ON!
They're animals. If we shouldn't kill whales then we shouldn't kill anything else for food.
We're on top of the food chain. We need meat for protein. Most of us are not content eating tofu and soy sausages.

Saying that the Norwegians or the Japanese are wrong is hypcritical and shows a double moral. Especially coming from anybody that eats meat and lives in the EU. And you all know why.

Chicken the size of Turkey (yes, the country) and livestock unable to support themselves due to body weight. That's okay?

Sorry peeps. Your outrage should be directed at the ones that raise animals for food in an unhealthy and downright terrible manner, not to people that swiftly and effectively as can be kill a number of wild animals in their natural habitat.

We kill a few whales each year, out of a sustainable stock. Like we kill fish and we kill moose. And pigs. And cows. And chicken.

Intelligence my arse.  


With otherwise high regards,

Kyrre
Not ducking for cover.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] ]killer whales playing catch with seals.
Thats a good one, few creatures get enjoyment out of the suffering of others, I can think of another one though.

I guess such a topic is always going to provoke strong responses as everyone has such different opinions on it.  Personally I have no problem with eating cows and sheep that are free range and basically bred for consumption, I would definately put them in the stupid animal catagory and don't think they really notice the difference between big field with fences and just in just big field.
[b said:
Quote[/b] ]There are people who are quite happy to eat dog, but I don't know about cats
Yes in places like Korea they will eat both but it doesn't mean its a good thing and they are generally killed in a far from humane way.  They don't waste much though, they highly prize a lot of the bits we wouldn't even consider eating.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that there are certain animals that shouldn't really be eaten and in this day and age - and in developed countries I don't think we should be eating them.
I don't like eating that soy junk but there are plenty of meats out there from animals that are bred for consumption and live and die in a humane manner.
The Japanese whaling fleets helped them out of a serious time when they would have had a lot of starvation otherwise but now a lot of thier younger generation will not eat whale.  This in no way excuses the fact that some of them still insist on going out and killing whales but at least now there is some oposition in that country to whaling and they even have protests now.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (John Gulliver @ Sep. 15 2003,21:52)]The pilot whale hunt in the Faroes is a tradition that goes back to viking times.
as it also used to be in orkney and shetland yet they have managed to put it behind them.
 

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I'm sorry I started this one but to feedback and clarify my feelings...

In fairness I'd never heard of this whale hunt before and so was just a little shocked at the pictures of lots of dead whales, blood in the sea and kids playing hopscotch on fresh whale carcasses.

Having read all your thoughts, I appreciate that it's a tradition and nothing compared to Japan et al - I wasn't actually trying to compare it or say it is the worst thing to happen in the world ever, I was just a little perturbed by the pics as generally, and more so as a diver, I feel we should be leaving what is in the sea, in the sea (it's my opionion and I'm not one to force it upon others!!).

For the record:

I haven't eaten whale, dog or cat and don't intend to as I am a fussy eater (I have however tried crocodile and it tasted like tough chicken and so I won't be going there again).

I do eat chickens and would happily kill them for food.

I would defend myself against any animal attacking me, including the Dodo, T-Rex, Giant Panda, Siberian White Tigers, Cod and Sparrows.

I am not an animal rights activist, I am just someone who didn't like a photo in the paper yesterday.
 

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I am biting my tongue so hard it's almost bleeding!!!

I.....will......resist...........

Lou

p.s.  Activist is too strong a word for the amount I do, but I have been on the odd protest!!!
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (LesleySS @ Sep. 16 2003,13:45)]I'm sorry I started this one but to feedback and clarify my feelings...
<font color='#0000FF'>Hey, don't be sorry.  


We come here to discuss stuff, don't we?

You have every right to feel bad when you react to a picture in the newspaper or footage on telly. You are entitled to your opinion.

Nevertheless, I believe what several of us have tried to say is that there are different opinions as to what's right and what's wrong. Very often the feelings are culturally induced.

In my view the problem is exactly that: We bring feelings into this, and brand people without hesitation based on the cuteness of the animal involved.

Being from "the other side" I get rather aggrevated when people judge our cultural ways based on their feelings rather than their intellect. That goes not only for the whale killing, but also when it comes to underwater- or overland hunting. For some people reaping nature's surplus is wrong while for others it is an inherited right and necessity. Executed with a general concern for the environment and sustainability of the species I see nothing wrong with hunting.

An example: In Norway (and Sweden) there is now so much moose that in some areas they have problems with "gangs" of moose invading smaller communities in the winter, rummaging through the gardens and parks looking for food. Why? Because most of the carnivorous threat to the Moose was killed off through the last centuries. We've only got a handful of Wolves and Bears left. In order to keep the Moose at a sustainable level we in Norway have to shoot off about 40000 moose every year. Sustainable? Yes, because if we don't kill them we'll end up with too many. They eat the crops and new pine forests. They end up eating the "wrong" food (like pine and spruce shots) and in the end starve to death.
The number of moose has to be controlled.

40.000 moose is a lot of food. An easy estimate would give you about 4000 tons of very healthy meat. That's 4 million kilos. Double that if you still want to talk pounds. And each kilo is worth about 5 quid. That is a lot of money.


Still people argue against hunting, even here in Norway.

A bit OT in regards to the pilot whales, I agree, but I just wanted to show that hunting for food has many sides to it.
Pilot whale killing? It sounds to me like it's a bloody mess but if it all ends up in the pot then the means are justified.

Now fox hunting, on the other hand...  


Kyrre
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Lou @ Sep. 16 2003,14:32)]I am biting my tongue so hard it's almost bleeding!!!

I.....will......resist...........

Lou
<font color='#0000FF'>Go on, you know you want to..  


Giz your best shot, Lou.

Kyrre
(Who will go orca-snorkling this October if all goes well. Encircling the weak ones  
)
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Mdemon @ Sep. 15 2003,22:04)]Anyone know what whale tastes like?
Chicken.
 

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But you have to admit, Kyrre, that Norway and Japan are pretty well on their own in the international community as regards your attitude to hunting whales (apart from a few third-world countries that let themselves be bribed by the Japanese). I am reminded of the proud mother who attended a parade and said "My son was the only one in step".
I won't even bother to comment on the "hunting for scientific research purposes" angle. Talk about hypocrisy!!!!
I know whale hunting us very much part of your local culture in northern Norway but what's going to happen to that culture when you've wiped them all out? It's true that elks and deer have to be culled these days as we killed almost all their natural predators a century or more ago but that doesn't apply to whales. Leave them be! You don't need the meat. Most of it goes to Japan anyway, I believe.
 
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