A Whale's Tale

May 12, 2010
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Unicorns are real. Located in the depths of the Arctic Ocean, they dwell. A myth not is the Narwhal, but a sight indeed they are. For that matter, all whales are beautiful, majestic creatures. From the unicorn’s brethren, the Narwhal, to the colossal Blue Whale, they all need to be protected. It may seem silly to think of their well being is held in the very palms of our hands, but in reality it’s a completely valid thought. Whaling, being help in captivity, and changing their environment-for the worse-all harm whales, and are all caused by us. The question is, will our Homo sapien race be able to rotate our course 180° and clean the grungy rag we have sewn into the whales’ lives?

Blubber and meat? Is that really worth eliminating precious ocean beasts from our seas? For crying out loud, some species are already on the verge of extinction, if not already on the list! We have wax to replace blubber, of course domestic meat for theirs…all these substitutions available, yet the fishing for these mammals continues as if they’re pan fish! According to WSPA, World Society for the Protection of Animals, some of the meat is just thrown away-wasted. Japan Fisheries Agency spokesperson, Hideki Moronuki, stated in defense that, “Whales are just as important, and no more special, than any other fish.” Now if that corrupted man is not off his rocker, and his quote is not outrageously rancid, our world must be off its axis!
Though, not all hope is lost. Some places are starting to repel this monstrosity. The International Whaling Commission, or IWC, is the agency that monitors commercially hunted whales. Since 1986, it has banned this act. More than seventy countries agree with the IWC, including the U.S.A. Just recently, February 15th of 2010, a middle aged, “anti-whaling” skipper stood up to Japanese whalers. A member of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Peter Bethune, was arrested for ship invasion. He elusively boarded a Japanese whaling vessel to simply draw attention and inform people of the “hunts”. Mr. Bethune’s behavior rallied up both New Zealand and Australia. The head of Sea Shepherd, Paul Watson, said that “He may be considered a criminal in Japan, but he’s a hero in Australia and New Zealand.” Who could deny that? Well the answer is, frankly, whaling countries. Unfortunately there’s always an opposition with Japan. They say whaling is traditional, and it’s necessary in order to perform scientific studies. Most people, along with myself, believe that’s just a cover up for their devious deeds. Norway, Iceland, as well as a couple additional countries have found ways to elude this law as well. Whether it be a random cause or “scientific research”-no excuse should be accepted.
Japan is famous for its “scientific research”. Those whales are examined so closely all through the slaughtering, mincing, and sealing in bags of dog food! It’s a WSPA’s calculation that Japan’s yearly whale-harvest takes 8,490 cetacean lives, consisting of six targeted species. This truly indicates that the “scientists” conduct very thorough investigations of population statuses, far too thorough. The suspicious quantity of “harpooned-to-death” whales does not fool me. Japan can’t hide forever under the lab coats of the nonexistent scientists-why bother to continue with the scam? Even captivity would be better…or would it? Either way, the “pool-prison” is also derived from scams.
Branching off from epicenter of the problems is SeaWorld! When it comes to exotic theme parks such as these, the consideration of the animals’ welfare must be present, if not more pertinent, than human pleasure. Sure whales appear to be healthy physically, but what about mentally? Studies have shown that these majestic beasts are very intellectually advanced-as much as our prehistoric ancestors. If they can feel high levels of distress and pain in response to pod members taken by whaling, how would you expect them to cope in a bathtub-like, cell room in captivity? Can you say irritation? There have been many cetacean accidents in these various “whale farms”; the most publicized cases were by killer whales.

A couple months ago, in February, a fatal accident occurred at Orlando SeaWorld. As the “Time” magazine reported, Tilikum, a large male Orca, grabbed and killed a trainer. Dawn Brancheau died from traumatic injuries and drowning. The whale was clearly in control of his actions, as trainer Jodie An Tintle said, “The whale would not let us have her.” Four years ago at the SeaWorld in San Diego another similar attack occurred. Fortunately the victim trainer turned out okay with only a broken foot.

Apparently, whales are not meant to be captivated and forced to be trained to perform circus tricks, commanded by whistles, rewarded with fish treats. Obviously, with the aggression they have shown, not only pertaining to killer whales, they do not enjoy the prisoners’ life, but were made for the ocean. It’s not fair to take their lives away for human enjoyment. The least we can do is to offer them their true home, because that itself would not make up for everything we’ve done to them.

The way we treat our Earth is equivalent to a dumpster. Whales feel the neglect just as much as every other organism on the planet. The combination of ship collisions, oil spills, over fishing, degrading habitats, and contamination-the whale’s reactions are no mystery.

In 1989 the largest oil spill in U.S. history occurred in Prince William Sound, a body of water south of Alaska. The area has still, to this day, not recovered, not to mention the two killer whale pods there. One was nearly destroyed while the other was harmed and decreased, but not as bad. Oil is not the only contaminant that hurts whales though. The common litter, “throw-out-the-car-window-into-the-ocean-trash-because-I’m-too-lazy-to-reach-a-garbage-can”, is almost just as potent. Over fishing has become a major problem too; eliminating the cetacean’s food source is a great harm to them. Imagining a starving whale is not so hard, considering their size and appetites. If fish are sparse, of course they’ll be hurting! Whales need to eat anywhere from 1000-2000 kg of food per day!
I would assume that creatures-that are almost as smart as ourselves-humans, deserve more than what we leave them with, which is teetering on the line of bare minimums. Considering their awareness of what’s going on, well it’s just like stealing away a fellow person’s home, forcing them to “circus prison”, or even murdering them!
Everyone should create his or her own opinion on this topic. For, if enough people are aggravated and take action, maybe someday this sick business will be set right. Whatever side you take…homicides or correct, make sure the reasons are sufficient. My decision is set in stone. The whales, our big half-brothers, must be freed from our unjustified punishments! So lets all join hands with Jesse from the classic movie, “Free Willy”, and fight for the whales’ jump over the wall of our discordances, and into the better, balanced seas.

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