When the whales become Calderon dolphins … The real story behind the “Calderon dolphins masacre” from “Denmark”

My better half fought a lost battle (on the net) with a Bulgarian brat residing somewhere in Florida or California, USA. Someone who did not have anything to do in her spare time and decided to save the world and to attack the Faroese tradition of whale hunting on Facebook (where else?). And who, I bet, does not even have a clue where the Faroe Islands actually are on the map. I remember reading somewhere that this happens in “the North island of … Denmark”… What was I saying?  No clue.

Mostly, my guy was somehow affected by the refusal of that lady to let him present his arguments and explain a little. She decided he must be silenced and in the end she was the one who knew better and  from 5000 km away what actually happens here. I really adore these kind of people the same way I adore those that always know what happens in the country you live in, while suggesting you are completely … clueless. Unfortunately, the same thing applies to some of my own people, so, I have decided to write this article. Maybe I’ll manage to bring a little bit of light onto this aspect, even though I expect either a mass of insults and attacks or to be totally ignored. But, in the end, someone has to be the “Devil’s advocate”, won’t you agree? And here I am, trying to present the facts, as they are and as I see them, from that remote place.

Just to make clear some aspects: I am not Faroese, I was born and raised in another country far away, life happened to me and I moved here, to the end of the world. English is my second language and I know I don’t write perfectly, so I apologize for my mistakes and I would rather prefer for this not to become an issue. Neither the grammar nor the language mistakes are the issue here.

This is not an article through which I intend to find excuses, I don’t deny the existence of this practice, I don’t agree with it entirely (though I don’t judge anymore) and I am perfectly aware of what the whale hunting (aka Calderon dolphin “massacre”, as the net calls it) means and how is perceived. But, in order to get a pertinent image of what actually happens in reality, some things must be explained and made clear. When you decide to fight against something, you must know in the deepest details what are you fighting against. I am not a lawyer and I am not paid by the Faroese, as I was accused several times, so, if anyone considers this being true, they can very well stop here. I wrote this article because I really hate injustice and, especially, injustice rising from ignorance.

The things are not purely white or black, as a fellow blogger said to me once, and the people who try to paint them like that prove they let themselves be easily persuaded or, worse, they are, simply, purely ignorant. Moreover, I don’t even have the illusion I’ll convince those who don’t accept other opinion than their own and who have already issued a death sentence against the Faroe Islands and it’s people.

Some time ago I received a horripilated mail from a friend who lives in Italy and where a pathetic story was told, completely misinformed and twisted about the “barbarism” of the people living in … Denmark (more precisely in the Faroe Islands, but Denmark was pushed in front) who were killing “dolphins”, for fun and to prove … manhood  😯

How can the people who created that e-mail make so twisted affirmations, unjustified and without proof and, irronically, to be believed by such a big amount of people?

My friend, knowing very well where I live, was asking for some details and what is true and what not. In that moment I was rather speachless, I could not understand why so much attention so much verbal violence was suddenly directed towards the Faroe Islands. I was terribly sorry I’ve not been better informed and I started looking on the net. I realised what a big number of blogs and sites have published these “news”, without even trying to find out the truth that lies beneath it. Some have added their own little “contributions”, to make it more dramatic and to raise indignation, maybe badly impressed by the pictures (which are not easy to look at, I don’t deny). So, this is how I started writing this post.

So, first of all, I don’t know where this name of “Calderon dolphins” comes from. I know that “calderon” is the Spanish name for “cauldron” so probably this is the origin of this name.  It is about what is called “long-finned pilot whales” categorized as one of the “toothed whales” species. They are part of the same family as the dolphins, but they are considered whales because of their behaviour. In extenso, Orca is also part of the dolphin family, but I really doubt anyone would call it a dolphin. Pilot whales are second one in size after the Orca in this family. Some people consider them dolphins, but I stick with the biologists and the name they’ve got. Even the Latin name globicephala melas (roughly translated “black round-head”) doesn’t contain “delphinus”. This is just for the sake of clarification.
Now, let me show you what Faroese people are actually hunting. Here it is:

Long finned pilot whale (Globicephala melas) – Long-finned pilot whale

This is how it looks and, in the upper right corner is shown the real size. And, in comparison, the one that people automatically think of when they hear the word “dolphin”:

The common dolphin (delphinus delphis)

I’ll rewrite a part of one post I read on the net:

“The Faroese celebrate the butchery of their victims in an carnival atmosphere of entertainment. Indoctrinated from an early age, children are often given a day off school to watch the fun. They run down to the bay and clamber over the carcasses of slaughtered whales & dolphins.”

Okay…. Well, I have been living here in Faroe Islands for almost 10 years, I have nephews and friends with children, and what is more, two of my best friends are teachers. I have NEVER heard about a day off from school for something like that. And, believe me, in the big “village” Faroe Islands, one can easily hear about things like that. It is unfair and incredibly despicable to make such statements. Besides, the hunt takes place mainly in the summer when there is actually … vacation. You should understand one aspect: any child is curious and I don’t believe seeing something like that will make them become monsters or scare them for life. I have lived in a country where every person living in a village raised animals and sacrificed them for Christmas or Eastern, I’ve seen how it is done and I don’t consider I am merciless or a monster, on the contrary, it taught me a lesson and now I can not stand to see animals in pain.

On the other hand, no one “celebrates”. This is an another petty afirmation. People gather on the shores, very true, but they do that because the meat resulting from the hunt (and which is the only reason for this activity, not anything else) is divided among the participants, even if they are on the shore and not in the water. Otherwise one can not procure, it is not traded, it is not sold anywhere.

Some have ventured to invent a “festival”, a “ritual” or some other enormities.I know how the “festival” came to life. In July The Faroese celebrate Olavsøka, the National Day, there are boat races and parades, dancing and singing in the middle of town. People dress in the national costumes, which are absolutely splendid by the way, and party for two days, celebrating Saint Olaf, the one who brought Christianity to the Faroe Islands. This has nothing to do with the whale hunting, but some, out of ignorance I would like to believe, adapted these festivities to the “festival of killing dolphins“. More, some of them said that people go to kill “dolphins” dressed in national costumes. As anyone would be stupid enough to ruin costumes that cost up to 3000€, and the pieces of which are collected for years, sometimes with great financial sacrifices, staining them with blood!!!

So, the site that I qoute, continues:

Every year around 2,000 dolphins & whales are driven ashore and cruelly slaughtered in the Faroe Islands, mid-way between the Shetland Islands and Iceland. For centuries the Faroe Islanders have hunted pilot whales, driving entire schools into killing bays, where they are speared or gaffed from boats, dragged ashore and butchered with knives. Although the Islands are a protectorate of Denmark, they have their own Government and regulations governing the pilot whale hunt or “grind” as it is known.”

The only true affirmation here is the one regarding the Faroese Government. OK, so, last year (2009) 333 exemplars have been caught, two years ago, none. Where does the figure 2000 come from?? Spears are not legal anymore, they were banned almost 20 years ago, no one uses them.

The instruments are specially designed by the vets in order to make the animal suffer the least pain possible, a whale actually dies actually in a few seconds, maximum a few minutes. TheFaroese use everything that comes from a whale: meat, blubber etc. They do not kill for fun, no one tortures unnecesarily or lets them drown in their own blood (maybe you recognise the accusation). Who doubts these details or want to find out more information, can read here: http://www.whaling.fo/Default.aspx?ID=6770

What is conveniently let out is the fact that whale meat has been the most reliable source of food for a group of islands completely isolated, where nothing grows and where the farming land is about … 28 km2. That allows the existence of some farms, all of them owned by the state and that barely cover the neccessary supply of sheep meat. Last year the only existing chicken farm closed because of the imposibility of facing the competition from larger countries like Denmark or Sweeden and inspite of the fact that it was the only producer of salmonella-free eggs and chicken meat. Denmark boasts of the highest tax-level in the world and it is considered the most expensive country in Europe. Imagine now that the Faroe Islands (that everybody rushes to consider being … Denmark) pay taxes up to 20% more than in Denmark and import everything. That makes life 30 to 50% more expensive than in Denmark. This, in the conditions of a very small job market, with the salarial level lower than in Denmark and with an unemployment rate of 10% at present (2010). Denmark does not interfere economically, the Faroe Islands have their own economy and it is a separate country, with government, flag, anthem, economy, laws and a completely different language. So Denmark is just the “owner” that has some rights and that’s it. Oh, yes, the police, part of the coast guard, the court and the Constitution are still Danish. Now I dare ask: in these conditions, is it not normal for people to hang on this source?

The article states further

 “Aside from the fact that the number of Calderons & North Atlantic long-finned pilot whales is unknown and they are listed as ‘strictly protected’ by the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, this is an act of barbarism and pointlessness. By slaughtering 100 dolphins at a time, the Faroese are wiping out entire pods and family groups. They are removing building blocks from the gene pool of the species and damaging the web of life in the North Atlantic and the North Sea.”

Ok, I am deeply confused. Everybody called the pilot whales … Calderon dolphins. Now Faroese are killing pilot whales and Calderon dolphins?? Besides, the number of pilot whales is relatively known. Some sources estimate their number to 600, 000 worldwide, some to 200, 000 in the North Atlantic. How can a few hundreads hunted per year endanger an entire species? Besides, is anyone aware of the high level of mercury contained in the meat? Mercury that comes from the pollution of the ocean, pollution that will extinct, in the end, the whole oceanic life. This pollution is made precisely by those countries whose citizens yell so horripilated about the whales hunted by the Faroese and not by these islands which barely have the industry of a tiny-tiny town.

Studies are made, the Faroese biologists try to keep the whole ecosystem under control, programmes are applied with very little money (a disadvantage compensated for only by the passion of those who try to do something). You should actually know that the Faroese waters are among the cleanest in the world, exactly because of this respect for the nature and animal species, which other countries may not have. As for example mine. There are lots of protected bird protect species, there is a very efficient garbage disposal system, the fines for polluting are outrageous.

But let me get back to the article:

” The inhabitants of the Faroe Islands have no subsistence need for whale meat, and much of the flesh is left to rot and be dumped; it cannot be exported, as it is polluted with heavy metals and other toxins and therefore cannot meet EU heath standards for human food.”

Now I am actually laughing with tears. Really? The Faroese let the meat rot on the beaches? So, let me understand this right: Faroese people are so imbecile to let the meat (considered the best of the best, more delicious even than chocolate) rot on some small beaches, 150 m long and 50 m deep at their widest part, at a few dozen meters away from the houses where they live? No one, but no one, sees the enormity of such statements?

Again, the author does not have a clue what he is talking about. How to export whale meat when the law forbids selling it? Again, the entire prey is divided among the people, it is a way of helping others and it comes from old times when not every family had the luxury of a man capable of supplying it with food. I wonder if there is any other country where people help eachother without having a reason or expecting something in exchange. Yes, the part with the mercury is partially true and the Faroese Health Authorities have recommended a limited consumption and now they have introduced a motion into the Parliament, but that’s it.

The part that makes my inside boil is this one

“This bloody slaughter to attend Moz to ‘show’ entering adulthood(!) is absolutely incredible and no one in Denmark has moved a finger to prevent this barbarism that is committed against the Calderon – an intelligent dolphin who has the peculiarity of approaching people out of sheer curiosity.”

Wow, people! Stop spreading this lie! No one has to kill something to “enter adulthood”. My husband is Faroese, he never killed an animal of any kind and I don’t believe anyone considers him being a lesser adult. If you look with attention at the pictures, the men in the water are grown-ups, men over 30 years old. Do you really believe they have something to prove to anyone? One needs a lot of force and training to be able to stand in the freezing water (it has 8C all year round) and to drag a whale that weighs hundreds of kilos onto the shore. No one is so stupid as to give incredibly sharp knives to teenagers (another invention on another site). Knives that can kill you by only one cut.

Besides, sorry, but I’ve never seen whales coming to say hello to the boats or swimming along them. And I use the ferries daily. Not even along the one that sails to Denmark. This was also written to show what “monsters” these people are: the poor animals come to say hello and those horrible, horrible idiots take advantage of their innocence and kill them!

I know that the images are shocking, uncomfortable for the European raised in the big concrete fortresses and who sees the meat only in supermarkets, cleaned and nicely packed. Think that this is actually a form of hypocrisy. There are millions of animals that die each day for our consumption and none of them deserves to live or to die for us. Not pigs, not chickens, not lambs and not even raindeers. As a collegue of mine use to say “Imagine this is an abbatoir in open air!”. He had a point. There is even a saying “If abbatoires had glass walls, everyone would become a vegetarian”. So, if you are not vegetarian, who gives you the right to throw stones?

It is easy to slander a small nation who is not defended by anyone, not even by the country that people try to push in front, Denmark. And who does not have a say in a hypocritical and ignorant world. Maybe we should understand that it is another culture, another mentality and they should not be judged by our own values and mentalities, as much as some practices may disturb us. People should know their history first, to learn about the bad times, about the Danish oppression, which did not have any interest for this country to develop in order not to lose territory (they lost Iceland in WWII, why should they lose the the Faroe Islands, too?) and the control over it, about the chance they had to be occupied by the British army during WWII, a chance that offered them the opportunity to win their autonomy and the right to a national identity. About their mother-tongue, the Faroese language, which was forbidden in schools and official institutions before the war, Denmark pushing the hypocrisy to the point where people were told that “God does not understand Faroese”, so they could not even have the relligious service in their own language. Or maybe people should learn about the isolated villages where the ferry cannot moor when there is a storm and which are beginning to loose the population because of lack of connection and work. About the beautiful nature and harsh weather, about planes that cannot land when wind speeds more than 16 m/s, about many, many other things . This is what should be known first about the Faroe Islands, not only whaling, barbarians and, eventually, football.

National Georaphic declared these islands “The Most Appealing Destination” three years ago. This should tell people something, at least those who are not so blinded by fury and haven’t already issued the death penalty.

Maybe people should rather write pettitions for things that really have a purpose, there are so many children dying of hunger, animals killed for the vanity of some women who want furcoats or crocodile shoes. Let’s be honest: how many of those who yell so mercilessly on different sites own leather shoes or jackets? Eat meat every day? What makes them better than the Faroese who actually hunt for food?

Maybe you should find a better cause to fight for, kicking and pointing fingers at Denmark is not only disgusting and prejudist, it is also stupid. Because it is done out of petty revenge and from the need to show to the rest of the world how rotten and depraved is a “so-called civilised country” (quote from another virulent commenter) who “covers” what really happens in those remote islands. Grow up and leave Denmark with it’s own problems! You don’t solve anything, just like Brigite Bardot will not solve anything by complaining to the queen.

There are some links that may interest someone:

1. movie about Faroe Islands which I actually consider to be one of the most obiective I’ve seen out of all those that circulate on the Internet.

2. details about what the whaling actually implies

3. opinion of Elin Heinesen about whaling

4. interview with Rúni Nielsen, one of the most active anti-whalers in the Faroes, part 1 and Part 2

4. a small clip about how weather can be in the Faroe Islands. And not only in the winter.

5. Article from Australian Archaeology – you can find an interesting chapter about Faroe islands at page 53.

This being said, I rest my case!

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368 Responses to When the whales become Calderon dolphins … The real story behind the “Calderon dolphins masacre” from “Denmark”

  1. Will says:

    I am not asking this to get posted. Just wanted to write to the auther. Well you trying to reason those are whales and not dolphins don’t make this kind of hunting any forgivable. It is about the cruelty to animals and I wonder how government of Denmark doesn’t ban this kind of activity already.

    • Hara says:

      The govern of Denmark has no rights and no power in Faroe Islands. Maybe you have not read properly the article. Drop the hope that by attacking and haressing Denmark, people will obtain something in regards to Faroe Islands. Denmark can not interevene in this country without a serious overstepping of democracy, sovereignety and human rights. I doubt they are willing to risk it just because some have decided to point fingers at it, yelling furiously, in a futile attempt. They didn’t bend when the Arabs attacked the Danish embassies for the Mohamed cartoons.

      The point of the article was to explain a little beyond all of those “horripilated” yellings that you can find scatered across the net. I didn’t try to make anything forgivable. Which part of

        “This is not an article through which I intend to find excuses”

      have you miseed?

      Though, maybe you should also think twice when you cook pork or chicken. They die the same, worse sometimes. Not so in opened air, but the process is the more then similar. As a entire world eats pork or beef, so Faroese people´eat “grind og spik” (whalemeat). Keep that in mind.

      • Robin says:

        Thank you for your enlightening article. My head told me that the people of the Faroe Islands could not possibly be slaughtering all these pilot whales for fun, allowing the meat to go to waste. However, my heart intervened and took over. I can not stand
        the cruelty and suffering of people or animals. There is far too much of it in this world.The photos could draw most people in. I wonder how many people contributed to the inaccuracies . We all know how stories grow as they pass along from one person to the next.
        This is a good lesson for me and I will try not to fall into this trap next time.

        Thank you. Robin

        • marsontherocks says:

          Thank you so much for coming out with such honesty! You have my utmost respect. Not many people do like you and try first (or secondly) to examine a issue, before going all emotional and condemning a whole nation and people. Thank you 🙂

      • Bonnie says:

        But it does as it belongs to Denmark Kingdom. They do say and they should be involved in this.

        • Hara says:

          It doesn’t “belong” at all, people aren’t posessions. Do you understand the notion of “autonomy”? Do you understand the fact that Faroe Islands has a parliament and a prime minister? Faroese laws? Independent economy?

          Denmark has no say in the internal affairs of the Faroe Islands (except emigration) and will never intervene without creating a serious diplomatic incident. Besides, “grindadráp” is legal and strictly regulated by law. So, tell me. What do you actually expect from the Danes? To come and set a foot on the Faroese’s head and to order them to stop the whaling? Based on what?

    • Honorbolt says:

      Im guessing you got to the first couple paragraphs and stopped then? The Author goes on to say it is a reliable source of food that is said to have over 200,00 in that part of the ocean. They are not killing them ‘for sport’ and you need to read before you accuse someone of justifying a cruel and harsh event such as this.

    • Chris C says:

      Will, the clarification between whale and dolphin was just a fact. Along with the other points clarifying what was wrong with the original article. I think I you read the one line you wanted to, and overlooked the value of everything else that was said.

      In addition, we as people are primarily carnivores. Contrary to what some may argue, the world will never live on greens alone nor conform to that belief. We have and always will harvest animals to consume for survival. Unfortunately for animals, it is not reasonable to assume we can comfortably euthanize every animal for the world’s consumption. Sometimes it can only be done as swiftly and quickly as possible. So cruelty to animals isn’t the case here. Cruelty might be the argument if the slaying were for sport and the act purposely prolonged. These animals live free and are killed as quickly as reasonably possible. It’s how the food chain on this planet works. We are probably the most efficient species when it comes to killing other animals for survival.

      I can appreciate people’s concern for animals that are raised from birth in terrible conditions, force fed growth hormones, then packed up for slaughter. Even then, without these processes, the availability and cost of providing food would be much higher, leaving many people with less access to affordable food.

      Unfortunately for them, animals will always be killed to humans. This is never going to change unless we as a species are wiped out. Which will then leave other animals to kill animals for survival regardless. That’s simply how it works. As long as the meat is used as efficiently as possible, the harvesting is reasonably executed, and the species is in no danger of being threatened, then this is simply an example of the acts of survival of our own species.

    • Why haven’t your own country done anything to stop the slaughter of all the animals in slaughterhouses?

      Do you think a Whale has more rights to its life than the cow, or the pig?
      Do you think the slaughter of land living animals is less horrific?

      • Mary Dinigan says:

        Are you really comparing a whale to a chicken? WTF???? Whales are crucial to our Eco system! Chickens are not highly intelligent, emotional animals!!!! Good God!!!!

        • Hara says:

          Yes, I actually do. They are both living beings, they both breath, both feel pain and fear.

          This division in animals that worth to be eaten and animal that doesn’t (because of the alleged “high intelligence”) is hypocrisy at the highest level.

        • Benedicte says:

          Let’s apply that rule to humans: Only the highly intelligent and emotional are worthy of survival, all others can be stuffed in cages and eaten.
          It’s like when they put down the giraffe in Copenhagen: giraffes are supposed to be “proud animals” – so you can’t kill them. As opposed to pigs and chicken. Fascism applied to animals.

  2. Jim says:

    I think you maybe missing the point, the point is not an attack on Denmark or any other country, it is a disgust of the pictures we have seen! There is a reason that slaughter houses don’t have glass walls and that is because most people in the world don’t want to see that sort of thing!!! A little tact never hurt anyone!!!!!!!!!!

    • Hara says:

      If I “maybe” missed the point, you definetely did that. First of all, I didn’t even pretended as this being an attack on Denmark. Frankly, I don’t give a rat’s arse on that country, my interest is solely in Faroe Islands. This is the country that adopted me and not Denmark, who sees Faroe Islands as a part of it only when it suits or when they can gain something. Actually it is a continous attack on this little country because a lot of people believe it is an easy target.

      I wonder though: the fact that most people in the world don’t want to see that “sort of things” shows somehow more maturity or even … tact? You know, most people in the world don’t even want to see how women are raped and tortured in Congo or the tragedy that happens in Somalia and so on – that doesn’t make it less real, my dear, doesn’t make it ok. So, please, spare me of the patronising lesson. If you want to feel your conscience clearer just because you don’t know how the pork ended on your plate, be my guest. But don’t come to lecture me about that, this is not a pertinent argument, it is just patheticly childish.

      • Debbie says:

        Hara,

        I get what youre saying and yes you have a point. I am wondering why hundreds of whales as you mentioned? Everyone knows meat doesn’t last long, and I am almost sure that a lot of it may go to waste cos whales are hugeee. The meat you can get from 333 whales(or the 300ish number of whales you mentioned) certainly doesnt last a whole year, meat does go bad. What is the population of faroe islands? 49,000 of which there are seniors and children too right? IS it mandatory to kill so many whales?
        What do the people of Faroe Islands do the rest of the year to feed themselves? It’s a question, not an attack/ accusation.
        I feel if your article/ response to people were a little less aggressive it would be better. Yes, you are angry about people accusing the country you live in but there is a way of putting your point across without being rude at least for readers who are neutral to the whole case. I hope I won’t get a rude response because I am trying to understand what really goes on in the Faroe Islands. And, honestly, if you have a rude response to my questions I’d rather not hear it. I would appreciate a decent response if you want to reply back. thanks.

        • Hara says:

          You assume I might be rude and I don’t understand how have I let the impression I am like that. And I don’t perceive questions as “attacks”, not at all,

          It is not mandatory Debbie, not at all. But whalemeat is part of diet, it has been for centuries. People eat whatever here, but they are still keen on the traditional dishes which are whalemeat and a variety of sheep and lamb specialities. It has been always one of the main food resources, as I said. And it is for free, in the end (without being cinical). As per meat “going bad”. Yeah, maybe a small part of it, but let’s be honest. Do we not ALL throw out meat to one point? Or it has no importance as long as it doesn’t come from whales?

        • marsontherocks says:

          Debbie, the Faroese (which I am) have learned ways to preserve the meat for longer periods by either drying or salting it (and possible some other ways) as have many other countries before us. Those traditions/methods have in many places gone history’s course at the arrival of the refrigerator and freezer. The salty humid air and relatively low temperature in the Faroe Islands, allows for these storage methods.
          In modern days it of course also put in the freezer when you want a beef or something, that is not possible after storing it the traditional ways (as it changes the flavor and smell of the meat). Something similar to how it is done in Faroe Islands could parma ham (used on many italian pizzas and sandwiches) as seen here: http://www.prosciuttodiparma.com/en_UK/prosciutto/how Of course, the process isn’t EXACTLY like in that video, but the monthly long process of hanging freely in the air, is the main “ingredient” as well as the unique salty, moist air and cold air of the Faroes.
          It is not mandatory to kill any number of whales. Actually it is up to the foreman to decide to let a pod of pilot whales go, or if they should be driven to the nearest approved beach for killing. If a killing has recently been the same place, the meat might either be shared to the next village/community, or the pilot whales might just be let go. Some years no pod is spotted, other years several. It depends on so many factors (where are its pray (squids and fish) located, close or far from land?!), and the weather can also hinder the islanders to see anything from the “famous” mist in the summer. 300 whales isn’t necessarily that much. A pilot whale isn’t a large mammal, compared to e.g. mink whales or bottle nose whales. Of course some goes to waste, but not intentionally. Those pictures of some “white” whale meat, that SSCS posted online last year floating in the sea, was actually the no-edible “spik” (blubber) from the stranded bottle-nose whales in Hvalvík. Blubber is the outermost layer of fat on a whale, and is eaten as a side-dish to either pilot whale meat or another faroese specialty, dried fish (same storing method as for the pilot whale meat), and is very rich on vitamins etc. which was vital for survival on Faroe Islands. But the blubber from bottle-nose whales is poisonous for human consumption, compared to pilot whales’ blubber. But mother nature (bacteria and other sea animals) will then eat/take care of it. It’s not polluting the oceans when it’s organic “trash”, as it goes right back to the food chain.
          We the Faroese, today, have plenty of ways to sustain a healthy yearly intake of proteins from imported vegetables, meat, nuts, fruits and what not, as we have become part of the globalization. That doesn’t mean we don’t have the right to provide our own local food when possible. Quite the opposite, as it is very hard on the environment to ship bananas, sheep meat, pork, cattle etc. around the world, which is what most countries do these days. So for us it is just as natural to eat pilot whale as it is for other countries to eat pig, cow or sheep 🙂
          The reason “Hara” might sound like he is attacking or defending, is because we have been under immensely hard attacks from around the world, by the likes of followers of SSCS and Paul Watson, as well as other smaller animal rights organisations. What they tend to forget is, that this is not something illegal or more brutal than any other killing of an animal, and besides, it is for the purpose of food, and actually none of “their” business, as it is our country, our tradition, and our way of gathering food. Nothing more, nothing less.
          I hope I have been able to answer all (if not some) of your questions, and made it easier for you to, if not applaud, then at least respect or accept, that this is our right, and our way of life.
          Kind regards,
          Martin Andreas Kruse

  3. Kay says:

    Thank you for writing this, it’s nice to hear another side of this. My parents always taught me to me to figure out all the facts before you condemn someone. 😉

    I found it odd when I read the post about the “man slaughter in Denmark” and how they said it was done by teenagers but in the pictures it looked like older men… And the fact that if you were to look up Calderon dolphins you don’t find anything about the species… Just about what they want ppl to believe is going on… (My theory is that they made a name Up so if you looked up the species all you would find is stuff about what they want you see. Not about what is really happening, otherwise they would have put the correct species name)

    Open your eyes ppl…quit being so closed minded, not everyone has the luxeries we do… Just because it’s not something we are used To in our day to day doesn’t make these Ppl barbaric… Just look up the facts it’s all there.

    I mean in our country we feed the animals growth hormones and keep them penned up until the day they die… Thats not the way they were meant to live but you find no problem with that it seems.

    Anyway this is their way of life so chill out ppl.

    And how many wild animals do you see just coming up to play with humans… Really? Animals are aware of the food chain… They don’t just do that unless they have had good interactions with humans.

    • Hara says:

      Kay, thank you for the post and sorry for the late reply, I have not been on this blog for a while.

      In the meanwhile I have found out that “Calderon” name comes actually from Spanish, but the fact that some people use it, shows me that they don’t have a clue what they are talking about and just perpetuate a name, without any basic knowledge.

  4. Nana says:

    Hi. I’m AGAINST the “slaughter” of animals or anything breathing (minus plants XP). HOWEVER, I’d rather have people kill a cow in a place where you cannot grow fruits or vegetables (I don’t care if anybody out there says I don’t know what I stand for, because I know who I am- I feed my dog raw meat cause he is a carnivore therefore healthy for him BUT I do not eat meat *shrug*). If I let the cow live, a child might starve of starvation. Either way I’ll be killing.

    As a conservationist and marine science student, I do not like seeing these things happening. In the olden days, our people (Samoans) hunted turtles. It was a delicacy. But since the their numbers have decreased, hunting them is now banned- AND I am glad.

    I’ve also worked with a Marine Protected Area Program and I thought it was just “Hey. We’re taking over this area, and you have no say in it” (although we can). Its more than that. Its the livelihood of the families in the area. Some of our people depend on marine resources and we must care about their welfare as well- we do live on an “isolated” island after all.

    My hats off to you for writing this article. If i take it to work people will be somewhat furious but I am sure all those biologist, environment specialists, conservationists will understand that there is no simple solution to this “issue”. Great post and hope all goes well with you and your “battle” against the “I am going to put on my cape save the world”, simple minded people out there. I also pray that something can be done to lessen this practice and other strategies can be implemented into supporting the livelihood of the Forese people. Although there is a debate on the numbers of pilot whales in the wild, one thing is true- numbers are depleted and but not endangered. It’ll be a timely process but hey its the 21st century and anything can be done!

    • Hara says:

      Nana, thank you for your comment. It is refreshing that someone got the idea behind my post. It is still funny how people continue to take it personally and scold me for my lack of “vision”, not even taken into consideration that maybe I have other life opinions.

      We are very similar in one aspect: this is how my parents taught me also when I was a child. And I grew up and I am incredibly grateful for that. Without listening to the both sides of a conflict, no one will ever get the right idea. I have just tried to present the facts as they are, here, at the “bottom” of the “problem”.

      Merry Christmas!

      • Listening to both sides? What a joke? I don’t actually disagree with you, but everything you accuse the people you disagree with of being is exactly what you are. You have no respect for them at all. You even call names! You are nasty and condescending. It is embarrassing, and you should be ashamed as an adult woman of the things you said. You are venting, not persuading.

    • vennixblog says:

      Well said, you sir are a true hero. It takes a lot of courage to stand against the flow of emotional arguments that everyone seems so quick to buy into today. People like you truly give me some hope for the future of the world we live in.

  5. Gonna share this, thanks.

  6. Aimee Hicks says:

    I’d say this is where the figures come from……….

    http://www.whaling.fo/Default.aspx?ID=7125

    You obviously have your figures wrong – even though you use the above website to explain to us about the equipment that can be used to kill these beautiful animals…….

    • Hara says:

      Well, maybe you should look at the date the article has been written (June 2010). At that moment the number of hunted whales were barely over a few hundreads), one year before there were 300, two years before a huge 0 . I doubt my figures are “wrong”, since I’ve started this “battle” with the misinformation some enjoy spreading, I have informed myself extensively. More than that, I live in the Faroe Islands, what about you?

      PS. Have you, at least, seen that in my article I have actually refered to the same site you, so largely, provide as a reference? Or you didn’t even made the effort to read?!

  7. suzhenny40 says:

    Thanks for clearing up the huge misunderstanding!! It really helped:)))

  8. Aleksande says:

    nice article. after reading this i attleast know the facts. and yea, a few houndred of 600.000 whon’t hurt a species. hunting for food is older than civilisation, and one should respect other cultures for what they are

  9. Helen says:

    Nice article~ I have attended a marine mammal course so I know many of the information on the petition is inaccurate but I also thought that it is really a traditional event on at least some of the islands. So it is not true as well?
    & do you know why the catches are so fluctuating throughout the years? Do they only whaling when the productivity of other food is too low in that year or is there any other reason(s)? Thanks.

    • Hara says:

      Thank you Helen. I’m glad if you liked it. But let me try answering your question.

      It depends a lot on how large the pods are and if they get inside the fiords and the frequency of these occurancies. People don’t go looking for the whales, they hunt only the ones that get close enough to the shores. Besides, if, for example, there was a hunt let’s say two weeks ago and the pray was large enough, if another pod appears today, it could be spared. There is a foreman who decides if the hunt should occure or not. The small pods are not hunt, they just catch them and implant GPS devices, for scientific studies.

      I believe it depends also on how good the year was. If you look at those statistics, in 2008 there was no pilot whale killed. 2008 was the year with the highest economical growth till the crisis started in November.

  10. skepticalkrissy says:

    Great article. Some may be forgetting that people need to eat. What does one eat if the land being lived on does not support livestock or farming? I suppose it would be better to let an entire people starve and have a culture die? Yes it’s shocking to see, but so is witnessing anything killed for human consumption i.e beef, pork, chicken, moose, deer, fish, rabbit, mutton, grubs…whatever.
    I beleive that if one has a personal objection to eating meat of any kind, that’s fine, don’t eat it. Do not however condemn those who must hunt in order to maintain their population, and spread propaganda to suit your own ends.

  11. The says:

    Hunting for food should never be criticized, plain and simple. While it may be unsettling to look at the pictures, think about that next time you bite into your hamburger, ignoramus.

  12. DRPREMO says:

    Hara,
    I commend you on your article. Very informative and great explanations. Good luck with your quest to inform the misinformed.

  13. Robbie Ridgway says:

    I shared it, and I agree with you.

  14. Thrisha says:

    When I first saw videos and read articles about whaling in Faroe Islands, admittedly, I was really appalled but instead of just taking information from one source, I looked around which led me to your article which I think is very enlightening. I don’t think people are picking on Faroe Islands because its a small isolated nation. It’s just the atrocity which they have seen but people should get their facts right.
    I’ve even seen a video of a whale being killed and it made a sound of a crying baby.Is that true? Also, I have read that as of the end of November 2008 the chief medical officers of the Faroe Islands have recommended that pilot whales no longer be considered fit for human consumption because of the levels of toxins in the whales.Do the people in Faroe Island still eat the meat even though it could be harmful? Just curious. 🙂

    • Hara says:

      Trisha, as much as I know, there is no sound except of their skin when they rub on each other.

      Yes, Pál Weihe made public his research. As any reasearch it has it’s believers and it’s non-believers. There are people who apply what he wrote and people who doubt it. I don’t eat the meat, mainly because I don’t like it, so I didn’t think to much about this issue. It has truth in it no doubt, but almost all the food we eat nowadays is contaminated in a way or another. In the end, it is a matter of choice.

      Anyway, the amount of hunted whales decreased this year.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I’m a Malaysian and would like to contribute my comment.

    Technology has contributed to do things with ease and so fast a process that many a times mistakes can be made over and over again and finally something right or better comes out of it.

    This Calderon dolphins issue here, I believe is just one matter which may contribute toward the above mentioned process, where people ‘click’ to forward or sent an email conveniently to distribute to friends and everyone just as fast as their emotions are stirred up. This not only put emotions to test but behind it all may outcome toward all the negative aspects of it. Often this resulted into hatred,over judgmental thinking behavior without much facts, nations against nations and all other unproductive thinking patterns which adds stress to self and others around them.

    There are more other ‘gruesome’ things happened to mankind at our neighborhood. Now, finding positive and right things to share and distribute across to friends and relatives is one good way to making this world a better place to live in, isn’t it besides praying. So friends let us work towards that productively. Shall we…

    Thank you to all reader and writer of this article.
    Anonymous

  16. Penny says:

    Thank you for writing this. I too have received this email. It does contain some confronting pictures but it is so emotive and over the top that I decided to look into it and found out pretty much all you have said here. The mercury level thing is a worry though. I assume that if the Faroese decide the levels are too high to eat the meat then the hunt will stop. I tried to search the term Calderon dolphin as I thought the animals in the pictures were pilot whales. When you search Calderon dolphin on the internet pretty much all you get is the shock horror posts of people regurgitating what they read in the emails. Luckily I also found your blog which put my mind at ease. The hunters no longer use sharp gaffs and killing by slicing the arteries and spinal cord must be relatively quick. I think if abattoirs herded the animals into the sea before killing them it would look pretty horrific too. There are plenty of injustices in this world to get upset about, it’s a pity people are wasting their indignation on this issue.

    • Hara says:

      Thaks for the comment, I started feeling better since people like you really gave a chance to my story. I am glad if it helped you understand a little bit more what actually happens.

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    • George says:

      Stupid blog and post. It’s a shocking, horror movie about a bloody rit. The people who take part in such an horible massacre must be put away, in jail or condemned for life labour. Delphin or whale, it’s not the issue, and this is not fishing or hunting, it is a barbaria way of living. If all the people will do that on wild animals all over the Earth… It is a terrible question! F… K YOU, Farroen People!

      • Hara says:

        Multumesc frumos pentru aprecieri.

        Scrii asta bazat pe … ce? Niste informatii de doi lei circulate pe net? Ce stii concret despre chestia asta?

        PS. Si se numesc “Faroese people”. Asa… ca fapt divers!

  18. lindsay says:

    Thank you!!!! im sick feed up reading all the lies online about the Faroe Islands. im so glad you posted this. thank you.

  19. Pavel Sychra says:

    Hey everyone, I hope more people will find this article when researching about a cruel killing of innocent whales (or dolphins).
    http://mp.weixin.qq.com/s?__biz=MjM5NDM0NTA2Mg%3D%3D&mid=10100142&idx=7&sn=2338d5d305296bc264ba02c8620c3c69&scene=4#rd
    That has been traveling around facebook and because I am from a country, where everyone is a racist against roma gypsy, I wanted to see a different point of view.

    Why? Well, simply coz I do know how simple-minded humanity can be a how blinded by propagation from a third-party can twist a mind.

    It is pretty the same about czech. People from different countries think, we are racist. Well, we are not. We just hate injustice, which is happening all over the Czech Republic. And now the World savior is getting involved? Get info first! And judge after it!

    So, thank you for your article on clearing up the mess others are trying to make of your lovely island. I hope I will see that place once 😉

    The world is gone and nature is rather scarce nowadays.. Good luck in the middle of nowhere, but in paradise indeed 🙂

    P.

    • Hara says:

      Pavel, I know very well what you mean, it is the same for my homecountry also (I am Romanian).

      And I am glad you gave that link to the Chinese blog. I just wonder who has so much time to keep on circulating that enormity, so inexact and twisted.

    • Bonnie says:

      How did racism become a subject in this…
      This a about an act of humanity not how one race looks another.
      WTH??

      • Benedicte Whitehead says:

        This is a debate where the Danes and the Faroese are called barbarians, monsters, psychos, evil and sick people. With no documentation other than the photos where you see noone laughing the idea is marketed that this is a rite that happens only to satisfy a sadistic pleasure, or to mark a transition into manhood.
        It is very much about how one nation looks at the other, and about how prejudice is born out of ignorance.
        That is how racism became part of the discussion.
        These emails are retailing slander about a small nation; and as with any type of prejudice, facts are of no consequence.
        I find it very sad.
        B

      • Hara says:

        Bonnie, he made a comparission about how people rush to judge and condemn other nations without knowing anything about those nations. You can be as tired as you wish, but learn to read a little bit less superficially and more between the lines.

  20. PeerReviewedPapersPlease says:

    Has there been any genetic analysis done on the degree of genetic variation in the groups and which age groups get picked out? Perhaps the reason why there is less harvested is because there are less in the water? What is the maximum sustainable yield of these odontocetes? What type of statistics are being used? Are population estimates extrapolated from small census counts as is done with most marine mammals? Why does the Danish government not provide food subsidies for the Faroes? If this is for food, then why are ‘professionals’ not used to deal the final blow? At least in abattoirs they use a bolt gun! This is a very touchy subject as most of the livestock we harvest are domesticated and can be sustained, yet there is no breeding programme for the whales, how do we know when we have gone to far? Will this be Cod all over again? What is the overall population growth rate of Faroe Islands? More people requires more food, more food equals more dolphins, the problem may not be apparent now but it will come, and will it be too late then. Please post peer-reviewed papers rather than your own opinion, you are just as bad as the email you slam if you cannot be scientific about it.I recommend google scholar. If yu have problem accessing papers I can help. Yours dubiously; an unbiased view

    • EvolutionaryBiologist says:

      I agree with above. Your opinion is biased because you live there. We would all naturally defend our own culture. To add onto the genetics would be very interesting and particularly the phylogeny of these species.Hunting during the whaling era (which we all a part in) completely reduced cetacean populations to a level where they went through ‘bottleneck’ effects… basically there is little genetic variation for adaptation to work and play on. This is like wiping out the population of Faroe to 10% of its original size and then waiting until the population increased to the number equal prior to the culling. We may have reached exact same figures, to which the layman would consider a healthy re-establishment of the species but what we are missing is 90% of the genetic variation that allowed the original population to tolerate pathogens, resist disease and invoke different phenotypic response to negative abiotic factors. Basically what Im trying to say is that a reduction genetic diversity has severe repercussions for a species that has undergone bottlenecks (fin whale was extensively hunted for blubber by Europe) even if the population at this present time appears to be stable or equal in numbers. Natural selection is always lagging behind the optimum. I shall give an analogy: A car (the dolphin) in its lifetime has many different problems (disease, parasites abiotic factors etc) that arise independently throughout the duration of its life (in dolphins approx a 1000 generations). There is no one tool to fix them all but rather a multitude of tools (genetic variation). Consider the mechanic (Natural selection & adaptation) and consider his tools, if we were to take 90% of his tools how would he fix independent problems that arose in the future? I hope people understand this, we are fixated on the now census figures what we need to remember is that these poor guys have a tough time during the whaling era and have only just bounced back… We need to stop stealing their tools! 🙂

    • Hara says:

      First of all, the Danish govern has absolutely no say in the Faroes except in some aspects as emigration, deffence and police. The islands are self sufficient. Here we don’t speak about famine, it is solely about a source of meat. As people eat beef and pork in other parts of the world, so the Faroese eat whalemeat.

      I know very well what you say about the slaughter. But in this case it happens really fast. A whale can’t be stunned, it is physically not possible. And the people who take part to the slaughter are experienced and skiled, animals don’t suffer unnecessarily. As unbelievable it can be for some there are very clear rules and laws in this aspects. As a matter of fact from 2015 there will be only lincesed men who will be allowed to participate in these hunts.

      Those years when the numbers were down were exactly the years before the economical crisis. The islands got to a certain welfare at that time and that could also be seen in the numbers they hunted. But things changed in the meanwhile, the unemployment grew, there is a very big workforce migration.

      I never claimed my piece is “scientifical” and, to be honest, I have not started with statistics because people have no patience when it comes about sterile facts. But if you want, I can very well provide them. Starting with the studies conducted by the Faroese University and ending with the IUCN lists.

      To be honest, I would really appreciate if you would not insult me.

    • marsontherocks says:

      “Perhaps the reason why there is less harvested is because there are less in the water?”
      To answer that, you can look up the oldest known documented list of wildlife catch that the Faroe Islands have on pilot whale catch. Some years there are simply no pods of pilot whales spotted. It depends on many factors. The weather might be misty, so it makes it hard/impossible to see any further than a couple meters (pilot whales are only herded towards a beach approved for slaughter, if they are within a certain amount of nautical miles…can’t remember how far), if the whales come close enough because they are looking for food closer to the shore or simply because they for some reason or another are not spotted. It’s not like we go actively out and look for pods of pilot whales. In that sense it’s not a “active” hunt where we choose a date for hunting; it can happen any day of the year and at any time of the day, though usually it’s done in daylight, as it comes natural with being able to spot them…kinda hard in the night 😉
      Today you have to have a license to kill the pilot whales. Everyone can attend the grind, but only those who are approved, can kill the whales. This is done with a spear like weapon, carefully design together with veterinarians, to assure as swift a death as possible. The spear, called a “mønustingari” is designed to reach the spinal cord of the whale, and then cut it in one swift cut. After that, when the whale is numb, as there is no connection between the brain and body, the main arteries are cut which makes the whale (or any animal/living mammal) bleed out very fast, and therefor also become unconscious very fast. This is similar to how many other animals are out to death. It’s not possible to ram a bolt through the pilot whales head, like it is done with sheep and cows (mostly), but it is as fast, or close to, as those methods, and an approved method of killing animals/pilot whales in modern times.
      The (food) subsidy question and all other information is readily available on sites like http://www.whaling.fo , https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faroe_Islands
      But said in brief: Denmark provides “block grants” for the services that are still under Danish rule, like for instance the health care sector (hospitals etc.), the police and military. Many areas have come under Faroese rule over the years and decades, but some are still not fully controlled by Faroe Islands. But the will for full independence from Denmark has existed for decades, and is still very active. But for that to happen, more than 50% of the people will have to vote for that…until then, Faroe Islands receive money in the form of “bloktilskud” (block grants) from Denmark, in order to have a functional welfare system etc. It has been higher, and can become lower. Depends on what government coalition is ruling in Faroe Islands, as it is possible to both ask Denmark for a higher grant, as well as agree on a lower grant.
      Hope you got answers for your questions.

  21. Kimberly Lane says:

    Entitled to your opinion, but it is both ignorant and lacks intelligence. Are we supposed to believe as though pilot whale is to be the only source of food in Faroe island? Truly, I think I blacked out about 3/4 of the way through your rant. Join some sofistcated parts of the world whom may accompany you, if not exceed your martyred view of life in your world:

    Percentage  of homeless in the United States That don’t   get enough to eat daily = 28%

    Percentage of those living in poverty in the United States= 15%

    Number of Americans who live in hunger = 31,000,000

    Percentage  of  homeless Americans who are employed = 25% ( this means that 25% of working men and women in the United States are poor and homeless) 
    – Point blank, this means 25% are classified as the “working poor”

    And in case you think these are racist statistics, the homeless Caucasian population=35%, which exceeds the percentage of Hispanics at 12%, native Americans  at 2%, and Asian homeless population at a mere 1%.

    The United States are by far not superior by any means. We certainly have MANY problems encompassing our government as well as a complete disregard for constitutional rights. However, most live in poverty rather than kill each other, or hundreds of orca for that matter, for nourishment. It doesn’t even seem to be an option in the minds of those living on the coasts of the country. It is because of populations of your civilization that disturb the environment and cause extinction of species.

    • Hara says:

      If you really want to be better than the others maybe you shouldn’t start a comment insulting. If you have an opinion about one aspect that doesn’t give you the right to be patronizing and rude.

    • Bonnie says:

      Well Said….
      I agree, I am Canadian although our number are not as high as our population is less than that of the USA. We to have the problems of Homeless Unemployeed
      I come from Country where the Native Indians live on reserves and villages. as well. In Northern BC the Native Indian’s main source of survival is Fishing industry as well, but they would never do what the Barbaric Foroesins do.
      Hana you continue to say that Faroes Islands are not part Denmark, fact remains that you are part of the Denmark Kingdom and you can join forces with them, but I have sneeky feeling your so called Prime Minister does not all this!
      As a Canadian and USA being seperate Countries Our Prime Minister of Canada and The President of the United work together! As our Countries to with many other Countries int this world We provide energy, food, lumber etc… to all other Countries in the world.
      The Feroesian People need to get with 21st Century SERIOUSLY

      • Benedicte Whitehead says:

        You have a “sneaky feeling” the Danish prime minister does not act against pilot whale hunting. I’m sensing that you feel she has some ulterior motive that you have guessed. What would that motive be I wonder?

        • Bonnie says:

          No I said I have a sneaky feeling Faroes Prime Minister, as if you read the orginal artical Hara has repeatley stated the Faroes Island has their own Prime Minister. I believe the Faroes Prime Minister does not want to work with the rest of the world to help his/her People. I am unsure as to why they do not join forces with Denmark as they are part of the Denmark Kingdom.

      • Benedicte Whitehead says:

        Why do you want them to join forces with Denmark? And about what? The whale hunt? That would imply that both the Danish and Faroese governments were against it, but I have never heard anything to that effect.
        And what was the point of calling their prime minister a “so-called prime minister”?

        • Hara says:

          There is no point, Benedicte. She has no clue about the Faroe Islands status, it’s political administration. Probably imagines our prime minster is a kind of a joke or something similar with no authority.

          • Karaoke says:

            I have read your article and I am appalled with this hunting of the pilot whales yearly! You say it is 300 when the facts are; it is more than 1000.
            Your medical researchers have deemed the meat as an unhealthy source of food due to its high content of mercury levels. It has been said by the Faroe researchers it is ABSOULETLY unsafe for woman and children to eat due to the medical side effects the high mercury levels cause.
            The population of the Faroe Islands is 25.000 people. There is no need for hunting of the whales I this mass amounts, if there are only 25% of the people who actually eat this meat what happens to the rest? You don’t sell it as you have stated so it spoils!
            I am responding to this particular comment, because I do believe the Faroe prime-minister should join forces with Denmark! Just as the US president and Canadian prime-minister have done for centuries. These two countries work together as what we call free trade. Each country has separate resources and help one another to obtain these resources.
            Let’s say a war was to break out and there was a country and much larger country trying to take over your land your homes your way of living. Do you think your prime-minister would still not want Denmark to intervene. I think he would.
            I believe the Faroe do not hunt yearly as a food source, but rather it appears to be more of a tradition they have practices for centuries and it needs to STOP!
            You might want to re-elect an prime-minister who can actually help the Faroe people come out of the dark ages. After all we do live in the 21 century!

            • Hara says:

              Considering that my post was actually written in 2009, maybe you could bother to check out the numbers. In 2009 there were exactly 333 whales killed.

              The population of the Faroes is 48 000 though, plus another 25 000 living abroad, mainly in Denmark and Norway. Not only, but the meat in salted and kept in barrels or dried, don’t imagine it is eaten at once. And it seldom spoils, as you try to imply.

              The medical “researchers”, who is actually only one person, Pál Weihe, made public his research and from there people can chose if they want to believe or not. It is called free will, maybe you should learn the notion. A small correction though, he recommended the women who want to get pregnant to avoid the whalemeat and not to ALL women. It is only ONE research in what concerns Faroe Islands, not backed up by anything else, so people have the right to decide what they can believe. I chose to believe it, but I am not trying to push my opinion on the others, it is not my business.

              Why do you feel to be so patronizing, I can’t comprehend! If something irks me is this continous pompous declarations about “dark ages” and “21 century”. Does it make you feel better? Superior? More righteous? Or is just a continous need to insult no matter what people you “catch” from the Faroes, because here we are anyway some backward inbred neandethalians who would not know right from wrong? If you really believe that your words should have any impact, this is exactly the wrong way to go-

              And by the way, maybe you missed the part with “I am not Faroese”? I have absolutely no rights for elections. Not only but the prime minister is not elected by the voters, the main winning party names him (or her). Learn some more politics, before you come with so silly sugestions.

              PS. Funny though, you do realise that both Canada and USA are whaling and they actually kill endangered species of whales. Or maybe it is easier to lecture the others, while in your own yard happens even worse?

            • Benedicte says:

              If you think that modern and well-functioning societies like the Danish and Faroese look to the US for a model, then you are definitely wrong. The US practises legal executions of its own citizens; public health services are in their infancy and the legal system largely driven by greed.Citizens are regularly shot down, by the police or by other, legally armed citizens. Much as I love the US, in a Danish/Faroese perspective, it is not a highly civilized society.

              Your proposal of a collaboration between Denmark and the Faroes is sweet, but you seem to ignore that the Faroes are part of the Danish Kingdom. In the event of war, the Faroes will be defended by Danish military, and from what I understand, the Danish marine is currently protecting Faroese fishermen from attacks from Greenpeace activists. In fact, they are protecting Faroese culture against an attack on “their land, their homes, their way of living” as you put it.

              Denmark supports the Faroes economically, so you need not worry about us not joining forces. As always, I am baffled at how anti-whalers are compromising themselves in terms of speaking up without any basis in facts. You attack one of the world’s smallest nations without giving any consideration to what is right and factual. I find it very sad.

    • Kimberly Lane, Your response is typical response from Americans who are full of themselves.

    • mandm says:

      I don’t think Hara said that the pilot whales are only the source of food in Faroe, and I don’t think she is trying to justify the hunt just because it’s the food source.

      But I was intrigued enough to leave reply here because I have been always curious why U.S. has so much poverty and failed to fix the problem. I’m a legal residence in U.S., and have lived in L.A. near the skid row for many years witnessing those poor, lost, and forgotten people (by government). I don’t think they agree with you on ” most live in poverty rather than kill each other , or hundreds of orca for that matter, for nourishment”.
      I think they need you and U.S. government help. Seriously. I would suggest that before spending much hours to judge other countries, we should start looking into where we live, and what we eat and improve those lives who need serious help. Sometimes in L.A. driving some streets, I can’t believe that this is the first country… looks like the third country, and I can see things are falling apart.

      And speaking of U.S., there are really great things about this country, but one thing which is very hard to understand for general public is the importance of “culture” . Compared to many countries in the world, U.S. is extremely young, and in my eyes I can totally see that people do not have the perspective of having long history and culture coming with it. It gives the advantage of U.S. people to have fresh perspective, and often are able to come up with flexible ideas and solutions, however when dealing with other countries, lack of understanding of their long histories and cultures become disadvantage, often giving too quick conclusions of what it should be. I hope people in the U.S. starts having more world wide perspective and make comments based on more knowledge and understandings of other cultures.

      • California has high poverty because it has one of the highest cost of living. Being a native southern californian I can say many of the people on skid row got there because of drugs. No, excuse for them being homeless etc but it’s a fact. Also in the past 30 years California has put policies in place that make it not business friendly making many businesses leave the state or the country. When I was a kid lots of businesses hopped the boarder to Mexico meaning less jobs here meaning more poverty. Its a domino effect really.

        If you ever traveled to other states especially the south where I had the privlage to live for 5 years you would see culture also not as many homeless etc or your other complaints about LA.

        There are even more issues in LA that I could go into but, quite frankly I don’t feel like it because no one will ever listen about those issues. We moved from LA when I was a small child because my parents wanted me to have a yard and not deal with finding dead bodies in the alley behind our home. I still visit LA to see family but I wouldn’t live in that Hell hole

  22. Margaret YvonneJOnes says:

    Though I do appreciate the need for a balanced and informed argument on this and all related issues there are a few things that need to be made clear here.

    The images being posted do show the slaughter of marine mammals that are endangered and it should stop. There can be no moral argument for it to continue.

    The message you present of an island state with few resources is not really accurate is it? Look at the images, in the background are all the trappings of modern society, cars, large buildings, the people are well clad some even in wetsuits, they all look healthy and well fed, are the expensive boats in the background used to drive the animals in to shore?

    If they can import cars, clothes, and all the other stuff they very obviously use daily then do they not import food?

    Fact this is the 21st century and this practice is not taking place to feed a nation but to perpetuate a tradition. Men enjoying slaughter in such a barbaric way is not acceptable today, and don’t come back to me with they do not enjoy it, there is no other reason to do it they are not starving, not even hungry.

    A final word, of course there are other barbarisms happening all over the world, to use that as justification is appalling.

    Maybe you should get off your high horse, stop throwing red herrings (who cares what species it is, they all deserve protection and for goodness sake the noise they make or not as they die can’t really be part of an argument can it?) and put your time and intelligence into stopping this not defending the indefensible.

    • Hara says:

      I never imagined I got up on a high horse, I just spoke fo a place and for the people I care about.

      To the rest, I have one question for you: where is specified that the long-finned pilot whales are endangered? I would really like to see a serious source where is stated something like that.

      PS. As a matter of fact, I haven’t exaggerate when I said the food resources are scarced. There are cca 28 km2 of farm land, only a few farms that cultivate hay and some roots. Everything is imported. The wellfare you observe comes from the fishing industry, another one which is largely criticized by you, the ones from the “civilized countries” and without which these islands will go back to the middle ages. Economically speaking.

    • What you call “barbarisms” is what people in contries like the Faroes call survival. These people make there living of the sea and that means hunting whales to. But I don’t Iintend for you to understand it, a man who has lived and still live’s in the city all of his time. Seven-eleven on every street corner, all your food wrapped up and ready for consumption, never having to make your hands dirty to get you food.
      You are a hypocrite.

      • Kate S says:

        Porgeir,
        I’m not sure how much research you’ve done, but by the looks of things it’s not much. The people that live on the Faroe islands are very much apart of trading and consumerism, they’re very capable of getting their food from a street corner. ” Getting your hands dirty ” for food, and participating in what the faroe people are doings are completely different things. One is considered hunting, the other is inhumane and barbaric.

        • Oh, don’t you worry I have done my research. I live in a country similar to the Faroe Islands and I’m not a punk-ass kid playing a cyber hero. I have seen people like you Kate allover the internet talking shit about how other people should and should not live their lives. If you and your kind would spend just 1% of your internet time finding info about the people and countrys you are taking the piss out of ( other than Greenpeace, $ea $hepard and ARA propaganda) then maybe, just maybe you could find out why people like the Faroes use what comes from the ocean. I’ll bet a considerable large amount of money that before you’re done reading this, you have no idea what the main industrie of the Faroe Islands is.

          • Kate S says:

            I don’t care where you live, by what you’re saying you clearly don’t have much knowledge from where you’re from! I’m not some cyber hero, I just take part of things that interest me and then proceed to make them a reality. So I guess you could say I’m a real life hero!
            I’m not ” talking shit ” if anything, you were the one who started making dull accusations towards me.
            Telling the faroese people to stop their vacuous tradition is not going change their lives. The faroese people are very much apart of the fishing industry, and stopping this tradition won’t effect them.
            Not that it’s any of your business but I have various family members that live in places similar to the Faroe islands, which I’ve been to. Having said, it still won’t change my opinion on this barbaric act.
            I’m not going to waste my time on some callow sophomore. You really shouldn’t start a fight if you can’t win buddy.

            P.S I knew the their industry WAY before you even mentioned it.
            Pay up.

            • “I’m not going to waste my time on some callow sophomore. You really shouldn’t start a fight if you can’t win buddy.”
              You are still under the self illusion that I’m a kid. Well I’m not. In my over forty years of life I have seen many variation of life and how people live on what natural resources around it provides.
              I can sit here by my pc and hammer out long and boring piece, with lots of numbers and facts. But I’m not gona do that.
              Why??
              You want others to live there lives the way you want. It has to be your way or no way and people how don’t fall in line are less then nothing in your mind. You and your kind don’t want to help people, you want people to do, eat and say what you want.
              There is nothing I or anyone else can say that will make you understand why people like the Faroes make use of whale products. In your mind they are barbarians or sub-humans that should be placed on the sacrificial pedestal of genocide by droping a nuclear weapon on them or to be wiped out by a tsunami.

              So, do tell me how I have lost a fight ??

              • Kate S says:

                You’re making very strange comments. At your age, I think you should focus on your main priorities and then fight your opinion. Take time to calm yourself down, and understand what this whole argument was originally about in the first place. I don’t know who you are or why you so desired to attack me and fight my opinion but you truly don’t understand this situation.
                I have made many comments stating that I wouldn’t want any harm to the faroese people, and I’m sure there are nice people living on the island. For you to even bring up genocide and nuclear weapons is extremely inappropriate.It’s almost as if you wish for it to occur. You could see why I assumed you were an adolescent.
                I am fighting for the faroese people to end this tradition so pilot whales won’t be apart of this act. I’m sure if this tradition ended the faroese people would still be able to receive their meat but in a more humane form.
                I don’t approve of the act. THE ACT. The tradition that is taking place. I don’t approve of hundreds of people gathering to kill up to a thousand whales. If it were any animal I would be just as mad. If you had actually taken your precious time to read my comments you would understand what I’m saying.

                I would appreciate if you don’t talk to me anymore because you’re making extremely incongruous accusations and comments.

                Adjö och Gud välsigne

                • mandm says:

                  If I understood correctly, you are not approving their ACT= their TRADITION. Which is tricky… I don’t know where you live, but Tradition becomes tradition overtime, because usually it has good reason to be one. It takes many many years of history intervening with its culture to form a tradition which has survived longer than ourselves and our life time.

                  Therefore we shouldn’t make decision whether it’s right or wrong quickly. I honestly think that we don’t really have right to judge other culture’s tradition, but if we must voice ourselves, then we must tread carefully with what we say. I believe that the change in tradition must come from within its people and culture, and although we are hoping to continuously change for a better world, and we can voice ourselves, but we wouldn’t contribute much if it comes from the judgmental point of view as an outsiders. I think that only calls for misunderstandings, angers and war.

                  No matter how much we against somebody else’s culture, we must learn first their history and culture, and what they do. The best way is to even participate what it is like to live in that country and “doing” that tradition without judgment, then afterwords you will have right to say what you think, and you will have power to say it, and people will respect and hear you.

                  just a thought.

                  • Hara says:

                    Thank you for this.

                  • HUYA™ says:

                    Sorry but citing “culture” and “tradition” when countries that practice Female Genital Mutilation and Honour Killings arguing the same is not acceptable. The fact that the Pilot Whales have dangerously high levels of Mercury in and of itself is a reason to stop the hunt.

                    • Hara says:

                      You do realise this is an absolutely absurde argumentation, do you?! :/

                      And if I recall exactly , I didn’t “cite culture and tradition”, I have never stated this is the reason behind the whaling. If this is what you’ve understood from what I wrote … then, I am also sorry.

                    • Benedicte says:

                      I find it absolutely unacceptable to not acknowledge culture and tradition, even in the case of male AND female genital mutilation and honour killings. Humans don’t mutilate and kill close kin without some strong cultural, religious or traditional motivation, so if you want to change these things (which is understandable) but ignore culture and tradition then you are the barbarian, and you will only make matters worse. You have to understand where these people are coming from before you can understand how they can change. Refusing to do so is in my view a lack of respect for other cultures and a sign of ignorance.

  23. Sue says:

    I read the Facebook item and felt very upset, but did follow it up, on wikipedia which I usually have some faith in.. however on further research I found your blog and as this gives balance to the whole picture I will now add a link to this on my Facebook page so everyone who reads that can also get that balance before making up their own minds. Thank you for a very compassionate and helpful comment.

    • Hara says:

      Hi Sue, I know the feeling. It is a shocking practice, no doubt there, especially for people nowadays who are kept apart from the way the animals are bred and slaughtered. But it is important to try to find out what lies beneath the surface, to understand what happens and not to judge according to the first impression. And I thank you for doing that 🙂

  24. netsphere says:

    this is the fucking 21st century. I can get here apples from the other side of the world. Don’t tell me you cant get food on a small island other than this fucking animal. Do you need tomatoes from Brazil? fuck me 10cents a piec whit shipping costs, ill pay for it. You are a real fucktard ,and you and all your little friends deserve the same death as thous you kill or watched how they are being killed.
    COMON BRO EXPLAIN HOW YOU CAN JUSTIFY A MASSACRE!!! HITLER DIDNT HAD A CHANCE YOU HAVE. EXPLAIN!!!!

    you pissed out the shit of me.

    • Hara says:

      Thank you very much for your kind words!! Do you feel better now?

      And by the way, one tomato here, smart pants, costs 0.75€. As a matter of fact.

    • Pavel says:

      Well, the best and most helpful opinions are the ones with the most rude opinions, but in reality with few word to add in the discussion. While i do accept any opinion, sometimes there are opinions better left out. Yours is one of them.

      Btw, a small island in the middle of nowhere. The import for limited number of population will add up on the price of the product. So while you buy a piece of banana for few pennies, in remote areas it can be tripple the price coz it is imported in low quantities and for a low number of population over the ocean. So, price is going up.

      Lets do a bit of counting…

      In UK, one banana is 13 pences(0.15euro, 0,21 dollar) and the nunber imported is enormous, because the population is in milions. People buy it coz they have money for it. From basic full time wage, they can buy almost 7000 bananas, if they are not having any other spending. What is the minimal wage on the islands? What is therice of it? Lets ask Hara, i hope she can answer it.

      PS: people in rich countries and especially cities are often shocked on what is actually happenning behind their small view and wall, they dont want to look. Do you believe the beef jumped out of its grassing area with happines to be killed for your steak? Or pork? Or salmon out of sea? Chicken from its cots? Or any other animal, which is very often being harvested for your ultimate happiness? Ha! Dream on, little one… Dream on…

      • Hara says:

        Minimal wage can be roughly around 1000€ for a 40h working week which can be considered a lot comparatively to the countries from Eastern Europe and little comparatively to Scandinavia or other western countries. But the life costs are extremly high. Because Pavel has mentioned bannans, well, one costs around 0.75€. A bread around 4€, one kilo of beef or chicken meat around 20€. The bank rate for a house can easily touch 2000€ while minimum rent is around 500€ plus heat ad electricity. The tax we pay for children in the kindergarten 300€ a month. and so on.

    • It does not matter if it is the 21st century. It can be the 24th and a half century for all that matters. Apples don’t grow in the Feroes. To transport all this food from one continent to another is what causes what most environmental damage to the world.
      You wan’t to save the world.
      Instead of attacking people for what they eat, assist in finding the best way to utiliz products they can get from there near environment. That means whales to.

  25. netsphere says:

    “Your comment is awaiting moderation. ” you and your fucking bunch are cenzuring nazis.

  26. Josh says:

    I came across an article of which you speak. It displayed graphic photos of whaling accompanied by some slanderous story about the “coming of age slaughter” and “festival”.

    It made me feel sad about the killing of marine mammals, but I have a very critical mind and I felt the article to be far from authentic.

    I appreciate the time you took to write your article explaining life on the Faroese islands. I hope it can bring more understanding people from other cultures. The pollution and commercial fishing activities of larger nations are a far greater threat to our marine life, than small scale culling for sustenance of far north cultures.

    Not everyone hates you 😉
    -I am from USA and travel widely to participate in marine conservation.

    I wish you all the best up in the Farose, be it regrettable that whales are a staple.

  27. Thanks for putting an alternative – and possibly more accurate view. The only way I would be convinced either way, I think, is to visit and see for myself

  28. Kate says:

    This article to me was just a way to sugar coat an awful ” tradition “. I don’t care if 2 whales or 200 whales are getting slaughtered it is a barbaric act that needs to stop. You’re offended that people didn’t know all the facts? We know the most important one, you’re killing whales for essentially no reason. We don’t blame Denver we blame the monsters commiting the act. It is disgusting.

    • Hara says:

      “you’re killing whales for essentially no reason” Really? Eating is “no reason” in your opinion?

      • Kate says:

        If the focus of the act is truly for food, professionals should take care of it including killing the whales. The major reason for this event is so the young men and woman can have fun, and participate in the sport of killing it. You can fight your opinion all you want, but over all its a disgusting “tradition”. Eat some chicken.

        • Jay says:

          Kate you need to read the article before writing, it makes you look incompetent

          • Kate S says:

            Jay,
            I suggest you read my other comments so I don’t have to repeat myself, and so you won’t make yourself look injudicious. I have read this article as well as many others and stated that Hara has made valid points, yet my opinion isn’t going to change. I believe the people of the islands should not be killing such large amount of whales in the way that they do now, and that the killing shouldn’t be viewed as a celebration.

            Thanks
            Kate S

            • Jay says:

              Shall we stop killing, tuna, COD, Haddock as well by fishing nets, with the fish dying and gasping, or stop catching trout with fish hooks because we feel its inhumane, seems the island officials have stood up and acknowledged they needed to means test what they do, ensuring they monitor the cull? better than fisherman catching wads of fish including the odd dolphin, and gods knows what else they catch

              • Kate S says:

                There are roughly 350 000 pilot whales left, and millions and millions of fish of the types you listed. I think you can see why catching cod, haddock and tuna is much better then pilot whale ( an animal not recommend to eat ). I’d rather the pilot whales be dragged by a net as opposed to being jabbed by a hook by amateurs.

                • Hara says:

                  And you keep on with the same assumptions … Just wondering, if you are so convinced about pilot whales being “jabbed by a hook by amateurs”, why are you keep on coming back to say that? I know very well how it is done and it is deinitely NOT how you describe it, you believe I talk rubbish and you are absolutely right and this is how is done and in the end we go round and round and round and round and round. Waste of time.

                  • Kate S says:

                    Me fighting for the pilot whales is by no means a waste of time. Us continuing to repeat ourselves is, I agree. I base my facts from what I read, and what I’ve seen and from what I know the faroe people do not kill the pilot whales in a pleasant- humane manner. As for talking rubbish, I fully complimented you on some of your arguments in my previous comments. Let’s not go back to being spiteful.

                    Kate S

                    • Hara says:

                      I wasn’t spiteful at all.

                    • Jay says:

                      Kate correct me if Im wrong but your grievance in this is killing….and how its done, in this case its the Pilot Whale in question? What I’m saying and believe, is these animals should be killed as quickly with hopefully as less stress free as possible, and in such cases as humanely as possible for any animal we eat, should be done professional and adequately and quickly as possible, Im sure we agree in any circumstances.

                      Surely the Pilot whale would suffer more caught up nets, more stressed tangled up and brought to the surface and suffocated, do we let them suffocate…or do we humanely cut their spinal cord to the end the suffering quickly by professionalism handed down for 2 centuries. I agree it sounds barbaric and awful, I would get go on the blog sites, fighting for sharks with their fin cut off and thrown back into the sea, that’s barbaric

    • Benedicte Whitehead says:

      The main reason for this event is so people can have fun? And how do you know that?
      I can almost follow you when you say you don’t care if the article gets the numbers wrong, but you should care when you retail slander about another nation.
      An then you tell us to go eat some chicken. CHICKEN? Do you know anything about industrially produced chicken….? When it comes to animal welfare I’d eat pilot whales any day, not chicken.

      • Kate says:

        Tell me, honestly, what is the purpose for all those people to gather and slaughter those whales (in a very inhumane way I must add)? To go hunt for produce?
        PROFESSIONALS should be the ones to put food on your plate. I understand, people get their food from hunting and that is fine but what that tradition is, is definitely NOT hunting. First of all it is not humane, second of all young adults, teenagers, and elders participate in it. I don’t think a college freshman knows how to properly slaughter an animal and retrieve and clean the meat.
        As for the chicken, really? You would rather eat an exotic animal then an animal that was put on this earth SOELY for produce? I don’t care what food you MUST eat, I just want the animal killed in a humane, proper way.
        As for bashing your nation, I meant to do no such thing.
        I really hope your nation has other qualities that can define you then more then your hunt.

        P.S Try organic, if processed meat is an issue for you.

    • Benedicte Whitehead says:

      Kate
      Yes, I would most definitely rather eat an animal that grew up in its natural habitat than one that was put on this earth solely for the production of food. Are you into animal welfare? Or what ARE you into?
      When you claim to know that the whale hunt is just for the fun of it, then you are slandering the Faroese nation. You are spreading harmful propaganda based on a lie. Maybe you don’t mean to cause any harm, but that is in effect what you are doing. I can’t see it any other way.
      As for the professionalism of these killings, the Faroese started hunting whales 1200 years ago. It is a craft that has been handed down from generation to generation. There is ongoing research on how to keep improving the methods, there is legislation about how to do it and what tools to use, all with animal welfare in mind. Maybe these people don’t have a diploma, but they say the time it takes to kill a whale is now down to two seconds – all of this tells me that they are on a high professional level. I don’t know why it makes it easier for you that industrial animals are killed by someone in a labcoat under fluorescent lights. Honestly, I don’t.
      As for what qualities the Faroese nation has, one of them is manifest in the whale hunt: if everyone gathers on the beach it is because everyone gets a share of the meat, whether they hunted or not. Everyone gets a share, and it can’t be sold. The emails that circulate wants us to think they gather to laugh at animals being tortured. Don’t you think the reality of this is more interesting?
      Someone else posted a link to how Walmart treats THEIR animals. Here is something to campaign against if you are into animal welfare: walmartcruelty.com
      B

      • Kate says:

        Benedicte, Thank you for the links about Walmart. I am constantly trying to make a difference, and get involved with animal rights. Like I stated at the end of my previous comment, I truly mean no offence to the faroese people, I’m sure there are very nice people in that culture. As for the tradition that occurred 1200 years ago, that is remarkable that they are still keeping it going. I am a Canadian and an animal related tradition canadiens are known for is the clubbing of baby seals. Am I ok with this Canadian tradition? Not at all. It almost makes me as mad as the slaughtering of those whales. Are fellow canadiens going to be angry with me? Some are, some probably agree with me. Don’t be so sensitive that I amongst others disagree with the slaughter of whales.
        You have other people who agree with you, were even.

        I think it is great that professionals are finding fast acting weapons, but it really does not justify what they are doing. The difference between people in lab coats killing animals and, random villagers is that the people in lab coats know what to do, and have a purpose.

        You are able to eat other types of produce.
        It doesn’t matter if its been around for 1200 years. There are various traditions that have been around for many years, just because it is old does it make it ok to continue? Not necessarily.
        Get what ever food you would like, but don’t make it such a big event. It is animal cruelty.
        I understand you get the meat right away, but that food won’t last people the year so essentially it really is a large tradition that occurs for the pleasure of people.

        I can’t really imagine any one would say ” oh great gotta kill whales for food today ” . There has to be some pleasurable drive in it, for people involved.

        Good day.

        • Hara says:

          Kate, you wrote there “The difference between people in lab coats killing animals and, random villagers is that the people in lab coats know what to do, and have a purpose.” And HOW did you get to the conclusion that “random villagers”, as you put it, don’t know what to do or have no purpose?

          As per making a “big event” as you call it, it is not the way you imagine. Usually it’s an event at the place where grindadráp occures and it is like that because for them it means something, besides getting the so liked whalemeat. I know people complain about Faroese watching the hunts, but (and here tell me if I am wrong) people gather to see the unusual always, no matter it is the bull race in Pamplona, a stranding or a horrendous accident all over the world. How does THAT make the Faroese worse than the others?

          Then it was this: ” so the young men and woman can have fun, and participate in the sport of killing it.” Really? Do you want to tell me that YOU actually know better about this aspect from the other side of the world? Have you seen one hunt with your own eyes and observed the “fun” and the “sport”? Or is just based on the conclusions you drag looking at some pictures? And by the way, with some very small exceptions, you will not see women in the water.

          I can’t understand why there is this stuborness in stating it’s done “for fun” or “as a sport” or, worse, “as a rite of passage to adulthood” (this one I find equally ridiculous and mischievious). It isn’t the case.

          PS. As a matter of fact, starting with May 2015 allowed to whale will be only people who will have first to get a special licence. I hope this will put an end to some of the accusations.

    • Benedicte Whitehead says:

      Dear Kate
      So you are _almost_ as mad at the clubbing of baby seals in Canada as you are with what happens in the Faroese. I wonder how mad you would be if emails were being passed around saying this is a rite of passage that Canadians celebrate for nothing but fun and pleasure. If, as a result, Candians were called sick and psycho.
      I am not Faroese and have not seen the whale hunt in real life, but I have read up about it. When I point to the fact that this tradition is so old and passed on through generations, it is because I believe this is one of the highest levels of professionalism you can get, especially when on top of it it is under official regulation, guided by research. From what I have heard from a Faroese friend, it is indeed a big and exciting event. I don’t imagine that working in a slaughter house is a lot of fun, but that does not make me feel that eating industrially produced meat is any tad better than eating whale meat.
      I fail to see that taking the learning of the craft out of its natural environment and into a school, and taking the animal out of its environment into a farm makes slaughtering animals any better.
      You are getting an important thing in my posts wrong. I am not sensitive about people disagreeing with me; if you think eating industrial meat is better than meat from wild animals, then fine with me, I just don’t get it. What angers me is that people are so gullible that they will circulate these emails in spite of obvious factual mistakes. They prefer to go with something that is demonstrably 90 % false. When did that ever help the world move in the right direction?
      B

      • Kate says:

        Benedicte and Hara,

        I feel like this has blown out of proportion. I simply heard about the killing of the whales and wanted to find out more information, I came across you article and definitely now know more of the story. First of all we’re now focussing on processed meat, if you don’t like it that is perfectly fine. I happen to eat it.
        When I mention that I have preference to people in lab coats killing animals as opposed to the Faraose, I just mean that I prefer the animals they are killing. I would rather the faroese people kill cows than whales. That is just my opinion.

        I by all means do not want to offend the Faroese people. I can evidently perceive that you are both offended at my comment, and I apologize for that. I was simply sharing my angered driven opinion at the time. I still stand by my judgement when I say I do not agree with it, but I’m sure another person will go fight me on that again.

        I am angered towards the canadiens who club baby seals. I don’t think it should happen, but I’m sure the people who participate in that act have there reasons ( like the faroese people) and I do not discriminate the people, just that individual act.

        I would be very upset if thousands of people started emailing others and stated false accusations. Thankfully I came across this email and now know the story.

        I am happy to hear about the license that was mentioned.

        Thanks,
        Kate

        • Hara says:

          Kate, I don’t fight at all, I just asked some questions because you’ve made some statements in your comments.

          You said that you rather see the Faroese killing cows and not whales. In order to have cow farms, where animals should be bred for meat, the country should also have the necessary land and logistics. One of the ongoing issue is that the sheep meat (there are almost 90 000 sheeps in the Faroese, almost twice as numbers comparatively to the people) which barely covers the internal consume and which can’t be exported due to the EU regulations. The same EU who illegally boycotes the Faroese fish. Besides that the whole farming land on ALL the islands is about 28km2. Do you know how little this means? These farms cultivate usually hay for the animals, some have a number of cows kept for milk and then there are the sheeps which aren’t kept in enclosed yards, but on the mountains or on the uninhabitated islands. So, you see, it is a little bit difficult to create an efficient farm system.

          Besides that, if I may, it comes also the morality of the statement. In the end, why should be cows less important than pilot whales and hence much more worth eating? For me this is a poor argument. I am not writing that to antagonize, it’s my opinion in regards to this aspect.

      • Kate says:

        Hara,
        You really don’t understand what I’m trying to say.
        I suggested cows because its a multi purpose animal, that is a commonly used for eating all over the world. Just like chicken, pork, etc. ( Please don’t go on about saying how you don’t like pork ) I understand that the faroese people don’t have sustainable farming areas, neither do many areas over the world. I was just stating that I disagree with how the faroese people butcher their whales. It is inhumane and quite upsetting, in MY opinion. I’m sure that the butchering of cows is quite unpleasant but at least professional butchers do that job.

        Your comment about me having a poor argument was very unnecessary.
        If we are sharing opinions about each others arguments, I must say yours is quite ridiculous. Innocent whales that were not designed for consumption are being slaughtered annually due to an ancient event by people who think they know how to properly butcher an animal ( some might, but by the graphic unpleasant pictures it doesn’t look like it ). You are literally defending the act of slaughtering exotic animals, and then saying that you would much rather eat the whale then a cow because the way the cow is butchered is more unpleasant. You state that you’re angry that everyone has the story wrong. Luckily I have read your article, and now know some accurate facts. That was your main goal am I correct? So you could let interested people know the true story? I now know the story, and my opinion has not changed. There isn’t really anything you can do about that.

        I have my beliefs, you have yours and I respect your opinion. I would appreciate if you do the same.

        • Hara says:

          I guess the “misunderstanding” is rather mutual. Either there is the language barrier or my words fell on deaf ears. You have made several accusations and statements, I asked questions and still, I have the feeling that the one who is somehow insulted is not me.

          From my point of view pilot whales aren’t at all special, they aren’t the holly cow of the modern world. I don’t consider them “exotic” at all, just another mamal who lives in the ocean and happens to be hunt for meat. Not as a whim nor as a sport, not for gourmet restaurants or delicatess shops. And definetely not for fun. It represented a stapple diet for the people for a thousand years.

          I don’t like the way any of the animals are slaughtered, never did. And I actually find extremly hypocritical when people start to say: that animal is ok to be eaten because we breed them and that’s their purpose (really?!) and the other one is not because is more special / inteligent or whatever. There doesn’t exist first class and second class animals. And that’s it.

      • Kate says:

        Hara
        You’re clearly very driven to fight for the truth about the slaughtering of the pilot whales.
        I find it odd how you do not like the way any animals are slaughtered, yet you seem to condone the way the pilot whales are killed.
        There are 2 billion cows on earth, and they’re life span is usually 15 years. Cow farmers make sure that for every cow they kill another one is born. There are roughly 350 000 pilot whales. Since you claim to know everything, are the same actions being held to make sure the population of pilot whales don’t decrease?
        Yes pilot whales hold superiority to cows in the sense of consumption. Cow’s are meant to be eaten, whales are not due to their high mercury levels.
        You don’t think certain mammals hold superiority to others? I absolutely love animals,but I think a human is more superior to other mammals.
        The slaughtering of the whales does seem as a sport, because it is you average day people who gather and kill the whales and make a large event out of it.

        I suggest you become a vegetarian if your so sensitive to the slaughtering of everyday meat products.

        • Jay says:

          Hmm World population 7 Billion amount of cows you state 2 Billion, Population of Faroe Island approx. 50K, Population of Pilot Whales 350, seems good ratio to me, I cant see the whale population decreasing due to consumption.

          Sorry Kate such sweeping statements

          • Kate S says:

            None taken, you’re incorrect. Once again, not to sure why you’re commenting on my comments from nearly 2 months ago. Check your facts Jay last year nearly 3000 whales + were slaughtered.
            Opps.

            • Kate S says:

              Jay, you also have to take in to consideration the size of the whale. 3000+ WHALES for 50 000 people for a brief period of time is a ridiculous amount of meat.
              Plus its the event that takes place, and the way the animal is killed that gets me mad. If the faroe people desire to eat pilot whale, that’s fine. I would like just on different terms.

              • Hara says:

                Wow, stop right there. WHat 3000+ whales are you talking about??

                • Kate S says:

                  I know for a fact there has been up to a thousand whales slaughtered in one “harvest” and nearly 250 in two days. 3000 whales is not an unreasonable number. What ever the number is, its still one to many.

                  • Hara says:

                    All the numbers for 2013 are here: http://www.heimabeiti.fo/default.asp?menu=400 And it is 1415 for 2013 which is far and away from those 3000+ whales you claim.

                    I still don’t understand why should someone justify to you how many are killed, in the end the meat was properly used and distributed, so … And to be honest, I don’t see anyone crying for the whales you kill in Canada and which are actualy endangered and whose meat is from far much more polluted than the one of the pilot whales. Maybe because it is easier to take it on a small country? Or maybe because we are almost all white race here and for the white man is a no-no this kind of “barbaric” behaviour? :mrgreen:

                    (please, refrain from acusing me of being racist, because this si not the point here).

                    • Kate S says:

                      1415 is a large number Hara, and as I’ve repeated I don’t approve of the hundreds of men and women gathering to kill a whale in a manner that completely disrespects the animal. Had they been killed in another manner, and not be killed in a celebration my opinion may change. I believe I saw a young boy sitting on a dead pilot whale, how respectful right?
                      I rather trust pictures then a person who wrote an article and chose to fight people from behind her computer screen as well as having some neurotic obsession over people celebrating the murder of their food source.

                      Canadian whaling is done in very small numbers by inuits. I believe the limit for whaling in canada is for 1 whale every two years in the Hudson Bay-Foxe bassin population, and 1 whale ever 13 years for the Baffin Bay-Davis strait population. It’s easier to allow Canadians go whale hunting because as you can tell there is truly no comparison between the two.

                      Ya its pretty ridiculous that you brought up the fact the Faroes are white? No need for racist comments Hara.

                      I’m done expressing my points to certain individuals who act like toddlers and acts bi-polar with their remarks.

                      I’ve signed my petitions, I’ve expressed my opinions.
                      I’m done.

                    • Hara says:

                      I just wrote to refrain accusing me of racism, because it wasn’t the case here. And you still did that :/ Yes, of course I brought it up, people tend to be condescendent and to write idiotic things EXACTLY because Faroese are white and the white man is supposed to be in the “21st century”, “civilised” and “evolved” comparatively to the native indians or the inuits. Even one of your supporters has declared somewhere that thenative indians had to become “civilised”. Not my words, by the way. Besides that, people are incredible wary to pick on the whalehunt performed by the inuits in Canada or Greenland or USA, exactly because they fear being accused of racism. 😀

                      Let’s not pretend we are politically correct when we know very well this is not the truth.

                      Canada kills 1000 belugas, 500 narwahls and an unknown number of bowhead whales YEARLY. With harpoons, by the way, not mentioning that the hunts are far from being conducted by “specialized” people. Hiding your head in the sand and denying these facts doesn’t make them go away. And by the way, why is not “comparable”? It is maybe because the inuits often live a deprived life and somehow that gives them the right to hunt? A

                      I actually don’t condemn them at all, this is their way of life, it has been like that for centuries, long time before your ancestors decided those lands are theirs to take, long time you decided they need to be “civilised”, long time before you confined their children in boarding schools, exposing them to pedofiles and other kinds of abuses and so on. I was just pointing out facts. What I find extremly hypocritical are your patronising lectures towards people you have no clue about.

                      PS. Oh yes, the famous theory about a boy sitting on a whale and the lack of … respect. I guess you are a big city girl, isn’t it? Saw a dead animal only in pictures probably.

    • Kate says:

      Bonnie
      I had no idea that it was 1000! That is ridiculous! I heard about the high mercury levels, because I wanted to do more research on the subject but I had no idea about the neuropsychological problems it can cause. This tells me that the pilot whale is definitely not an animal that should be consumed.

  29. Bonnie says:

    I read your artical. I am I am still appauled that this happens. Wheather this is happening in Denmark or The Farose Islands the bottom line here is that is is happening!!! And there is no real reason or need for it.
    In your articale you contiune to call this Hunting? am not sure where the hunting is involved? The pictures clearly show the Pilot Whales/Calderon Dolphin, pushed to the shores where it has been photographed,children and people ripping these creatures apart with hooks and hatchets. How this can be called Hunting? I just want to clearfy to you leading these Porpoise to a shore where there are hundreds of people with HOOKS AND HATCHETS waiting to slaughter them is not HUNTING!!
    It is also known that Pilot Whale/Calderon Dolphin plays and important role in our ecosytem. Like many other high-level predators; these Creatures prey mainly on old and ill fish. This way they are playing an important role in fighting infectious diseases among fish populations and ensure the reproduction of fisheries resources.
    The pictures shown of the massacare have NOT been photo shoped they are very true as the slaughering of to which takes place.

    The Calderon Dolphin/Pilot Whale may very well be led to exxtinction by this Killing and I am not sure if you know extinction is FOREVER!!
    NO INTELLIGENT CREATURE SHOUDL BE TREATED IS WAY!!!

    • Hara says:

      OK, emotions apart, maybe you should document a little. Google IUCN and the species appendix and check if the pilot whales are in danger of extinction. Maybe you will get some more light in this aspect and not believe every exaggeration.

      I also reccomend to read this: http://www.whaling.fo/ Let the outrage aside, read first and discern a little. I know very well how people feel when they see blood, but have you ask yourself how would you react if you would see how the animals are slaughtered in abbattoires for example?

      • Kate says:

        I AGREE! You are so right Bonnie!

      • Bonnie says:

        Hara you can not compare this in not manner to a Slaughter house, for Cows, pigs, and Chickens . These animals are raised for reasons of feeding. The execution of these animals is done NOT to make the animal suffer. We DO NOT have hunderds of people standing waiting with sharp objects to continously beat these animals by several people to death. You DO NOT hear a COW or PIG crying in shear agony while SEVERAL people it hit it with PICKS and HATCHETS. The People who work in these Farms are trained and ensure that the animal is killed in most civilized manner to ensure the animal is in no way SUFFERING!!!
        Are you aware that these Mammals have the same mate for life are you aware these Mammals live together in with families, Grandmothers, Grandfathers, mother, fathers and Children for life. Are you aware these animals are not breed to feed people rather they play a very important role in our ECOSYSTEM!
        I think it is you that needs to do the research on the anmimals to which you are trying to say is ok to SLAUGHTER barbarically. Not even the Native Indians in 19th Century would have slaughter a whale like the people of Faroes Islands.
        Your village your Island whatever you want to call it needs to come into the 21 Centry and civilize its self just as the Native Indians have done
        Also, Dispite of what you say; Faroes Islands in fact is part of the Denmark Kingdom and they should be putting a stop to this.

        • Hara says:

          Bonnie, you have a very, very, very distorted image about how the things are done. And very vivid imagination I must say. Animals are kileld very quickly, the hooks are blunt and used to secure the animal (the same way they secure an animal in an abbatoirre), and then there is a very sharp lance special devloped and which is used to cut the spinal cord. In general it takes about 30s, max one minute for a whale to be killed. Don’t imagine things, no one tortures any animal and new for you, my little criticizer. Police supervises the whole thing, there is a foreman who is also taking care that animals get killed properly.

          You have absolutely no clue how does a pig while is dragged to be slaughtered. And I bet you have never been in a abbatoirre, otherwise you’d me a tad less agressive.

          It is not “my village” or “my island”. I am from Romania, I have been living here for many years. And comparatively to you, I know much better what happens. And don’t worry, people here are more civilised then many other.

    • Bonnie.
      You are so desperate for your point of view to be right that you are starting to humanising the whales.
      “It is also known that Pilot Whale/Calderon Dolphin plays and important role in our ecosytem. Like many other high-level predators; these Creatures prey mainly on old and ill fish. This way they are playing an important role in fighting infectious diseases among fish populations and ensure the reproduction of fisheries resources.”
      They do NOT prey mainly on old and ill fish. They WILL eat any fish that they come in in range with, old,ill or not.
      If the pilot whale is so intelligent that it can pick out an old or ill fish, why does he not just dive under the boats?

      • Kate S says:

        What Bonnie is stating is correct. She isn’t humanizing them, she’s stating the true facts. The pilot whales are a necessary part of the eco system, that form packs and make families. The people who kill the pilot whales, don’t make sure another one is born. How fatuous of you Porgeir to think the whales don’t want to escape. During the slaughtering of these animals all you hear is the whales in distress, and crying because they are TRYING to escape. If they could they would.

        • Hara says:

          Kate S, I am sorry, but you aren’t right here. She humanizes them, all the people who came with the “non-human persons” theory do that. And last time I checked, terms like “Grandmothers, Grandfathers, mother, fathers and Children” are words that define relations between humans, not animals, no matter how smart or less smart they are.

          If I recall corectly, Bonnnie / Murry / Betty declared there also: “I think it is you that needs to do the research on the anmimals to which you are trying to say is ok to SLAUGHTER barbarically. Not even the Native Indians in 19th Century would have slaughter a whale like the people of Faroes Islands.” Do you also agree with this? If the answer is yes, let me offer a few pictures to you:



          All of them from Canada. And I have some others too, if this you can’t see. Don’t you believe it’s time to start cleaning your backyard if you are so concerned about the whales?

          • Hara says:

            And I could also continue with:

            http://jennifermarohasy.com/2007/08/giving-the-narwhals-a-voice-a-note-from-ann-novek/

            http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/10/04/how-an-ex-mounties-10-year-700000-narwhal-tusk-smuggling-scheme-came-crashing-down/

            http://webpages.charter.net/hrynyshyn/pdfs/CMEPSbowheadt2002.pdf

            Would you like me to find some more? This only and only because it has been rubbed in my face several times how the natives of Canada are “civilised” and “in” the 21-st century and Faroese are not.

            • Kate S says:

              Hara,

              Last time I checked the term grandmother, grandfather, mother, etc can be used for any species. As for the way the Canadian natives kill their animals, I never said I agreed with it either. If the Canadians hurt animals in similar ways as Faroe people, I’m sure their would be just as big of a scandal. I don’t agree with any of it.

              Kate

              • Kate S says:

                Also,
                Everyone seems to be arguing in terms of ethnicity. If it were Canadians that were killing the whales instead of the Faroe people, my opinion wouldn’t change. It doesn’t matter what country it is taking place in, it is solely the act.

                • Hara says:

                  Yeah, but you missed the point. You complain about Faroe Islands here. If you really want to be fair and to show you care, don’t you believe you should start with your own yard? Besides that, my comment was a reaction at Bonnie’s comments, the ones you so much agree with.

                  To be honest this discussion goes in circles and you keep on repeating yourself. You don’t agree with what I write and with the Faroese and I don’t care about that. I don’t get what do you actually want from me.

                  • Kate S says:

                    Hara,
                    I participate in many various animal right issues in Canada. There are some things over here that I am VERY upset about. I do agree with Bonnie. I think you make valid points throughout your article, and I agree with this argument going in circles. I wasn’t trying to offend you or get anything from you, I was trying to get my point across to Porgeir as he makes very obtuse arguments.
                    Thanks
                    Kate

          • They are not humanizing them. NON-human PERSONS. It’s right in front of you. Again, you claim people should see both sides, but you are blind to this. Certain animals have qualities that define personhood. They have families and language. They adopt orphaned babies. They are self aware. You cannot leave this out of the equation just because it is inconvenient to your position. Killing a whale or dolphin is not the same as killing a cow or chicken.

        • “Creatures prey mainly on old and ill fish”
          With this statment Bonnie is saying that the wales are so intelligent that they can pick out from a shoal of fish those how are old or sick. That is humanizing the wales because not even humans can’t tell sick fish from a healthy one without thorough inspection. If whales have that kind of intelligence then they should have the brain power to realise they are being chased by boats, make a 180 and swim under them.

          • Kate S says:

            Pilot whales eat squid and other various fish. Overall Bonnie’s argument is correct. It’s vapid for you to think those whales don’t try to escape. As I stated before, if they could they would.

          • That is not a quality limited to humans, so no one is humanizing them. There is evidence that whales and dolphins may be smarter than humans. Their language appears to be more complex. You may reject this out of hand, but that won’t effect the truth of the matter. You seem to only value people, and only those who are just like you.

            • Hara says:

              Maybe you would like to come down from that soapbox you climbed on and breath a little. Why do you treat everybody as your personal enemy?

  30. anoynm says:

    Do they still do this? I’m feeling sick, what a stupid sick people! I don’t know what to say really, this is so sick and that they even do this for fun is insane. Letting kids watch this is even more psycho. How is this really going on, and how come these people even exist? Like they are brought back from a really really long time ago so retarded. I’m not saying anything bad about Denmark, how could this even happen but it’s hard to think about Denmark in this way………..

    • Hara says:

      Do you still eat meat? You do kill reindeers in Sweeden and kids often watch how they are opened and cleaned, how they are skinned (have even some pictures in this aspect). Some even are taken by their dads to hunt. How does this differ by whalehunting?

      And by the way this is not Denmark, but Faroe Islands. Very big difference.

  31. Cindy Gilman says:

    I see your point. Thank you for the clarifications. I appreciate it.

  32. Dario says:

    What a great article and what a great style i which you wrote it. You were very eloquent and very detailed, people in north America for the most part are giant pussies!!!!!!! Well the ones who speak out so strongly against things like this anyway. I’m against any unnecessary act of cruelty, brutality, etc. But when its for the positive gain of a people, I’m all for it. Once again thanks for the information I’ll be sure to share the enlightened version of this story.

  33. Diana says:

    You are as bad of a person as the people killing these animals for WHATEVER reason. You “know everything” but you have no HEART! No matter what YOU think, the facts are NOT on your side and YOU SUCK BIG TIME! Hope one day you see that.

    • Hara says:

      Thank you very much! Just curious, though. How did you get to the conclusion I am bad and heartless? Just because it happens I don’t agree with whatever you believe it’s right?

  34. hello says:

    Some sources estimate their number to 600 000 worldwide, some to 200 000 in the North Atlantic. How can a few hundreds hunted per year put an entire species in danger?

    This comment is completely unenlightened and ridiculous . From what little I have read on the Calderon dolphin I can quite easily show you how foolish a comment this is. Calderon dolphins only calve every three to five years. Their gestation is over a year long. So if you are killing 100 dolphins a year this can very easily begin to deplete a population over time as the dolphins are unable to replace those being taken out of circulation each year by this festival. That also doesn’t even take into account time to puberty and thus time it takes for those replacing the individuals killed during this festival to reach an age where pregnancy is even an option.

    Also explaining a whale versus a dolphin doesn’t make it any more or less barbaric. I also like the part where you explain how vets develop the tools used to slaughter the animals and that it can take seconds to minutes. I promise there is a huge difference when it is you surrounded in your own blood helpless.

    Please don’t lecture people about their lack of education on a subject, sometimes things that just feel wrong are just wrong. Painting a pretty festival of religious or cultural meaning doesn’t make things okay.

    • Hara says:

      Ok, you consider it is ridiculous and foolish what I wrote. And yet you throw in the mix words like “festival” even worse “festival to reach an age” in spite of the fact I have cleary explained it is JUST a myth, an urban legend launched by one who plays with people’s emotions.

      You have not even read the part where I wrote it is not my tradition and I am not Faroese…

      Maybe it should be better to go and patronize some other people. Come back when you calm yourself and when you are ready to have a proper discusion.

    • Benedicte Whitehead says:

      Sometimes things that feel right are wrong. As a consumer in the Western world I am sponsoring animal cruelty with every piece of meat or poultry that I buy in the supermarket. That doesn’t feel wrong, but it is. I wish that all the meat that I buy came from animals that had lived a free life in their natural habitat, like the pilot whale.
      As for depleting a population over time – from what I have read the Faroese have depended on whale meat for 1200 years, and the pilot whales are still around. If the population is dwindling today, surely it is in part due to new threats to them, such as pollutin and being caught in fishing nets. That is, the tragic and much more far-reaching casualties of industrial fishing.
      But go on and blame it on the Faroese, because SOMETIMES what “just feels” wrong is wrong.

    • Kate says:

      You are SO right!

    • Bonnie says:

      You are so right… This woman, I feel has a lack of education herself!
      She wanted to campare in my comment the slaughter if a Cow or a Pig to which is raised to feed people. I am not sure how she is justifying the quick and painless slaughtering of a cow to a pod of Whales/Dolphins that are being lead to shore where hunderds of people wait with Hooks and Hatches to beat these animals several times until finally they die.
      Not even the Native Indians hunted whales the way these people do. the Native Indians clothed themselves, homed themselves and feed themselves with a whale. I cannot believe she would even write such an artical calling people uneducated!!
      I am sickened by this!!!!!!!!!

      • Hara says:

        Bonnie, this is one warning from “the woman”. Either you tone down and talk in a civilised manner or you leave this blog and go somewhere where your impertinence is accepted.

        As per education, learn to write English first. Not that would give you the right to make rude statements, but at least it will not make you look so ridiculous.

      • Kate says:

        Hara,
        You’re telling people to get off you’re blog and to stop commenting. Everyone is entitled to their on opinion, and you (amongst others) should respect that. Keep things professional. I don’t understand why you are such a strong advocate towards this act, because it truly is heart wrenching.

        • Hara says:

          Being entitle to have an opinion and addressing insults are two completely different things. And I don’t recall telling to anyone to get off my blog except to Murry / Betty / Bonnie who started to be increasingly agressive when she or he saw I don’t play along.

  35. Benedicte Whitehead says:

    Dear Hara
    I am Danish and have a couple of lost battles about this topic under my belt. It is sad and upsetting that people will run with a story that is so full of factual mistakes that anyone should be able to spot it in thirty seconds.
    It was interesting to read your article – firstly, I learned new things, and secondly, most of your arguments are identical with what I have been saying to people.
    There is a kind of feel-good factor in getting upset about cruelty to animals, children, whatever, that people are not happy to part with. It’s similar to when someone realizes that something good that he or she belives in is actually completely rotten. Once you are in that mood, you don’t want to get out of it again.
    Anyhow, thank you for writing about this, well done!
    Benedicte

    • Hara says:

      Hey Benedict, thanks for the comment and your nice words. I know the theory with children and “cruelty” towards animals. I don’t believe it entirely, this is something psichologysts like to “analyse” and many rush to believe. My generation grew up with animals in the yard, animals destined to be eaten to one point. And I, like many of my friends, helped to raised them, feed them. gave them names and then … help when slaughtered. I don’t believe I have become cruel, on the contrary… it set the things in another perspective.

      The article was a little bit emotional, I admit. I wrote it 4 years ago because I was deeply outraged and I couldn’t understand why people are so mean towards the Faroese. In the meanwhile I read and learn much more about this issue. Maybe I will try to write an update in the future.

      • Benedicte Whitehead says:

        Dear Hara
        Yes, I get your point. I don’t think seeing animals getting slaughtered makes children cruel, on the contrary they learn something about life. And slaughtering is not torturing.
        I understand why this article is emotional. How could it not be?
        Best
        Benedicte

  36. Adrian says:

    This article and potty story is bullshit. I am studying to become a marine biologist and like most whales the long finned pilot whale has too much mercury in its blood for the meat to be consumed by humans.

    • Hara says:

      And why is my story “potty” and “bullshit” in your opinion? On what do you base your acusation here? Just on the content of pollutants from the whalemeat?

    • Pavel says:

      Yes, to developed and a country of plenty, some food can be poisonous, you have a choice to make. You dont like fish or chicken? So choose beef, pork, veggies, fruits and so on.

      What choice poorer people have? They take, what is offered and dont give a damn about some mercury…

  37. Robbin Ruane says:

    Thank you, after seen the article on Facebook I did not think it was true. Mostly because those were not dauphins but pilot whales. If you are going to tell a story to stop what you think is an injustice at least get it right. What gets me is they are fussing about the whale hunt and to me is not much diferent than the first day of deer season. I am happy that you took the time to write this, it is very informative. Thank you.

    • Pilot whales, like killer whales are in the family delphinidae, and contrary to Hara’s assertions, are dolphins. “Some people consider them dolphins, but I stick with the biologists and the name they got.” I almost can’t believe she wrote that, but she did. That’s not the name scientists gave them! It’s not all that important, it’s a blurry line and one is not better than the other, but if we were dealing with a true whale, there is probably a way that this would violate international law.

      • Hara says:

        Ok, so let me see what I actually wrote:

        “cathegorized as one of the “toothed whales” species. They are part of the same family as the dolphins, but they are considered whales because of the behaviour. In extenso, Orca is also part of the dolphin family, but I really doubt someone calls it a dolphin. Pilot whales are the second one as size after the Orca from this family. Some people consider them dolphins, but I stick with the biologists and the name they got. Even the Latin name globicephala melas (roughly translated “black round head”) doesn’t contain “delphinus”.”

        So, they are not called long-finned pilot whales ? Or “globicephala melas“? This is not the scientific name? Which is, then? I would really want you to enlighten me in this aspect!

        Non-person human, you say… based on a decision of the Indian parliament? Is that the ultimate scientific authority of the present times? Beside that, where did I actually ignored their behaviour? Haven’t I written they are considered whales because of their behaviour (behaviour that includes the aspects you underlined).

        I just wonder what is this whole verbal agressivity of yours?! Did you get out of the bed on the wrong side today and you decided you have to pick a fight with someone? Or you just have a chip on your shoulder? Ibegan feeling tired of agressive persons who aren’t capable to talk normally.

        • It was your tone throughout. You are very hostile. You started out insulting people for not knowing anything about Denmark, when you don’t know if that’s true. At the same time, you showed your own ignorance of American geography by talking as California and Florida were essentially the same place, when they are 2600 miles / 4200 kilometers apart, with not much in common. You opened calling someone you disagreed with a “Bulgarian brat.” It is so inappropriate to throw someone’s nationality into the mix! At the same time, you seemed to be implicating America for her “bad” ideas because she lived there by the way you worded the Florida/ California comment, which clearly was not meant to be flattering to the US. The fact that you are so comfortable tossing out insults about other nations while you are raging about how people don’t respect yours is beyond hypocritical. Add to that how you talk about hating hypocrites, and it adds up to a person who just cannot use a mirror. It has nothing to do with me getting up from my bed. I hate hypocrites myself.

          Furthermore, you either didn’t do your research or have been intentionally dishonest. The Faroe Islands are in fact supported by a financial subsidy from Denmark. The Faroese Chief Medical Officers’ position is NOT that you should limit eating the pilot
          whale meat. They have stated unequivocally that it is unsafe for human consumption (toxic levels of mercury, cadmium, and DDT), You discussed this issue with some at length, and you said that the evidence against that was all the 90-100 year olds. The answer here is so obvious, again, I think you are being less than candid. For most of their lives, the contaminants were not an issue. They were eating clean meat. The toxins are a fairly recent development. You truly seem full of hate. You attacked people for saying they cared that people were eating toxic meat! No one actually argued it correctly. If you do a risk/benefit analysis, the fact that the meat is no longer safe to eat makes the killing of the animals all the more tragic. If it was good for them, you could argue in favor of it, but you are dismissing the fact that that is no longer true, and is now a negative health benefit, so what is the justification? You can’t compare it to cigarettes, because there are no moral implications to killing a tobacco plant. I have no faith at all that I will see this on your blog.

          • Hara says:

            Wow, what a bunch of assumptions and accusations, one stranger than other! Wondering how did you get to all those conclusions?!

            1. Did I talk about California and Florida as being the same place? Where did I, EXACTLY, say that? I don’t believe you have read anything properly. At that time I didn’t remember exactly where the woman was living, if it was in Florida or in California, not that I mistaken somehow the places. You know, in comparission to a great number of Americans, we DID learn in school about your own geography, including all the states with capitals and main towns, economy and so on. So, you see, it would be silly for me to make such a gross confussion, as you seem to imagine I did. But whatever, if you say I am an ignorant , who am I to contradict you?! On the other hand, I just wonder if you are capable to name at least two islands of the Faroese archipelago without looking on a map or two counties of my homecountry… Or a single mountain, as a matter of fact.

            2. She was a Bulgarian brat, pure and simple. You have absolutely no clue how the “discussion” took place, you have no clue what was her tone, you have no clue how she insulted my husband just because it just happened he is Faroese and had the “audacity” of trying to carry a discussion about this subject. And has nothing to do with the nationality either. I mentioned she was resident or citizen or whatever in your country was for the seek of the composition and not because I intended to disconsider your beloved country. I could have very well written “a Bulgarian brat rezident in Republic of Benin”. You realy look for things that aren’t actually there.

            But maybe you felt the need to save the damzel in distress, how noble of you!

            3. I didn’t do my research? N o k i d d i n g? Lady, first of all Denmark pays money for it’s own institutions: police, coast guard, judge, Danish representant, a small contingent of marines, institutions they don’t want to let go and which cost lots of money to be maintained. Besides that maybe you should also do some research and learn a little bit about the money Faroe Islands pays TO Denmark. Should we talk maybe a little about the economical treaties, treaties that force Faroe Islands to conduct almost all of it’s trade through Denmark, thing that brings some more money in the Danish pockets? Or maybe we should talk about the Faroese air space, which Denmark also administrates and which brings alao a lot of money in their pockets? Not in the Faroese ones. Two very simple and easy to verify examples. So, you see, that “substantial” subsidy is not substantial at all. And before you start contradict me, my sister-in-law, who is an economist by the way, is working at the State General Auditor (she worked before at the Customs and Taxes), so I actualy did “my research”. I know more about the country I live in (and from far more reliable resources than those offered by some ridiculous Internet armchairs – now, please, find something condescending also in this statement!) than you will ever know. I still fail to see where the “dishonesty” lays in this matter.

            4. It is a little bit unfair and you sound like you have to revenge someone with these ridiculous accusations. I have never denied the research of Pál Weihe, I actually believe there is truth in what he says. None in my family except my father-in-law eats whalemeat. But, again, this is a matter of choice and people are quite divided: those who don’t give a darn on the warnings, those who aren’t very sure if they should believe or not and those who believe. You see, you can’t force people to give up a type of food just because you say so or you believe it is unfit. And, again, in comparission: you have the country with the highest degree of obesity in the world. When it is generally known this creates a long string of health problems, often death, why do people ignore the warnings and continue to stuff themselves and even their infants with fast foods and fizzy drinks? Why do they not stop, eat healthier, exercise more? What are they waiting for?

            5. I accused people they don’t know anything about Denmark? Reeeeeeeally? Where is that written? I actually referred to the Faroe Islands and not to Denmark. Because people don’t know anything about them. It appeared on the maps suddenly when the Internet decided to launch this ridiculous witch hunt against it. And if I am not right, how come do I always read silly titles like “Shame on Denmark” when it’s about whales in the Faroe Islands? Why do I read about “Faroe, the island in Denmark” (obvious confusion with Farø island which indeed is in Denmark). And you were insulted because I might have mistaken (in your imagination) Florida to California… What about mistaken two separate countries?

            Till now I haven’t read one pertinent argument against what I wrote. Only unjustified animosity against me and what I write because somehow you are absolutely right and I talk rubbish. Because, somehow, you consider me not “political correct” (at least here, in Europe, we aren’t so false to pretend we “respect” this pompous term). Why do you waste my and your time here then?

            PS. If I am hostile, I just wonder what I can say about you. You rushed in here, starting attacking me and the others, full of disdain, incredibly patronising and arrogant. As someone, somehow, owes you something and didn’t have the common sense to make nice in order to please you. This being said I am off to bed, I wasted too much time with this.

  38. Micky says:

    Thank you a lot for your informing article, but I still don’t understand. You wrote:

    “Ok, I am deeply confused. Everybody called the pilot whales … Calderon dolphins. Now Faroese are killing pilot whales and Calderon dolphins?? Besides, the number of pilot whales is relatively known. Some sources estimate their number to 600 000 worldwide, some to 200 000 in the North Atlantic. How can a few hundreads hunted per year put an entire specie in danger? Besides, is anyone aware of the high level of mercury contained in the meat? Mercury that comes from the pollution of the ocean, pollution that will extinct, in the end, the whole oceanic life. This pollution is made exactly of those countries whose citizens yell so horripilated about the whales hunted by the Faroese and not by these islands which barely have the industry of a tiny-tiny town.”

    What is the point of killing animals whose meat is so full with mercury that it is poisonous and not considered for consumption? That doesn’t make sense to me?

    • Hara says:

      Micky, people chose by themselves what they eat. Besides that, there at the moment exists very little research in this aspect and, while I chose to believe it, there are others who are more skeptical in regards to the amount of toxines from the whalemeat. As long as the govern doesn’t issue a clear opinion in this aspect (there were only some warnings from the medical authorities), people will continue to doubt.

    • Don’t believe everything you read. There’s no such thing as a Calderon dolphin.

      • Hara says:

        And what did I actually write in my article? “So, first of all, I don’t know from where this name of “Calderon dolphins” comes. I know that “calderon” is the Spanish name for “cauldron” so probably this is the origin of this name.”

        Now you started spiltting hairs.

  39. Joe Ford says:

    The only thing I knew about the Faroe islands before this was that the band Týr was from them 😉
    Now I know more about another culture, and there are a lot of fucking stupid people about!

  40. Sarah says:

    When I looked at the article on Facebook, being all for animal right’s, I felt sick, I could not believe these people were doing this as a ritualistic, celebration . . . but then could I? as we all know there are so very cruel cultures in this world involving animals, bull fighting, bear baiting etc. I appreciate the article written in defence of this and it has certainly eased my mind that this was not deliberate cruelty for fun but for food but this is where it stops for me. I cannot look at these pictures without disgust. Whaling is not necessary, I don’t believe any of these people would be starving without whale meat, not like say people like the inuits. As someone who prefers animals over humans, because the human race is greedy and destructive I can not see it for anything other than man again thinking he can rule over the animal kingdom and inflict horrendous pain and suffering. The death may be quick, but you think of the hours the whales have been chased, hearded together, being dragged through the water, frightened. This is still a disgrace in my eyes not just against these people but against man kind in general.

    • Hara says:

      You are entitled to have your opinion and I respect that. You aren’t supposed to agree with me. My point was to make people understand there is a lot of misinformation about it. If I could make some light in some aspects, I am glad.

  41. dan lewis says:

    Well done. I saw a ‘dolphin killing’ post on Facebook and was skeptical, someone else shared your post as a counter argument – it made much more sense. I really liked your post, in fact i could not stop reading until the bottom of the comments. Sometimes I wish my life was in a beautiful place like your home by the sea. Thank you for taking the time to share. Do you have other sources/videos you could share about your home?

  42. sapty says:

    They are called fish because you go fishing. If they were called massacre, you.d go massacring. Go fishing, you fucking retards

  43. Cosmin says:

    Fuck all this shitty people of Feroe,animals(people) with no mercy,no education,nothing just a evil brain.This is no excuse to hunt these animals,no excuse to hunt any animal not just these..people hunt because the human been is the most dangerous predator on the planet,fuck all the hunters on this sick planet. Sorry for my bad English

  44. gabi says:

    so the Earth is not for all….

  45. Pannonius says:

    So, I realized now, as I did many times during wars on Balkans in ’90-es, that people, living far away from the epicenter of the happening, even having no clue about facts and circumstances, make a violent judgement based on a single camera shot or a single sentence heard on CNN or another “reliable” source … I can just conclude that we, people, who calls ourselves civilized ones, are consumers of instant foods, instant beverages and instant news and facts … we have no time to cook, to bake and to .. informing ourselves… or, simple, we are too lazy to do so. And, we are the potential customers of “breaking news”, which are the products of so called “trustworthy” sources of information like CNN and others. Also, our way of life made us frustrated, there is a great anger living inside us. And, we always want some outside trigger, like this information about killing whales, to spill out our anger and frustration … We need some reason to drop these frustrations out… And, who are our targets? Anon people in anon situations we are targeted by media. We don’t want to familiarize ourselves with these situations! We just want to spill our anger… Who is the reason we are frustrated, angry? Of course, Faroese people, Serbs, Jewish people, communists, capitalists, terrorists, people who eats meat, vegetarians, … We don’t want to search inside us for problems, we want to convict other people…
    So, let us not judge to quickly! We could be wrong and we could hurt other people! Before judge, be informed! If You don’t want to be informed, do not judge at all!

    Have a nice day!

    • Pavel says:

      Ha!! Someone of my opinion!! That is why i got here and posted this article on facebook also. I have no tv and as a person in “developed” country, i feel much more at peace for it!! So now i gonna fix my bike, more entertaining and more resourceful(i still have to learn few things) that some bullshits from super-trooper-extra-trustworthy media. Nothing is better, than to read first-handed opinions and ask question from the real source.

    • Benedicte Whitehead says:

      Well said.

    • Bonnie says:

      This was not a single Camera Shot rather several Camera Shots showing that this is in not hunting as stated in the artical. You CANNOT call this Hunting when the Dolphins/Whales are lead to the shores to be slaugther. They are beaten several times before they die. A hunter goes to the wilderness and trackes it prey to be hunted. They do not lead the Deer or a Moose to several hunter people who are waiting to beat them to death with hooks and hatchets. In the Camers SHOTS it shows thes Mammals being beaten by several people to death.
      It is barbaric!

      • Hara says:

        Who beats what, Bonnie? What hatchets are you talking about? Do you have any idea how the things are done, Bonnie? Or is just your emotions talking here?

      • Bonnie says:

        A picture is worth a 1000 words…
        And Hara, if this way being done correctely then why would the fisheries put this into place for 2015??
        Are you also aware your people have also trapped other dolphins to shore which in fact are on the extinction lists.
        Soon however, they will have to pass a test before they can participate in the bloodshed. The Minister of Fisheries announced that as of May 2015 all persons taking part in the slaughter must take a course in the laws and correct procedures relating to the grinds, and possess the relevant license to kill. They will get training in the use of the grind tools that will be permitted as of 2015, nostril hooks and spinal lances; the ability to recognize death signals (not suffering, as that is irrelevant to the killers) of the animals; and be familiar with all legislation before they can participate. Use of the grind knife and grinding hook
        will no longer be allowed except in special circumstances by permit. Some conservation groups have hailed these measures as the beginning of the end of the grind.
        http://ecowatch.com/2013/08/22/whale-slaughter-tradition-on-faroe-islands/

        I beleive Hara it is you who has not idea how this is done you should really take down you blog

        • Hara says:

          First of all, I see you don’t insist anymore with that stupid “beat the animals to death” with “sticks, hooks and hatchets”. Second, would you, please, stop with this unreasonable agressivity towards me?

          If you would have read PROPERLY my comments, you would have noticed I have talked about the licence that is supposed to be valid from May 2015. Your problem is that you are so willing to put me to the ground, that you have become hectic and pay no attention at all. If you would have read properly, you could have seen I haven’t talked about the “sóknarongul” (“grinding hook” as you call it) is not used anymore. Those pictures where you can see it and which that have resurfaced nowadays are more then 20 years old, so they aren’t actual anymore.

          As per what you believe about my blog, again, if you don’t stop with this way of talking, you leave. This time for good.

          • Bonnie says:

            My intentions are not to put you Hara to the ground, but rather show the people what you say is one sided. You say it is to feed the people but it has been shown over and over and over again the whale consumption is not good and your government be looking into other ways for feeding the Islanders.

            This is not about race; it is not to beat you down; it is about what is humane and inhumane. If you read the article to the link I posted Yes the Japanese kill whale as well, but it is not done the why of the Faroes people. I believe what is so appauling to people is how it is done, It is not right the food is not good for human consumption in great amounts you are killing. You keep trying justify the way it is done is ok and its NOT it is Barbaric the way these mammals are lead to their deaths.

            • Hara says:

              Besides uneducated, besides that fact I “should take my blog down”, I am one-sided now … And how, pray, did you get that impression? Or “one-sided” for you means not agreeing entirely with what you keep on writing? Gosh, whatever makes you feel sleep better at night, Your Righteousness.

              As per ” Japanese kill whale as well, but it is not done the why of the Faroes people” check “The Cove”, maybe you will get enlighten a little bit. Even though, I don’t understand the comparission, we speak here solely about Faroe Islands, I am not interested what and how happens in some other parts of the world.

              • Murry says:

                Just to settle the uneducated idea you have. I have a degree in ChEnS you figure that on out
                Good luck with your whale hunting you see things will change for the people of the Faroe Island. You will have no choice to join the 21 Century, Just as the Native Indains have done.

                • Hara says:

                  Murry, world would be such a better place if people will cease being so darn arrogant and patronising. You assume I am a kind of a silly girl who has no clue of what is what in this world. News for you, my dear possessor of a degree in chemical engineering science (have I passed your silly test?), you are not the only one with a degree, some have even one above yours. But you are the only one who needs to push it in front just to show off. So, try to go and lecture some other people more willing to listen to you.

                  As per the first nations, smart pants, maybe I should write some things about how you treated and still treat them, tallking about “no choice” and the 21-st century. Stop using those people as an excuse, it is pathetic.

                • Jay says:

                  Oh so that makes it alright that you, civilised the native Indian, I’m sure they were fine without your westernised diseases, rape and pillage over land rights, I’m sure they were quite happy before you civilised them

        • Hara says:

          “I want to thank you for writing such a beautiful article.
          When I first saw the pictures which were posted on Facebook I wanted to see if this was a real tradition or just another exaggerated Facebook post, my findings horrified me that this in fact was a practice the Faroe people have kept as a tradition for centuries.
          I then came across an article which was written by am Romainian woman who has settled her life on one of the Faroe Islands.
          In her article she tried to justify this was solely for food as the Faroe people had not other resorces.
          When bloggers approached her about the mass amouts of Pilot Whales being slaughter and the high levels of Mercury in the meat making it unsafe to eat. She went on to talk about tabacco and aspatine etc… To which I might add has no relevancy to the questions being asked,“why they c slaughter the amounts of Pilot Whales they do?”
          Still avoiding the questions; as it was apparent she had no real answers, she became emotional, started to insinuate people were lacking a brain, calling them stupid arrogant and aggressive. Liturally telling one Blogger “THEY SUCK”

          Therefore I was happy to read your article as I found it to be far more informative than the Writer who actually lives on the Faroe Island.

          If you would like to take a moment and read this blog I would love to here your thoughts and maybe even comments with this writter.
          https://kaninoffaroe.wordpress.com/

          Again thank you for putting in so much time to reseach this unnecessary tradition. I do hope the Faroe People will join the 21st Century and create new more conventional traditions.

          By Bonnie on Fri, January 31, 2014 at 8:32 am”

          You are one sore loser, isn’t it?! I loved your egocentric way of seeing the problem, in the end it’s all about you and your feelings… How can I possibly take you seriously when you act like a 5yo whose favorite toy has just been stolen? :mrgreen:

          PS. Your wish for mrs. O’Barry to give me a lesson it’s almost endearing… Unfortunately (for you) it will never happen.

  46. Carol says:

    I must say when I saw those pictures pop up on a friends facebook wall this morning my initial response was one of anger and disgust. However, being that I am not one to assume everything (or anything for that matter) I read is entirely true, I decided to research further. Thankfully, I came across this very informative article, thanks for the insight. The graphic pictures add to the frenzy of those claiming barbaric practices are happening there. The whales being slaughtered as a food source is no different that any of the other animals slaughter for food. The unfortunate thing, as others have mentioned is this “slaughterhouse” has no walls. There is no pretty way to look at it. The whale meat and blubber doesn’t just appear in the freezer section of the local supermarket. I am, however, disgusted by a recent article I saw on walmartcruelty.com about the treatment of the pigs at farm of a Walmart pork provider, or the chickens, caged their entire live with no room to even turn around. We here in the US are quick to judge others, but most people here need to take a look in their own back yard. People living in glass house should definitely not be throwing stones. Thanks Hara for picking up where your better half left off!

    • Hara says:

      You’re welcomed, Carol. I am glad if it help even if only a little.

      I didn’t know that “People living in glass house should definitely not be throwing stones” exists in English also. It exists both in Faroese and English. I have learned something new today 😀

  47. Carolyn St. Germain says:

    When I saw the post on FBook today, I knew immediately that it had to be 100% false in the way it was presented. I strongly suspected that it was for a food source, so I researched a little and I found your article. It is very well done and I hope that this hits FBook as a response….every single time that the stupid one gets shared. Please don’t apologize about your spelling or grammar, as there are many people in the world who speak only ONE language. You’ve done an excellent job.

    • Hara says:

      Thank you, Carolyn. The idea is for the people to get the whole picture and not just specific details, twisted and cosmetized to fit some ridiculous agenda (don’t understand the purpose of this text which resurfaces peridiocally, every year in the winter, like people don’t know already what amd how and where).

  48. Thor says:

    Thanks, Hara for your great job of explaining this issue.

    As a native (although not living there) please allow me to elaborate on a few of your notes, also some of them asked by others.
    1: this event has never been considered “hunting” as in “organised”, as the Faroese population has no influence on when these whales arrive, hence the great variation in numbers caught annually. The flock of whale navigate (like other whales) with a sonar system, where they let out a sound which is then “echoed” back from the surroundings (the target). The harder the target, the louder the feedback. Travelling with the Gulf Stream looking for food, (they are actually hunting) their journey occasionally leads them in between these rocky islands, where they get confused by the multitude of echoes. This leads them to start “grinding” meaning, swim in circles (hence the name, Grind). This “grinding” is then observed either from shore side or a boat out fishing. Since these whales for centuries literally kept the population from famine, no wonder if alarm was raised, and it was required by any “bátsfør” man to let go of whatever he was doing and rush to the shore, enter a boat, and start rowing. “Bátsførur maður” means “boat able man”, which again leaves out teenagers. The trick was and still is to get your boats on the outside of the flock of whales and make so much noise as possible by throwing stones in the water, shouting and yelling, splashing the oars up and down (and no, dynamite is not allowed, remember this all began well ahead of Alfred Nobel’s time”). In this way the whales sonar is distorted and the leader of the pack decides to plunge in the direction opposite of the noise, which then in most cases will be a small sandy beach, where many whales will become stranded, and then can relatively easily be killed. As there is no point of killing a whale out at open sea, where you might loose it to the bottom of the ocean, there is always a skilled foreman telling the group of boats when it is permissible to use the “vákn” harpoon (which nowadays is banned, due to the relative small chance to make a proper kill). So the idea is to get as many as possible up on the beach and the rest of them into so shallow waters that they can be killed as quickly as possible, and still be retrieved. As the Faroese people always have lived by the nature they have also been wanting to preserve and respect the same. Therefore it has never been intended as a game or entertainment, and the goal has never been to create as much pain as possible for the creatures, be it whale, sheep or bird. This leads me to the second “amendment” to your great piece.
    2: the onlookers on the beach are not required to be there in order to get part in the meat, as this is distributed in a very sophisticated way, where first the need of the elderly, widows, pregnant women, and children is considered. Then the distribution key prescribes that the remaining meat is shared between those participating in the killing, and these are roughly divided in those who have been in a boat and those who have been ashore. But first you have to register to a “clerk” that you have participated. Normally it is the owner of each boat that reports that he has participated and how many men the boat carried, and depending of the size of the boat this could be anywhere between 4 and 12 men. Before the distribution can take place the whales have to be cut up, and the meat and blubber stacked in as equal portions as possible, corresponding to the number of receivers.
    3: the question regarding the amount necessary and whether the meat would rot. Firstly, if treated correctly, no meat will rot, as it will be preserved by means of either dry-salting, wet-salting or air drying. As the the amount necessary, again, the whales arrive at random, but if it has been a good year (mostly summer) and all “drums” are full, local authorities will prohibit further killing.

    All differences set aside, I hope my input has helped a little.
    Best regards Thor

    • Hara says:

      Thor, thanks. I know all these things by the way, I have been living in the Faroe Islands for almost 12 years. The article was actually written more than 4 years ago (in other langauge, this is the English alternative) and, it is true, at that time I didn’t know so much. “whale hunt” is a term I use for the simple reason I deeply hate the word “grind” in the way used by the English speakers. As per the meat distribution, I know also, as an example, that the person who spotted the whales gets the meat of an entire whale from the catch.

      You comment contains a lot of additional useful information, thank you for that 🙂

    • Benedicte Whitehead says:

      Thank you, Thor , this was an interesting read.

  49. Sheila says:

    Dear author of this post.
    I am of Faroese decent but have lived in other Nordic countries all my life, and I found your post very enlightening and heartfelt. I feel that whenever pictures or videos or stories about this circulate, people all jump and attack without checking facts first or even stopping to think about it rationally and logically. Whaling is not one of my favourite parts of my heritage, and being a vegetarian I find all killings a bit unsavoury. But I am also a realist. I eat eggs and drink milk, I wear heavy leather boots in winter, I wear knitted sweaters, etc. I also cook meat for my husband who is not a vegetarian. I know that my life and how I chose to live it, does indirectly affect animals in a negative way. Wether I want it to or not. This leads me to get a bit annoyed when people in glass houses wildly throw stones around them. It says more about them than it does about the Faroese.
    Kind regards,
    Sheila

  50. Offtheboat says:

    My goodness! You seem to have created as much of a stir as the original article! I appreciate your taking the time to write this! I was told a LONG time ago that even something as clear as a window has two sides to see through and this is SO true! I feel I should apologize on behalf of the people from my own country condemning in such an outlandish way. In America at least, people are being raised with such extravagance and waste being the normal way of life that so many people can’t see of even comprehend other ways of life where things like we have are not physically possible. I learned this lesson the hard way on a mission trip where we “introduced” a common game we played at our youth group of eating contests and the kids there were so mortified and refused to play. What little we were using for our game could have been taken home and fed their entire family when some of them hadn’t even eaten that day. I am not saying where you live is as badly off as that at all but it DID open my eyes to the brainwashing I had received that not everyone has the option to pick and choose what and when to eat. Here we have meat, vegetarian, vegan, organic, gmo etc…We have also become a country with a growing trend to place no value on history and heritage and don’t be surprised if one day, we start begging countries like yours to save us and beg whatever resources you have to spare.

    • Pavel says:

      Well, what u say in it is true. Still, better to have a full stomach with food you are fairly used to(and by the, your immunity system has at least some protection against the poison) than being hungry.

      Also, you should read a full article u posted here, in japan was found, that some people had 7x more of this poison in body, than a normal advised level. What happened with them? Nothing, they are fine and healthy.

      Also, in the past people were eating from the mud and the dirty meat was still good enough for them. And do you believe they cared about a bit of grinding, but still good food? Doubt it…

      Today it is not advised, coz our immunity system is in overall, much weaker than by then. Anyway, we do it to ourselves, when we surround ourselves with absolutely clean environment. That is the same with our ability to handle basic sicknesses, which are becoming a huge problem now a days…

      • Bonnie says:

        Sorry in JAPAN, the slaughtering has been baned, if you did some research of your own you see that.
        And I added the Artical for a point that consumption of the blubber has life altering affects.
        Your government needs to get with it and start working to get the poeple of the Faroes Island what they or the people of Foroes will become extinct them selves.

      • You don’t understand basic biology. There is no immunity to toxins. Immunity is reserved for microbes. What you say about a clean environment is true, because you need exposure to GERMS to build an immunity to them. This doesn’t work with mercury.

    • Hara says:

      Thank you. It is a place I love deeply (it came in the same package with a lovely man 😀 ), it is one of the fewest places I’ve been where traditions are still kept and where people are still holding together. That’s one of the reason I wrote this piece. I am glad if people are capable to read a little between the lines, I really appreciate that.

      I wish you a pleasant evening further! Or day 🙂

  51. Murry says:

    I Read your artical, and wanted to further do some of my own reasearch, after reading several articals, it has been noted in every single artical the Fareos Island people have been advised the consumption of Whale meat is extreamly bad, especially in the amounts the peolpe of the Faroes Islands are consuming. Here is one artical I want to share as to why I believe this is done as a festivity rather than for food. As well as Agreeing with Bonnie. It has been stated over and over is several articals; the Faroes People have been told that the meat is toxic. And to consume the amounts they do is deadly. I would like to share just one of the peices upon many I found saying the same thing over and over agai.

    “Due to their position near the top of the marine food chain, pilot whales accumulate higher levels of mercury contaminants and organochlorines – potentially harmful to human health – than creatures lower down the chain, according to activists.

    In 2008 the Faroe Island’s chief physician, Dr. Pál Weihe, and chief medical officer, Dr. Høgni Debes Joensen, recommended that pilot whale meat should no longer be used for human consumption because of the significant threat it poses.

    Research has suggested that consumption of contaminated whale products could have adverse effects on the development of the nervous system in foetal development, increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease and hypertension, and cause immune system defects.

    The Faroese government acknowledges that pilot whale meat and blubber can have high levels of contamination, but recommends consumers be guided by advice it issued in 1998 stating that one or two pilot whale meals per month are safe to consume. It does advise that pregnant women, or those breast-feeding, should avoid pilot whale meat.

    Jennifer Lonsdale, of the Environmental Investigation Agency, this week said: ‘Hunts in 2010 have produced about 550 tonnes of pilot meat and blubber for the 49,000 islanders. This equates to 11kg for every islander, including babies – almost 1kg per month per person. This is about five times 1998’s supposedly safe consumption recommendations, and it completely ignores the more recent warning not to eat pilot whale at all.’

    Because not everyone consumes pilot whale meat, the campaign group argues that some people will be consuming much larger amounts.

    Earlier this year, a coalition of environment and animal welfare organisations called on the World Health Organisation to issue guidelines on the safe consumption of whale meat.

    This latest clash over the health implications of pilot whale meat consumption is part of an ongoing conflict between Faroese whalers and campaigners who want to see the hunt outlawed.”

    So Can you please tell me why this still is going on? Your artical and what has been outlined to by science in several articlals are very contradicting.

    • Hara says:

      Murry, how many warnings have been released in regards to tobacco, alchool, processed food, aspartam and so on? Are they still there? They are? Are they still abused by some people? They are.

      It is a matter of choice. Some people still doubt the research. It is not so extended and in spite of being official and very public (there were lots of debats in the mass-media when the report came and in the past years) there are Faroese who chose not to believe it. It is difficult to accept the facts, especially because if there are healt problems they don’t appear over the night and the effects aren’t so obvious as in another cases. Not only, but when you have a country where people live often (and relatively healthy) till 90, even 100 …

      Personally I don’t eat it. Neither my family. And I chose to believe it’s toxicity. But not everyone is like me. Still, I can see a change in people’s behaviour. Kids don’t get it anymore and the younger generations give up to the meat in greater numbers.

      I hope I answered your question.

      • Murry says:

        I think you missed my point Hara, my point was that food is not good to consume therefore the brutal act in how these animal are slaughtered in their mass amounts; is not nessecary. It is barbaric.

        • Hara says:

          Pretending being concerned for other people’s health is not an argument. And I am not missing any point here. I know very well what are the justifications of the people who are against whaling, you aren’t the first one who throws the “mercury contamnated meat” in the mix.

          • Murry says:

            WOW, Pretending to be concered? Really?
            I am concerned for the people who are eating this as well as the inhumane way these propoises are being Slaugthered.
            I am feeling a little bit of bitterness on your part.
            If you didn’t want people to comment on your blog then why would you give people the opportunity to make one. Is it only for people who share you one sided outlook?

            • Hara says:

              Come on! You can’t possibly try to tell me you care about how healthy is a tiny nation residing almost on the other side of the ocean!

              You missed my point also. I told you very clearly that some people believe the warnings, some don’t. And it is a matter of choice as I have already said.

              As per not giving the oportunity to the people to comment … don’t you believe you exaggerate a little? I had a lot of comments who don’t agree with what I wrote and, except some of the rude ones (the most have been published anyway if you care to browse through them) I don’t believe I denyed to anyone the chance to speak their mind (as long no one starts calling names).

              • Murry says:

                Um yes I am, just the same as I am concered of a Dolphins being massacared to death, for no apparent reason.
                Are you aware most of desease comes from the other sides of the ocean.
                H1N1 virus came from China, and HIV has been said to have come from West Africa, so yes, I am concerned with what goes on with people across the ocean from me, because it all has adverse effects to the world.

                • Hara says:

                  And till this moment you just described the concern you have for your own healthy, nothing else. And, yes, maybe it is so, but if I recall, the diseases that killed millions of the first nations were brought by your own ancestors, so, you see, your own people have actully carried them across the ocean. What comes nowadays via other continents is insignificant comparatively to what happened some centuries ago.

                  But, if you’d be so concerned about people here as you pretend, you would talk also about the inbreeding, the problems caused by the relatively high number of young people with CTD as simple examples. And, on the other hand, if you believe whalemeat creates such huge problems, explain to me how come there is quite a large per cent of quite healthy senior citizens over 90, some reaching comfortably 100? And such a large number of kids (considering that the theory is that men somehow become infertile if they eat the so blamed meat).

                  • Murry says:

                    because the Senior have been advise to stop eating this… I was on few other blogs for the Faroe Islands and they speak about the great vegetation, which you claim there is none. They speak of the Sheep cuisine, again something you say there is none. Now for these reasons your blog again is pointless and leaves out crutial information so you can justify this yearly FESTIVAL. and please do not respond the more you do simply makes you look rediculous.

                    • Hara says:

                      Murry, what is your point here? Where have I written there is no sheep meat cusine? Please point out. And where, in the name of God do we have “great vegetation” in the Faroe Islands when the terrain is completely barren???? When people do quite a big effort to plant trees which are often put down by the hurricanes? Do you have any idea about the landscape and terrain conditions in the Faroes? Do you know anything about how the farms work, how much effort people put in transforming stony patches in land where hay could be cultivated? What per cent of the internal consume is covered by the sheeps? Please, if you have any proofs about “great vegetation” of the Faroese, I’m waiting (patiently even) for contra-arguments. Documented ones. Not what a blog or other says.

                      I believe you have huge problems of comprehension here. I wrote to you what is my opinion in regards the research of Pál Weihe. And you lack logic. Exactly the elderly are the most keen on the meat and skeptical when it comes about Weihe’s research, because they have eaten that all their life and nothing happen. They live long not because they have been warned (that warning was first issued about 6 years ago), but because they have eaten much healthier and lived all their lives in a place where pollution is isignificant. Not only, but the warnings were issued especially for young women who intend to get pregnant and kids.

                      If you really, really want to discuss this, stop with these ridiculous vendetta and discuss properly, otherwise I see no point in answering to you anymore.

                    • Murry says:

                      your quote Hara not mine
                      “What is conveniently let out is the fact that whale meat have been the most reliable source of food for a group of islands completely isolated, where nothing grows and where the farming land is about … 28 km2. That allows the existence of some farms, all of them owned by the state and which barely cover the neccessary of sheep meat.”
                      SO yes Hara you did say NOTHING GROWS . you are the one now who looks completely riduclous and if want to keep going I am sure I can continue to point out your contridiction in each or responses to your actual Aritical…
                      For peets sake take down this ridiculous blog.

                    • Hara says:

                      I stand by my statements. Do you really want to know what grows in the Faroe Islands? Hay, some small amounts of potatoes and some roots. And that’s it. Do you have any comprehension about how much is 28km2? Or maybe you believe that small amounts of potatoes and roots represents “great vegetation” or supply the vegetables necessary amount for all the population …

                      Talking about that, I still wait for the proof of “great vegetation” by the way. And you still didn’t show me where I written anything about “sheep cusine”.

                      And as per what I do with my blog, tell me one more time to take it down and you will go to comment somewhere else. My patience got to an end.

                      PS. I really, really love people like you who believe they know eveything about this place better than us, the ones who actually live in this place. From the other side of the ocean, behind a computer screen. Peachy!

                    • Hara says:

                      What a heck is an … aritical?? 😆

                    • Murry says:

                      http://www.faroeislands.fo/Default.aspx?ID=10723
                      Here is Qoute from your At first sight, the Faroe Islands might give the impression of a very uniform vegetation, with no trees and a tundra-like appearance. A closer look does, however, demonstrate considerable diversity. When the ice melted after the last ice age, some 10.000-20.000 years ago, the islands were bare rocks with almost no plants. As the ice disappeared and the cliffs crumbled, the plants started to grow and spread. Some arctic species such as “Mountain Poppy” and “Dwarf Cudweed” probably survived the last ice age on some ice-free mountain tops (nunataks), but most of the plants, growing in the Faroe Islands today, arrived after the ice age

                      Faroes Economy
                      The Faroese economy has performed comparatively well in a time dominated by the global financial crisis. Annual growth in nominal GDP is estimated to approximately 2 per cent for the year 2012 and it is expected be at the same level in 2013.
                      The crisis that hit the global scene in the fall of 2008 also affected the Faroese economy, which saw a rise in unemployment from 1.5 % in 2007 to 7.4 % in 2010. However the dynamic and resilient Faroese economy has, as a whole, stabilized. Unemployment was by September 2012 down at 5.1 %. To a large degree the positive trend owes to the growth in salmon farming and pelagic fisheries, while construction is in a decline due to tight financial policies. Faroese state budget deficit is 2.5 % of GDP in 2012, and the government aims at a balancing budget by 2016 at the latest.
                      Fluctuations in growth rates between years is a typical feature of the economy due to both its limited size and the great dependency on the exports of fish products, accounting for approx. 80 % of total exports of goods and services.
                      Other important and promising industries include financial services, petroleum related businesses, shipping, manufacturing (esp. servicing the maritime industries), civil aviation, IT and telecoms, tourism and creative industries. Some are already well established, while others – e.g. some creative industries – are up and coming.
                      The Faroe Islands has entered into a number of Free Trade Agreements and agreements on fishing rights with neighbouring countries, among them the European Union, as the Faroe Islands is not a member of the EU. The government is currently looking into the possibilities of obtaining membership of the World Trade Organisation.
                      Tradition and modernity side by side
                      The Faroe Islands may be perceived as a little bit exotic, because they are geographically remote – but they are actually in a great strategic position in the shipping lane between the two wealthiest continents in the world and are only a couple of hours’ flight from the big cities in Northern Europe. Faroe Islanders have been able to preserve ancient traditions. You could say that the remoteness of the Faroe Islands mixed with the modernisation and globalisation of society has placed the Faroe Islands in a unique position compared to other countries – at the same time both deeply rooted in tradition and modernity.

                      I rest My Case the traditions are choices not because of survial … did you see the above
                      “they are actually in a great strategic position in the shipping lane between the two wealthiest continents in the world and are only a couple of hours’ flight from the big cities in Northern Europe”

                      .

                    • Hara says:

                      And if “they are actually in a great strategic position in the shipping lane between the two wealthiest continents in the world and are only a couple of hours’ flight from the big cities in Northern Europe” … what does that prove?

                      I also noticed this; “Fluctuations in growth rates between years is a typical feature of the economy due to both its limited size and the great dependency on the exports of fish products, accounting for approx. 80 % of total exports of goods and services.

                      Still don’t read anything about that “great vegetation”. And still you don’t prove anything, the text is more about the hopes and expectences in terms of economical situation. Oil is still a hope, civil aviation consists in ONE airline which has flights only to Copenhagen, Reykjavik and Bergen with some summer routes to London, Milano and Barcelona. Ah, and not to forgot, EU has just cut the supply of fish from the Faroe Islands, so that EU market is kind of an old information. And what they have let aside is the migration of workforce which has become quite worring for the Faroese govern, considering there are more and more people who go for work in Norway.

                    • Hara says:

                      And to be honest, I don’t recall talking about survival, I am not so silly to pretend something like that. I just said it is one of the main meat sources for people.

    • Benedicte Whitehead says:

      Bonnie, do Americans eat at Macdonalds and Burger King despite health warnings and get diabetes just so that other Americans can get to slaughter cattle in a bloodthirsty frenzy?

    • Murry. In many African countries water is so contaminated that a single cup can kill you in a mater of days. The people know this but still they drink it.

  52. Iulia Dragusin says:

    You’ve made a good job with this article. 🙂 – from Romania

  53. Murry says:

    What it MEANS YOU IS YOU DO HAVE CHOICES!
    The whole discussion here is whether you need to Slaughter the Pilot Whales in the mass amounts the Faroes Islanders do? AND NO THEY DO NOT. it is merely a tradition. Therefore a FESTIVAL of Massacare and Barbarierism. You keep saying the people have no choice it for survial. you live in a place where you have choices but choose not too. The People would rather go on a yearly meaningless killing festival to keep a stone age tradition..

    I am so DONE WITH YOU and your contradictions and continuous slander of the modern world. YOU ARE A DISGRACE to the HUMAN Species. GET A FRIGGEN GRIP WOMAN!!!

    • Hara says:

      Murry, you’ve just lost your right to comment on this blog anymore. I don’t recall attacking you personally, on the contrary I answered patiently to all your unsupported accusations. Not anymore. Have a nice life!

  54. Betty says:

    Learn to farm some chicken you backward ass idiot.

    • Hara says:

      And if you transformed Murry in Betty do you really believe I will fall for it? 😀

      Learn to talk, neanderthalian. Maybe then people will start taking you seriously.

      • Betty says:

        Excuse me?
        I am not sure what you are talking about?
        My name is Betty and I have been following you and I merely Support Murry as I said he has backed his debate with you and you have done nothing but talk circles.

        I did not change my name and I have no idea who this Murry is, but I like what he has said.
        He could probably use some writing lessons, but this is not English 101 rather I see it as a debate and when you have been backed into this corner you have try to cut the conversation.

        Its simply sad 😦

        • Hara says:

          No kidding? So, it just happens you have the same IP address, meaning you use the same computer (or the same router) and you have no clue who Murry is??? 😆 😆 So silly do you think I am?

    • Benedicte Whitehead says:

      Betty you are a source of amusement. First you were Bonnie, then Hara threatened that you would be banned from the block. The you re-emerged as Murry and called me a DUMB ASS (yes, I saw that, even if it got deleted), and then you couldn’t control your temper again, and now you emerge as Betty, and lo and behold, after two posts you are calling Hara a backward ass idiot.
      Aren’t we having fun.

      • Hara says:

        Oh, yes, I had a suspicion about Bonnie also, but I didn’t check the IP address till now, thanks for pointing it out, Benedicte. But you are actually right, I haven’t had so much fun for quite a while.

  55. Brenda says:

    I saw this again on facebook today. Facebook has a way of circulating stuff like this for years. Theres a famous Russian accident people put happened due to texting where people do not fact check. Yes, with all the blood and pictures, it can easily look like slaughter. However if you only need to keep your wits about you and research the shocling facebook things before reacting and think that if they would fish them and pull them to normal fisheries and to the shore, that would be cruel as they werent meant to be on land without water and that would cause undue suffering to animal. The United States still fish/hunt and pull down populations near exstinction at times. I do not agree with the “faroe islands get with 21st century” statement. Why shoould other people enforce a culture change after so many years. We have lost so many cultural traditions already due to technilogical advancements. If you read and use your wits and logic you understand it is not slaughter, even thoigh it was presented that way. A picture is worth a 1000 words, yes, but evidence, facts, and logic replace pictures a 1000 times over. Our food industries with animals in USA can definitely be worse than this. People must respect each side of views and realize it is their culture. What right do people have to change it if they really are hunting humanely like a few seconds of pain before secering spinal cord? People mislead on hot topics though and can amount a massive numbers of followers. When you slice something it will bleed and unfortunately to most, blood will always make for a horrific scene no matter what. If you have ever been fishing, it is a horrific scene to cut and gut a fish. It looks like a massacre. Even on documentaries of fish markets huge tunas with heads cut look horrifying waiting for buyers. There are animal activists here who break in without fact checking and release animals being tested which harms more than animals being released because they spread a disease or something like that that was quarantined for study or treatment. They get an idea and run wild with it. In USA we dont see dolphins or whales as food, but why bash a place that always has in their tradition as long as the species isnt endangered? It is pretty arrogant and narcisstic to believe one view is right like whales arent food and to not be open to other beliefs or customs even when based with truth.

  56. Bonnie says:

    Sorry I am not sure what your saying.
    I have no idea what you are implying ?

    • Bonnie says:

      Are you saying I am posing to be someone else ? I left your site yesterday when I realized there was no point anymore. You talk a visions circle .
      I just logged on to my email and noticed. Several comments as I had checked the follow other post.
      I have not had a chance to read all yet but I am intreged now

      Therefore I am sorry I have no idea what your talking about. Let me read all the posts and I will get back to you

      • Hara says:

        Yes Bonnie / Murry / Betty, if you changed the computer, that doesn’t hide the fact that in the begining you and the other alter egos had the same IP Address. And not only, but you made exactly the same grammar mistakes. So, drop the act.

  57. Benedicte says:

    If you would just stick to the subject, argue in a logical way, and stop insulting people, then I don’t care if you come in a different incarnation every day. Let’s go for the ball, not the person.

  58. Kate says:

    I wanted to comment on your statement you had made about disease killing the American Indians…. I have a feeling you should not have responsesdthe way you did.
    It was the Small Pox to which killed the native Indians. And this originated from rodents developing in India and Egypt some 3000 years ago.

    Therefore, unless someone out there has ancestors who are rodents, I can confidently say it was not anyone’s ancestors who killed the Native American Indians..
    Facts are facts to which you have produced very little of.

    • Hara says:

      Wow, Kate, you couldn’t be more pathetic than with this comment! Let me educate youa little:

      “Native Americans, to the lack of prior contact with Europeans, had not previously been exposed to the diseases that were prevalent on the distant continent. Therefore they had not built up internal immunities to the diseases or formed any medicines to combat them. Europeans came into the New World bearing various diseases. Those infected with diseases either possessed them in a dormant state or were not quarantined in such a way that distanced them enough from Native Americans to not spread the diseases, allowing diseases to spread into epidemics.

      The diseases brought by Europeans are not easily tracked, because there were numerous outbreaks and all were not equally recorded. The most notable disease brought by Europeans was the destructive smallpox disease. Smallpox was lethal to many Native Americans, bringing sweeping epidemics and affecting the same tribes repeatedly. Within 1837 to 1870, at least four different epidemics struck the Plains tribes

      Numerous other diseases were brought to Native American tribes, including measles, scarlet fever, typhoid, typhus, influenza, pertussis (whooping cough), tuberculosis, cholera, diphtheria, chickenpox and sexually transmitted diseases. Including syphilis, which was originally thought to be endemic in the Americas, but recent scientific research has now shown it originated in Europe. Each of these diseases brought destruction through sweeping epidemics, involving illness and extensive death. Many Native American tribes experienced extensive depopulation, averaging 25–50 percent of tribal life lost due to disease. Additionally, singular tribes also neared extinction after facing severely destructive spread of disease”

      And this to the first look on the almighty Wikipedia. You see, it’s kind of stupid and highly ignorant, pure and simple, do deny simple hystorical facts while coming with ridiculous comments about ancient rats. Grow up!

      PS. We DO learn history here in old Europe and, unfortunately for you, we also learn YOUR history. So, next time before patheticly trying to humiliate me, inform yourself properly. You see, at the chapter “facts” you simply … suck.

  59. Benedicte says:

    In all fairness, I think Kate is trying to say that there is a difference between murder and passing on a disease.

    • Hara says:

      Yes maybe, but there were cases when disease was used as a biological weapon. And not only that, but the whole discussion started from Murry who pretended being concerned about the diseases that come from the other side of the ocean. He spoke about H1N1 and HIV viruses. And if you remember, I replied that the European ancestors of the present American and Canadian population were actually the ones who came with diseases from across the ocean.

      I don’t appreciate when people are mean with no reason. This discussion has transformed itself in a kind of “let’ crush this silly idiot and her stupid blog”. And to be honest, I am a little bit tired of these useless attacks. Just because some believe whales are special and Faroese some barbarians in a modern world.

      • Kate1 says:

        I’m sorry can you please provide me with what disease came from the American and Canadians. Because again I see you have made a statement without any actual backup.

        I don’t believe any diseases have been transported from America and Canada across any ocean. Rather most our diseases have transpired from China, Africa, India, and yes even the dreaded German measles, but hen again German measles developed from the small pox virus.

        The only disease the Europeans (English) to be more specific carried the plague and again it was the rodents who carried this disease.

        I am not trying to be mean or attack rather trying get a statement from you with some sort of credible evidence and facts.

        You spoke of others speaking with emotions but I have read all your comments and honestly what I can conclude; If people don’t agree and thank you for enlightening them. But the ones whom have some facts to challenge your article; is you who becomes emotional and attacks.

        I read in one of responses you referred to a blogger as being uneducated, but when that very same blogger suggested you be uneducated you took it as an attack? So you can make like that but another cannot?

        Therefore to clarify this in no way is an attack either, simply just asking you to provide some factual responses with some back up to go with it.

        Now back to the issue at hand
        I do agree the people of Faroe Island eat Pilot Whale as a source of their diet, but do I believe the amount of whales being hunted annually necessary ? No I do not !
        The reasons why I don’t believe, is stats show the Faroe Islands slaughtering annually approximately 800 whales. This is also including the dolphins and other whales which get caught in this mix.

        So argument sake let’s just say it approximately 650 pilot whales the Faroe people slaughter and the average long finned pilot Whale can weight up to 5000 lbs
        So, 650×5000=3,250,000 lbs of Whale is being slaughter.

        Are you telling us that 49,000 people that live on the Faroe Islands eat 3.2 million lbs of Whale yearly?

        • Hara says:

          Kate,

          1. Bonnie was the one who called me “uneducated”, followed by Murry. I don’t recall insulting anyone out of the blue. why do you write things which aren’t true?

          2. Have you read properly what I wrote? If not, let me quote this: “the European ancestors of the present American and Canadian population were actually the ones who came with diseases from across the ocean.” Where have I actually wrote that ” diseases have been transported from America and Canada across any ocean”?

          3. do you really want to tell me that people eat bones and skin and internal organs of the whales? Because this what your calculation suggest. Whales can very well weigh up to 2t, but that definetely includes all of that. You see, maybe I am “uneducated” as you try to sugest, but in this case your “calculations” are deeply faulted.

    • Kate2 says:

      Thank you that was my point Benedicte
      But yet again, Hara is the one who is getting all emotional and doing the attacking!!

      “You Simply …. suck” ? And I am trying to humiliate you?
      It’s apparent I will not get the answers I am looking for, which is simply why the Faroe people kill so many pilot Whales for such a small population for anything other than a traditions passed on for many centuries.

      I thank you Hara you talk in many circles clarifies my views. To which will remain to the Slaughtering of the Pilot Whales in nothing more than Celebration of Tradition!

      • Benedicte says:

        A tradition that I find no less barbaric than the way we treat our industrially bred animals. A tradtion where there is no middle man between the consumer and the animal and which, in my opinion, makes the Faroese people more humane than those who never see meat before it has been wrapped in cling film and presented to them in the supermarket. I can understand why, in spite of risks to their health, the Faroese want to hold on to this tradition and to a close connection between humans and nature.
        Protesters classify it as sick and sadistic. I think it is healthy and free of hypocrisy.

      • Kate2 says:

        Wow. I have made no contradiction, I am not trying to discredit what you wrote, Rather I am trying to understand the need for the quantity of whales being slaughtered.
        As far as I can see with a population 49000 there is no way the people need to slaughter this many as part of their food source.

  60. Benedicte says:

    I get the point. You are doing a good job Hara!

  61. Thor says:

    please allow me another small chirp here in the midst of the “clash of titans”. This is a comment to Kate (Jan.27). I gather that your well meant comment on leaving the dirty job to the professionals is rooted in the belief that this will minimize the suffering for the creature. While there may be pro’s in slaughtering farm animals, I don’t think their skills will come to good use in the whale killing, and I have not heard of any formal training to this respect. On the other hand is the killing and the further handling of the whales something that has been passed on from generation to generation, from father to son, and so on, and that should, in my opinion, also count for something, even if there isn’t a formal degree attached to it.
    And yes, you may be right in pointing out that these farmed animals are “disposed off” by pro’s, but what about the life some of these animals live up till that point? Locked up in tiny spaces, fed by machines, lights on all night. You really should try to find a very recent program sent in Danish TV regarding the conditions the farmed pigs live in. Not to mention how chickens are “farmed”.

    Then you mention the slaughtering of “exotic” animals. To you perhaps they are exotic, which also may be very fitting as the term originally means “foreign, distant, outside”. But to a nation which lives by the sea, there is certainly nothing “exotic” about these whales, but merely a source to survival. And yes, the Faroese could also opt for importing food from the other side of the earth. They farm excellent beef in Argentina, buffalos in Canada, Reindeer in Norway, Sweden, Finland and so on. Why they don’t? Who knows? Can it be that every nation sees a pride in being self reliant, or why spend a lot of polluting fuel to transport the food, when we have something that more than matches the alternatives? I’m sure there is a multitude of arguments in favor and not.
    For my part, when I eat meat, which is not everyday, I exclusively choose meat from animals that have had a free life so called “free range”, that way I support the “non-industrialized” farmer, fisherman or what else food producing trades may be. This perhaps because I was raised with sheep “free range”, birds “free range” fish “free range” and so on. And yes, I also took its toll on my small child brain when the little lamb that I had be given to raise, because its mother had died, suddenly grew up and was being slaughtered. But growing up I learned to accept this as a way of living, because we in those days didn’t have the same possibilities to go to a supermarket and fetch an anonymous package of unknown origin. Then you might ask, who was doing the slaughter if not a pro? Well, roughly counted my father would slaughter close to 50 sheep in one month per year in perhaps 50 years, that to me sounds a little pro, or? The reason why it only one month, is because the breeding followed the nature, meaning that the sheep will have lamb in the spring and some of these are ready for slaughter in the fall. Yes, yes I know it is a little off the topic, which was the whales, it was merely to point out, that in some parts of the world people need to live by what nature has to offer, and not by something that is “industrialized” and artificially boosted to increase production. Then finally there is this “vegetarian” stuff, which I don’t mind at all, if thats whats make people happy. Substantial parts of the worlds inhabitants are vegetarians, some by choice, but the the vast majority perhaps because there was/is no other choice. If you live in an area where the climate favors growth of vegetables, but not enough of other vegetation to feed fx sheep or cows, you would be a pretty stupid farmer to eat your only cow, if you can have some vegetables. On the other hand, you also have places, where the climate only offers vegetation edible for fx reindeers, elks, buffalos etc. I don’t think you would have a very positive outcome in going to such a place and tell people “just go vegetarian, guys! Hey come on, you’ve got so much grass and, and..?”
    My point here is that in some parts of the world people have the luxury to pick and choose what they like to eat, while in other parts people may be less fortunate.
    All the best

    • Kate says:

      I’d like to point out there are two Kate’s.
      I am the Kate who commented on the 27th.

      Thor,
      Whaling can be an occupation, and although it isn’t a highly desired job there are various people whom choose to do it.
      It is perfectly fine that you don’t agree with the killing of chickens, and beef. I don’t admire the act of killing it either, but I’ll survive.
      Personally I don’t mind what type of meat I eat (free range or not, personally I like organic- pesticide free but that is besides the point) it is great that you only eat free range.
      I would like to point out Buffalo isn’t a very common hunted animal in Canada. It really only occurs in Alberta.

      When I say that I would prefer professionals killing the whales I mean that maybe 5-10 people who know what they’re doing. If the faroese people are skilled when it comes to killing whales that is great, but I would prefer ( amongst many others ) that it be done on professional, necessary terms, ( when I say that I mean that I don’t think that 1000 whales should be hunted in a span of a couple days to feed the entire population, the food would not be able to be preserved for that long ) and definitely not involving more then a hundred people. (why you ask?) Well it’s pretty detestable having hundreds of people prodding at whales until they die, in front of many people and have an event out of it.

      If the faroese people desire to eat whales, they can have professional whalers come and hunt the whales in a proper manner.
      If they don’t have sustainable land, then there is always the option of getting food another way. Probably even better food, that doesn’t contain mercury.

      As for the vegetarian comment, It was said simply because there seemed to be a lot of offence taken to the suggestion of eating beef and chicken.

      Thanks
      Kate

      • Benedicte says:

        Dear Kate
        Thanks for clarifying the difference between the two Kates. I had been thinking of writing a response to your last message on 27, but got a bit put off by the aggression of the other Kate so decided to leave it be.
        Your response to Thor’s post is very similar to what you said to me: that you want professionals taking care of the job. From what I understand there is going to be official training, and the area has been under regulation for some time, so I think your wish will be fulfilled. I still wonder why you have no faith in a tradition that was handed down over the generations. After all, what these people are to learn is how to handle a whale in shallow water. I can see no better place to learn that than out in the water, and would be surprised if some instructors weren’t experienced whale hunters themselves.
        You said in response to my post that “that the people in lab coats know what to do, and have a purpose”. We can skip the point about a purpose – you think whale hunting doesn’t have purpose, I thin k it clearly does. As for knowing what they do, I cannot imagine that anyone who doesn’t know what to do would participate, or be allowed to participate, in a whale hunt; it is obvisouly very strenuous and they are working with sharp knives and need to know the whale’s anatomy very well. It is a craft like any other craft, and although pollution will probably put an end to it I would find it sad if it were to disappear.
        Best
        Benedicte

        • Hara says:

          I “solved” the problem, the other person will be called Kate2. Kate, just for the sake of clarity, could you add something to your nickname? It would be interesting to verify if the name coincidence wasn’t on purpose. I have a suspicion it was.

      • Kate S says:

        Hara, I have no idea who the other Kate is. I haven’t taken the time to read her comments, but I also think it’s ironic that we both have the same name. Small world.
        This is still Kate from the 27th.

        Benedicte,
        I’m happy about the training that will take place.
        I never said I don’t admire tradition. I think tradition can be great! I just don’t think that this is an appropriate tradition that should take place in this day and age. People should know better. Times have changed and making an event out of the killing of animals isn’t appropriate.
        Since whale is a desired food source by the faroese people, I think there is obviously an importance to it. I stated in my previous comment that if whale is desired they could consume it all they want just let it happens in smaller number and over time; for environmental sustainability purposes, etc.
        From what I can perceive you don’t really have to be an expert on killing the whales. I’m sure anybody could kill a whale with the materials the faroese people use, but like you said I doubt every one would choose to participate in it.
        I understand whale is a main food source for the faroese people, but I don’t comprehend why they choose something with such high mercury levels and also decide to kill up to a thousand whales in a couple days and expect for it to last the rest of the year. I also don’t admire the fact that it involves such high numbers of people, and make such an event out of it. That is what truly bothers me about this tradition, it isn’t humane and those whales form pacts. It isn’t fair.

      • Benedicte says:

        Kate
        Just to say that I never meant to say that I believe that you are against tradition as such; what I am saying, and what Thor is also hinting at in his post, is that you seem to think that something that is passed on as a tradition cannot meet a professional standard. So many traditional things – music, handicraft, etc – were never learnt in schools, and yet were and are carried out at the most refined level. Also, with food vein historically so scarce, and with all the labour that is involved in catching these fish, I don’t think we need to worry that they catch more than they can eat. Well, maybe today when it is so polluted.
        I just get the impression that you underestimate the Faroese’s whole attitude. What I see on these pictures are grown up men hard at work, not confused youngsters with no clue as to what they are doing. That’s among the thousand words that these pictures tell me 🙂
        B

  62. Thor says:

    by the way, Hara, that Bulgarian brat resident you mentioned four years ago living in Florida? I happen to be there right now, should I go looking and make him/her an offer not to refuse? 🙂

    oops, never said that, please moderate 🙂

  63. Katie says:

    Kate I just wanted to clarify that the real name is not buffalo rather they are bison however the North Americans adopted the name Buffalo because of their similarities

    Yes we do hunt the bison here in Alberta, however it is just that hunting! Where a skilled hunter goes and tracks it prey in order to kills it. We in Alberta also have guide lines to which hunters are to follow and have limits as to how many Bison can be shot in one year. Limiting the hunting season for Bison extremely short.

    The only point I have been trying to make here along without getting in to pushing shoving match. Is the amount of Pilot whales being killed each year; these numbers are extremely high for the a Islands population. As well as everything I have read – every article has called it a tradition! And a tradition is a (ritual, practice, habit, belief, custom, folklore, convention)
    I am sure if the numbers were lower no one would even know that Faroe practices this tradition, but they aren’t and this is why the island has been introduced to the world for its ritual.

    • Kate S says:

      I’m not to sure if you’re talking to me ( Kate S) or the other Kate, or if you are the other Kate.
      I’m aware that buffalo is really called bison, I wasn’t aware that you are also from Canada.
      Also, not to sure why we’re talking about bison now I just wanted to point out it isn’t a animal hunted throughout Canada but thanks for the information haha.
      I agree with you about the tradition aspect. I read that the faroese people have roughly 30,000 people that live on the island. 1000 whales for that amount of people seems awfully high seeing as I doubt all the people actually receive the whale meat.
      That is why I feel so strongly about it, it isn’t a necessary event. There are other ways to get whale meat, and I don’t think it has to be done in such an “exciting” manner.

      Thanks
      Kate S

      • Hara says:

        Population is about 49 000, spreaded on 18 islands. And 1000 whales have been hunt since June to November. One other aspect the other Kate / Katie seems to ignore is that one can’t calculate whale x weight and voila! this gives the amount of meat. Nope, that’s completely wrong. Whales have bones and internal organs and the head and tail, by the way, aren’t comestible. So, you see, if you get all of that out of calculation, the quantity diminish considerably.

        The rest is your own opinion, established, again, according to some videos or pictures taken completely out of context. I used to think a little bit like that. After a few years spent here and after I learned a little about people, this place and society, my opinions changed. Drastically. It is facile to judge the others according to your own ideas about what’s “right” and what’s “civilised” or “proper”, while not even taking into consideration the cultural and, why not, mentality differences.

      • Kate S says:

        Hara,
        I keep disclosing why I don’t like their tradition, and you continuously state that you support it but I need to ask you, Why? Why do you think it’s ok that hundreds of people gather and murder up to a thousand of whales. Yes they get food, but that can be done in other ways. Just because I don’t live near the faroese islands doesn’t mean I have an invalid opinion of what is right and wrong. Even though it is taking place over there, it doesn’t make it any less wrong and I think anyone can see that.
        Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words!

        Thanks
        Kate

        • Hara says:

          Why is it ok? Because here is about the comunity spirit, about the fact that they work together, even if it is only about killing an animal. People also gather in high numbers if there is October and sheeps need to be slaughtered and processed. People gather if there is a house and has to be built or a boat needs reparations. People always gather when there is someone from the comunity who died or gets married. This is what defines the society here, the fact that Faroese stick together through good and bad. And, by the way, those hundreads gather to watch a hunt that claims maximum 200 whales, often there are 50 or 100. There aren’t hundreads of people in the water as there aren’t hundreads the one who actually kill the whales.

          And by the way, if you would have read properly what I wrote in the text, I said there that I don’t intend to find excuses and I am not entirely agreeing with the practice, but I learned not to judge anymore. As per the pictures … hmmm! they reflect indeed the reality. What the viewer chooses to understand and how to interpret… that’s entirely another issue.

      • Kate S says:

        Hara,

        It’s hard to talk to you seriously when you write with such an aggressive tone!
        Many other cultures participate in bonding activities that bring people together, I don’t think that slaughtering whales is in any way ok to bring people together. It shouldn’t be condoned. They’re intelligent animals, times have changed. Thank goodness it’s soon ending in 2015.
        Thanks
        Kate

        • Hara says:

          Ok, now I am confused. Which part from the bellow, do you consider agressive?

          “Why is it ok? Because here is about the comunity spirit, about the fact that they work together, even if it is only about killing an animal. People also gather in high numbers if there is October and sheeps need to be slaughtered and processed. People gather if there is a house and has to be built or a boat needs reparations. People always gather when there is someone from the comunity who died or gets married. This is what defines the society here, the fact that Faroese stick together through good and bad. And, by the way, those hundreads gather to watch a hunt that claims maximum 200 whales, often there are 50 or 100. There aren’t hundreads of people in the water as there aren’t hundreads the one who actually kill the whales.

          If you would have read properly what I wrote in the text, I said there that I don’t intend to find excuses and I am not entirely agreeing with the practice, but I learned not to judge anymore. As per the pictures … hmmm! they reflect indeed the reality. What the viewer chooses to understand and how to interpret… that’s entirely another issue.”

          Till now I just read about how I ignore the questions, how agressive I am. No seriously, people? This is about?

          What it will end in 2015 it will be about the people who slaughter the animal, don’t imagine someone will ever forbid the others to assist. And as a matter fact, there are other animals as “intelligent” as these ones. And people still eat them. “Intelligence” is not a criteria to differentiate what we can or what we can not eat. As I have already said, personally, I am not considering these animals above the others.

          As per people gathering … what have I told you? You will never be able to understand, not without knowing people’s history, how the society here works, what is their mentality, their culture. You, as the others judge only by these aspects: blood, people on the shores looking, sometimes children present also = no, no, no.

          Let’s not forget what forcing the first nation in the 21-st century (as Murry / Bonnie / Betty put it at one moment) brought. If we have a way of life that doesn’t mean that way of life applies to all of the globe. Otherwise it is called intollerance.

  64. Katie says:

    Hi Kare
    This is The other Kate, my friends call me Katie and I wanted to clarify that so no one was confusing the two of us .

    I know exactully the frustration you are having as I have asked these very exact questions and made the very same valid opinions regarding the quantum of whale being slaughter. Continuously I get a round about answer leading into some other issues around the world

    I have not denied that the whales are a part of there diets I don’t dispute that!
    But the question that keeps being asked is being ignored. ” is there a need for hundreds of people to participate slaughtering so many in one year!

    Hara has confirmed that all people of Faroe eat Whale, therefore am still confused as to why hundreds gather to slay thousands of whales. No one has has yet proven that is none other than a celebration of tradition.

    • Hara says:

      Katie, if you don’t stop with these false and arrogant statements, I will not approve your messages anymore. I haven’t specified anywhere, neither in my comments nor in my article that ALL the people in the Faroe Islands eat whalemeat Let’s be very clear about that.

      I have also explain why do they gather. I also told you that you make a stupid assumption when you take in calculation the whole weight of a whale. Either you don’t read anything from what I write or you don’t use your brain at all.

      I didn’t ignore anything. The one who continues ignoring both answers I give and questions I ask it is not me. So stop trying to provoke me. My patience has a limit.

    • Kate S says:

      Same name and same thoughts! I agree completely.

  65. Katie says:

    I am sorry Hara I wanted to clarify. I don’t mean ALL I meant to write Not all (somethimes my fingers type to fast). and I am sure you did state that when replying to a blogger you wanted to clarify NOT all Faroe People eat whale. THAT IS WHAT I MEANT
    I am not trying to provoke you in any way. And yes I did see your comment to the other Kate as to why, but again to clarify unless I refresh my computer I don’t get the responses immediately. So I think my comment was sent to you before I had a chance to see your comment. AS TO WHY
    I do not appreciate you suggesting I am stupid or arrogant or that I don’t use my brain. As well has expressed that “I suck”
    I have not once suggested you were dumb uneducated, stupid! I have however, suggested you were emotional.
    As I see your passion on this subject so I want you to know I do not mean to come across as anyone of those things you have suggested I maybe. Rather just simply trying to understand the need.

    Your comments are duely noted.
    My intention here was not to offend just simply try to get a better understanding of the Faroe tradition.

    Thanks

  66. Katie says:

    I agree with Kate S
    I live in Alberta where hunting is a part of many people lives I myself hate the thought of it. But it does happen a few of the boys get together for the weekend go camping in the bush and try to shoot a deer or 2.

    However, I think what has the world in such an up roar with the Faroe Island . Is yes in the pictures – the graphic images of hundreds of whales pushed to the shores where they are met by 50-75-100 people shoving sharp objects (whether they have been made for this purpose or not) intothe mammal filling the bay in a deep blood.

    And that is why we who don’t understand the need for such a large slaying for such a small commutiy. I feel just as passionate as you do for the “why” it’s being done. As you feel “Why”!the people are doing it.

    I want to thank you Hara for your blog as, yes it has forced me learn more about the Island where you live, and it’s people. But my passion still remains I am just not convinced the number of Pilot whales yearly is a nessesity.

    I also want to express I appreciate your passion towards the people whom you have settled with and appreciate that you are not one whobis participating in this tradition or orb eating the high level mercury meat.

    I wish you well and thank you for allowing me to share my opinions.
    Take care

  67. Thor says:

    Another small note from my side to those of you who express concern over the number killed, if it really was necessary, if the meat could be properly preserves. Even though I’m not the big “math” guy, I just want to throw in a few figures:
    1: The meat and blubber represents roughly half of the whale’s weight.
    2: from this, roughly half of the weight is meat.
    3: of an average whale the the total outcome is roughly 420 kg (925 lbs, for those who prefer that unit)
    4: say 1000 whales are killed, this equals 420.000 kg
    5: say that out of the 49.000 islanders, we assume that babies, pregnants, sick, very old, and foreigners, plus a few locals do not eat this. So to be on the safe side, (and easy to calculate) 42.000 don’t eat this stuff.
    6: this means that 42.000 kg are to be shared between 42.000 people, equals 10 kg each.
    7: these 10 kg have to last 52 weeks, which means that each person eats about 200 gr a week. Mind you that only half of it is meat.
    Does that sound too much?

    As to the preserving part of the issue, you would be amazed to learn, how long meat (and blubber) can stay “fresh” when stored in a “brine” (mix of salt and water) or just in dry salt, or when wind dried.

    None of the above is intended to convince those of you opposed to the idea, to think otherwise, as this is a matter of belief, which you clearly are entitled to maintain. But at least you do no longer need to to base your belief on wrong numbers.

    A final note on the unnecessary number of persons participating and the onlookers. Depending where the event takes place, there will be a different number of both categories. In the capital Thorshavn, where appr 18.000 people live, there will naturally be more of both, especially the onlookers (this May also include tourists) and in the smaller villages with, say 1000 souls, a significant lesser number will participate, although counted in percent that may be more.
    Depending of the number of whales and the size of the beach and bay they lounge into, the total number of men in the boats may vary from 30 to 150. Is it a remote location and the time span from discovery till the actual “charge” is short, fewer people will reach it in time. On the shore it may require anything from 3 to 10 men to pull the whale on dry land, so here it can easily be a high number. So they 25? Professionals suggested by someone, would not suffice in this. As the aim also is to keep the whale’s suffering as short as possible, it is imperative to have manpower enough.
    And I strongly agree with those who say that this should never turn into a “tourist attraction”

    Best regards and respect to those of you who manage to maintain a civil tone in this emotional debate

    • Hara says:

      Especially the way it starts… “not only because some people there like to eat whales, but because they enjoy killing them“. 😐

      Talking about well written articles: http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/9126932/why-we-should-let-faroe-islanders-hunt-whales/

    • Benedicte says:

      To me, this article seems somewhat biased, but also credible in the way it describes what is going on. And it doesn’t make me want to protest against whale hunting, on the contrary. Here is a nation that lives in close contact with nature; how many ordinary, elderly mainland Europeans have the attitude of Helgi: “both he and Ívun said they would never dream of eating meat from industrialized factory farms on the European mainland”?
      A lot of us are rediscovering the pleasure of growing our own food again; the Faroese are only beginning to lose it. I don’t know why we should encourage that.
      It angers the protesters that this is an exciting event – the drama of life and death, IN YOUR LIFE, and not on TV. Some of the interviewees say this makes them feel alive and reminds them of where they come from – I’d say if that is the case then they must keep on hunting. This is man in direct interaction with nature, I think it is healthy and as it should be. I think the civilized world got it all wrong: animals are unceremoniously butchered in unnatural environments, the consumers never get their hands dirty, and very few of us would in fact be able to kill any of the animals that we eat. But when we are confronted with people who can, and do, we are horrified.
      The article’s main argument against the killing is: they enjoy it, and apparently they enjoy it immensely and it is part of what holds them together as a community. What is it that the protesters want? That they all succumb to modern living, stay home and watch TV and eat imported food and maybe do a yoga class if they want to feel their inner self?
      Also, the article uses the word barbaric at some point. May I remind of where that word comes from: the Greeks used it about crude foreigners who spook a language they did not understand, but sounded to them like bar-bar-bar. Essentially, a barbarian is someone you don’t understand and whose culture differs from yours.
      B

  68. Katie says:

    Yes I read this article as well, but what made me so intoxicated with my link was the interviews with people of Faroe

    “A sales assistant at an electronics store stares, Selling computer games and electronics is not exactly what I thought I would end up doing, but here I am,” he said. ” there is nothing exciting about my job, and joining in the pilot whale kill is a way for me to make up for that. The atmosphere is incredibly intense and electrifying, and I enjoy being a part of it. For a breif moment I feel vibrant and alive.”

    Then I met a girl in her 20’s, a clerk at a book store, who spoke passionately about the suffering of the whales during the killing. But as we talked she lowered her voice, and kept looking over her shoulder to make sure we were not overheard. ” A lot of people react to my views by accusing me of being disloyal to Faroes culture” she explained.

    I read this article with intensity to what the interviewed Faroese People shared with the writer.

  69. Katie says:

    What I found most intriguing was the wrter expressed how most the woman and children refuse to eat the meat due to its heigh levels of Mercury.

    Therefore, taking me right back to my original statement. This act is more of a tradition rather than a source of food.

    It comes right from the Faroe people’s mouths.
    I especially like the conclusion when the writer goes on saying, because the woman do not chose this as part of there diets and refuse to feed their children Whale. A new generation will be born and hopes the hunting of Whale will diminish as well.

    Thank you again Hara for allowing me to share this on your blog. I think it is important to hear actual interviews from the people in the commutiy to which you are a part of

    • Hara says:

      What I really find funny is how keen you are to believe word by word a known activist who presents her side of the story and who is far from being objective. And by the way, no one is afraid to speak their mind against the whaling. Rúni Nielsen has done that for years, Ingi Sørensen and there many others. None of them is “afraid”, none of them “looks over their shoulders” or whatever else declares mrs. O’Barry. I know very well the piece, it is not so new. And I don’t find it particular representative.

      • Kate S says:

        Hara,
        You’re entire article was based on your opinion. Here you have a piece of writing that just happens to contradict what you say, thats fine. It gives others another perspective.
        Kate

        • Hara says:

          Kate S., well, of course it contradicts, in the end this person is against the whalehunts. Problem is people like that tend to see things even where they don’t exist.

          It’s a little bit funny how quickly you both are to “attack” me every single time when it happens I don’t agree with something you post. I don’t agree with this woman, I have read articles against “grindadráp” much better written, much better argumented. Written by people who actually came to the Faroes, talked to the people from the both sides, tried to understand the way the things are. Her article is biased and she twistes some facts. She states also some valid points, no doubt there, but I really dislike the interpretation.

      • Kate S says:

        Hara,
        I really dislike your opinion.
        I came across a photo of a little boy no older then ten sitting on a dead whale. The amount of disrespect that SOME of the faroese people treat the animals with, is why this act needs to stop.

        • Hara says:

          You dislike my opinion, your own problem, personally I don’t give a darn. I am not here to please everyone. You can very simply choose not to waste your time here anymore (and implicitly mine). I believe you’ve made up your mind and no matter what any of us tries to explain, you are not willing to listen.

          PS. As a matter of fact and just tu humour you, I remember quite well how, back home, we were supposed to ride the pig after it was slaughtered for Christmas. I don’t remember “disrespecting” any of the animals in the yard while growing up, on the contrary, I was the one who cleaned, feed them, taking care when they were sick. I don’t remember “disrespecting” them not even when I had to cut the throat of a chicken or a hen or a duck. Not even when, as a 4 yo, I rode the dead pig :mrgreen:

    • Benedicte says:

      And what do you think about the part where they say whaling is where they feel most alive and where they are reminded of who they really are? Or the part where Helgi says they eat this meat because they love it so much? Does that make you feel that this really has got to stop?

    • Thor says:

      You may very well be right Katie, in your assumption/prediction, that new generations will abandon this way of getting food. Then it can be debated, as Benedicte so nicely pointed out, whether that is something to strive for. To become reliant on industrial food, and become a stranger to natures way?

  70. Katie says:

    The article did meantion; there were many people who on the islands who are against it and had no problems speaking freely about what they thought!

    I wanted to add this to outlet discussion as I found it enlightening, reading that there are in fact many Faroe people who are against the Pilot Whale killing.
    That’s all I was trying to say!

  71. Katie N says:

    Thank you for being honest, this has reached me in Australia. It is good to hear what is happening from people who live there….it helps us make informed decisions. xx

  72. Benedicte says:

    Someone just share this on Facebook: http://meganastamper.tumblr.com/post/74306785476/the-denmark-dolphin-slaughter

    ” In many areas I’d say our standards are actually lower than those maintained by the Faroese in these hunts. For a start, at least these pilot whales live a free and happy life before death. Perhaps our outrage could be better placed?

  73. Katie says:

    What I found particularly charming about your article you posted Hara, is how the men of the Faroese Island practiced a more civilized way of hunting 84 years ago! Than they do today!

    84 years ago they actually went in a boat with harpoons and actually hunted the whale for their food. They did not trap the whales forcing them to the shores to be met by 50-100 men waiting to slaughter them.

    Seems the men of Faroe were actual hunters back 84 years ago unlike the barbarians a that live on the islands now!!!

    • Hara says:

      You’re both amusing, really! The pilot whales hunting has been always like it is nowadays with the difference that 84 years ago was actually even more “grusome” than it is in the present. Nowadays the ,ethods and tools are muh more improved.

      What is equally amusing is that you consider harpooning “nicer” then the way they do the thing in the present. Do you know anything about what hunting with a harpoon actually means?

      And besides that, your obsession with the whaling is so great that hinders both of you learning something about this place. You are too blind and too ignorant to be capable to see anything but that.

      You forgot one important aspect here. My husband is Faroese. Any other comment which makes ridiculous assesments about how men are or aren’t here will not be approved anymore. I am not willing to let my blog poissoned by negativists whose sole occupation is to haress other people on the internet. You have been warned.

    • Benedicte says:

      According to Wikipedia the harpoon was banned in 1985 because it was considered to inflict too much suffering on the whales. So again, it seems that the Faroese, like the rest of the World, is moving towards more humane methods.

    • Hara says:

      ” Canada left the IWC over 30 years ago and sets its own quotas ~ around 1000 Beluga, 500 Narwhal and an unknown number of Bowhead whales are killed there each year. The cruelty is horrific, firing harpoons into the beluga for instance, with a buoy attached so that the whale can’t dive, and then letting him swim until he’s too tired or lost too much blood. The rest of the family very often won’t leave so more than one can be caught at a time. Same with the narwhal, except they’re quite often killed just for their tusks. A few years ago, dozens of walruses were found rotting on a beach there, they’d just been killed for their tusks too.”

      Written by a Canadian, by the way. Very “civilised” way, indeed.

      • Katie says:

        Yes “30 years ago” did you also see they put a stop to this and this no longer takes place! I love that you point out things in your defence to which no longer happen.

        Good Job Hara love your facts ! Here’s a fact the People of Faroe still trap and massacre highly toxic whales! This is not done for food as it has been told by the Faroe people that they will not feed their children this due to its high level of mercury! It’s has also been said by the Faroe people they enjoy this massacre as it’s makes “feel alive the kill is so invigorating”

        You can point out as many facts that use to happen in others parts of the world as you want to justify this celebration of tradition, but the facts are; this is all it is “a celebration of tradition” even the people of Faroe have said so themselves!

        • Hara says:

          Katie, I am starting to believe you are not quite the smartest pea in the pod. Either you didn’t read carefully my comment or you have serious comprehension problems. Do you really want to tell me that in Northern Canada they don’t hunt whales anymore? Is this what you actually sustain? Wow, you must live in another world.

          Read one more time. Carefully this time. My comment has nothing to do with Faroe Islands, but with present times Canada.

          But, congratulations! You’ve just proved how obsessive you are in regards to our islands. I write something about what happens nowadays in your own country and you make it, again, all about Faroe Islands.

          NB You can repeat as a parrot over and over again the same stereotypes, that has absolutely no effect on me. Actually no, it has. You bore me to death.

          • Katie says:

            Please refer to link
            http://Www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/whaling
            Scroll to paragraph titled Canada

            Then please visit
            http://Www.ifaw.org/united-states/out-work/whales/which-countries-are-still-whaling

            And I really wish you would stop implying I have a small brain or uneducated and just back this debate with actual facts rather than the name calling. Again, I have yet to call you any names.

            • Hara says:

              😆 “actual facts”. Let me see… What I wrote:

              ” Canada left the IWC over 30 years ago and sets its own quotas ~ around 1000 Beluga, 500 Narwhal and an unknown number of Bowhead whales are killed there each year. The cruelty is horrific, firing harpoons into the beluga for instance, with a buoy attached so that the whale can’t dive, and then letting him swim until he’s too tired or lost too much blood. The rest of the family very often won’t leave so more than one can be caught at a time. Same with the narwhal, except they’re quite often killed just for their tusks. A few years ago, dozens of walruses were found rotting on a beach there, they’d just been killed for their tusks too.”

              Written by a Canadian, by the way. Very “civilised” way, indeed.

              To which you have answered:

              “Yes “30 years ago” did you also see they put a stop to this and this no longer takes place! I love that you point out things in your defence to which no longer happen.

              Good Job Hara love your facts ! Here’s a fact the People of Faroe still trap and massacre highly toxic whales! This is not done for food as it has been told by the Faroe people that they will not feed their children this due to its high level of mercury! It’s has also been said by the Faroe people they enjoy this massacre as it’s makes “feel alive the kill is so invigorating”

              You can point out as many facts that use to happen in others parts of the world as you want to justify this celebration of tradition, but the facts are; this is all it is “a celebration of tradition” even the people of Faroe have said so themselves!”

              So, I write about the present whaling in Canada, country that left IWC and set it’s own cotas for the whale catch and you come and contradict me, tell me that somewhow I am an idiot who doesn’t know what she speaks about and canda actually doesn’t whale anymore :/ Not even, but those whales (which aren’t hunt anymore, but suprinsigly you can find pictures of all these hunts everywhere on the net) are so humanly hunt that, this, somehow makes you, Canadians, the angels on Earth when it comes about slaughtering animals.

              More you come with two links, one from the almighty encyclopedia which isn’t the most reliable source and one which states”this page has moved” to prove … what? That Canada doesn’t whale anymore? Or you haven’t even realised that my comment refered to all the whale species and not to the pilot whales?

              By the way, I love the persistence and the efforts to make it all about you. Sorry to be blunt (as you seem to ruffle your feathers very easily), you can complain as much as you want, but, for me, you aren’t a smart conversation. Just a boring person who comes and insists with the same over and over and over again hoping to achieve something that’s beyond my comprehension. Be careful, though, you’ve started to mix up what I answered to your different personalities, I don’t recall writing anywhere you are uneducated.

              P.S. Funny though, you needed two weeks to give an answer.

          • Katie says:

            Really Wikipedia not the most reliable source ? Really as I do believe you have used it in you debate to prove a few valid points several times

            The page was to prove that the only whale hunted is the bowhead. as of 2004 the limit on bowhead whale hunting is one whale every 2 years from the Hudson Bay and only 1 whale every 13 years from the Baffin Bay.

            As well as Canada left the IWC the only species that is being hunted is covered by the IWC.

            This is a far cry from the hundreds that are being hunted as you call it in the Faroe’s Islands… So really I am trying to figure out your comparison?

            • Hara says:

              Here is not about numbers or species, here is about how “humanly” or not humanly these whales are hunt. And Canada isn’t less cruel, whatever excuse you find. ,The comment I copied was made by a Canadian who is actually quite involved in the anti-whaling movement.

              But let me see… you pretend “the only whale hunted is the bowhead” No really? So people who wrote here, for example, lie. Or maybe it’s a site of the poachers?

              Only bowheads you say? Maybe here is something illegal also? And maybe hereit is also about bowheads and I don’t know what I read…

              Should I continue? Girl, inform yourself properly about your own country and then come and accuse me I don’t know facts. Till now you just made unsupported statements and nothing more.

              And yes, Wikipedia isn’t reliable. It is a fashion amongst youngsters to run first there because it is facile to use, but it is full of errors and inexactities. As the one with the bowheads.

              • Katie says:

                Wow the point is all along; the slaughtering of pilot whales in its mass amounts. I have proven time an time again. The pilot whale is toxic and not for human consumption. Several of The people of Faroe have said, due to the high levels of Mercury they don’t eat the meat!
                So is it for a means of food or is it just a celebration of tradition?

                I believe it is a celebration of tradition!

                Let’s say even half the Faroe population does eat Pilot Whale so what approximately 25,00o? Is there really a need for 1000 whales yearly to be slaughtered?

                The sea is full of other species that can give the Faroe people a healthy diet!

                This yearly celebration is just that. A celebration, so far you have yet to prove otherwise.!

                • Hara says:

                  Katie, why are you changing the discussion again? You claimed that Faroese are cruel and barbaric in the way they kill the pilot whales, I tried to explain it isn’t quite like that. I posted a comment written by a friend, a Canadian who actively participates in the anti-whaling movement, you contradict me and came with some silly argumentation. You acused me I have no facts. Then you came and stated that Canada kills ONLY bowheads, I proved the otherwise. You just dismissed completely all the arguments and went back to … the same place, to the same stupid accusations. WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME? A confirmation of your silly theories?? To agree with this whole obsession of yours? I t w i l l n e v e r h a p p e n, get that in your brain.

                  Start cleaning your own yard, if you really are interested in saving anything or doing anything pro-active. Otherwise you are just one of the millions of armchairs critics who wastes everybody’s time.

  74. Bonita says:

    What I find interesting is how 84 years ago the hunters had a more civilized way of hunting, then the Faroe people practice today…

    • Hara says:

      Murry, is that you again? Man, you are persistent!

      Next I’ll ban the IP address, so I get rid of ALL your personalities Murry / Bonnie / Betty and now Bonita.

  75. Katie says:

    I think you miss the point I was making. Harpooning is not any better tactic the sharp hooks they use now which they stick in their blow holes to drag them closer to the shore where they sever their spinal cords ! My point being is they actually hunted for food in the sea not trapping and pushing hundreds to the shore.

    • Benedicte says:

      But it would appear that they inflicted more pain.

      • Hara says:

        Benedicte, the picture that made her stated that says:

        “THE “HEKLA” GOES OUT FOR WHALES. With her harpoon gun poised for the kill, the steam whaler cruises around The Faeroes in search of finback and blue whales. Law requires the whale fishery to sell the natives at a low price all the whale meat they demand for food; the surplus may be reduced to oil for export.”

        So, it can’t even be aplicable. This was about other type of hwales, whales which are not hunt anymore in the Faroe Islands. The pilot whales were hunt in the same way in those times and it was even bloodier, because they used the old tools.

        I suspect Katie clutches at straws here. She found one more reason to state, again and again, what barbarians live here, in the Faroe Islands. Unfortunately not the right one.

        • Benedicte says:

          Yeah but the idea is that it was better in the old days, right? Because the trapping is supposed to be evil, while the hunting is not. Even if it hunting with harpoons inflicts more suffering. Do you know what, I give up. If logic doesn’t work then what will?

  76. This is an excellent and well-informed article. I see here are people who intend to keep a constant propaganda whether it’s right or wrong. I’m gona answer some of these idiots, if you do not mind and I can not promise that I will be polite.

  77. Kate S says:

    Hara,
    I respect and understand that this is your blog, but please don’t let other people post inappropriate, rude comments that really have no intellectual argument.
    Thanks
    Kate S

  78. Excellent article, by far the best I’ve read on the topic. The self-righteousness coming from people who are entirely uninformed about the Faroe Islands and have no business dictating how they should live is mind-boggling.

  79. Becki says:

    Many thanks for this article. As a family of 6 who are travelling around the Arctic circle in Lapland for 5 months we found ourselves being hosted for dinner last month where whale meat was served. After much deliberation I came to the conclusion that it I eat cows then whales are not an issue. Your blog entry is very well thought out and offers the exact argument my husband and I hold. The hypocrisy and knee jerk wailing of people is really just misdirected and irritating at best. Please feel free to take a look at my thoughts on the subject. People need to open their eyes just a little more….http://www.aurora-addicts.com/faroe-island-whalers-sympathies/

  80. Benedicte says:

    Well written; and thanks for sharing the before-and-after; it is interesting to hear from someone who has seen both sides…

  81. Hara says:

    Yes, I deleted it. Because I am tired of confruntational persons who come accusing me I attack people and so on, while stating “true” things like I have not what to do in my spare time, I like to argue or I have no arguments. That wasn’t “constructive criticism” at all, that was a petty patronising comment.

    If you really want to talk about the matter in discussion, you are free to do it, if you just came to lecture me, you are free to go.

    And this is really the last thing I address to you that has no connection with whaling in the Faroe islands.

    PS. Talking about who speeaks the truth, you are from Edmonton, Canada and not from UK. Next time try a more plausible lie.

  82. Abby says:

    Excuse me ? I am from the Western Isles of Scotland. I lived there 42 years!
    I was visiting family in Canada. It was a conversation about the Pilot Whales we had one evening and about the Faroe Island Massacres! I had heard about the protest against the Faroes and was directed to view your blog!

    As I stated before, I read the entirety of blogs, comments and debates!
    And after reading, felt it was you who was defensive, and were attacking the persons whom did not agree.

    You again, proved it by your attack upon me!
    Again, you are doing more harm with your angry, belittling replays than you are good.
    All I was suggesting is to keep the focus on the slaughtering of the pilot whales and why it’s being done!

    • Hara says:

      One more time, if you have something to discuss about the whaling, please do. If not, you are free to find some other blogs where they are less “belittling” 😆 and where you will be less “attacked”.

    • Benedicte says:

      Abby, the problem with this campaign against whaling of the Faroes is precisely that it does not focus on the whaling. It focuses on the whalers, and gets almost every fact about them and the entire process wrong. I see a lot of anti-whalers going “oh so we got that one wrong (as well), but let’s focus on the whales…” But this whole campaign is written as an attack on the Faroese people; I have yet to hear a single anti-whaler express their embarrassment for participating in the shaming and slandering of one of the world’s tiniest nations, on the basis of something so counter-factual. Surely you can see that these emails would not have spread over the entire world if it wasn’t for the inflammatory language directed against the Faroese or, as they are mostly called, “Danes”. You need to stir blind hatred for something to take off like this; and I wonder if you can imagine what it is like to have that blind hatred directed against your country.

  83. Martin says:

    The Husavick masacre on Aug 13, 2013 was not the only one that took place that day. Galba , the incredibly high number of 430 Atlantic White sides dolphins were driven into “whale bay” and also brutally murdered. Some people might be surprised to hear that these islanders are targeting species other than Pilot Whales, but hey have always hunted smaller dolphins, especially in Hvalba. They last killed Atlanic White-sided dolphins in Hvalba in August 201o and Riso’s dolphins earlier that April. Oracular took 100 Atlantic Sides Dolphins in August 2009. That same month Hvalba killed two Nothern Bottlenose whales, that we reported as stranded, and a month later Klalsvik took 3 Risso’s.

    While White-sided and Bottlenos dolphins and Harbor porpoises can be driven to slaughter, according to local regulations, it is illegal to kill Risso’s and Orcas. In all of these instances, mistaking them as Pilot Whales was cited as the excuse for killing them.

    • Hara says:

      Martin, I know that there were some whales in Suðuroy which stranded and died, it happened the same with the two sperm whales last in November or December in the northern part of the islands. Or would you like to suggest those two sperm whales were also killed on purpose? No one kills big whales here in the Faroese, since the 80’s I believe. Orca for sure, there I can fiercely contradict anyone who pretends otherwise. Nothern Bottlenose whales which are called “døglingur” in Faroese are killed sometimes, not often though, no one states otherwise.

      With the Atlantic White-Sided I agree. Personally I can’t understand why, out of the blue, those southern twits decided to hunt them, but it isn’t usual. And they shoot the purpoises, they aren’t at all driven.

      It is not about “mistaken” them. Sometimes dolphins accompany the pilot whales pods and that’s when they are hunt together with the others. if you look at the statistics it is always listed what was killed, including the other species than pilot whales. You can see it here: http://www.heimabeiti.fo/default.asp?menu=125 the species are listed under “Slag”. “Hvítskjórutir springarar” means white-sided dolphins, “døglingar” means Northern Bottlenose whales, Risso you can recognize by yourself. If you look there is stated “Døglingar, ið gjørdu landgongd” which means “northern bottlenose whales which stranded” on 17.09.2007. Not that they were hunt on purpose.

      And what’s Oracular? Never heard of that. Maybe you wanted to say Øravík?

  84. Martin says:

    Yes sorry that is what I meant Oravik

    I guess what my point is when we have people who are unexperinced hunting the Pilot Whales is why these others are getting caught in the slaughter as well. I do hope soon they will make it illegal to those who have not been properly trained and licensed.

    I strongly believe all who participate in the killing and should any endangered porpoise be slaughtered during the hunting of Pilot whales; should be charged and given a life sentence in prison! There has to be some sort of accountability!!! Just saying

    • Hara says:

      Life in prison … you made me laugh here, no offense! If they weren’t capable to sentence Breivik, who actually killed almost 80 people, majority teens, and injured hundreads, to more than 21 years in jail, do you really believe someone will be jailed because of killing a … harbour purpoise? Well … this is a silly idea (no offense again – I guess for me a human life is infinitely more precious than the one of an animal, as “cold-hearted” as it could be considered by some people).

      Secondly, they aren’t at all endangered, it doesn’t state that anywhere. There is only a mention in some of the conventions where it states they should get some more attention, but that’s that. It is legal to hunt them in Faroes and Greenland and, to be honest, I hear very seldom about harbour purpoises being killed. If you look on the statistics which I provide (and which I know being accurate) you will not find too many “nísa” how the purpoises are called in the Faroes, in the past few years.

      As per “untrained” people getting involved. I am sad to say that, but many people who have never thought about actively participating in a grindadráp, started involving themselves just because of the whole negative pressure, injustice and international hate. Nothing unites more the Faroese (in spite of having different opinions) than a common “enemy”. And you will see even the anti-whalers making a common front with the whalers when they feel this little country is indiscriminately “attacked”.Maybe people should think a little about that.

  85. zeeeeeestar says:

    thanks for this! i see an article (always the same one too) pop up on facebook ALL. THE. TIME about this, and it makes me really frustrated. i’ve read up on it a little bit every time i see that article posted, but really that just serves to make me more angry. that article (i believe it’s linked in the comments somewhere) is spreading literal lies that anyone with two grams of sense could look up and learn from.

    i think it’s commendable that the faroese are trying to make the killing more humane. it can’t be said of america for the most part. and that they’re so regulated? wonderful. much less waste happens from that than just from the meat that goes bad IN A STORE because there’s more than people buy.

    anyway, sure the mercury is likely REALLY high, and i’d love for the faroese to be able to find a food source that isn’t so poisonous to take the place of the pilot whales. but it’s not like i can wave a wand and POOF! a food source!

    as for people still eating it with the research about the mercury, people will always stay stuck in their ways. not all people, but there will always be some that won’t budge. i’m sure you’ve seen that with the comments on here ;).

    • Hara says:

      Thank you. Exactly what I was trying to say.

      It is very true, some people change not so easy, especially the older ones. I can see it even in my husabnd sometimes (and he’s not old and has an incredible stubborn wife who “forces” these changes sometimes 😀 ), but the majority of the Faroese people are quite conservative, it’s difficult to make them get out of their comfort zone, gve up to the things they like. I guess this thing with the whalemeat is exactly as it is for some people with alchool, cigarettes, even with chocolate. It takes a great deal of persuation or a health problem to make them give up. Even then, some don’t even give up.

  86. Kabashi says:

    Greetings from Denmark! Well i participated in the debates in th giraffe Marius and the four lions that were culled in Danish zoos – and much to my surprise many Americans would suddenly shift the topic and start accusing Denmark of killing dolphins in traditional slaughters and tests of manhood. Anyway, after finding out that what they meant was Faroe Islands, we lecture them and tell them that Faroe Islands isnt Denmark so “go talk to them”. Many of them are surprisingly stubborn and seem to beliveve it is some sort of trick to sort of “get of the hook” and we really are Faeoers (or that Faroers are Danes or whatever it is they believe). The internet hordes are trying to pressure Denmark into stopping the grindedrab (we will off course never interfere, you mentioned the Mohammad crisis and we will be MUCH more stubborn in this case 🙂 ). And there are facebookcampaigns to boycot Denmark for the “dolphins” which is rather absurd. Especially because Faroe Islands already HAVE been boycotted. It is quite scary though that so many people can get deluded into such a simple (though quite funny) mistake and how much information levels have dropped. It seems to me the cult of cuddly animals is a replacement of religion. That religion in USA has come full circle – and now new animal cults are rising up with some animals (dolphins, whales, giraffes, lions) are considerd “holy” or “sacred” and unkillable, whereas cows, sheep, chicken are non-holy. So I think the “campaing” against Faroe Islands and also Denmark over the giraffe will be a pretty much permament feature. Somehow it is also connected to some strange American ideas of the foreign. They seem to want to go anywhere and change things to the better, yet understanding other countries does not interest them much? Excellent work on your blog.

  87. Victoria says:

    Glad to see that someone took the time to write, research, along with informing the public…to you all thank-you thank-you…I believe more could inform themselves by not taking everything they read on facebook as fact!

  88. Chris says:

    I am afraid the argument there are more important environmental or welfare issues to deal with is an excuse we often he’s to avoid facing up tobsomebofbth awful cruelty such as that seen in the hunt int Faroe Islands. Such an arguement can mean nothing ever gets the attention it deserves, because someone will always find something ‘more pressing’.

    The assertion that the whales die instantly is not true in all cases (having suffered drives of upbto ten miles), and indeed these hints have extended to species such the Risso’s, white-sided and Bottlenose dolphins, and even the orcas. The Faroese also take Bottlenose whales when they can. You can read some of the worst kils here.
    http://uk.whales.org/blog/courtneyvail/2013/07/when-things-go-wrong

    What this blog fails to mention is the hunt is no longer a necessity and indeed in 2012, Pal Weihle and Hogni Debes Joensen of the Faroese Department of Occupational Medicine an Public Health formally recommended that from a human health perspective, Pilot Whales should no longer used for human consumption due to the impact of contamination loads.

    The Faroese have been, and in their minds remain commercial whalers. Me. Heralvur Joensen, the then head of the Represtatikn of the Fareos in Copenhagen, speaking in 2008 about the small cetacean hunt in the Faroes stated, “The do not trade our Whale recources on international markets, but we have done in the past. And we wish to maintain our right to do so in the future, if we decide this is an economical option. We certainly respect the right of other nations to trade their natural resources. In this sense the Faroes are also a commercial whaling nation, in principle if not practice.”

    The Faroese have a direct impact on commercial whaling debate, as they have representative on the Danish delegation to the International Whaling Commission (IWC). Debmark has consistently supported moves to lift the IWC moratorium on commercial whaling and often successfully scup peered leadership attempts by the UK and others to take conservation action through the IWC.

    The Faroese are no longer a remote people struggling for survival, but a nation that no longer needs the ‘tradition’ of whale meat to survive, – that said, they have a negative impact on international efforts to protect whales and dolphins beyond their relative size. Time for this hunt to end once and for all.

    • Chris says:

      I am on the train and writing this on my black berry so I do apologize for some of the errors spell check has created . I tried to proof my comments but hit post in error.
      You are an intelligent woman I see from your writings, thefore I am sure you can see past some of these silly words my phone input.

      • Hara says:

        Don’t worry, English isn’t my mother tongue, I make a lot of mistakes, so I am not the one to judge from this point of view. And it is a big difference between typos and uneducated language, I hope I have enough discernment to recognize that 😀

        I don’t agree with: “The Faroese have been, and in their minds remain commercial whalers.” It is not true at all. As per what that mr.Joensen said or said not, as long as I don’t see the initial statement … sorry. Even this is what he stated, it is the opinion of one man and not of an entire nation. Otherwise Faroese would sell the meat abroad exactly as the Norwegians sell mink whale for example or like the Icelanders.

        I have never denied what Pál Weihe has published and I actually believe his research. This has been discussed also in the comments.

        Orcas aren’t killed at all in the Faroes, let’s be very clear on that! The last one was killed in the 80’s. As per bottlenose dolphins, here I contradict you again. There were only a few, usually caught together with the pilot whales, let’s call them “colateral damages”. In fact, not far from a few days ago there was a pod of dolphins who got stranded in a fjord and they have been helped and driven out by people. If indeed “The Faroese also take Bottlenose whales when they can.” then this would be the perfect oportunity. But it never happened and THAT is because they aren’t hunt at all. Pictures can be seen here: http://jn.fo/springaraflokkur+a+kollafirdi.html

        There is actually a very well kept evidence of what was killed and when. I have provided a link somewhere in the comments and if you look through the lists, you’ll see I don’t make unsuported statements.

        One thing that lots of people fail to realize is that international pressure does absolutely no good. Faroese will give up if and when they will decide and not because some people decided it is “barbaric”, it is “unnecessary” or whatever other arguments are brought into discussion. ANd no, I don’t try to be agressive or antagonostic, this is just a personal observation.

  89. Chris says:

    I appreciate your opinion as I see here also you appreciate mine!
    Thank you for allowing to share my thoughts and my information.
    Unfortunate it is a discussion that needs had at all.

  90. Cali says:

    Hunting is a valued tradition around the world. While some may not agree, these people are simply carrying out a tradition that supplies food for their families and celebrates their heritage. We allow similar hunts by on indian reservations in Alaska. Thank you for explaining what some have unfortunately skewed into a condemnable event. It is important to keep traditions such as these alive. As for those of you who disagree with this event, you are not required to participate or eat the meat gained from this event but just as I enjoy the meat I gain from deer hunting here in the Mid Ohio Valley, these people are utilizing their hunt in a responsible manner which I hope continues for generations to come.

  91. Peter says:

    I think that it is the blood that makes people upset. You see no blood when they catch tuna fish and to be caught in a net and wait for hours before being killed is for sure much more stressful for the animal.
    The factories where thousands of pigs, every day, are transported on a band into automated killing machines is very bloody but we can’t see that. When we are buying some good quality meat inside a nice colorful packet to be the ingredient for the next cosy weekend we don’t need to worry about how the animal has been bred, transported or killed.
    Opposite to pigs and cows, pilot whales are living freely in nature that pilot whales have always done. A small amount of them are killed to become food. This is the way nature has always worked. I see no problem with eating pilot whales as long as it is done the way it is. I have more problems with how the chickens, pigs and cows are handled.

  92. KalipsoRed says:

    Thanks for the in depth education on why this hunt happens. On an island with few resources I can see why such a hunt is necessary for the human population. Since you didn’t say I can only guess that the people of the island have some way of making sure they hunt to conserve the population of the whale due to the fact that the pilot whale is on the Red List for Threatened species. (ie have some way of counting the population, not killing the very young and the ones that are strong breeders.)

    • Hara says:

      In general, when there are sightings of pilot whales, there is a foreman who knows what is the stock of whalemeat and if they had enough, often it is decided not to hunt the whales.

      And as much as I know, the Natural Science Department of the Faroese university conducts research about pilot whales feeding ground and patterns, about migration and this is done not with the sole purpose of offering information to the hunters (as someone tried to imply once), but because they are aware that a poor management could very well lead to the disappeareance of the whales. The reasearch implies GPS tracking among other stuff.

      That part with not killing the young unfortunately doesn’t work. Pilot whales are depending on each other in pods and if they spare the females or the calves, they condemn them to a sure death afterwards. Plus, the pregnant females can not be told apart from the others, for example. This is something that got the Faroese harshly judged by the some, because it is hard to understand and ofte emotions overpower the rationality.

  93. Endy Iruka says:

    Hara ….. you are a great faroese whaler defender ! I wonder why you do not eat meat pilot whale, as well as participate in the pilot whale slaughter 😛

    • Hara says:

      For a very simply reason: I don’t like it.

      And I do wonder why you don’t participate in the slaughter of the … whatever animal you eat.

      Pleased?

    • Bon says:

      This was a very polite question, I wonder why such a defensive response was needed?

      I wondered also, why one would be such a big advocate for the yearly slaughter who does not participate in the eating or the hunt of the pilot Whales.

      Just for the record I am Vegan, so my slaughter and hunt comes for my organic Garden I grow in my back yard.

      I have read you article as well as the comments and replies, I find it odd for you to be so defensive when you really have no interest in the hunt nor it the meat at all.

      Therefore I can only conclude, you’re lying, I do think you participate in the hunt, but I don’t think you eat the meat as I believe you are aware of the toxic mercury levels the meat carries. There is no other explanation for you to be so greatly passionate in defending this Hunt if you were not a hunter yourself.

      So I then, have to ask why you would lye and hide that you don’t participate? Could it be?
      You know its wrong yourself, and you are trying to justify it by using your townies as their Advocate?

      • Hara says:

        I participate in the hunt … 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆

        News for you Bon / Bonnie / Katie /Bonita / Betty / Murry, whatever other nicknames you keep on inventing, the IP address will always give you out, so stop haressing me with your silly comments. This is the last time when I allow your comments. I am not interested in any discussion with you, it is an utter waste of time. Run along!

  94. Diana says:

    Wow, so they are not killing a species of dolphins, they’re killing a type of whale! Oh, ok, thank you. That makes it SO much more ok. Seriously?!
    I come from a country where there used to be this stupid custom of slaughtering pigs sometime near Christmas (beginning of winter actually) for the same purpose of preparing meat for the winter for those living in remote areas mostly (like high hills or mountain tops). But for several years now this slaughter was banned. Why? Because it has been scientifically proven that the neurotransmitters secreted by scared animals act as toxins, therefore eating their meat will result in absorbing all those toxins in your bloodstream and having to clear them via your own liver and kidneys just like you would clear food poisoning. So now, those that insist on preparing food out of their own pig (instead of buying it) have to call a veterinary to put the animal to sleep before dissecting it, instead of violently stabbing it (like it is done to those whales).
    You claim that it is not a festival, and yet you say the meat is given to onlookers as well,just for being there. That means they are making a spectacle out of it. Not making a spectacle would imply killing the animals on or near fishing boats, bringing the meat already sliced and sharing it as such. Not bathing the shore in blood in front of everyone there. As a psychiatrist I assure you it is NOT normal for children to witness such behaviour and customs. Such subliminal images ARE the triggers boiling up to psychopathic personality disorders such as Breivic (I’m sure you heard of his doings just across the sea, right?)

    • Hara says:

      Wow, mai incetisor don’soara cu ratoitul!

      Zici ca nu mai omoara nimeni porcu’ in Romania? Serioooooooos? Ai fost tu in fiecare localitate din tara si ai constatat personal ca se respecta chestia cu asomarea si ca toata lumea cheama veterinarul? Si zici ca se intampla numai in zone izolate la munte sau la deal??? Mai, s-or fi mutat Ploiestiul si Plopeniul la munte (zone extrem de izolate) si eu nu am aflat inca. Daca nu as avea prieteni acasa care stau la casa cu curte si care asta fac de Craciun poate ca te-as fi crezut, dar … nu ai nimerit-o.

      Nu numai, dar am fost cu tata in abatoare si inainte de 89 si dupa, pentru ca intamplarea face ca repara si masini pentru zootehnie (printre altele). Nu imi vinde mie castraveti despre cat de roz e modul in care trateaza romanul animalele, ca esti cam departe de adevar. Iti garantez ca te-ai soca total daca ai vedea cum se omoara o vaca, nu mai vorbesc de conditiile in care sunt tinute animalele. Si nu numai acasa, dar chiar si in Danemarca care se faleste cu fermele de animale.

      Ma distrezi si cu aprecierile psihiatrice. Ai o diploma in domeniul asta, zici tu?! Lasa-ma sa ghicesc… Nascuta si crescuta in Bucuresti, asa-i? Nu cred ca ai mai mult de 25, poate 26 de ani, asa ca prea multa experienta in domeniu nu cred ca ai, nici nu cred ca ai lucrat sau lucrezi ca psihiatru. Animalele vazute probabil din masina, in drum catre munte? Draga mea, eu am avut sansa unei case la tara unde ai mei bunici, respectiv nasa mea, cresteau animale in curte, de la gaini la iepuri la oi si porci. Animale la taierea carora a trebuit sa asist si sa ajut (pe langa hranit, curatat curtea samd), se numea pe vremea aceea “a pune mancare in farfurie”. Nu cred ca am ajuns vreo psihopata a la Breivik (ma faci sa cred ca esti fana Paul Watson, numai ala vine cu porcarii din astea), dar iti multumesc pentru evaluare. Eu zic ca sunt un om foarte normal, care iubeste animalele, chiar am o catelusa salvata de pe strada din Romania (si pe care a fost o intreaga aventura sa il o aducem aici) si ne gandim serios sa luam un al doilea. Printre altele.

      Problema e ca nu ai habar despre oamenii astia nici cat negrul sub unghie si ii judeci prin prisma unor teorii nejustificate si a unor prejudecati induse de media. Nu stii cum sunt copiii, iar despre adulti ai o imagine incredibil de deformata. Dupa tine asta e o tara locuita de psihopati a la Breivik. Dupa mine e o tara cu oameni calmi, extrem de molcomi, saritori si foarte calzi. O tara in care in 25 de ani s-au intamplat TREI crime, iar treaba politiei se rezuma de obicei la fugaritul adolescentilor pe scutere fara numere sau casca sau adunatul betivilor de pe strada. As vrea sa aud chestia asta despre Romania. As vrea sa pot sa imi las usa la apartament deschisa noaptea fara sa imi fie teama ca intra unul peste mine si dupa ce ma violeaza, imi goleste tot apartamentul si ma mai si omoara.

      Nu prea ai habar despre cum si ce se intampla. Pentru ca la fel ca si ceilalti, nu te informezi, ci judeci doar pe baza unor poze si probabil a filmelor propagandistice a la Sea Sheperd. In primul si primul rand nimeni nu “injughie” animalele. Exista o lance speciala care folosita cum trebuie omoara animalul aproape pe loc. Instrumentele au fost proiectate in colaborare cu un medic veterinar (intamplarea face ca este cel mai bun de aici, din Feroe) care nu incearca decat sa scurteze pe cat posibil agonia animalului. Am recomandat http://www.whaling.fo pentru ca acolo se explica chestiile astea in detaliu. Inainte sa te arunci sa judeci si sa emiti pareri atat de categorice, citeste. Nu sunt minciuni sau inventii, ci fapte.

      Vorbesti de mesaje subliminale? Cum s-o fi caracterizand insa isteria asta mondiala in ceea ce priveste balenele cand sunt copii care mor de foame in Africa, copile de 9 ani folosite ca sclave sexuale in tarile musulmane, femei desfigurate cu acid in Pakistan de catre soti care au drept de viata si de moarte asupra lor si multe, multe alte probleme sociale? Nu imi trebuie o diploma in psihiatrie ca sa imi dau seama ca oamenii au niste valori morale extrem de gresite, au ajuns sa puna anumite animale mai presus de viata umana. Ne agaseaza enorm ca suntem numiti criminali, hoti si tigani de o intreaga Europa, in schimb tipam cat mai tare despre chestii fara importanta generala pentru ca avem o dorinta adanca de a ii ataca pe altii pentru linistirea constiintei din dotare si dobandirea unui oarecare sentiment de superioritate: Iotete, dom’le, ca ie unii mai rai decat noi!.

      In concluzie, as aprecia mai putina ironie gratuita si mai mult interes catre dialog. Mai ales ca pretinzi a avea un anumit nivel intelectual. Si apropo, ca fapt divers, daca ai fi citit cu atentie ce am scris, am declarat ca nu sunt de acord cu vanatoarea in sine. Dar de la a nu fi de acord la a crede orbeste inventiile de pe Internet si a incepe sa acuz in stanga si in dreapta sau la a inventa si a afirma bazaconii ca sa impresionezi prostii care te alimenteza cu donatii nesimtite, e cale lunga. Iar criticatul unei tarisoare la 4000km despre care nu stii NIMIC, nu este cu nimic mai nobil si mai inteligent, mai ales in cazul cuiva care provine dintr-o tara ce nu exceleaza cu nimic cand vine vorba despre grija pentru animale.

      O seara buna!

    • Benedicte says:

      Oh dear, posing as a psychiatrist isn’t going to make you sound more convincing.
      Firstly, a psychiatrist doesn’t decide what is, in a world-wide perspective, normal for children to watch. But anyone could tell you that children of many societies around the world are present during hunting, fishing and slaughtering, and always have been, so in that sense, it is indeed normal. Less so in developed countries of course where many children live apart from nature.
      Secondly, you need to look up the word “subliminal”: watching whales being slaughtered is anything BUT subliminal.
      Thirdly, psychopathic behaviour is triggered, to the extent that it is not innate, by neglect and abuse from adults. It is true that children who are angry and frustrated and lack self-worth can be seen experimenting with cruelty towards animals, but watching animals being killed does not create psychopathic behaviour in an otherwise healthy child. If you want any proof, just think of the fact that the Faroese have been slaughtering whales in this way for centuries, and we don’t see an abundance of psychopathic behaviour there.
      Breivik was precisely an individual who felt neglected by his father. In the Nordic countries, his actions were unique and never seen before. And they surely had nothing to do with whale hunting.
      You may think that it makes no difference if the animals are whales or dolphins; I do not agree. The truth always matters.

      • Hara says:

        Diana finished medicine this year, she has probably an interest to become a psichiatrist, but this is far from being yet a doctor with an actual specialty. This also doesn’t make her an expert, but probably tries to pass like one for better effect.

        I tried to explain, more or less, the same in the Romanian answer, don’t know how willing she will be to listen, considering the patronizning tone of the first comment. Problem is that a lot of people come with this fabricated opinions, often taken out of context, and present them as facts. From all that I read, it seems that her opinion is rather a result of an emotional reaction than of a logical one.

        I agree entirely with you. The truth always matters. No matter how boring or uninteresting is for those who seek only the sensational.

        PS. Diana, I am just curious if you are a vegetarian, because if you’re not, than your protest reeks of hypocrisy.

  95. jo says:

    This abhorrent slaughter is no different to Taiji in Japan. If these ppl “must” eat whale meat, surely there is a stun – method prior to killing that could be used (akin to bovine and ovine slaughter). Why are these ppl so reliant on whale meat when fish are available. Why are these ppl not farming fish in sea enclosures if food is scarce. I just don’t understand how they can slaughter such a highly intelligent mammal that survives in a closely knit family/social structure….This is 2014 not 1814. Maybe these ppl should move to the mainland if life is so tough on an island. I’m sure they all have computers, phones, all the mod – cons, but cannot evolve to a higher method of food sourcing?

    • Hara says:

      Ok, first of all, in Taiji they do not kill long-finned pilot whales. And there they also capture dolphins which are sold for aqua parks and dolphinaria. Not the case in the Faroes.

      What do you actually know about Faroe Islands? Do you know, for example that the only export they have is fish, big part of it farmed salmon (which, by the way, was also attacked by people who protest against everything what is Faroese, because “let’s hate the Faroese people!” is the last fashion)? The farms have quite big problems because very often they get diseases or lice and treating that is very expensive and lowers considerably the profit, even the quantity of fish sometime.

      This is not the point though. The whalemeat was part of their stapple diet for centuries and continues to be for some people. Exactly as any meat you eat is part of yours. I can also say that I don’t understand how someone can slaughter such a highly intelligent animal as the pigs are, for example. Or the cimps (which are also eaten in some parts of the world). I don’t believe in let’s not kill that animal because it is intelligent. It is either let’s not kill any animal or, if we want to eat meat, let’s accept they have to be killed in a way or another. And, by the way, stunning can’t be used on pilot whales, but they have a special tool that, used properly, kills the animal in matter of seconds.

      Here we do not speak about the level of technology in a country. Because it really sounds petty, I do not believe that either the computers or the phones decide what people eat. What you fail to understand is that this is a tiny country with very limited resources and where it is not easy to make something work properly with a market which serves only 48 000 inhabitants. There are sheeps, in quite large numbers, almost 2 per capita. They barely cover the internal consume and, more, the high number of animals actually affects the landscape in a very serious way. The soil errosion is quite accelerated and in this rithm, soon problems will start appearing.

      And by the way, that with “we are in 2014” it is a little bit tiresome. I can also find some things you Australians do and declare emphatically they aren’t “suitable” for this century.

      PS. I wrote in the begining that I don’t agree with it. Because I don’t. But I don’t agree either with the way some people believe it is “proper” to protest against.

    • Benedicte says:

      Dear Jo
      Do you realize that you are implying that if we farm animals, against their nature, then it’s OK to eat them? Are you aware of how unhealthy fish bred in farms are? By the same token, people will be against hunting, of animals that had a free and natural life, but condone the consumption of farm animals that have been abused all of their lives.
      You ask why these people don’t farm fish in enclosures. Well maybe because they respect nature in ways that the rest of the Western World can’t even begin to fathom because we are so accustomed to abusing our fan animals.
      Benedicte

  96. Tsu Neil says:

    What part of “Endangered species” needs elaboration to you my friend? And — there are other fish in the water, so don’t give that “I have nothing else to eat” BS!

    • Hara says:

      Good, if you believe it is like that, can you please provide a link where it is written they are endangered? Because, according to the IUCN database, the pilot whales are “data insufficient” and this can very well go both ways.

      Not only, but the amount og whales killed in ships collisions and as a by-catch are much, much more higher. Are you also protesting against that, my friend?

      • Federico says:

        Hara, there is really no need to elaborate further more: your article was clear enough. Those who keep trying to tease you are just too hypocrite to understand that, for example, 40 million chicken are killed every day in the USA only… and not all of those 40 million are killed in their sleep 🙂
        Plus, a fish killing another fish is not using a guillotine, in fact it’s eating it alive, in most of the cases. So please stop being so sorry for what in nature is the standard: is it dying for a cancer a better way to die?
        Please people, find a better crusade to fight, there are a lot to choose from somewhere else

      • Hi Hara, I think you really deserve an award for dealing with the bunch of intellectually challenged people who think they know everything when they actually know nothing, and conveniently disregard the various forms of animal cruelty in the factory farms and slaughter houses just as long as they get their milk, cheese, meat and chicken on the table. Even vegetarians and vegans are not excused, as many animals and insects are sacrificed in order for farmers to clear the forests to grow grains, pulses, vegetables and fruits to feed the so called animal lovers.

        • N/A says:

          I remember discussing my diverse opinions on this article last year and I can’t believe people are still going. Many of the comments I’m reading from both POV’s are immature and lack sophistication. From my perspective it’s clear that the “hunt” of pilot whales is a tradition that has been around for hundreds of years and its dear to many individuals hearts. I personally believe that due to the high Mercury levels and tools used to kill the whales that this act is cruel, how ever many can argue that slaughter houses are much worse. I think God put cows, pigs and other farm animals on our planet solely for consumption and that tradition and culture isn’t a viable excuse for the lives of the pilot whales however everyone is subject to their own opinion.

  97. Benedicte says:

    N/A, aren’t you confusing God with the meat industry? Humans have been breeding cows, pigs and other farm animals I think for about 10.000 years; we have created species that are especially fit for our purposes. So this was not God’s doing 🙂

    • N/A says:

      I’m subject to my beliefs. I don’t think God intended for people to eat Pilot whales. 🙂

      • So by your god logic, you are saying that the Inuits are cruel and inhuman just because they eat beluga whales (and seals, walruses, narwhals), and they should change their diets by rearing cows, pigs, sheeps, chicken and other farm animals, just as god intended? Pffffft……..

        • Hara says:

          Problem is that (some) people still divide animals in categories. Those which is “moral” to be eaten and those which it isn’t. Hypocritical, I know, but it seems that the new “holly cow” of the “civilised” countries sells very well.

  98. These idiotic memes seemingly have a perpetual live on Facebook. One of my FB-friends posted today a link to a bilingual text (interestingly enough: English and Romanian) about this alleged killing of Calderon dolphins…
    Since I never trust any “viral” stories I just did what I always do: search and find background stories about the topic. That’s how I arrived to this blog post, which was a delight to read.
    Not so much the reading of the comments – a living proof that many human “mammals” have been born without brain 🙂

    • Hara says:

      Ah, the Romanian translation must have been a delight! I read some, they were absolutely hillarious. Each of them added something new either to spice it up or because many do not understand properly English.

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