Oil is the fuel that makes the world turn, powering nearly everything in history from candles and lamps, to modern day vehicles and factories. Before the human race discovered its location in the ground during the mid-to-late 19th century, it was first harvested from whales. Prior to the eruption of the whaling industry during the 17th century, “Marine biologists estimate that there were as many as 4.5 million of the largest whales, plus millions more of the smaller whales, which includes their close relatives, the dolphins and porpoises” (Murphy 10). By the early 20th century, researchers expect that humans were killing over fifty-thousand whales a year, this staggering number brought many species near extinction (Home). Accurate estimates
The act of hunting whales has been around since the beginning of human history. However, overexploitation throughout the last centuries has severely depleted these species. Yet still, thousands of whales are killed each year for profit. Mankind’s avaricious nature for more money has driven these creatures to their demise. Despite that, an increasing number of people worldwide are against commercial whaling.
This quote shows the dangers of whaling because it is common for men to be injured at sea. Whales are enormous creatures whos instinct is to fight for their lives if they are in danger, leading them to cause destruction on ships and kill the men who hunt them. Once the whale is dead, the task of bringing the whale towards the ship is even harder. The crew works six hour shifts until the body is processed, taking days to finish depending on weather or size of whale. “Trying out a whale could take as long as three days.
A killer whale named Tilikum was placed in Sealand and he was expected to perform tricks that he had never done, and if he performed them incorrectly all of the whales were withheld food. “This annoyed the others, so they would rake him with their teeth, causing him to bleed” (Lewis). In the wild, when a dominant orca begins showing aggression the other orca has thousands of miles to swim away and flee the scene. However, these animals are in pools where they do not have that option. Living in these tanks are essentially giving killer whales the image of being monsters.
Whales are able to slow their breathing and heart rate, so many that appear dead are still conscious and feel immense pain. Eventually the whales die of suffocation. Dr Lillie a ship 's physician on a whale expedition in 1946 said, “The gunners themselves admit that if whales could scream, the industry would stop, for nobody would be able to stand it.” This statement clearly tells us that this act against whales is so cruel, if they had a voice people would not be able to handle the things being said. For it would be to honest people would think they were lying.
Killer whales were initially captured in the 1960s, when a female orca was captured and put into a tank. Two days into the female orca's stay she repeatedly bashed her head against her tank wall and perished the following day. Unfortunately, people did not heed or take any precautions from this traumatic incident and since then killer whales all over the world have been captured for entertainment purposes and have been stored in facilities such as SeaWorld. From these types of facilities incidents continue to happen such as killer whales killing their trainers, killing themselves, dying due to medical conditions, and more. Continuous accidents such as these have caused suspicion among the public of whether killer whales live healthy and prosperous lives in captivity and brings up the concern of ethicality.
Most importantly, think about the harmless whales. So, stand up and fight to put an end to
Hunting in the 1900s by people hungry for whale oil drove the species toward extinction. More than 360,000 whale were killed during this period. In 1966 Blue Whales became protected with the International Whaling Commission, still their recovery has been minor. Nevertheless, Humpback Whales have not been effected to this extent. The Humpback Whale population has recovered since its stint on the endangered species list in the 1970s.
They also used baleen whales to make tennis racquets and corsets! Today, modern technology has replaced the need for whale products, so there is no need to kill whales for their oil” (Campaign Whale, n.d.). I don’t believe that the whaling ban constitutes a violation of these nations’ sovereignty. If other countries who used to be whalers can join with the rest of the world to ban whaling, why couldn’t Norway and Japan? This will be an opportunity for them to adapt or focus on other resources within their country to fill the void created by the whaling ban.
To illustrate, Dawn Brancheau was a trainer at SeaWorld and on February 24, 2010 she was dragged down into the water and mauled by Tilikum, a 12,000 pound killer whale who had a history of being aggressive (Cowperthwaite) . Tilikum was captured just at 2 years old. Many killer whales in the wild are not aggressive or hyperactive, so while being in captivity Tilikum adopted these traits thus causing the death of Dawn and many others. Similarly, throughout the years there have been numerous accounts of killer whale trainers being injured or killed (Halverstadt). The killer whales in captivity are very hostile, when the trainers get in the water it's a perfect opportunity for the whales to grab them and drag them down.
Director, writer, and producer, Gabriella Cowperthwaite, in her documentary, Blackfish, describes the shameless hunting and treatment of killer whales. Cowperthwaite’s purpose is to persuade us into opening our eyes to the reality of what we are doing to killer whales by confining them in captivity. She invents an emotionally wrenching tone in order to transmit to the adult viewers that living in captivity may not be acceptable life for the whales. The film effectively showed that the whales should not be kept in captivity by giving the audience examples of their signs of aggression and displays of emotion. Cowperthwaite begins her documentary by showing how killer whales can become barbaric when held captive.