Target: Kåre R. Aas, Norwegian Ambassador to the United States
Goal: Stop Norway’s needless slaughter of whales.
Japan is the subject of perennial criticism for its whaling activities conducted under the guise of research. While the death of 300 whales killed by the Japanese program is tragic, Norway accounts for the slaughter of nearly three times as many. Perhaps the ultimate perversity of Norway’s whaling program is its customer base; Thinkprogress reports that as much as 113 tons of whale meat is used to feed animals being raised for fur. The needless slaughter and exploitation of an aquatic species supports the suffering of terrestrial species.
Rather than demonstrating remorse for its antiquated and unnecessary whaling industry, Norway is seeking to expand it. A spokesperson for the Norwegian fishing industry told The Guardian that, “There’s a bottleneck in the market and the distribution. We must rebuild demand for whale meat, subject to tough competition from meat (from land animals) and fish.”
Spokespeople at the Norwegian embassy in DC may have been right when they told Thinkprogress that their country has not legal obligation to abide by anti-whaling treaties. Let us remind Norway of its moral obligation instead. Whaling is a needless and cruel industry; whale meat does not feed the people of Norway, it provides animal fodder at the expense of death and suffering.
Dear Ambassador Kåre R. Aas,
Norway is one of the few countries that still engages in commercial whaling. The time has come to recognize that the whaling industry serves no purpose for Norway and to abandon the slaughter of innocent creatures.
Of the 880 whales that may be claimed by the Norwegian whale hunt, as much as 113 tons of the meat harvested may go to animal fodder, if figures from the past are any indication. Of the rest, much of the whale harvest will be exported on the luxury market. Thinkprogress reports that since 2014, 172 tons of whale products were shipped to Japan alone. Even industry advocates acknowledge that Norway experiences little domestic demand for whale meat, speaking to The Guardian about the challenge to “rebuild demand for whale meat.”
Recognize that continuing the whale hunt is pointless. Norway has little domestic demand for the meat it harvests, and some of that is accounted for by makers of animal feed. Put an end to the needless suffering of blameless animals.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Erik Christensen