On this Sunday we could explore many aspects of human life in relationship to other species. You are invited to consider one species that humanity has sought to dominate – the whale.
Did you know that the largest animal currently alive on Earth is the blue whale? It grows up to 30 metres long and can weigh up to 150 tonnes. A whale can reach speeds of 80km/h under water!
Male sperm whales can grow up to 18 metres long, weigh as much as 70 tonnes, dive to depths of 1000 metres and hold their breath for between 60 and 90 minutes.
Whalers in the past destroyed many varieties of whale and some species were threatened. Whales are the largest species that we as humans have tried to dominate. The time has come to appreciate that these amazing creatures are a part of the rich ecosystem of the great oceans. The time has come to prevent their destruction and encourage their return home to our shores.
Japanese whaling companies continue to hunt and slaughter whales for so-called scientific purposes.
Greenpeace, WWF and the Humane Society International are seeking to end this senseless killing by Japanese companies. We are encouraged to support them.
Humane Society International (HSI) wants to sue a Japanese whaling company for hunting minke whales unlawfully in Australian waters. The HSI, however, has been prevented from doing so, because the Federal Government believes that any case would result in an international dispute with Japan. (See Chain Reaction, July 2005, p. 2). See www.hsi.org.au
The Earth ministry of the congregation may wish to explore ways of supporting bodies that seek to save whales or any other creatures that humans have sought to dominate and brought to the edge of extinction.
Changing our attitudes towards species like whales may also provide the impetus for us to re-think our attitude to peoples that are different from us in some way. Ultimately all peoples and all species are part of a common kinship system which includes the ecosystem of the ocean.
Especially valuable are materials provided by World Wild Life Fund who is the largest body committed to conserving the world’s biological diversity. See www.worldwildlife.org