Photo: Bay Turned Red During Dolphin Slaughter

Caitlin Rose made some great comments on my post about the dolphin slaughter in the Faroe Islands. She brought up several excellent points, the first being that the Faroese Islanders said: "… most people in the modern world have become so far removed from the harsh realities of animal food production that they have formulated unrealistic notions of how food actually gets to their tables.”

They are essentially saying, “hey, what we are doing to these dolphins is no different than what you are doing in your slaughterhouses, we kill the dolphins in public and are thus subject to international scrutiny, and you kill the cows away from public view, and have created in the minds of consumers some fantasy about what meat really is.” How true is that? Who can argue with it? In the movie Food, Inc. the filmmaker showed how the marketers of meat label their products (dead bodies) with pictures of smiling happy cows or pigs, eating grass, under the sun. Whereas the reality is that most farm animals are raised in hellishly unnatural conditions on factory farms, are cruelly mistreated, and then brutally slaughtered, hacked into pieces with chainsaws, body parts put through huge grinders and turned into hamburger, etc. etc. (you get the picture - I can save the gory details for future blogs).

If the slaughterhouses had glass walls, allowing what goes on there to be easily seen, and thus people saw how horribly the animals suffer before and during slaughter, how bloody and degrading it is, many of us would likely give up meat-eating. However, the fact is, most people just don’t want to know what is going on at the slaughterhouses, they don’t want to think about it, they are hardened to it, and see it as the natural order of things that people eat cows. In the Faroe Islands they see it as the natural order of things that dolphins get slaughtered and eaten.

Another related point Caitlin made is that conservation organizations do not consider the Islanders to have valid reasons for the continuation of the dolphin slaughter. The conservationists argue that modern day Faroe Islanders have ample food and do not require whale meat to survive as they did in earlier centuries. So what the conservationists are saying is, “hey, you Faroe Islanders, you don’t need to eat dolphins, you can eat cows and pigs instead.” Many of the people protesting and complaining about the slaughter of the dolphins are likely munching on a Big Mac while they are signing online petitions to stop the dolphin slaughter.

Caitlin also referred to “cultural tradition”, i.e. the Faroe Islanders claim that killing the dolphins is a cultural tradition. So the question is, because something is a cultural tradition does that make it okay to do? If not, why not? This is a big issue, all over the world, including Hawaii, people argue that if it is a cultural tradition to kill animals then it is ok, in fact it is to be honored, respected, and encouraged. The Faroe Islanders claim it is a cultural tradition to kill dolphins, the Spanish consider it a cultural tradition to slaughter bulls in bull fights, and most Americans consider it a cultural tradition to eat cows. So it becomes an argument of whose cultural traditions or view of the world is the right one; why is one view better than another.

What are the answers? Do animals exist merely to be eaten by humans, is that why they are here? Is there an absolute truth, is animal killing always “wrong”, and who defines what “wrong” is anyway. Is truth relative, i.e., what is true for me may not be true for you? Is truth just a matter of opinion?

So, gosh, all kinds of issues have been raised here.... thanks a lot Caitlin!

So, enough of the deep philosophy already; it is really very simple, you don’t need to eat animals to live. There are ample grains and fruits and vegetables to support everyone and provide a balanced diet. In fact, if everyone adopted a plant based diet there would be no food shortage, people would be healthier, and the environment would be better off (the single most important thing an individual can do in their daily life to reduce global warming is to be vegetarian).

And, it is a fact, animal slaughter causes pain and suffering to other living beings, i.e. to the cows and dolphins, and all the other creatures that are produced and slaughtered for food; and we don’t need to cause that suffering, there is no excuse for it.

So, in short, killing animals causes unnecessary pain and suffering to other living beings; I don’t need to eat animals or dolphins to live; I am healthier if I don’t eat animals, and the environment is protected.

Therefore, the only logical conclusion is, don’t kill and eat animals (cows, dolphins, or any other type), eat a plant based diet instead.

Real simple!

Thanks for reading.

Love Life! Love animals, don’t eat them.

Mark Fergusson