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Nothing, though, can compare to the damage currently being done by passing laws to allow men to trap and torture, and hunt wolves down with dogs, in states such as Idaho and Montana, to name but two. This practise has recently, and shamefully, been legalised in some states, but campaigners who want see justice for wolves, have not yet given up.
Wolves are not man’s enemy, as the legend would have us believe. Wolves are beautiful, majestic, wild creatures that have been robbed of their hunting grounds, and often their dignity.
Wolves do not attack unprovoked, and, I’m sorry to say, Werewolves are the figment of someone else’s imagination.
Many men, however, DO attack without provocation, and just as many seem to enjoy this murderous occupation.
For more information, and to join the campaign, go to: Defenders of Wildlife
For constant updates go to: Howling for Justice
I oppose it. It’s cruel, inhuman, and endangers the existence of one of the world’s most magnificent, intelligent species of mammals.
- ‘Many whales do not die quickly when hit, and tests to decide exactly when a whale is dead are inadequate.’ Whalewatch, a coalition of 140 groups opposed to whaling.
- ‘There is no humane way to kill a whale at sea’. Sir David Attenborough, a well-known British naturalist and broadcaster.
- ‘If we can imagine a horse having two or three explosive spears stuck in its stomach, and being made to pull a butcher’s truck through the streets of London while it pours blood into the gutter, we shall have an idea of the method of killing. The gunners themselves admit that if whales could scream the industry would stop, for nobody would be able to stand it.’ Dr Harry Lillie, a ship’s physician on an Antarctic whaling trip in the 1940s.
To be fair, a lot’s changed since Dr Lillie made his comment. Methods of hunting and killing whales have become more humane. John Opdahl of the Norwegian Embassy was quoted as saying: ‘For many years, the International Whaling Commission has given high priority to efforts to improve whaling methods in order to minimize unnecessary, protracted suffering, and Norway has always led the way in these efforts. The methods now used in Minke whaling are as good as or better than those in other forms of big-game hunting as regards both death times and the percentage of whales that are merely injured.’
Oh come on, at the end of a whale hunt the sea is blood-red! And what’s this comparison with big-game hunting? That’s just killing animals for trophy hunting, and has brought about the near extinction of whole species like the northern white rhino, the Amur leopard, and the western lowland gorilla, to name just three.
So, the case against whaling is compelling. Anyone who’s seen TV documentaries about whales, or, like me, has been lucky enough to go on a whale-watching trip, and seen many of the beautiful creatures come close to the boat, dive deep, surface, and then jump twenty-or-so feet high above the water’s surface before twisting and diving again to some 100 feet below the water, would never support whale hunting.
However, nations do still hunt whales; notably Iceland, Japan, Norway, Russia, and South Korea, and to a lesser extent the United States, Canada, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Indonesia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. In 1986 the IWC banned commercial whale fishing. All the countries I’ve listed applied, and have been granted a quota of whales they are allowed to hunt and kill each year, and they do so – right up to their quota levels.
South Korea and Japan have managed to get around their quota, and hunt and kill more whales, on the excuse of it being scientific. They both vehemently oppose the IWC hunting ban, seek to prove that whale stocks have improved since the ban, and that various whale species are no longer in danger of extinction; therefore the ban should be lifted. These countries claim that whale meat has been traditionally consumed in their countries, and is a major source of protein to far-flung remote communities.
I sort of get that. Meat and fish are freely eaten in the world. However, I like to believe that in most cases, they’re reared and killed in a humane manner – where they’re not they should be. I’ll support any campaign against inadequate husbandry, inhumane slaughter of livestock and fish, and the preservation of fish stocks in the oceans.
Let’s look at it another way. The animals that man eats the most of: cows, lambs, pigs, and chicken are continually restocked by planned breeding programmes, and in the case of fish, a world-wide quota system ensures fish stocks are not exhausted. Whale hunting kills off, never to be replaced, a whole species.
I want to return to big-game hunting and its equally nasty offshoot – poaching. Neither of these practices do anything to replenish stocks of the animals they slaughter; they just reduce the population of animal breeds until the species becomes extinct, a bit like genocide. Man is destroying the planet’s living resources for selfish gain and satisfaction, like in oil exploration and deforestation.
Okay, lets cut to the chase. Back to whale hunting. If the world’s food resources are managed properly and distributed fairly, the case for killing and eating whale meat becomes so weak and untenable that it’s no longer credible.
Greenpeace, the organization that has done most to halt whaling and stop any lifting on the ban, has as its main message: ‘We believe that commercial whaling must be stopped.’
‘The statistics say it all. The blue whales of the Antarctic are at less than 1 percent of their original abundance, despite 40 years of complete protection. Some populations of whales are recovering but some are not.
Only one population, the East Pacific grey whale, is thought to have recovered to its original abundance, but the closely related West Pacific grey whale population is the most endangered in the world. It hovers on the edge of extinction with just over 100 remaining.
Recent DNA evidence shows that the impact of commercial whaling may be even worse than previously thought.
‘Overexploit, cheat, deplete. The cycle of greed behind the global whaling industry drove one whale population after another toward oblivion. It is still not known if some species will ever recover, even after decades of protection.’ Greenpeace
Nick Wastnage is a crime writer and an optimist – a rare combination – and a lover of things wild and wonderful.
26th August, 2012
Alas and alack, the season has begun. No, not the football season, not cricket or rugby season, nor that of any other acceptable sport.
In fact, the season is now open for one of the most hideous pastimes ever invented.
Ladies and Gentlemen, children and pets, roll up, roll up. It is now ‘club a baby seal to death’ season.The coming of spring marked the start of yet another merciless bloodbath, or the annual commercial seal hunt as it is more often referred to. Every year, in Eastern Canada, fishermen are allowed to take up clubs and set about the heads of baby seals, pounding away at them until they have extinguished their lives. Others favour the gun.
This year the death target is 325,000 seals, but just for good measure, a further 10,000 harp seals have been added to the quota to cover the aboriginal allowance. Both figures are always exceeded.
As heartbreaking goes, this rates a 10 on a scale of 1 – 10.
As unacceptable, it rates a further 10.
The value of the lives of these animals, however, cannot be rated. Life, by the very virtue of the fact it is life, is too precious.
The barbaric way in which these innocent little creatures are being slaughtered is indefensible and unforgivable. Some are even skinned alive. Most are less than four weeks old. It’s must be very easy to approach a docile and unsuspecting, possibly even trusting, baby seal. This is incomprehensibly cruel.
Over a four year period over one million baby harp seals have been killed, for profit, by Eastern Canadian fishermen. Profits from the slaughter come from selling mostly luxury items. The return on this activity is very low. Ironically, the fishermen are able to make far more money from exporting seafood to the United States, their largest market.
Where is the justification for all of this! There is none.
It must be ended now. Not just for a season, but permanently.
You can help! We all can!
Below are listed some very worthy sites where YOU can make your mark and help these otherwise helpless animals.
Steal yourself and help save a life.
16th April, 2012