Tradition is no Excuse for Cruel, Harmful Behavior like the Faeroe Islander Dolphin Slaughter

All in the name of tradition!
My thanks to Valerie Tarico for this, albeit disturbing, post. Our first instinct may be to look away from this shocking image, but we should ask ourselves just how much humankind can get away with in the name of tradition.


It’s time to stop excusing cruel, unjust or destructive practices simply because they are traditional.

This week, people from the Faeroe Islands, an autonomous territory within Denmark, hunted down a pod of 1428 white-sided dolphins, highly intelligent social animals. The dolphins were harried for hours by humans on speed boats and jet skis and forced into a shallow bay. Then while each animal lay writhing and listening to cries of distress from familiar members of their pod, the islanders stabbed and sliced them to death with a knife or another sharp implement.

Some island residents and other Danish citizens have condemned the slaughter. One filmed parts of it, or the world would never have seen the chasing and killing in process or the bodies laid out on the beach. But participants and government spokespeople—while acknowledging that the huge number of…

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  1. “In the name of tradition” is no excuse for cruel behavior toward intelligent beings. We Americans have done many things “in the name of tradition” or “in the name of religion” that is morally wrong, such as slavery, the incarceration of Japanese Americans, what we Americans did to the Native Americans, and what we are still doing to gay Americans, or not allowing them to do. Once we realize our behavior is wrong, we should stop doing it. I think they should stop this round up/slaughter. Thanks for the thoughtful post, Lesley!

    Liked by 1 person

    • And the u.k. is guilty of all those things too, Sabishi, what with the conquests of our historic British Empire and the unspeakable cruelty towards the people of Ireland . . . and lots, lots more.
      It hurts me so much to look on those images and see the terrible things people are still doing, but I need to stop looking away because all victims (human and non-human) need our voices.
      Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

    • It really is awful to see these terrible images, Ashley. I don’t know how human beings can take part in such cruelty. It’s so sad. I apologise for confronting my readers with such a horrendous photograph . . . it just made me feel so angry.

      Liked by 1 person

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