I am currently on a sort of hiatus from travel here in London, as such I have a lot of time to sit with my feet up watching the telly. One of the things which has struck me from my pillowy vantage point, is the amount of advertising offering to let me help them help the world. This has made me question some of my beliefs, and reflect on some of the arguments/discussions I have had in the past.
I am not one to fold to convention, often to my detriment. I believe and embrace individual thinking, I admire those who possess it, and admonish the lack thereof in those too weak willed to think for themselves.
The advertising tells me that for a mere pittance, I can buy blankets for kids in this country, save the Pandas in that country, buy a toilet for this village, and educate a child in that village. There are so many causes in the world, how do you pick one? Why do you pick one? Why not pick them all and give everything you have to save those who cannot save themselves? The simple answer is, because we want our lives to be worthwhile, and to do that you cannot try to save everything and everyone from themselves.
One of the causes which sticks, and which I will attempt to discuss here, is saving the whales, it sticks because I have had a few discussions/arguments in the past with people who say things like “It’s terrible what the Japanese do to those poor whales”, To which I usually respond “How is that hamburger going down”.
I love whales, they are big beautiful creatures, almost mythical in their scale and scarcity, but the thing that irks me about the whale issue, is how blindly people follow it. Like I said, I love a good whale as much as the next guy, but if you’re going to spend your time and money trying to save one creature, why not save the humans? If you believe that animals are just as worthwhile to save as humans, then why is the whale so much more worth saving than say, the cow?
OK, you have made your choice, you had to choose at least one cause, and you want to save the whales, how very noble, just forget about the chickens and cows for now, forget about the pigs and lambs. You are the courageous carrier of the whale torch, you have the most sympathy for the “special” animals, the whales and pandas of the world, they are your cause. Perhaps though, you might stop and ask yourself, why is whale meat sacrosanct but other animals are fair game?
Don’t get me wrong, I hate the idea of any animal having to die for my satisfaction, but I hate the idea of not eating bacon, hamburgers and roast chicken even more. As you may have figured out I am not a vegetarian. I was a vegetarian for two years, because I did not like the idea of animals dying, but then I realized that I really like the taste of meat, and that my mini crusade was not affecting anyone but me. Now I am a carnivore of the first degree, the way nature intended it.
Why No Whale Meat?
So the question is, what makes whale meat a no go, when steak is fine? This of course does not apply to vegetarians, unless you partake in dairy products, in which case you are part of the reason calves are removed from their mothers, so no moral high ground there. I have had a multitude of conversations where to disagree with consuming the flesh of these giant mammals instantly places one in the heartless category, yet not one conversation has shown me why one is OK to eat, but another is not.
The most common excuse for rallying against whale meat for consumption, is that whales are in shorter supply than cows, to which I would argue,
“The cow doesn’t give a shit how prolific its species is, it still sucks to be eaten”.
This argument only works if cows and whales actually gave a damn how well their species was doing, and as far as I am aware, they don’t.
That you don’t actually care about the whales, but about how the loss of whales will affect your life, which is fine, as long as you stop wearing T-Shirts and using bumper stickers with smiling whale cartoons and taglines of “Whales are our friends”. Perhaps you could make up your own logo with the more honest slogan “Don’t kill whales ’cause your going to fuck up the food chain and deny me some great photo opportunities”.
The reason most people cry out to the media for saving whales, is some variation on the thought:
“They are big beautiful creatures with feelings, that are going to go extinct if we don’t help them”
Much like a cow really, except we bred the shit out of cows ’cause they taste so good. In reality, it has nothing to do with the whale itself, as I have said, the whale doesn’t care whether it goes extinct or not, it has no more or less desire than the cow to die.
Lots of animals are eventually going to become extinct, including one day probably us. 99.9% of all creatures that have ever lived have gone extinct. It is the way of the world, it is evolution at its finest. If you profess to truly care about the whales pain and death, enough to be against whaling, then you have no option but to be vegan and feel the same way about every other animal, if this is not the case, well then you are a hypocritical specie-st.
I am not one to prescribe wholesale destruction of the planet, but I do think we should question our motives when deciding which life is more precious, which animal deserves our attention and which does not. It irks me when people blubber (pun intended) over whale meat while scoffing down a dead cow. It is hypocrisy at its finest, self deluded heroism made unquestionable by bleeding hearts unable to think for themselves.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to save the whales, but if you have such a desire, perhaps you might spare a second of your time, step away from the tie dying station, and give a thought to the poor old cow moseying on up to your dinner plate. Think about why you want to save one creature but barely think twice about eating another. What does it say about a person that they would cry and demonstrate about the life of a whale, without ever truly asking themselves why they actually give a damn.
If your gonna save the whale, save the cow too, if not, stop being so goddam whiny and eat your whale burger.
If you think I am wrong, let me know, if you think I am right, definitely let me know, but if you are going to say anything, at least justify it with a sound argument.