The dolphin alone, beyond all other, nature has granted what the best philosophers seek: friendship for no advantage. (Plutarch)
It was Saturday morning, I was lazying around, enjoying the last few minutes of free time before I had to start my day. I opened my email...and found myself short of breath, sick to my stomach and unable to pull my gaze away from the words and images that were shattering my vision of the world all over again.
I'll be the first to admit that my opinion of human beings is pretty low on most days, but this...this was the most inhuman, abhorrent, horrifying display of our baseness that I had ever witnessed.
Staring me straight in the face were some of the most disgusting images I had ever seen, and working in what I do, I've seen some pretty terrible things in my time. These images were beyond words.
In Denmark, there is an annual practice in the Faroe Islands where dolphins are slaughtered in an environment of festivity and amusement. This tradition began in 1584 and has continued up to the present day. It is considered to be a rite of passage for young boys entering manhood, and children are given a day off school to witness this "fun event".
Of a morning, the fishing vessels will head out, herd in the animals who are bound and dragged into the bay, where the boys enter proceed to stab the animals repeatedly, turning the sea a bright red. Between 2500 and 3000 cetaceans as well as porpoise (whales and different types of dolphins) are slaughtered in the proceedings, their entrails removed from their bodies - all in the name of tradition and fun.
Members of the cetacean family, dolphins and whales are highly intelligent mammals, with complex social behaviour patterns. Their brain is equal in size to the human brain, reaches the upper average size of approximately 1700grams. Compare this to the chimpanzee, who is said to be closest to human beings in evolutionary terms who reaches an average brain size of approximately 350grams at adulthood. Although brain size itself does not determine intelligence (take a look at what is going on in the Faroe Islands), there have been countless experiments with dolphins that have ranked them highest in the levels of intelligence - comparable to that of human beings.
Dolphins have been observed carrying out any number of altruistic behavior patterns that suggest a sentient intelligence unparallelled in other animals, going so far as to protect swimmers from sharks and remaining with injured members of their group, even helping them to breathe by helping them surface when needed.
The most horrifying part of this hunt is that it is not only a part of the Faroe Island culture, but since 1932 it has been part of their legislature too.
This is what is being done to them:
This is barbarianism, humanity at it's lowest. It's hard to take a stand in the face of such tradition and brutality, but if we don't start here and now, whose voice will be speaking up for us?
Please follow the link below and sign the PETA petition.
It might not be much, but it's a start.