STOP ANIMAL CRUELTY Stop Animal Cruelty: An End to Murdering Whales - P2/2    
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The images in the following program are highly sensitive and may be as disturbing to viewers as they were to us. However, we have to show the truth about cruelty to animals, praying that you will help to stop it.

These are animals that have extremely large brains and extremely high levels of intelligence, and extremely high levels of social interaction amongst each other, so they’re much closer to humans than most humans would realize. Whales and dolphins – there has been lots of research done – have been shown to be very self-aware, just as humans are very self-aware, just as great apes are very self-aware.

This is Stop Animal Cruelty on Supreme Master Television, where we’ll present our second and concluding episode on the murdering of whales.

Although commercial whaling has been banned worldwide since 1986 by the International Whaling Committee, a global body that regulates whaling, three member states, Iceland, Norway, and Japan exploit loopholes in the ban and continue the bloody hunt year after year. Over the centuries the weapons used to end the lives of the gentle whales have evolved, however today’s devices are no less barbarous or savage than their predecessors.

Before they used a cold harpoon; it was shot into the whale. The whale bleeds to death and you drag them onto the boat. And then it took a very, very long time, hours for the whales to die in some cases. And then they invented this grenade harpoon where you do the same thing, but you have a grenade attached to the harpoon. And when the grenade lodges a certain way into the whale, half a meter approximately, then it explodes.

One of the main killing methods as far as deep sea whaling goes is through the use of grenade-tip harpoons, where the grenade explodes upon impact. Once the harpoon enters the body of the whale, the grenade explodes, causing internal bleeding, complete destruction of tissue, convulsions and shock.

And the theory behind this is, is so that the whale then dies from the explosion because they’re sort of shocked into that. So it’s supposed to be quick and it’s argued that it’s not painful. But I think we can quite logically assume that it’s quite painful to have a grenade exploding into you and a harpoon lodged into you, and if that pain lasts for seconds or if it lasts for minutes or even an hour, it’s still the same pain. And obviously it’s worse the longer it lasts.

But I don’t think we should try to fool ourselves, thinking that it’s not painful to have this thing shot into your body. Now 20% of the whales in Norway do live quite a long time with this exploded grenade into them before they eventually die. That’s the government’s figure. We have been trying to get recent government figures for killing times for quite some time, but they are not official.

So the last figures from the government suggested 20% of the whales actually living several minutes, and it could even be up to an hour in certain cases, but on average around five, 10 minutes with this weapon inside them. And then obviously they’re struggling, and sometimes they have to be also shot with a rifle in the head in order to be killed. So it’s not a painless procedure.

And the whole notion of shooting a moving animal in the water from a moving platform, the boat, obviously there is quite a high risk for not aiming properly and not shooting the animal in the place where they die fastest. So these are the figures we have from the government and they are bad enough.

In the Japanese case, they slaughter the whale on board the factory ship. The smaller vessels used by the Norwegian and Icelandic whalers often take the whale onto shore and conduct what's called “flensing,” literally stripping the flesh from the bones of the animal at whaling stations on shore. It's a very grisly and stomach-turning business that is difficult to watch.

When a member is killed, what is the psychological effect on the other whales in the pod?

Obviously they do have social relations with one another and they may have social relations that we do not know so much about. But we know that they travel alone or with their calf in this period where they are hunted. But then in other areas, they go together again. What we do know is that some of the hunted whales have their calves with them and if a calf is shot (and taken) from a mother or a mother is shot (and taken) from a calf, then obviously that is both a great psychological stress and also for the calf, if it loses its mother the possibilities of survival are much less.

So that we know. We don’t know in how many cases that happens because that is also included in the statistics that the (Norwegian) government does not want to give. So we don’t know if it’s a rare problem or a problem that occurs quite often. But we know that the risk is there.

Whaling destroys biodiversity and pushes marine ecosystems seriously out of balance. The present numbers of some whale species, such as the Western Pacific Grey, Bowhead, and Narwhal who each have less than 120 individuals left in the world, clearly demonstrates that whaling over the centuries has nearly driven them to extinction. In 2008, globally more than 2,400 whales were slaughtered. Michael Alvarez-Toye, spokesperson for the Canada-based Calgary Animal Rights Coalition explains the grave consequences of this loss.

Over 2,400 whales were killed, 1,300 of them through the hands of the Japanese, another 1,052 with Norway, Iceland 79. These are big numbers. Six-hundred and seventy-nine whales were killed by the Japanese in what was supposed to be a sanctuary, a protected area for these whales. That’s in the Antarctic.

What is especially unsettling is that out of these 679 whales killed, 192 of them were pregnant females which are roughly 63% of all the female whales killed. In actual fact, the number of whales killed was 679 plus 192.

What does this mean? That means that the whale hunt is taking place during a very critical period in the whale’s life. That’s the gestation period. It means that double the numbers as far as females go are being killed because for every pregnant animal killed, that’s two dead.

When you consider that whales give birth every two to three years, the impact of yearly, annually having a large number of pregnant animals slaughtered, the impact on the environment, on the ecosystem, on the whale population is, quite dire.

Because what happens of course given the slow population increase, removing certain number of females from being able to populate means that you are in fact increasing the depletion of these populations exponentially. And that is something that is really completely unacceptable.

Norway has quite a history in whaling and not a proud one because Norwegian whaling has actually been in the forefront of bringing quite a few whale species to the verge of extinction. So our history is not very proud when it comes to the effect on the ecosystem.

Worldwide there is very minimal demand for whale meat and products, yet whaling continues. For example, Norway still invests heavily in the marketing of whale meat, but according to a Norwegian fishing industry magazine the 2010 whale hunt “wound up with fewer buyers, fewer vessels and fewer distributors who are willing to invest in such a narrow sector as whale meat.” Ultimately, if we truly wish to end all cruelty to animals, including the killing of whales, there’s only one solution.

We should care about all life, all animals. And if we do some harm to them by pollution, we should also try to do good again by saving them. So that’s why we’re here. And of course being aware of our duty to other animals, other species is the main core, I think, of veganism. So it’s about caring for other beings and doing what’s best for them and for us.

It’s, of course, very important to be vegan for many reasons. For me personally, the first reason was that other beings also want to live. And I know that many people in Norway are growingly concerned about climate change and environmental harm. And that’s also a very important reason for many people to be vegetarian or vegan. I think the Norwegian government should be more aware of this. And we have been exploiting animals for many years and it hasn’t been doing us any good.

Supreme Master Ching Hai often speaks about the urgent need to understand, protect and preserve our animal co-inhabitants in order to save our planet, as in an interview published in the December 16, 2009 edition of The Irish Dog Journal.

And if we want to know what we are killing, scientists discover more every day about the intelligence and sensitivity of the animal kingdom. Whales, for example, are able to identify different fellow cetaceans’ calls through the ocean waters; similar to how we humans can identify our friend’s voice across a crowded room. Furthermore, they are very polite. They wait for their turn to speak. Believe this?

Yet these same lovely sentient beings are hunted down with explosive harpoons that cause a slow, slow, slow and tortuously painful death. I don’t know how we do this, Louise, but this is really not for our human dignity to continue. Actually, some experienced animal telepathic communicators have given us messages from the animals.

You see, the seals and the whales emanate an incredible, great power of divine love, an unconditional love that could be likened to that between a mother and her child. They anchor and distribute this wave of love across our planet. Because of humankind’s lack of love and kindness, animals like seals and whales have been born to help fill in this missing void. And it is this love that is sustaining our planet and keeping it from destruction up to now. So, we should never, ever hunt and kill these noble, gracious helpers of humankind and the planet.

May Heaven bless Greenpeace USA, NOAH, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, the Calgary Animal Rights Coalition and all the other individuals and groups who strive every day to halt the murder of whales. May we soon live in a kind, harmonious world where all our precious animal co-inhabitants are eternally embraced with love.

For more information about anti-whaling efforts, please visit the following websites:
Greenpeace USA
International Fund for Animals
NOAH - for animal rights

Thank you for your presence today on Stop Animal Cruelty. Up next on Supreme Master Television is Enlightening Entertainment, after Noteworthy News. May all of Earth’s magnificent whales live long, peaceful and happy lives.
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