Saturday, April 30, 2011

Denmark's Bloodbath

This is how I like to see them. Credit goes to Oceana
    Known as the Grindadrap in the Faroe Islands, annual massacres of long an short-finned pilot whales have been a joyful tradition since as early as 1586. Each year these extremely social, intelligent and sensitive animals are slaughtered extremely brutally by heartless people who believe to prove themselves as "men" by participating in this slaughter. Anywhere from 1,000-3,000 pilot whales alone are killed each year. Occasionally, Northern bottlenose whales, Atlantic white-beaked dolphins, harbor porpoises, and Atlantic white-sided dolphins are caught too, but it is mainly pilot whales. But any species will be taken.

  When a pod is spotted, it is driven into small bay or fjord. They used to be stabbed to death in the blubber with gaff hooks. Now, blunt gaffs are beaten into the blowhole to drag the 20-foot long whale into shallow water as they fight and try to escape. They say that the blunt gaff is more humane than the ordinary gaff, which is now only used to pull dead whales ashore. But the blocking of the airway panics and causes extreme pain to the animal. It would be the same if you shoved a hook down somebody's throat or up their nasal cavity and then dragged them around. Killing evolves clubbing, stabbing, thrashing, and screaming. They slash the arteries and veins that supply blood to the head or cut the spinal cord, all with a large whaling knife called a grindaknivur. As the whales' screams and cries fill the air, the men laugh and curse. The whales are claimed by the Faroese to die within seconds, tops being two minutes (as stated in the Faroese book, Two Minutes). The Sea Shepherd crew have observed the slaughter and say that the whales don't die in two minutes, they die in about ten.

  After they are dead, cranes are used to pull whales out of the water and tractors are used to transport them to the dock. Once on the dock, they cut open all the whales. Sometimes, a fetus will be pulled out of a female. Not caring that they have just killed a pregnant female, the slaughters will cut umbilical cord and the calf will be set beside its mother for show.

  Men teach their sons how to slaughter whales, and most of the slaughterers are young men and teenage boys. In a video, there was a little boy standing by a dead whale with a butter knife in his hands. A woman was holding his hand and teaching him how and where to cut the whale. Later in the video, the same little boy was watching men butcher the whales, and he then turned towards the camera and smiled. Then, it showed three little toddlers sitting around a dead whale, and one was sitting on it's tail. It also showed a picture of a smiling boy sitting by a dead whale with a knife to it's neck. Another picture revealed children standing in the bloody water. All children get a day off school to view the slaughter, and the rest of the town comes to see as well. They just stand there, watching without pity or emotion. I can't even watch dolphin killings on film without getting sick to my stomach, I don't know how anyone can watch in real life and just sit there unemotionally, especially little kids. Any human who does this sort of thing to any animal or any person, is hardly human at all. Even the ones who don't participate and just watch are not normal if they show no emotion. My father once told me that it is normal to get upset when you see cruelty, it is abnormal if you enjoy the site of cruelty.

  If you have the stomach to watch the video I described above, please take a few minutes to watch it, to see for yourself what is actually done to these animals. If what I described of the video bothered you, definitely don't watch it. Even if you think you can watch it, please be warned. I have a pretty strong stomach and I cried watching it. The footage contains a slide show of pictures and actual video. Here's the address:  

WARNING: Here are some photos of the slaughter. I suggest that sensitive people should not scroll down any further.
Children happily walk down the aisles of dead whales

The whole down has gathered around the cove to witness the tradition

Notice how people just stare down into the water
Most of the slaughterers are young men

A typical meal of pilot whale meat, blubber, dried fish, and potatoes

Atlantic white-sided dolphins
Northern Bottlenose whales
The blood filled bay
A hook jammed in the blowhole. They call that humane???
An aerial view of a town after a slaughter has just taken place


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. As a part of their culture, they have become desensitized to the killing. We personify marine mammals because of their incredible intelligence. The people who participate in the annual celebration likely no little of the complexity of the pilot whale brain. However, that does not justify the tradition. I believe the people need education on the danger of consuming mercury-laden meats as well as the incredibly intelligence these creatures possess.

    I'm actually quite glad that you do not laugh at the site of such treachery against some of the most incredible branches of the evolutionary tree.

  3. Yes, you are right. As an example, human sacrifice was a ancient tradition in some parts of the world. But that doesn't make it okay. The pilot whales are probably more intelligent than the ignorant, selfish killers. Whole crowds of people gather around the bay to watch. On a picture I saw of the slaughter, there were people just standing there with their arms crossed just watching. Also, children were even trying to looks over taller people to see. People are standing there like there's a famous person in town. What kind of entertainment is a blood bath? Thank you for your comment.

  4. Very, very sad. I thought that it was cruel and that those people should be slaughtered by the pilot whales. I believe that you could be a marine biologist.