Thursday, June 3, 2010

You Humans Are A Curious Lot

Four million years ago, when your ancestors first walked erect, you were herbivores. By that time, my ancestors, the earliest whales and dolphins, had been swimming through the oceans for over forty million years, and the interaction between our two species was minimal. Two million years later, you became hunter/warriors, running around on your two little feet, clubbing and stabbing to death anything and everything that walked or crawled on land, including your fellow man; but still the interaction between us was limited. Ten thousand years ago, the inevitable happened: you took your killing ways to sea and began hunting my kind, but your methods were primitive and posed no serious threat to us. Thus, for nearly four million years, we co-existed peacefully.
But all that changed in the early 17th century when you began whaling on a commercial scale, and by the 19th century, you had taken your predatory skills to a whole new level, literally slaughtering hundreds of thousands of my kind. For nearly four centuries, this butchery continued unabated, driving many of us to the edge of extinction; until finally in 1986, a caring majority of you decided to bring commercial whaling to an end…sort of. Tragically, some among you, those living in Japan, Iceland, and Norway, still believe that it is their God-given right, their cultural prerogative, to perpetuate the slaughter.
And yet, even as this brutal bloodlust continues, others among your kind work passionately to bring the killing to an end through brave acts on the high seas, proposals submitted to the International Whaling Commission, and legal action brought before the International Court of Justice. You humans are a curious lot; the same DNA that makes some of you cold-blooded killers, makes others peacemakers. And meanwhile, caught squarely in the middle, my kind watches, and waits, and hopes…

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