Denmark’s Faroe Islands Continue Dolphin Slaughter

(Warning: Graphic Images)

The Cove won a well-deserved Oscar (and several other awards) this year for uncovering the slaughter of dolphins in Japan.  While it was being made, another discovery put the Japanese people on notice: the flesh of the dolphins is toxic, highly poisonous due to mercury content from them ingesting mercury-tainted fish.  Similar levels of mercury poisoning have caused horrible birth defects in the past, right there in Japan.  The Cove demonstrates how doing the right thing by other animals on the planet is the right thing for humans as well.

Apparently that message was lost on the people of the Faroe Islands, a holding of Denmark.  Their dolphin and whale slaughter continues.  The consumption of the flesh also continues.  What will it take for an otherwise civilized Western European nation to grow up?

Slaughter.  That’s a strong word… but not strong enough.  How else could one describe these images?

This is a rite of passage?

This is a rite of passage?









And a spectator sport
And a spectator sport










This is the Calderon dolphin's repayment for trusting men and coming near them to interact with fellow sentient beings.

This is the Calderon dolphin's repayment for trusting men and coming near them to interact with fellow sentient beings.










Gaffing Hook in Pilot

The butchery is neither painless nor silent. Dolphins scream out, sounding very much like a human child, as they are sliced and hacked apart while still alive and conscious.










This is not the action of civilized men. This is barbaric and hostile violence towards a peaceful sentient, sapient, and sovereign species.










While the Faroese claim Tradition, does this LOOK like any sort of tradition? Hundreds of powerboats herding the peaceful cetaceans towards their death?









Thousands of people have signed petitions.  The government of Denmark / Faroe Islands ignores them; petitions go unheeded.  It is time that we, citizens of this planet, called upon our own governments to tell Denmark / Faroe Islands that the whales and dolphins they slaughter are not theirs to kill.  It is time that we fought back for the sake of those who cannot speak at our courts.  We must demand that our government put Denmark and the Faroe Islands on notice: We will NOT passively permit you to continue this vulgar practice!  We will place sanctions against you until it stops.  We will not buy or sell with you.  You are shunned, unwelcome, until you stop slaughtering these fellow residents of the earth.

This is our planet, the earth is our mother, and all of the creatures who share it with us are our fellows, brother and sister inhabitants.  It is not ours to do with as we please.  We’re only here borrowing it for a while.  The Calderon dolphins may very well be led to extinction by this killing, and extinct is forever.  They are just one of the species of cetaceans killed by these people.  NO intelligent creature should be treated this way.  Despite claims to the contrary, the Faroese do NOT need to do this to survive.   Please, do all you can to make it stop.

P.S. Apologies to any Danes who feel they are being unjustly singled out, but the fact remains that the Faroe Islands are a territory of Denmark.  If Denmark wants to sever all ties to that territory, we will be glad to change the title of the article.   Until then, the title remains accurate.

PPS: It has been nearly 2 years since this article was written.  We have invited the Faroese into a discussion, and they participated.  When it got circular and there was nothing more to be gained, I ended the discussion.  There have been many comments submitted EVERY DAY about these ongoing horrors.  Many of them are emotional, reactionary, and have at least some of the facts wrong.  But the facts that they’re mistaken about are not foundational; their position isn’t any less right, for example, that they thought Pilot “whales” are endangered, or if they’re called Calderon or something else.    For the past year or so, I’ve censored out many posts that called for violence to the Faroese.   I have just release them all, editing out only the most offensive of them, allowing people’s own words to “speak” for them, for better or worse.

Thanks to all of you for your passion and involvement.  Though the Faroese have turned down offers to supplement their income in lieu of continuing the Grind, it remains our most fervent hope that they will do so of their own will.

Children of the Faroe Islnds, showing no respect for the slaughtered pilot whales.

Children of the Faroe Islands, showing no respect for the slaughtered pilot whales.

Faroese Boys In Bloody Waters








Comments are now closed for this post. I’m taking the liberty of having this last word:

If the Faroe Islands are so horribly barren as you Faroese apologize/defend, that you (Faroese) cannot grow food in hothouses, cannot raise eggs, etc., and the (over)fishing that you’re already doing still cannot support your people, then it is far better to leave that place (or redouble your efforts to grow vegetables in hothouse environments) than to continue killing these sentient, sapient, sovereign beings, just to survive. It’s not 200 years ago anymore. Relocating would be easy enough to do… if it were actually a matter of survival.

There is no good excuse for this… and the powerboats that drive hundreds and thousands to their deaths are NOT part of any tradition, even if tradition were to be given some special importance. (Slavery was a tradition, too.) It is time for the Faroese to end these horrible atrocities, the deaths they bring, and the poor health and shame they heap upon themselves by refusing to do so.

Protect The Ocean

29 January, 2012

598 replies
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  1. Piotr says:

    I wish them all to die, they are not people for me. Nor the animals. They are barbaric besats!

  2. Hillary Byrne says:

    They can justify this in any way they choose. The fact is this is not happening to feed the population. Most are left on the beach to rot. The mercury levels are too high to safely eat none the less. This is murderous and shameful. I will never patron this country.

  3. EBRU KOVACS says:

    PLZ STOP KILLING INNOCENT whales and dolphins.

  4. Songul Sendur says:

    How could the leaders allow this horrible act.
    Shame on everybody.
    Shame on Denmark.

  5. Ted R. says:

    If you want the true facts of this hunting process go to “Truthorfiction.com”. Although I condem the methiod, I don’t condem the harvest of these animals,it is a valued food scource for these people, and very little goes to waste. They rely on the meat to sustain them thourgh the long winters. This hunting has been going on for centuries and it is not for a right of passage for the young men!! The Calderon dophin,better known as pilot whales, are not endanger of going extinct, (estimated over 1 million in the wild). If you are condeming Denmark, then you need to condem the rest of the world like the U.S.A, Canada, Norway, Japan.ext.
    In a ten year period(1961-1971) over 50,000 were harvisted by the U.S. & Canada off Cape Cod & Newfundland.
    I am a hunter and I rely on the animals I harvest for my meat, I eat what I harvest, but I do agree that the method these people use seems cruel, but it is thier tradition & gulture. they don’t have the luxury that we have.
    Have a nice day!

  6. John Taylor says:

    Ted R.: First off, let’s dispense of the notion that they are animals, so it’s okay to hunt them. WE are animals as well, and some of us aren’t as intelligent as some of them. Intentionally hunting and killing another sentient (self-aware) intelligent creature is just out of line. Would you think it okay if Denmark decided to go into the Amazon of S. America and start “harvesting” the indigenous tribal members? After all, they’re backwards, uneducated heathen, so it’s okay to kill them if ya want or need to eat ’em, right?

    Same thing. The people of Faroe Island are going into THEIR world, hunting them down and killing them. But to add to the betrayal, their cousins, the dolphins, have a long and documented history of saving and protecting humans, both from drowning and shark attacks.

    Once you get past the inaccurate notion that they’re dumb animals (just as we must look rather inept and clumsy when we try to swim, because we’re built for dry land,) it’s a bit easier to see this for what it really is — the intentional massacre of other sentient beings. That they look different than us doesn’t make them feel or suffer any less, nor make them mourn the slaughter of their family members right before their eyes.

    As someone else said, the meat is too full of mercury to be eaten. THis is not for food. It’s wasted. Even if they used it all, though, it would still be very wrong.

  7. Ted R. says:

    John T.
    In the first place, I never said they were Dumb animals. They are very intelligent in there own rights, and I’m not for the killing of whales nor dolphins, but who are we to judge other peoples and their culturies that is their way of life for centuries? As for the mercury, it is only suggessted that pregnant wemon not to eat it. We raise beef cows just to slaughter them for food, whats the differances? Do you eat meat? (beef,pork,chicken or fish) , If not you do it by your choose, not by some narrow minded person telling you , you can’t!

    • John Taylor says:

      Ted R., You still don’t get it. Here, let me make it a bit more personal, a bit more real for you — something you can wrap your mind around: If Japanese started killing your loved ones, would that be okay? Would it be none of anyone’s business to stop them if they said it had been their tradition for many years?

      When we kill a fish or a cow (now THERE is a dumb animal) the creature is not self-aware. It is unable to put two and two together, to recognize what is going on to its mate in front of it in the chute…. and the creature is unconscious almost instantly. (I’m NOT trying to justify the killing, just pointing out the difference.) When they kill these dolphins, it’s a FACT that they are self-aware, that they understand EXACTLY what is going on to them and to their fellows. They mourn the loss of their sibblings and aunts and uncles and children and cousins, their friends, playmates and lovers… just as we do. If it’s okay to kill a dolphin, by the very same logic you’ve just presented, it must also be okay to kill a human just because someone wants to. Or maybe it’s not such a good idea after all.

  8. Amish132 says:

    John T.

    I totally agree with you that these beautiful, innocent creature should not be killed for whatever the reason is.

    Why do the human beings always forget that – THIS PLANET IS NOT OUR, God, has given us this planet so that we can share it with those creature who could not express their feelings and emotions to others just because they can’t speak as we can. I whole heartly pray to god to stop the rude-less killing of those lovely creature and i request the peoples of Denmark that you can give a proof that you are a “men” in a better way by stop killing those creature.

    I hope that someone who is involved in this shameful act will read this, and will be ashamed if he is a human.

  9. Amish G. says:

    Are the peoples of Faroe Island soo deaf that they can’t hear the cries of those innocent dolphins?

    The images made me like crying.


  10. Ms B. says:

    re. Dolphin Slaughter
    It’s cruel and in-humane what’s going on right under our noses. The acts displayed are sadly nothing but barbaric and juvenile, misunderstood actions. The sort of thing that should be stopped during adolecence, not encouraged to step from boy to man. You want to make that step, there are plenty other ways to show you’re worth it, what kind of man you are and what you believe in. Killing… animal, human… same difference, at the end of the day, you’ve taken a life.

    I’m from Denmark/Sealand and I had no idea that this sort of thing took place in any part of my beautiful country. I’m ashamed to be danish, having seen this slaughter and seemingly indefference to animals in our local waters and lives. They have feelings just as we do. They feel pain just as we do. Dolphins in particular, have thoughts, just as we do, for heavens sake, they’re the only ‘fish’ that feel pleasure as we humans do. How dare YOU, put yourselves above any of this, with no concern for feelings, pain or life? People of Faroe! Please, stop the ruthless, pointless killing of these beautiful creatures of the sea. They’re not vermin, they’re not causing any trouble, please… STOP… THINK… Listen to mother nature and she’ll likely tell you, how you can use these amazing creatures to your own advantage. Listen to them. Listen to the sea. Learn from them. Learn from the sea.
    Grow up and grow with them! Be open to what they have to teach us, they’ve been around for many years now and they know how to keep their own safe from nature, NOT from humans! See them live! Watch them live! They’re amazing, shy yet curious, free, yet drawn to humans, despite the human need for captivating animals, intelligent yet childishly expectant.

    Have you ever had the pleasure of swimming with dolphins in their natural habitat?
    Yes… You KNOW how beautiful the experience was and what you took away with you as a memory.
    No? You’ve missed out on one of mother natures most willing teachers and I can only pity those who take part in this atrocity.

  11. rachel says:

    Hey Protect The Ocean administrators –

    is there a link to a petition or someone to whom we can send a note supporting placing a restriction on Denmark to stop this practice?

  12. Alyssa .a. says:

    The dolphins deserve to live!they area living creature like us!Dolphins are like our children.We cant kill our children!

  13. Melinda says:

    I am completely devastated by what I just saw. I will never support Denmark or any travel to their murderous country. Every single person shown in the scenes should be slaughtered as well. It is just completely in humane. To think that this is something that is culturally accepted is absurd. I don’t care who you are, THIS IS MURDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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