Faroe Islands, Denmark, the slaughter of pilot whales

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Denmark’s shame


When the dolphin whales get close to Denmark’s Faroe Islands it is a day of celebration. Schools close and the children come to the beach with their parents. The people dress in traditional costume, and are eager to receive the cetaceans.

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The dolphin whales arrive in groups, there are many females with their young. They are sociable animals, they are curious and they are not afraid of humans. It’s the great autumn festival for the islanders. The motor boats urge the whales into the bay which is not deep.

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Then they come close up with 2 kilo harpoons that are used many times on the flesh of the animal until it is immobilised. The Faroe Island executioners can then pull out the blades and cut up live fat and flesh to get through the spinal chord. The young Danes applaud while the whales cry out. Didn’t you know? Whales cry out like humans when they are being butchered. The water takes on a beautiful colour of red blood. 2,000 whales are dragged onto the shore by the courageous inhabitants of the Faroe Islands so that they can be left to agonise. Most of them rot and are thrown back into the sea.

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The dolphin whale is a protected species and the number still in existence is not known.
I invite the readers of the blog not to take a holiday in the Faroe Islands, nor to buy Danish products as long as this ignoble massacre continues.
Send an email to the Queen of Denmark to ask her to intervene and promote this initiative on your own blogs.

Spread the word
Stop the whales massacre!


Posted by Beppe Grillo at 12:03 PM in | Comments (20)
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Comments

Guess its about time someone points out all the lies in this article:

#1
"When the dolphin whales get close to Denmark’s Faroe Islands it is a day of celebration"

Not actually. You know... the pilot whales are always close to the Faroe Islands, but on some rare occasion they get too close for their own good and get killed.

#2
"Schools close"

Nope.

#3
"The people dress in traditional costume"

Have you ever seen the traditional costume of the faroese? Guess not. Here is a picture for you: http://www.gallup.fo/img/28juli04_6159.jpg
It makes a lousy costume for hunting...

#4
"The dolphin whales"

Thats a poor way of saying 'pilot whales' so I'll put it down as a lie.

#5
"It’s the great autumn festival for the islanders."

No. There isn't any great autumn festival in the Faroes. There is a big national holiday - Ólavssøka - on July 28. Since pilot whales mainly come close to the islands during july/august someone may have got the false interpretation, that Ólavssøka is commemorated because of the whales, but thats just stupid, because the festival is there because a Norse King died on that very day in 1035. There simply isn't any great festival in conjunction with the whale hunt.

#6
"into the bay which is not deep"

Guess that depends on your location in the bay. To be able to conduct a whale hunt, you need a bay with a sloping sand bank. Where the actual kill takes place the waters are of course not deep, but further out the water is much deeper. Its the Atlantic Ocean ffs!

#7
"Then they come close up with 2 kilo harpoons that are used many times on the flesh of the animal until it is immobilised"

Thats a blatant lie. The use of harpoons was outlawed in 1985 and there is a hefty penalty for using harpoons. Only in special circumstances are the allowed, but to get that point across is clearly not the intent of the author of this piece of crap.

Posted by: Eivind Simonsen | January 15, 2009 10:36 PM


Guess its about time someone points out all the lies in this article:

#1
"When the dolphin whales get close to Denmark’s Faroe Islands it is a day of celebration"

Not actually. You know... the pilot whales are always close to the Faroe Islands, but on some rare occasion they get too close for their own good and get killed.

#2
"Schools close"

Nope.

#3
"The people dress in traditional costume"

Have you ever seen the traditional costume of the faroese? Guess not. Here is a picture for you: http://www.gallup.fo/img/28juli04_6159.jpg
It makes a lousy costume for hunting...

#4
"The dolphin whales"

Thats a poor way of saying 'pilot whales' so I'll put it down as a lie.

#5
"It’s the great autumn festival for the islanders."

No. There isn't any great autumn festival in the Faroes. There is a big national holiday - Ólavssøka - on July 28. Since pilot whales mainly come close to the islands during july/august someone may have got the false interpretation, that Ólavssøka is commemorated because of the whales, but thats just stupid, because the festival is there because a Norse King died on that very day in 1035. There simply isn't any great festival in conjunction with the whale hunt.

#6
"into the bay which is not deep"

Guess that depends on your location in the bay. To be able to conduct a whale hunt, you need a bay with a sloping sand bank. Where the actual kill takes place the waters are of course not deep, but further out the water is much deeper. Its the Atlantic Ocean ffs!

#7
"Then they come close up with 2 kilo harpoons that are used many times on the flesh of the animal until it is immobilised"

Thats a blatant lie. The use of harpoons was outlawed in 1985 and there is a hefty penalty for using harpoons. Only in special circumstances are the allowed, but to get that point across is clearly not the intent of the author of this piece of crap.

#8
"The young Danes"

Dont blame the danes. Its the faroese population who are hunting whales. Not the young danes...

#9
"The young Danes applaud"

No they dont. And neither do the young faroese.

#10
"Whales cry out like humans when they are being butchered."

No the dont!

#11
"2,000 whales are dragged onto the shore"

Considering the fact, that only around 1500 whales are killed per year when there is alot of killing going on - which btw isnt every year - 2000 sounds like a slight exaggeration.

#12
"2,000 whales are dragged onto the shore ... so that they can be left to agonise"

They die within seconds.

#13
"Most of them rot and are thrown back into the sea."

Another blatant lie. Every single ounch of meat and blubber will go towards human consumption. Whale meat is seen as a luxary food so why throw it away?!?
The only thing that is thrown away is the meatless carcass of the whale, and thats only something they have started to do lately. In older times the people would also use the carcass.

#14
"The dolphin whale is a protected species"

I dont know about any 'dolphin whale' but the pilot whale - which is the subject of this piece of shit article - is not an endangered species. The IUCN Red List statement regarding pilot whales reads: "Lower Risk; conservation dependent".

#15
"and the number still in existence is not known. "

Obviously the exact number is not known, but estimates say, that there are way over 100000 individuals. The Faroe Islanders kill less than 1% of the total population of pilot whales each year.

Posted by: Eivind Simonsen | January 15, 2009 10:31 PM


I come from the Faroe Islands and I must say that many things that these informations are not guite true, and can´t be related to.

fx. I go to school here and as long as I can remember the schools have never closed because of pilotwhales killing.
It has always been tradition of ours to when pilotwhales come close to the shores some get into their boats and get the whales driven closer to the shore. But we do not put on unnessesary pain on the whales and we are carefull to not kill motherwhales. No person from the Faroe Islands would ever dream of letting any whale that he killed lie behind and rot or throw any whale back into the sea. Whalemeat is seen as luxury food inthe Faroes and we only kill to eat.
Yes the people aplaus when all is over but it is for the hard work so that they can get whalemeat and not because they see the whales suffer, whitch the wales don´t do.
At first when I and some friends of mine read this we thought that it was a joke reding it because how far it was from the truth, but obviousley it was not.

Posted by: Hervør | January 13, 2009 05:46 PM


This is gruesome and it should be ceased immediatley. I hate watching poor animals being slaughtered. Even if they say greenpeace allows it wouldn't it be a little more humaine? Really

Posted by: John applenis | December 31, 2008 10:23 AM


This is gruesome and it should be ceased immediatley. I hate watching poor animals being slaughtered. Even if they say greenpeace allows it wouldn't it be a little more humaine? Really

Posted by: John applenis | December 31, 2008 10:23 AM


This is gruesome and it should be ceased immediatley. I hate watching poor animals being slaughtered. Even if they say greenpeace allows it wouldn't it be a little more humaine? Really

Posted by: John applenis | December 31, 2008 10:23 AM


You're information is wrong.

Read what Gianni wrote earlier, he is right and I thank him for making such a great post to correct things!

Best regards
Hans Kristian
Faroe Islands!

Posted by: Hans Kristian | December 16, 2008 03:11 PM


It is about time this massacre ends.

Nobody should visit Denmark.

Of course, everybody should become vegatarian if so much suffering takes place.

Posted by: Odile Hamblett | December 13, 2008 09:17 PM


If they do it for "food not for fun," why does the audience applaude when a whale is being slaughtered in front of their very eyes? Why is it a holiday for the children in schools?

I have only heard of this now, and I swear, tonight, I will have nightmares. Humans are savages.

I'll vomit, now.

Posted by: Reg Reyes | December 12, 2008 12:27 PM


PS The address for the Office of HM The Queen of Denmark's Private Secretary is Kabinetssekretariatet@kongehuset.dk

Posted by: Melinda | December 4, 2008 05:17 AM


To those that say "it's always been done" or "we kill cattle too" I say SO WHAT??? Does a history of savagery or other killings somehow give permission for the continued pointless slaughter of these beautiful and helpless animals??? I for one will be writing to the Queen of Denmark to plead for it to be stopped.

Posted by: Melinda | December 4, 2008 05:07 AM


so how many times a year does this happen?? or is it once a year and what is it for, beacuse it said in the text that people do it to become men or is it for the meat??

Posted by: sacha alanna | December 3, 2008 07:51 PM


hi!
can anyone tell me when exaclty does this happen?

Posted by: luca desi | November 27, 2008 11:27 AM


how could we close our eyes while innocent creature is being slaughtred......there are some people in this world who would appericiate and enjoy this but kind hearted people would never ever support such mass killings on bloody shores of Faroe Islands, Denmark.

Hamid Ali

Posted by: Hamid Ali Zaidi | November 25, 2008 09:32 PM


Don´t belive this crap.. I am from the Faroe Islands, and 95% of what is written here is a rotten lie. Yes we kill some pilot whales, but they are not an indangered species, and they die within a few secunds. Even Greenpeace has excepted our hunt as susteineble and human. No meat ever goes to waste, and we do it for food not for fun..

Posted by: T_Ravnurin | November 24, 2008 10:51 PM


I appreciate and follow with interest Beppe Grillo’s blog but in this case I think this campaign is unfair and uncorrect.

First I find hypocritical to get shocked by the killings, in the nature, of the pilot whales when, our meat, like chickens and pigs, come from animals bred in conditions, which are absolutely unnatural and very distressing for the animals.
The production of meat has become similar to factory mass-production and the animal is treated like a productive object and not like a sensitive being.
Whydon’t we have a campaign about that?

The hunt of the pilot whales in the Faeroes Islands dates back at least to the Middle Ages and for the small people of the Faeroes has always been a source of staple food and of D vitamins, where the sunshine is scarce.
Moreover, like the seal for the Inuit of Greenland, every part of the animal has been used, not only the meat but also the fat and the skin.

In the Faroes Island the consumption of pilot whale’s meat represent one fourth of the total meat consumption.
We have also to take into consideration that in the arctic regions agriculture is practically inexistent and imported food is very expensive, survival has always come from the sea.

The tradition of the Grindadráp (how it is called) consist in driving a number of pilot whales in a bay – not from the open sea but from the local area – killing them rapidly with a special knife, and than the meat is shared among all the people in the community.
It has not a commercial goal and the meat of the pilot whale is not commercialized.

Understandably the photos of the red-coloured sea can be disturbing, but we should not forget that any mammal which is killed spills blood, wherever it is in a wood, in the countryside or in a modern big slaughter-house.
But of course when meat comes in clean and sterile package in the supermarket we don’t see the blood and don’t think about how it came there.

I also want point out that the Faeroes Islands, even if formally part of Denmark, have a large autonomy status and, from the 70’ies, have their own government, they are not part of the European Union and this tradition has nothing to do with Denmark, where the meat of the Pilot whale is not known.

Some critic of the Grindadráp has said that with the economical progress and the modern welfare, these hunts could be reduced, as they are not anymore completely necessary for the survival of he inhabitants.

The hunt of the pilot whales is however regulated by the local government, when the authorities find that the hunt has been sufficient to cover the needs of the inhabitants, it is simply forbidden for some time.

Moreover the government of the Faeroes in 1985 has banned the use of hunting tools like harpoons or spikes, as they are considered more cruel, causing more sufferings to the animal, as they don’t kill rapidly.

Finally I must say that this tradition is not damaging the ecosystem, opposite the intensive fishing – including whale hunting – in the open seas, practiced by much bigger countries.
Actually the pollution of the seas and its inhabitants has also poisoned the pilot whales.
Inside their body are increasingly found dangerous chemical like mercury, and it is not unlikely that soon their meat could be declared unsuitable for human consumption.

So we could turn our attention the other way, against the powerful lobbies, in stead of the 50000 inhabitants of the Faroe, which eventually, like othe minorities in the world, are the victims of the destruction of nature and the colonisation of the seas.

Further information can be found in Wikipedia : in English (Whaling in the Faroe Islands), in Italian (Grindadráp) and other languages.

The discussion is also going on (in Italian) the blog of the Danish-Italian network ‘Serate Italiane ‘ at:

http://www.serate-italiane.dk/blog.php?view=one&post_id=276&lingua=it

cordially
gianni – Copenhagen. Denmark


Posted by: gianni del buon | November 20, 2008 10:48 PM


I am not aware that there is such gruesome tradition being practiced today. I am disappointed that we show such inhumane acts of violence against these beloved creatures. We have to protect lives no matter what species it would be. The manner this was executed is inexcusable. This is already an abuse of what humans can do to our animals. I know we are on top of the food chain but I don't see the purpose here. This has to be stopped at all means. This is no longer appropriate.

Posted by: tony santos | November 20, 2008 04:21 PM


This is terrible; so sad to see these animals become the victims of 'culture'.

Posted by: Christina Elisabeth | November 20, 2008 09:29 AM


Hi Alex Carroccio,
I am a Danish citizen and can tell you that this slaughter is indeed taking place in the the Danish Commonwealth, even though the Faroe Islands does have home rule and separate legislation. I certainly support sending protest messages to the queen.

By the way mario, The danes aren't that "civile" anymore, they have two times over elected one of the most racist and xenophobic governments in Europe.

Posted by: N Williams | November 19, 2008 10:03 PM


This is in Norway not in Denmark!!!!
You are pointing at the wrong people!!!

Posted by: Alex Carroccio | November 19, 2008 02:49 PM


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