The prosperity of the early American colonies and its Industrial Revolution was no doubt fueled by incredible massacres of whales: I million sperm whales, 384,000 blues, 275,000 humpbacks, 92,000 bowheads and 10,000 North Atlantic Right Whales. This does not include Japanese whaling.
The above numbers of remaining whales are staggering when one considers what is now left in our oceans today: 500-1,000 North Atlantic Right Whales, 8,000 Bowhead, 12,000 Blue Whales, 10,000 humpbacks and 200,000 sperm whales. When one considers the quantities of whales prior to 1900, one can actually see why ALL whales are endangered.
During that time, whales were hunted for their oil, wax and baleen. However, with the discovery of petroleum, whale hunting is no longer advancing at a rapid pace. That may seem favorable; not when one compares the populations of whales before the 1900’s.
The point is that America has grown out of the need to hunt whales as it has developed technology to replace whale oil, wax and baleen. Terra farming, livestock and fowl harvesting replaced the need for whale meat. Creatures that can be grown and farmed.
And yet all this time, other countries have developed far beyond the need to kill whales. Also enter the research scientist who now has discovered many similarities of whales to man except one: man’s insanity to take the life of his own kind.
We now know that whales are mammals. They think, train and socialize. In the last fifty years we have only touched the hidden knowledge of these creatures and only begun to pick apart their songs.
The only thing that really bars us from understanding whales is direct communication. And yet with further research scientists continue to uncover an intelligence that in many ways surpasses our own. Yes, man has risen above the sea and land, using his mind to create machines that travel to distant planets. Whales, however, navigate the globe only with their minds. For us to navigate a dark room we have had to invent tools, when a whale does it naturally. So who is more intelligent in that respect?
And yet, with all this technology, why do we still hunt these benevolent creatures? Is it only because whales are easy prey?
I would love your comments on this.