Tuesday, May 20, 2008

When Will We Ever Learn?

News on TV today is that Iceland is resuming whaling. Iceland's government is allowing 40 Minke whales to be hunted, ending a temporary halt to a practice which has angered conservationists.

The head of a local whaling association confirmed that fishermen on three whaling boats were preparing to go to sea from Thursday.

To say I'm disgusted is an understatement.

These big creatures of the sea do no harm to anyone. They are intelligent giants of the sea. Their breeding takes years, so killing them means many years for the recovery of their population numbers.

About two years ago I visited a beach up north where something like 40 pilot whales were stranded. I got there too late to help, and many of them died, but some were refloated and herded back out into open water. I had my camera with me...

Here the ones that didn't make it, are all lined up in a row ready for burial.

The area was cordoned off to keep people further away so the workmen could work without hurting anyone. I asked if I could step into the cordoned off area to take photos and I was given permission.

While taking photos, I felt like an intruder. One doesn't take photos of funerals do they? I felt very out of place, but I persevered and am glad I did.

Tying the canvas rope to secure the dead Pilot Whale

Lift Off

On it's way...

to be buried in the sand dunes along the beach a bit in an area that is not so busy.

The others lined up waiting their turn.

Even in death it still manages to smile.

There is no beauty in killing such magnificent creatures of the sea. There is no real reason for killing them for food or cosmetics. There are plenty of products available to use instead of whale.

When will the human race wake up? I give $100 per year to Greenpeace to help the fight against whaling. Do you? Would you?


Bron said...

Yeah, I am opposed to whaling also although whenever this issue comes up I start coming up with the big philosophical question mark "what about cows, what about sheep, what about chickens, pigs, cod, shrimps" and the other things we knock off for our food ... and the whole unfairness of nature requiring that living things kill each other cruelly to survive (hmmmm - should crocodiles be stopped from twisting off the limbs of their prey or is it even more cruel if they starve to death instead?) I never really know the answer to this except that in the case of humans we should probably limit our kill to what we really need.... and do we REALLY need to eat whales?......... certainly we don't need them to make make up!

You were pretty lucky to have that experience. Even if it is sad they died it must be pretty awe inspiring to get so close to such an amazing creature!

Karen Mayes said...

Oh my god. Thank you for sharing it with us...

I don't know... hunting is often seen as a safe way to release the need to kill and I don't like it... There are better ways to release it in more productive ways, such as contact sports.

*shaking my head sadly*

Abbie said...

Oh my gosh, this picture is so haunting. I find this so disturbing. There is one thing that i can't ever get out of my head about whaling. I remember watching this movie about whaling and the cries they made when they were captured, absolutely heart breaking, completely devastating to hear.

This is awful, I would gladly pay 100 bucks to stop this...

marble911 said...

I guess the "Global Peace Index" http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080520/ts_nm/rights_peace_index_dc doesn't take cruelty towards animals into account...

Bron definitely has a point about other animals. But the fact that other stuff is wrong too doesn't make this any better, does it?

Very powerful images. I envy you for getting the chance to take those pictures, however cruel and wrong that may sound. Not sure I could've pulled it off, though. I couldn't even really take pics of a house with smoke coming out when I had the chance, it just didn't feel right...I kept thinking people in there might be suffering or even dying and what am I doing here, taking pics.

Some of your pics might do quite well in any "man and nature" related photography contest.