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British whaling history - a disgrace?

(47 Posts)
papaoscar Mon 09-Jun-14 15:01:47

Tonight on BBC4 at 9pm is the first part of a history of British whaling. Of all aspects of British history, after involvement in the slave trade, I have most contempt for those who made a fortune out of the cruel and disgusting whale trade. My contempt reaches new heights when I read about the continuing present-day involvement in whaling of Japan, Norway and Iceland. So are the BBC right to bring up Britain's involvement in this vile trade? I think probably they are. Probably better to face up to the horrors of you country's past than try and ignore it. Do you agree?

durhamjen Mon 09-Jun-14 15:26:02

Just so long as Cameron does not apologise for it, papaoscar.

durhamjen Mon 09-Jun-14 15:33:35

It's hard to believe that the IWC was set up before I was born. It will be interesting to see if Hull gets a mention in the programme. There's a lot of whaling history in Hull.

Nelliemoser Mon 09-Jun-14 15:37:11

What about eating fish caught on hooks? Game birds being shot?
Why, apart form the very important conservation of species issue, do we worry particularly about whales?

We have over fished most of the seas around our coasts as it is.
I am not condoning whaling, just drawing comparisons that need to thought about by any consumers of fish.

durhamjen Mon 09-Jun-14 15:54:55

I do not understand your point, Nellie. Papaoscar was just directing us to a programme about whaling tonight. Not many people eat whale, or ever have. I cannot recall whale meat in the fish shops when I was a child in Hull.
Been vegetarian for over 35 years anyway.

papaoscar Mon 09-Jun-14 16:05:13

An interesting point, NM. Does a pilchard have less right to exist than a great whale?i really don't know. I accept that the path of history is strewn with horrors but the continuing slaughter of magnificent creatures like whales, rhinos and elephants, almost to the point of extinction, just for grubby commercial reasons I regard as a stain upon humanity. And for the Japenese to hide behind the fig-leaf of whale research is disgraceful.

papaoscar Mon 09-Jun-14 16:06:09

Sorry, I meant DJ not NM.

papaoscar Mon 09-Jun-14 16:08:03

What am I talking about? I meant NM after all!

durhamjen Mon 09-Jun-14 16:09:32

Make your mind up!

papaoscar Mon 09-Jun-14 16:23:54

Yes, Ma'am!

Tegan Mon 09-Jun-14 16:23:54

I feel that I should watch the programme but I'm not sure if I have the stomach for it. But then our knowledge of whales was so different to what it is now [and a quite recent knowledge at that]. Also whales do kill other whales, and not just for food; sometimes it's just for sport. I think I shall watch it because I need to know so I can make a judgement. But I'm not looking forward to seeing it. My son has just come back from seeing whales in Iceland; again something that is probably not in the best interest of the whales.

Tegan Mon 09-Jun-14 16:44:03

We can swap notes [and console each other at the same time; especially as I'm still upset about the elephant programme last night sad].

Nelliemoser Mon 09-Jun-14 16:57:33

Durhamjen Whether we now eat whales or not, is beside the point.
I am also a veggie.

It was the concept in the OP of "contempt for..this vile trade" I was commenting on.

My point is that we, as in Britain, used to use, "or exploit" whales and we now use, "or exploit" fish for food. Are the processes involved really so very different?

I do not see how one can argue that the way we utilised Whale products in the past was any less morally reprehensible then, than how we use fish is now.
Is any one species more worthy of preservation than any other?

We did make a lot of good use of Whale products, oil in particular before we discovered other sources.

The big problems have been the greed with which the world used these resources. Depletion of fish stocks etc.

Aka Mon 09-Jun-14 17:19:32

The difference being that whales are intelligent mammals who live in strong social groups and nurture their young. They cannot be compared to fish are at the bottom of the vertebrate group.

Aka Mon 09-Jun-14 17:20:03

'who are'

rockgran Mon 09-Jun-14 18:40:47

It is a part of our history whether we like it or not. I don't think we should airbrush it away. I hope the programme shows how grim it was for the whales and the men then maybe something will be learned. Perhaps the modern countries still involved will be a bit shamed by it.

papaoscar Mon 09-Jun-14 19:12:36

Contempt for this vile trade...I can accept past doings as those doing it knew no better....but today, no! There is no justification for it. The morality of one species killing another for whatever reason I will have to consult a wise man, woman or sardine about. Does anybody know one?

durhamjen Mon 09-Jun-14 21:08:45

If you continue your thinking, Aka, humans are at the top of the food chain, and supposedly more intelligent than whales. Therefore we should not be killing them as we have a choice; we can use our moral way of thinking.
That's what I thought papaoscar was getting at, rockgran. We can be ashamed of whale hunting just as we can be ashamed of our past in the slave trade. I still do not want Cameron to apologise for it.

rockgran Mon 09-Jun-14 22:20:15

Agreed, durhamen.

rockgran Mon 09-Jun-14 22:21:28

sorry, that was "durhamjen" (spell checker doesn't like usernames!)

durhamjen Mon 09-Jun-14 22:39:35

I watched it, and most of the time I was just thinking, "Why?"
I was also hoping that Nicolson would not fall overboard as his coat was the same colour as the sea and they would never find him.

Aka Mon 09-Jun-14 23:07:35

Illogical thinking Jen you've completely missed the point.

Aka Mon 09-Jun-14 23:10:18

I never mentioned food chains, so no idea what you're on about. But then that's nothing new wink

Aka Mon 09-Jun-14 23:10:50

And don't try to continue my thinking ... You're not up to it!

Aka Mon 09-Jun-14 23:11:24

Though I agree it's a vile trade.