Whales are sensitive, social animals with highly developed nervous systems. They have a profound capacity to suffer distress, terror and pain.
Each year, the Faroese kill over 1500 pilot whales. The scenes of medieval cruelty are too shocking to be shown here.
Whole families of whales - including pregnant mothers, lactating females, youngsters and foetuses - are butchered by the islanders. The whales die slow deaths, screaming in agony. Their killers are often drunk.
Islanders in motorboats first drive the whales into a bay. The chase may be lengthy. The exhausted, terrified and confused whales are eventually driven into the shallows. Here the bloodbath begins. The islanders repeatedly hammer 2.2 kg metal gaffs into the living flesh of each whale until the hooks hold. A 15 cm knife is then used to slash through the blubber and flesh to the spinal column. Next the main blood vessels are severed. The blood-stained bay is soon filled with horribly mutilated and dying whales.
The Faroese celebrate the butchery of their victims in an carnival atmosphere of entertainment. Indoctinated from an early age, children are often given a day off school to watch the fun. They run down to the bay and clamber over the carcasses of slaughtered whales.
Is the suffering inflicted by Faroese whaling ethically justified? Or is whale-killing an atrocity that has no place in any civilised society?
Animal Rights FAQ