When it comes to the mass killing of whales in the ocean, it is very easy for many people to point in outrage at Japanese whaling fleets, or to Norway’s resistance to the IWC’s moratorium on commercial whaling. Hunting whales is unsustainable, plus they’re too cute right? Free Willy and Flipper won our hearts as children, so how could these people even think of killing and eating such majestic creatures?
The sad fact is, we are all responsible for the slow slog towards extinction that whales are facing. Every country has its part to play.
In recent years, we are seeing more and more “mass beachings” of whales, in which dozens wash up onto our shores at a time. What is causing this, you may ask? There seem to be two predominant explanations for this.
As for the 29 sperm whales which washed up on the German shores of the North Sea this year, they seem to have starved with a full stomach – that is – their stomachs were filled with plastic bags and debris, distending their stomachs while providing no nutritional value.
Other mass beachings seem to be caused by sonar tests conducted by Navy warships and other exploratory vessels, leading to hemorrhaging of the brain and leading the whales to seek to leave the water in distress.
It is so very, very easy to feel morally superior to the Japanese, Norwegians, and inhabitants of the Faroe Islands as they kill and eat whales in this day and age. It is less easy to realize that any country which sports a Navy, an oil company, or uses plastic on a regular basis is in fact responsible for a staggering number of whale lives. If you are one of those people who is adamant about imposing a worldwide ban on whaling, I would ask you to take that into consideration, and realize that such a ban will not be sufficient, not by a long shot.
Do you really want to “Save the Whales”? Time to take a hard look at how your own country is contributing to their demise as well.