Sea Shepherd announced that they have successfully prevented a single pilot whale from being slaughtered by the Faeroese in their annual Grind. This is wicked awesome for obvious reasons, but there are some underlying elements to the story which teach us some things about the Faeroese:

  1. Apparently the Faeroese police ordered that no slaughters would take place under the witness of Sea Shepherd. This means the Faeroese government is well aware that the world is watching, and doesn’t want to exacerbate their already tarnished reputation. They understand what they’re doing is wrong and recognize the consequences of their actions should a broad, international audience become aware of their bloody ritual.
  2. During the campaign, the Sea Shepherd crew were able to speak with hundreds of children from the islands. They were pleasantly surprised to learn just how many of these youth were against The Grind. This exposes a possibility that a small number of Faeroe Islands citizens are responsible for something many more oppose.

Both of these stories indicate that there is hope for edifying the Faeroese about why they should eradicate their tradition.

Even the reception Earthrace Conservation Organization’s Sandi Sullivan received when she visited this summer points to a public hunger for knowledge about why The Grind might be a bad thing. She visited the islands in July and dropped leaflets onto whale meat in supermarkets which announced the existence of heavy metal toxins in that meat. During her campaign she discovered that while citizens defended their annual slaughter, it wasn’t without distrust for the story their government feeds them about why the meat is safe. Science may be another channel for working to end The Grind.

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