Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Killings Begin Again

Vestmanna is a 'picture postcard' Faroe Islands town on the island of Streymoy.
It is also one of 17 locations with the right conditions and therefore authorisation for beaching whales. And last week it again had blood on its hands: Faroese police authorities have confirmed the butchery of over a hundred pilot whales in the bay there.
Sea Shepherd had been roaming the Faroes for the last 2mths. Their presence played a big part in the lack of grindadráps (whale hunts) during that time. The SS ground crew with vessels Steve Irwin and Brigitte Bardot spent over 6wks patrolling the hunting bays daily and engaging with locals. Their main objective was to deflect whales from the Faroes, using sonic bouys to scare the whales away from
whale meat in Faroes dumpster
the killing areas.
However, no sooner had they departed - along with the Whale Wars camera crew, on-hand to document the atrocity - then the massacres restarted. There are rumours that the local police deliberately halted grindadráps while activists were on the islands, to prevent up-to-date photographs and footage from being sent around the world. But if they think the world is oblivious to their savagery because a camera crew is no longer around, then they simply have no idea of the strength of worldwide feeling towards their actions.
whale meat in Faroes supermarket
Many FI steadfastly maintain there is no wastage of meat, even in the face of pictures of whale meat discarded in local dumpsters! And their claims of the grinds being non-commercial, when the meat is sold openly in supermarkets and restaurants, is simply laughable!
The stubborn continuance of this outdated practice, in the face of global opinion and health risks, makes absolutely no sense.

PS: 25 Nov.2011 - another grind...


BigMac said...

You seem to be very focused on the commercial side. I wonder why you actually take interest in that aspect?

Is it just because Faroe Islands like to press this point, so you just follow troop and comfortly like to wave it in front of them, although without actually having own ideas of pro and cons regarding hunt vs. commercialism?

Or do you sincerely have an opinion on your own about a hunt that is run commercially?

1) Can you please define to me at what point you consider the commercial factor of ANY hunt is becoming a problem? (remember the question is strictly general about commercial factor vs. hunt, just so the answer is not infiltrated by subjective off-topic whaling issues)

2) For better understanding you could put thing in perspective by comparing multi-billion dollar industry wildlife hunt in New Zealand to commercial side of Faroese whaling.

2) Can you try to pinpoint exactly the severeness and scale of the cons regarding the commercial factor of Faroese whaling,? And again you are very welcome to perspectivate by scaling it in relation to commercial wildlife-hunt of New Zealand.

Writer Of The Purple Sage... said...

Dear Big Mac:
As usual, you are focusing on only one aspect of the grind, and trying to deflect it into a debate about commercial practices worldwide.
You seem to deliberately avoid the fact that the entire hunt is unneccessary, outdated, barbaric, cruel.
I have been told by several FI that...
* no whale meat is WASTED - yet photos are now circulating.
* no meat is DUMPED - we know THAT's not true.
* no meat is SOLD - there's the commercial evidence.
* each whale is killed in just 2-3 seconds - but that been proved incorrect.
* you only kill as many whales as you NEED - yet we know that's ALSO not so.
* no whale meat is IMPORTED - proof is now readily available.

If you wish to maintain a position in a debate, by all means make a stand. But it's silly to hold that position, when more and more proof emerges to make it less and less tenable.

BigMac said...

As usual you jumped out on a concrete question. I really tried to be precise and hoped you had the guts to discuss the topic you brought on yourself.

I kindly tried to take up a specific topic in an otherways many facetted subject/issue. A topic you seem hooked on.

And I specifically asked you to stay on that exact topic, since in the back of my mind I suspected you might try to escape through a loophole of some discount adjectives, when not being able to defend the position. You did just that.

How come you don´t dear to answer?

If the hunt is “unnecessary”, ”outdated”, ”barbaric”, ”cruel” or even if the meat is rolled into joints and smoked, it still has nothing to do with commercialism.

You just throw out the word “commercial” like a parrot. Like some programmed machine with no sense of itself.

To you the word is just a specific term exclusively designed to slam in the face of Faroe Islanders even though you obviously don´t know if it´s a good or bad thing.

The real shame is that you only became familiar with the term due to Faroe Islands unique unequaled practice of NON commercial , strictly community based system of sharing the catch freely between the inhabitants.

There are many very good reasons why Faroe Island decide to run the whaling NON commercial. The most obvious idea of not letting money be a part of the equation is the natural clash of interests between profit and sustainability .

Any sane person can figure out that if the sustainability was not Faroe Islanders first priority they would of course run the hunt like a business, like other countries do.

You my friend however live in New Zealand so it is understandable that you don´t dear to confront the subject of commercialism since your countrys whole economy is solid founded on the killing of animals.

Killing animals is the landmark of NZ. Killing for fun, killing for trophy’s, killing to attract tourists, killing for export- Killing in a scale not even possible to imagine for the average Faroe Islander.
Organized animal cruelty is also a national sport of NZ. Erected over the entire countryside are your cathedrals of amusement where NZ´s like decadent Romans on the arenas of Rodeo can enjoy the abuse of bulls, calf’s and horses for the share fun of it. Money involved? I think so!! Probably an industry that singlehanded generates more money than the whole national budget of FI.

Hunting hogs with dogs. Another proud tradition of New Zealand and countries alike.

If commercialism at the cost of animals lives is a problem in itself, you have it on your doorstep.

If commercialism at the cost of animals torment for fun is a problem, you have it on your doorstep.

With such a massive pile-up straight outside you can’t possibly pass the door, so I suggest you start sweeping your doorstep before any attempt of squeezing outside, not to say to travel abroad to pick up dust!

BigMac said...

A little about argumentation.

You may have noticed I try very hard to keep the argumentation separated in the various topics

I have my reasons cause I find you tend to use a technique of gliding off every time confronted with a specific answer and really don´t like to address the topics one on one.

Recent example is when you press a point about commercialization ... and I then try to address that, you typically glide off and flee in an other direction.
And next time when proceeded to a new topic and I try to refute that, you just go back and repeat the first one and do so endlessly
This way there is no meaning in debating and things just go in circles.

When the topic ex is about whether the meat is eaten or just left to rot, there is little meaning that you are given a thorough explanation, but reply over ex the health issue or give the usual insult “murder” “massacre”

Given that it is you yourself who bring on the various claims and accusations, it is deflection in it´s pure form when you refuse to hear the answer to the very same accusations, but divert into a cloud of demeaning adjectives.

If a topic can´t tolerate to stand on it´s own and does not hold water when reviewed in it´s full context, then it´s not a valid part of the argumentation anymore.

Also I´ve noticed you are not so fond of context. A massgrave of men and teenagers in former Yugoslavia and the non-edible leftovers of whalecarcasses are the same to you. You probably will claim you never said that, but nevertheless that is the picture you try to portrait by your carefully chosen analogy’s and words of demonization (massacre, massgrave, cruel, savage, barbaric )

Neither do you seem to be able to recognize that if you are to sit on a high horse judging others countries foodsuply and animal treatment, it is only fair to do so in context of your own countries foodsuply and animal treatment.

But you refuse to do that, and I know only to well why that is!

Writer Of The Purple Sage... said...

Dear Big Mac:
I've tried to balance the argument over the Faroe Islands pilot whale hunt, in terms of fairness and clarity. My post “Gotta Get It Right” [ ] did initially DEFEND those FI who (I believe in all honesty) told me there was no commercial aspect to the grind, they only took what they needed, nothing was ever sold.
It was with disappointment that in Dec.2010, I posted evidence to the contrary [ ].

On this issue of commercialism: FI no doubt feel victimized by those in the Western world who enjoy commercially-farmed meat but abhore your own whale killings. What you avoid is that cattle are carefully bred to be eaten. In NZ, our animals are well-tended, they are commercial products, and we have world-leading humane killing systems.
You still maintain the grind is non-commercial, in the face of opposing proof. It is illogical to claim the grind is non-commercial, yet SELL the meat to each other and to restaurants. When money changes hands for an item, it is a commercial transaction.
You linked to a video of rodeo bullriding. These is NOT “erected over the entire countryside…your cathedrals of amusement where NZ´s like decadent Romans on the arenas of Rodeo can enjoy the abuse of bulls, calf’s and horses for the share fun of it”…but I did enjoy your artistic prose! There ARE some rodeos (constantly monitored by RNZSPCA), mainly in the South Island: there are no animal killings within, but I do NOT support men riding wild animals for thrills either.
Yes, there're also many times when farmers and recreational hunters stalk wild boars: “pig dogs” are used to flush out a pig, and to protect the hunter too (as these boars can easily disembowel a hunter or a dog). These boars – just like deer, thar, ducks etc – are pests, so are hunted recreationally. I also do not condon unnecessary pain to any animal. Deer is also farmed commercially here.
You wrote: “Any sane person can figure out that if the sustainability was not Faroe Islanders first priority they would of course run the hunt like a business, like other countries do.” However there is also proof that MORE is being taken than is actually being EATEN. Does that indicate the grind is merely the Faroes’ “thrill kill” rodeo?

Writer Of The Purple Sage... said...

Big Mac:
In reply to your comment of Sept.17 - I think you are hoist on your own petard! You’re extolling the virtues of CONTEXT, yet you comment in my 'Happy Feet' story:
“Emotions are everything. Context is nothing. If people and media are truly saddened by the tragic loss of a penguin, there must be something to it. Never put down true feelings, even if their origin is from tabloids and are soon to be replaced by next story.
So yes it´s very cynical to reduce the life of a cute penguin to just a number, knowing that it is that exact penguin who has the sincere, profound love of world media and not the other 450,000.
Context is boring. Stories are the way to go.”
I suggest you make up your mind: do you support CONTENT or not?
You also seem to have developed emotions over a penguin, yet you happily butcher pilot whales in their hundreds! “If people are saddened by the loss of a penguin, there must be something to it” – can’t you see that the same applies to whales?
As for your reference to the slaughters in Yugoslavia, I’ll not demean myself with a response…

BigMac said...

About the penguin comment, I may have been too subtle for you to pick up my sarcasm, as I hoped you might notice it was a hint towards a similar media “hostage taking” of emotions in a Faroese matter I usually write about.. (hint, hint..)

I even put some quotationmarks by the words “true”, “genuine” to make it more obvious. Sorry for being to vague.

Indeed I do not mean context is nothing, quite the opposite. And indeed I don’t mean emotions is everything, very far from that, especially when they block the view of context which is the only meaningful way to assess the nature of a case.

The penguin hysteria is just a reminder of how these things work.

By the massive media coverage, someone might be led to think there is genuine worldwide concern and care fore this penguin “Happy feet”

I can ensure you that is NOT the case. People by no means care for penguins and this exact case actually proves the point.

If people really cared for penguins, there would be daily reports in media about the welfare of these animals, wouldn’t there!?

If the life/death of one penguin can create so much fuss, there should be an outcry when everybody knows that orcas daily tear hundreds them apart and eat them alive.

Tomorrow it is totally forgotten, which would never be the case if there was genuine concern.

Tomorrow there is a new fuzzy where superficial people with superficial emotions can nurture their understimulated need for a purpose in life. Superficial as they are, the solution must not be to complex and best served as a pre-chewed mushed package, preferably in form of a substandard TV show, which of course must not disturb the watching of Big Brother though.

As you said (here comes the context) there are 450.000 other penguins out there. Living in an extreme hostile environment where every day is a question of life and death. However this is precise the conditions intended by nature and therefore perfectly the natural order of a penguins existence. No silly TV programme or hysteric people are ever going to affect that.

The stupidifying media created “reality”, stripped of proportions and context, is the prevailing source of “enlightment” for a way to big audience to be healthy.

The effect of this unfortunate mechanism is what is experienced in Faroe Islands where an animal with puppy like characteristics is slaughtered for food consumption. The story is good,- sure context, proportions and fact are way to complex to deal with and thus discarded, - but who needs them anyway when it is just a little emotion-fix people are after… (I ask rhetorically)

But for the sake of sanity and common sense, like you I suggest people have a realityCHECK even a realityshow is more what they are after. And for the sake of reason and rationality, view the case in PERSPECTIVE and CONTEXT and save the vulgar superficial emotions for next weepy movie.

Writer Of The Purple Sage... said...

Dear Big Mac:
At least we finally agree on one point – the media frenzy over one penguin was ridiculous!

Gemma said...

Deborah Bassat has written series for about the Faroe Island Grinds you guys should check it out, interesting read.

BigMac said...

Al respect to people like Deborah Basset for not sitting on their flat ass but choose to see for themselves.

BUT first criteria to earn the respect is to come with an unbiased mind. That is the whole idea of ”gaining firsthand experience” .

But all her credit as an impartial observer is ruined completely when the article says about Deborah Basset ”She is currently serving as a crew member of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in the Faroe Islands to help expose and shut down the annual Grindadráp”

So have that in mind when you read her “neutral” _rolling eyes_ account. Deborah Basset works for the notorious Sea Shepherd which “objective “ reports on Faroese whaling equals the devil quoting the scripture.

Kirsten Massebeau said...

400 pilot whales have died for year 2011. The minute the SSCS left the killing began. So I guess both groups win in a way. The SSCS gets to say not one whale was killed while they patrolled the Faeroe Islands, and the Faeroe Islanders get to kill whales still, just not on TV. The only loser is the pilot whales.
The issue we must look at is the amount of pilot whale meat being consumed. If people are following the recommended standards, they are only eating a small portion monthly. If you look at the amount of whales killed, it is way beyond what the people should or even could eat. So the question is: where is all the meat going? Into dumpsters? It is a sad day when we as humans just kill for the pleasure of killing another sentient, self aware, highly evolved species.

Writer Of The Purple Sage... said...

Thanx for reading, Kirsten!
I've read your blog too - keep up the fight!!