Target: Faroe Islands Prime Minister Kaj Leo Johannesen
Goal: To put a stop to the annual slaughter of countless Pilot whales in the Faroe Islands.
A region that holds one of the highest standards of living in Europe has no place killing pilot whales for what they pass off as subsistence hunting; yet the Faroe Islands of Denmark do just this.
While the International Whaling Commission enacted a ban on commercial whaling in 1986 because pilot whales are technically a type of dolphin (in fact they are also known as calderon dolphins) their killing falls under the International Whaling Commission’s rule allowing for the “subsistence hunting of small cetaceans”.
The reality is that not only does most of that meat go to waste, simply rotting on the beach or being thrown back to sea, but the meat that is consumed is considered unsafe. In 2008 the chief medical officer of the Faroe Islands advised that pilot whales are unfit for human consumption because the animals’ meat and blubber contained such high levels or mercury, PCB’s, and DDT derivatives.
Ultimately the idea of hunting the whales for meat is a mere excuse to fall within the guidelines of the International Whaling Commission. The primary purpose of this hunt which can involve rounding up hundreds of pilot whales at once for slaughter is essentially a rite of passage event where the primary participants are teens.
Once rounded up these animals are cut several times with thick hocks that do not kill the animals immediately. Instead they are left butchered and dying in a most painful fashion.
These animals deserve better than this. The Faroe Islands do not need the meat for sustenance, and are in point of fact being slowly poisoned by it. Reducing birth defects and mercury poisoning among the population seems like a tremendous reason to halt the slaughter even should the government of the Faroe Islands, or the nation of Denmark that the Faroe Islands are a territory of, not be concerned about the animal cruelty these hunts perpetuate.
Dear Prime Minister Johannesen,
Despite continuing pressures from many sources, the Faroe Islands still continue to practice pilot whale hunts. These hunts skirt the International Whaling Commission’s loophole allowing for the subsistence hunting of small cetaceans.
These animals need not be killed for the peoples of the Faroe Islands to subsist. They already boast one of Europe’s best average standards of living thus having enough meat to survive is not a major concern of the populous.
These animals are hunted for the sport of it, that teenagers may deem themselves men by participating in the slaughter. The high percentage of teenagers participating is an obvious cue to the true intent gleaned from these hunts.
Of the animals killed, huge numbers of them will go to waste, their meat and blubber left to spoil on the beach or be tossed out to sea. If these animals were killed for the express purpose of survival not one bit of that meat would have been allowed to go to waste.
That meat which does get harvested however is just as bad as the vast amounts left wasted. Chief medical officers of the Faroe Islands themselves have reported that they recommend against ingesting pilot whale meat. The meat itself contains high levels of mercury as well as PCB’s and DDT derivatives. All of these toxins result in slowly poisoning the population while also leading to an uptick in birth defects.
These animals have a right to live. They need not be hunted for subsistence where they have proven quite harmful to those eating the meat. They have even less of a right to be hunted for sport, which is what the event is for most of the teenagers seeking a bloody passage into manhood.
What is good for the environment is also good for the Faroe Islands. Stop the killing of pilot whales.
[Your Name Will Go Here]