The Animal Welfare Of The Faroe Islands: Whaling Tradition

Imagine a world where your tradition and culture are restricted by the uninformed views of others. A world where a happily living group of people face discouragement in preserving their own heritage because of other people’s oppressive actions. Unfortunately, this is a reality for the small and independent population of the Faroe Islands, a self-governing island with 50, 000 inhabitants in the Atlantic Ocean. Ruling an extremely long history, the native people of these islands have lived there for over 1000 years; causing their unique culture to form as result, a thrilling culture where they engage in hunting the local wildlife for celebration and attaining helpful animal products. It is undeniable that the traditional whaling activities of the Faroe Islands are an important landmark for culture and serves helpful economic purposes. As well as holding cultural significance, the activity brings a large benefit in animal products such as food and fats, as well as economic benefits.

Firstly, the Faroese tradition of whaling is very important for preserving the culture of the native people. As the islands are made up of a small population with little relevance on a universal scale, it is undeniable that traditions like these are essential to preserving the culture of the island. If this iconic mark of heritage where to disappear, a large amount of the local people would feel deprived off their cultural pride which they rightfully bear. It’s blatantly immoral to forcefully cancel out a group of people’s traditions which they’ve proudly practiced for over 1000 years. Furthermore, there were initial reasons behind why the Faroese people hunt whales annually, and they still serve to this day.

This brings me to my next point about how whales serve an important purpose for being hunted around the region of the Faroe Islands. Whales are just like any other animals as they offer highly useful materials such as food and fats which can prove beneficial for the island’s local people. Being a considerably small population, the island lives very independently as they don’t engage in much trade with neighboring countries because they are unable to offer many resources. However, hunting whales offers them a significant amount of animal resources which they would be to use for themselves as well as trade with neighboring countries to boost their own economy.

Of which, the Faroese island’s tradition of whale hunting causes a great benefit to the economy. This is because all the materials the Faroese people gain from whale hunting are viewed as valuable assets. Whale meat is considered an exotic and edible food which is why it’s traded around the world at such a high price. According to ScienceDirect, the vitamins and minerals of whale meat are proven to be much healthier for human consumption compared to the meat of other marine mammals. The low supply and high demand of whale products causes a big economic boost for the local country which further proves why this activity should remain as tradition on the islands.

To conclude, many opposing people may argue that whales are a highly endangered species. While this may be true in some regions of the worlds, this is not the case in the northern Atlantic Ocean where the Faroese islands sit, as the whale population was over 100, 000. When you compare this to the small 1000 whales which are hunted by the Faroese people annually, the population is sustaining and is not endangering the species especially, when the government regulates this rightful tradition. 

16 August 2021
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