Every year, in Denmark, specifically the Faroe Islands, innocent and helpless Calderon Dolphins are slaughtered brutally by the Danes. Why you may ask, simply because. A pointless and stupid right of passage to manhood. What point is there in killing another living being just to prove you have “evolved”, you have transcended. There is simply no need. These poor dolphins are stabbed a number of times, but as if that weren’t enough, they bleed to death, probably in excruciating pain while the whole town watches. Needless to say, that killing a defenseless animal is no prove of anybody’s manhood. So, I urge, as I am sure many more have, to stop this nonsense. And take action. Never, ever, killing an other creature, another living being, with whom we share this world, has done any good, to anyone. So let’s stop it. http://www.protecttheocean.com/denmark-continues-dolphin-slaughter-warning-graphic-images/

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When I first read this article and saw the pictures, I felt sickened to the pit of my stomach. How could they stand to do this – stain the sea red and spill the insides of innocent animals onto the shore? My first reaction was revulsion, outrage; I tried to sign the online petition (which is now closed). And then I read another commentary on the issue.

These whale kills have occurred in the Faroe Islands for hundreds of years and are considered by Islanders to be an important part of their social culture. It is generally only Faroese men who take part in the killings while female islanders look on. The whale hunts have caused international outrage and have been roundly condemned as unnecessary and barbaric by conservation and animal rights groups around the world. However, Faroe Islanders vigorously defend their right to engage in the hunts. A Wikipedia entry on the subject notes: Most Faroese maintain that it is their right to catch pilot whales given that they have done so for centuries. The Faroese whalers defend their actions before international organizations like Greenpeace with three arguments: one, that grindadráp is not a hunt as such, but a dráp meaning a kill (ie that they do not regularly take to sea just to hunt for pilot whales, but only kill those which are sighted swimming to close at land); two, that the pilot whale hunt does not exist for commercial reasons, but for internal food distribution among households; and three, they do not believe the pilot whale to be an endangered species. They further argue that most people in the modern world have become so far removed from the harsh realities of animal food production that they have formulated unrealistic notions of how food actually gets to their tables. However, conservation organisations do not consider these factors to be valid arguments for the continuation of the slaughters. They argue that modern day Faroe Islanders have ample food and do not require whale meat to survive as in earlier centuries. Moreover, they point out that Pilot Whales in the region are known to have high levels of mercury, PCBs and environmental poisons and excessive consumption of whale meat could be detrimental to the health of Islanders. In spite of its cultural significance, the continuation of the practise is very difficult to convincingly defend and even some Faroe Islanders have began opposing it.

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They further argue that most people in the modern world have become so far removed from the harsh realities of animal food production that they have formulated unrealistic notions of how food actually gets to their tables.”

This line struck me in the face with my own hypocrisy.

I’m not a vegetarian. The meat I eat daily comes through some kind of “slaughter” of its own. We take that for granted, and just because the animals we deem “acceptable” to be killed for food aren’t charismatic megafauna like dolphins… does that make it any more “right”?

What right do I have to feel morally superior to these people?

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