Why Whaling?

Blue whale:

I am a blue whale; the largest creature that lives in this world. Human beings have said that I am a unique creature of nature. And I have entranced human beings for centuries with, both my beauty and mystery. Whale is the common name for our widely distributed and diverse groups of fully aquatic mammals. In fact, there are two types of our family in the world: one is toothed whales, who make a living by predation, just like my friends the dolphins, and the other is baleen whales, who sieve enormous amounts of plankton, which they eat through their gills as they swim. Obviously, I fall into the latter category. We like “sing” in our deep voices, which I am intoxicated with, because it is our unique way of communication. One day, human beings set foot in the ocean. We were naive enough to believe we could get along well with human beings, but that was the start of our nightmare. Almost 3,000 years ago, human beings started engaging in whaling, but they did not have the technological ability to voyage long distances, and the tools they used were too simple and crude. Hence I was glad that my siblings’ survival was not threatened. But human beings are wise creatures; they will do anything to kill us unscrupulously just for our oil and meat. I am on tenterhooks. When new advanced weapons appeared, I knew the nightmare would begin to develop further, to its climax. When the weapon pierced my siblings’ bodies, they exploded instantaneously. The blood gushed from their veins and then dyed the ocean red. They could only struggle in pain and die without a sound. How I wished that God could hear our voices crying for help; however, no reply ever came. Death came to one after another. I haven’t seen my companions in a long time, and I have to drift alone on the vast ocean, but I am afraid of meeting human beings. I know, now, it’s my turn. I hope, one day, human beings could understand the song we sing. Only in this way could we never be alone.

 

Whaler:

When the first light of dawn fell on the island, I began to make an inspection tour of the ocean. In order to look for water ripples which could ascertain whales’ whereabouts; I have to kick ip my heels in the scorching sun for hours, but sometimes I can’t see any. For me, sense of hunger is more important than whaling itself. For us, for villagers who are looking forward to our harvest, whaling is not for fun, but for survival. If our soil was rich and more fertile, the tradition of whaling might no longer exist. However, we live on a relatively deserted island. It is quite dry. and there is nothing on the shoreline. In this case, the ocean has to take on the responsibility of providing precious resources for our living. So, it is reasonable for us to go out to the ocean and capture whales if we don’t have meat on land. I know, for many people, whaling is cruel. According to news reports, you know that the trade in whale products has been accepted by plenty of countries, such as Japan, Norway, and Iceland. They kill a great many of whales each year for money. But I am not the same. I just want to survive rather than make a profit. The number of whales captured is never more than the quantity we needed. God willing, we usually capture about ten to twenty whales in each season of the year. And it is not easy to subdue the whales, so  we need superb professional skills, which only can be obtained by years of practice. Sometimes, when the weapon pierces into the whales’ bodies, they explode instantaneously. The blood gushes from their veins and then dyes the ocean red. But sometimes, for some whales, surrender is unacceptable, even though they know it will be a fight to the death. They help their companions escape and then attack us on all sides. And we will make concerted effort to subdue them. Finally, they can only struggling in pain and die without making a sound. The next day, we will begin cut the meat up and store their oil, which we are reliant on for lighting. Boys always examine the decapitated head of a harvested whale and dream of becoming a hero. Although we are prepared, we still realize that we cannot control everything while whaling, especially the threat of death. Because I will never forget that the survival instinct of whales is as strong as ours. We are only trying to do our jobs. So are they.

Antonia 胡静 140110309