Dolphin / Pilot Whale Slaughter in the Faroe Islands

In recent weeks, headlines about the slaughter of dolphins by the Japanese have surfaced again. This slaughter was made famous, or rather infamous, by the movie The Cove, which I have reviewed here. The Japanese have routinely and systematically slaughtered dolphins and whales, treating them as meat animals. In their defense, they point to the American slaughter of chickens, cattle and pigs by the millions. On the surface, this looks like a valid argument, painting us as hypocrites.

I just happen to believe that cetaceans are sentient and therefore not a subservient species to man, but an equal that we should treat as such. My standards for dolphins are different from those for cattle. I know not everyone will agree with me on that.


The picture above, however, is not from Japan, but from the Faroe Islands, a part of Denmark. And yes, the red in the water is blood from the slaughter of pilot whales by the villagers for meat and sport.

Warning – Pictures of Shocking Animal Abuse and Slaughter

This picture, with others linked to here, has been called an email hoax.

However, I have found corroboration by Hoax-Slayer, a site dedicated to debunking email hoaxes, and they have confirmed that the story is true. This has been going on for centuries and it’s part of their culture. The males do the killing, while the females look on.

The whales are herded into bays by boats and even jet skis, where they are dragged onto the beach by hooks into the blow holes. Then the men cut their spinal chords. Earth First gives much more gruesome details in this online article.

Someone from Sweden commented on this post and pointed out that the Faroe Islands were self-ruling since 1948, all laws are local under the Faroe Home Rule Act.  Denmark has sovereignty on some things regarding the Faroe Islands, but not local laws, which are made 100% by the Faroese themselves. He points out that it’s for meat, and not sport.

The Faroe Islanders kill pilot whales for meat, and ritual, as it seems to me. It’s not just the Japanese.

And where are the Faroe Islands?

Faroe Islands

11 thoughts on “Dolphin / Pilot Whale Slaughter in the Faroe Islands

  1. Magnus Petersson, Sweden

    The Faroe Islands are self-ruling since 1948, all laws are local under the Faroe Home Rule Act, you can’t really blame Denmark for all of this. They have sovreignity on some things regarding the Faroe Islands, but NOTlocal laws and local politcs, which is ruled 100% by the Faroese themselves. Under the Faroe Home Rule Act of 1948, Denmark is not allowed to interfere with this. So the only country to blame here is the Faroe Islands, if you feel like hating someone. Its for meat by the way, and not sport.

    1. It’s not about blame & hate, it’s about leverage to stop these barbaric rites.

      As far as I know the islands still belong to the kingdom of Denmark (they are indeed political independent) and the Isles get subsidies from Denmark. the European Union banned whale hunting.
      So EU member Denmark is the first and best chance to build immediate pressure.

      Cut the Faroer Islands off economically to stop this slaughter.
      And Denmark could take a key role in stopping it.

      As for the reason: It’s not for the meat.

      [Quote from ecowatch]
      In Nov. 2008, the Faroese Chief Medical Officers Pál Weihe and Høgni Debes Joensen announced that Pilot whale meat and blubber contains too much mercury, PCBs and DDT derivatives to be safe for human consumption. Dioxin has been added to the list and the latest dietary recommendation on the consumption of Pilot whale meat and blubber are:

      Adults should eat, at most, one meal of pilot whale meat and blubber per month.
      Girls and women should refrain entirely from eating blubber as long as they are still planning to have children.
      Women who are planning pregnancy within the next three months, who are pregnant or who are breastfeeding should refrain from eating whale meat. The kidneys and liver of pilot whales should not be eaten.


      It’s not about food.
      It’s about the fun of killing.

      You want to help to stop it? Start here:

      1. Anders Feder, Denmark

        You clearly have no idea what you are talking about.

        Magnus Petersson is exactly right, the Faroe Islands is a completely autonomous country, with only tenous formal ties to the Danish Realm. We, in Denmark, feel no kind of kinship with the Faroese, and they are not part of the political discourse here at all. The idea that some activists would attempt to “build pressure” against us, over something some islanders in a completely different country have done, seem so ridiculous that people here would be more likely to laugh it off, than to take notice of any “pressure” you are trying to build.

        It’s like saying that the UK is somehow responsible for all the rapes India because the British queen is head of the Commonwealth of Nations, and that by “putting pressure” on the UK, all the rapes of India will magically go away. You just can’t take it serious.

        If you were campaigning against the way we treat pigs and chicken, I would be much more concerned – but, of course, domestic animals aren’t cutesy enough for some wanna-be political activists to care about, so I don’t have to worry.

  2. M

    Oh dear, because it’s traditional! Sad that they aren’t satisfied with meat, fish, eggs, veg, dairy products etc. It looks pretty sick and even the excuse just for meat is more than a bit lame…

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