The whaling industry is often villified just for doing what they are in business to do, afterall there just can’t be a whaling industry without whaling. I’ve got to wonder just how justified this condemnation of an entire industry is. Jonathon Delacour got me thinking about this with a recent article of his. It seems that there are two reasons that most people think that whaling is wrong, because we are about to hunt whales to extinction and whales are just too intelligent for us to be killing. However, to say that all whales are intelligent or that all whales are on the verge of extinction ignores the diversity of the group Cetacea.
I also have to question the idea of an animal being too intelligent to treat as a crop to harvest. There are a number of intelligent animals that we use as food. Right off the top of my head I think of pigs. Pigs are very intelligent yet they have been domesticated for the sole purpose of slaughtering for their meat and hides.
Don’t get me wrong, I fully agree that if any species, regardless of intelligence, that can’t stand the pressure of hunting or harvesting that species needs to be protected. However, if whaling can be done in a sustainable fashion I think we need to rethink how the whaling industry is treated.