Thursday, April 8, 2010
Hypocrisy in Rotterdam
It is illegal in the Netherlands to import whale meat. However, this apparently does not prevent those who profit from the slaughter of great whales to move the product of their butchery through the port of Rotterdam. It is hard to understand how the Dutch authorities can draw this distinction. This case involves seven refrigerated containers of meat from endangered Fin Whales killed by whalers in Iceland that were bound for Japan. Before the ship NYK Orion that was transporting the whale meat could depart Rotterdam harbor, activists from Greenpeace who were tipped off to this illegal cargo, chained themselves to the ship’s anchor line. However, despite their heroic efforts, it appears that the Dutch Customs office may allow the whale meat to continue on its journey. If they do, these officials will have blood on their hands: not blood from the bodies of the dead whales that once flooded the decks of the Icelandic whale ships; rather it will be blood from the whales’ souls and it can never be washed off. Let us hope that the good people of the Netherlands will not allow their government authorities to become enablers to the brutal and archaic practice of whaling. It is time for all the citizens of the world to see whaling for what it is: murder in the first degree.