The pleasures of whaling
This article is part of a Daily Caller series on the future of whaling. Click here to read “Japan’s phony, wasteful whale research must end,” by Greenpeace’s Phil Kline.
There are few activities more pleasurable than whaling. Like chess, the task of hunting giant, seafaring beasts engages all of a man’s wits. But unlike chess, whaling brings man deep into nature, far from the distractions of civilization. That combination is unique — no other sport matches it. That’s why I have never felt more alive, more human, than when I’m whaling.
It’s also an extremely charming pastime. Part of whaling’s charm lies in its romance. Sailing, of course, lends itself to romance, but the natural romance of sailing is heightened by the adventure inherent in whaling. The result is a peculiarly inspiring type of romance. It’s no coincidence that Moby Dick, one of the greatest books ever written, is about whaling. In fact, as a writer myself, I often go on whaling expeditions in order to spur my imagination.
Part of whaling’s charm lies in the patriotism it evokes. Indeed, the sport is thoroughly American. Whaling was popular in colonial America; at the time of the Revolution, there were more than 300 whaling boats in Massachusetts alone. The size of the American whaling fleet grew from there. Before long, America was a whaling powerhouse. Yankee whalers helped explore the world’s oceans and discover previously unexplored land masses. They are some of the heroes of American history. To reject whaling is to reject their legacy — and America.
The best part of whaling is the hunt. But one of the biggest pleasures of whaling comes after a whale has been harpooned, killed and cooked. Which is to say, whales are remarkably delicious. True, whale meat is high in fat — it isn’t the sort of food you’d want to eat for dinner every night — but it’s great for special occasions.
Whaling is also great for the economy. During its peak in the mid-nineteenth century, the U.S. whaling industry employed tens of thousands of Americans. Now, of course, it employs very few. Not only would legalizing whaling create jobs, it would spark the revitalization of America’s whaling centers, like New Bedford, Mass., while lowering the price of the whale oil we use to light our lanterns.
Why, then, do environmental groups and others oppose whaling? It’s simple: racism. Whaling has historically played a central role in many Native American societies. Tribes like the Makah have whaled for centuries and want to continue to do so today. But the anti-whaling bigots will have none of it.
It’s also possible that anti-whaling activists are Confederate sympathizers who are upset about the Union’s employment of whaling ships during the Civil War.
Ultimately, God commands us to hunt whales. The New Testament is very clear that humans are superior to beasts. Consider this passage from the Gospel of Matthew:
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns. And yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you? [Matthew 6:26-30]
Whales think they’re so great. They think they can roam the world’s oceans unmolested. And for the most part, they’re right: Since 1986, whaling has been banned by the International Whaling Convention, which was created in 1946 to oversee the sport. It’s time for the madness to end. It’s time to legalize whaling.
Scoops Delacroix is a freelance writer and whaling enthusiast. He uses a pseudonym to avoid prosecution.