A horrific practice occurs annually on the Danish-owned Faroe Islands: it is called Grindadráp, an event in which a whale massacre is embarked upon by residents of all ages.
Now, with the global, viral nature of the internet and the way information moves, this brutal event has sparked worldwide outrage.
Every summer across the Faroe Islands, which lie between Iceland and Norway, people embark upon this whale slaughtering event as a tradition that would happen as winter approaches.
Every year around this time, unsuspecting groups of whales begin to swim close to the shore as part of their migration season. Then, they are surrounded by fishermen and trapped, driven in toward the shallow waters of the bay.
Once the poor whales are trapped, they become the victims of a slaughter. Children as young as five years old reportedly get involved with the brutal killing of whales, and apparently the crowd very actively and avidly participates in the violence.
Crowds flock to this event as they do to bull fighting in Spain, and it’s gruesome and universally recognizable as unnecessary now, although it once may have been more necessary for the sustenance of people there.
Alastair Ward, a 22 year old student from Cambridge University was on a trip to the islands last month to celebrate his graduation, when he was unfortunate enough to happen upon the bloodbath.
“We were walking round this bay when this family of locals ran over and said ‘you’re lucky, there’s a whale coming’,” he said.
“We thought it would be just one being dragged in but more and more boats kept appearing on the horizon.
I couldn’t believe how many whales there were. They were driving them into the bay, prodding them with their oars. Once they got close enough, the whole town sprinted in and started hacking at them.
Even the children were getting involved, pulling the ropes and jumping on the carcasses. We were just sat there speechless and a bit upset but you couldn’t really pull yourself away,” the witness continued.
This year, over 180 whales were documented as being cut into pieces and left to die in the Sandav Gur bay, creating a horrifying scene with the waters being turned dark red with blood.
As the whales lost their lives, residents cheered the brutality, stopping to take selfies with their family members and friends.
As described by Lad Bible, “Using hooked ropes to yank the whales to shore, the fishermen hack at their bodies with sharp knives and many are left almost decapitated and writhing in pain, dying a slow and horrific death.”
“The squealing from the whales was horrible. They were putting hooks in their blowholes and then started hacking at them with knives,” the witness Alistair continued.
“They didn’t die in a very humane way. Children were jumping on top of them. They have such a different attitude to us because they’re brought up on it.”
For once, a well thought out statement that acutely describes the apathy-rich, collective state of mind people can sometimes fall into was issued by an environmental group, the Sea Shepherd Faroe Island Campaign. The post reads:
“I search for people protesting, for activists filming the cruel slaughter, for one person, anyone, who is crying over this ordeal. There is nobody.”
The official narrative is that for thousands of years, the locals have practiced this tradition as they depended on the meat from whales. That certainly seems to be true, and human beings cannot be hated for humanely consuming what they have to consume to survive, but obviously nowadays the situation is much different.
Now, pieces of whales that were killed for no reason in a world already lacking care for nature, are just left out to rot for the most part.
Some people harvest the bodies of these whales, but much of the meat is completely abandoned, according to Sea Shepherd. Every year the organization reportedly sends boats to try and prevent the massacre. However, last year five of them were arrested for trying to stop the fishermen.