Friday, July 1, 2011

Let the Whales Save Themselves

The mutilated and sadly deceased sperm whale which was washed ashore at Newport Beach, in Sydney recently, got me thinking about the mysterious phenomenon of whales beaching themselves. The ten metre Sperm whale at Newport needs to be moved because its rotting flesh is stinking the place out, and its blood is attracting sharks, but if it was alive when it landed, then people would have flooded the beach and worked together day and night to save it.

Scientists do not yet understand why whales beach themselves. I think their best bet is to contact Science Officer Spock, from the planet Vulcan, and ask him to communicate directly with the whales and ask them why they do it. As this is a somewhat unrealistic suggestion, we must simply accept the fact that beaching is a part of the life cycle of whales. It happens. It's a natural behaviour.

That being the case, why do we interfere? Why do we expend so much time, effort and money to move the stranded aquatic beasts back into the ocean? There must be more to it than the selfish desire to avoid putrefaction and grab a spot on the evening news.

We like whales. That's why we do it. They are the gentle giants of the seven seas. Naturally we want to save them, either from commercial hunters or self destruction, because it is inhumane to allow suffering. Even the Bible says that the righteous man is kind to his animals. Motivated by compassion, efforts to help these cuddly cetaceans are commendable.

However, there are some who take kindness to animals to extremes by placing animal welfare above human welfare. These people dispute mankind's God given dominion over the earth. They advocate vegetarianism because they say it's cruel to kill and eat animals. We should shut down entire industries and cause people to lose their jobs because cows don't die happily. Even if it is natural for whales to beach themselves, we should still try to save them.

Such people have their priorities all wrong. All the energy and passion invested in the protection of animals and other environmental causes would be much better spent on trying to eradicate human suffering and misery. Let the whales save themselves.

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