Skip to comments.Calif. Gray Whale Shot With Machine Gun
Posted on 09/09/2007 6:30:36 AM PDT by Mr. Brightside
click here to read article
“Nonsense. It is in their culture.”
I stand corrected. Japans pushing whales to extinction for cultural purposes did`nt wash, so now they have changed tactics and claim they need to hunt them for “scientific purposes.”
Beats me why people in modern countries would want to eat whale meat, anyway.
“Whale meat and environmental toxins”
“Studies with several species have shown that whale meat often contains dangerously high levels of environmental toxins such as PCB, mercury, and dioxin.  The highest concentration of EDCs (Endocrine Disrupting Compounds) ever found in any animal was measured recently in the blubber of a Minke Whale, a species commonly hunted by Japanese whalers in Antarctic waters. These toxins are particularly dangerous for pregnant women and growing children, which calls into question the practice of providing whale meat lunches for school children. This is common in whaling areas but it is also on the increase in parts of Japan that do not engage in whaling.”
I worked and lived in that area for many years. Part of their “native culture” involves the capture and use of salmon. They use gill nets, and many have been found chock full of rotting salmon, because they couldn’t be bothered to haul it in, and harvest the fish. I suspect that the whale meat goes the same route.
Check out the equipment. The .50 BMG rifle is mandatory:
VI. Whaling Vessels, Equipment and Hunting Methods.
A whaling team must include one or more canoes and at least two chase boats.
All canoes used in whaling must be at least 30 feet in length and manned by a harpooner, rifleman and six paddlers.
All chase boats used in whaling must be at least 24 feet in length and powered by an engine large enough to tow an adult gray whale to port (at least 200 horsepower). Each chase boat shall be manned by a pilot, diver, backup rifleman, and at least one other crew member. Each chase boat shall be equipped with Loran or other navigation system capable of precisely fixing the vessel’s position on the water.
All whaling harpoons must be equipped with a stainless-steel toggle point, connected to one or more floats, and bear a permanent distinctive mark identifying the whaling captain who is in charge of the whaling team using the harpoon.
The rifle used in gray whale hunts shall be a .50BMG (caliber) very high-powered rifle.
The first strike made upon a gray whale shall be made by the harpooner on a canoe and shall affix one or more floats to the whale. Immediately after the harpooner strikes the whale, the rifleman on the canoe shall fire his rifle at the whale’s central nervous system (CNS). If the whale is not immobilized by the initial shot, the chase boats will pursue the whale and the riflemen aboard the chase boats will kill the whale as expeditiously as practicable with rifle shots directed at the whale’s CNS.
Upon the death of a whale, the chase boat divers will ensure the whale remains afloat and secure the whale for towing to port. The whale will be expeditiously towed to port by one of the chase boats.
By following the general procedures set out in paragraphs F and G above, whaling teams shall make best efforts to land every whale that is struck.
The Commission shall conduct research and development to further refine the hunting methods set out in this management plan. Upon consultation with the Commission and the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Council may periodically amend the provisions of this part to improve the safety, effectiveness and humaneness of gray whale hunts.
“These toxins are particularly dangerous for pregnant women and growing children, which calls into question the practice of providing whale meat lunches for school children.”
And mother whales probably pass on the toxins they have accumulated to their babies, which in turn accumulate even more toxins in their lifespans. It`s a vicious cycle. If we are`nt killing them off outright, we`re doing it with poisons. And we call it “progress.”
But it is not always a good thing (improved tools). Alaska natives have a delicacy they enjoy. It involves burying fish heads (salmon) in a container for some time. Old days they used very tight weave baskets or pottery. this being the modern era, tupperware type containers are easier. Unfortunatly a annual event is a few of them dying from eating the stuff. Airtight containers are a negative. never alot of people dying, but it always makes the news. Actually, for most of the gathering/harvests you will find very little that is actually “traditional” other than the timing for it and the people doing it. Kind of a quandary. Fewer and fewer people do it and the introduction of junk foods has really been bad for the peoples health.
“If they want to adhere to tradition, then they should hunt with spears.”
As I remember, that was considered. But the animal rights groups had a cow about the poor whales dying so slowly. So the tribe invested in (or perhaps one of the members already owned) a .50 cal Barrett. The whale they killed several years ago was harpooned according to custom and then put out of its misery with the rifle. I suspect that’s what was intended this time too only some guys are better shots than others.
I’m not a member of the tribe but I don’t have any problem with them killing an occasional whale. After all, the courts have found that it’s ok for the Navy to use active sonar while training in areas where those same whales live. The sonar screws up their ability to navigate, eventually sending them off to either God-knows-where to starve or onto a beach to die. At least the indians eat them.
Nah. It's both.
Just like casinos are part of their native culture.
Gambling is part of their culture.
Yes, I know. There was a lot of buffalo at that time though.
>When they don’t eat what they take,<
According to the article, the carcass sank in the ocean.
So much for eating it. Guess they now have an excuse to torture and kill another one.
Yes. There are trouble makers in every group. I think the 5 busted here, didn't have tribal authority to do this. The numbers aren't right and the 5 were turned over to the tribal police.
While we generally define murder as 'unjustifiable homicide' ranging in degrees from one to three ('premeditated' to 'reflex crime of passion'?), the objective ethics of cases like this suggests that the unnecessary, unjustified killing of a sentient mammal should become criminalized and prosecuted as 'fourth degree murder'.
Thanks for the post with the hunt info. This apparently wasn’t a valid tribal hunt, since it looks like there were only 5 hunters, that were later turned over to tribal police. I wonder what the traditional punishment for something like this is.
LOL! Who do you think you are, coyote?
Tribal police, eh? HAHAHA! Exactly zip will happen to them.
I don’t know. I don’t know how they do things. If I was the chief, I’d be pissed and go Apache on them. It’s a cultural thing.
No, I would suppose a coyote could be thought 'justified' in killing for food as A.) necessary, given no practical alternatives. and B.) probably incapable of recognizing unnecessary killing as unethical.
Humans have a responsibility to not murder innocent beings, and our laws should reflect that. Don't you agree?
Charlie Brown's not home.
Indian tribes have more rights than the rest of us.
You are coyote aren't you.
"justified' in killing for food as A.) necessary, given no practical alternatives. and B.) probably incapable of recognizing unnecessary killing as unethical."
Those are my chickens and I hunt.
It’s very, very, very political. Also, everyone is related to everyone else.
“They hunted the buffalo for food, lodging, clothes, tools and furnature. Their spiritual culture considered the animals sacred and they didn’t kill them for the sake of killing.”
You may want to read some history. There are many accounts of Indians on hunts killing buffalo just for the tongues and leaving the rest of the carcass. The only time the whole animal was used was when the village (either stationary or on the move) was nearby. Simple logistics. Hunting parties were limited in what they could carry. The white buffalo hunters always took the hides (that’s primarily what they killed the bufffalo for), and some of the meat. Indians could be pretty wasteful. The mythology of the American Indian as some kind of heroic environmentalist is swill poured by do-gooders who never saw an Indian in the flesh (and likely wouldn’t have survived the experience if he or she had).
Yeah, I don't do myths though.
"There are many accounts of Indians on hunts killing buffalo just for the tongues and leaving the rest of the carcass. "
The annual hunt was for the big numbers and the collections of resources, like the hide they made tepees, clothes, robes and furniture with, and the bones that were used for tools. I think the hunt for tongues was simply an excursion for fresh ceremonial meat.
"The only time the whole animal was used was when the village (either stationary or on the move) was nearby."
Right, but they followed the migrations.
"The white buffalo hunters always took the hides (thats primarily what they killed the bufffalo for), and some of the meat."
the primary reason the whites killed the buffalo in great numbers is because the US Army wanted the native's resources destroyed. The rest was decided by those that did the job.
That may be true but remember those rights are only good on their reservation. If you have ever been to one of the poorer ones, I doubt if you would change places with them. Not all tribes have rich Casinos, matter of fact, only a small percentage of them do and most of them are not getting rich.
At some point we humans will have to come to terms with exactly what levels of sentience, sapience, intelligence, self-awareness, and consciousness constitute a being which should be respected and treated as we would expect to be treated -- as sentient, sapient, intelligent, self-aware, and conscious beings. One day we may realize that this applies to dolphins, whales, chimps, and perhaps even horses, canines, elephants and other mammals. One day this may also apply to artificial intelligence -- given that it has a level of sentience, sapience, intelligence, self-awareness, and consciousness which constitute a being which should be respected and treated as we would expect to be treated -- as "people" (even though they are not "human").
One day we may encounter other beings from other star systems who may regard humans as NOT being adequately, in their perspective, sentient, sapient, intelligent, self-aware, and conscious to be regarded as no more than slaves or perhaps no more than animals to be hunted for sport.
They did, however, drive entire herds over cliffs. Having so done, there was meat and hides galore, followed by flies galore, followed all too soon by hunger galore.
Teeth of most Indians show indication of annual starvation periods.
Being a stone age savage was not a nice “way of life” because it had no “quality of life” and often resulted in no life at all.
? ? ? “You be wrong.” ? ? ??
You be posting Ebonics?
Minus white civilizatin produced weapons, the Indians couldn’t kill off all the buffalo, even when they drove entire herds over cliffs.
All that accomplished was a large feast, followed by lots of labor drying meat and prepping hides.
Then, it was a 25 year wait until the next herd grew up.
Humans have a responsibility to not murder innocent beings, and our laws should reflect that. Don’t you agree?
Agreed, but we are not ‘murdering’ any animals. We do, however hunt, shoot, and eat them.
There is a place for all of God’s creatures. That place is either on a grill or next to the mashed potato serving bowl.
Definitely that applies to chicken and fish -- both of which so far from us sentient mammals that I have no problem killing and eating them (and our family raised chickens which I helped to kill and eat (stupid birds!).
I also dearly do love pork, lamb and beef in their place with mashed potatoes. I rationalize that the cows, sheep and pigs we eat have been bred to be more stupid than their wild ancestors. Deer, elk and bear are a step up in sentience, intelligence, and maybe consciousness, but I have little problem with killing and eating them.
Whales or dolphins I would have more of a problem with killing and eating because they are closer to us on the sentience, sapience, consciousness, intelligence, self-awareness scale.
I guess that some desensitization is needed in order to kill and eat some of our more intelligent fellow mammals. Probably that desensitization is similar to that needed to kill some of our fellow humans in self-defense or in war. Some of our enemies I'd rate lower than whales or chimps.
The baleen whale’s role in life is engulfing huge amounts of organisms like krill and swallowing them alive. The toothed whales snap and swallow live fish or, in the case of teh sperm whales, live squid.
Unless one is a plant, one lives by killing and thus harvesting the collected energy of ones prey.
Once one accepts the basics of biology, one avoids the endless second guessing of what should I eat.
In my case, I know that a whole apple pie and an endless supply of perfect peaches does have a lingering effect on me.
That effect is called “fat”, so on that note I shall sally forth into the ‘Glades and do some work.
Have a good week,
I think there is an envy factor here. Whites (like myself) are controlled by hundreds of sometimes petty and confiscatory laws concerning hunting and fishing. To get a license in Washington is confusing to say the least. Indians (I wont call them native americans, as I too am a native american) seem to be able to hunt and fish without restriction or tax. We are slaves, they are free men and it sticks in our craw.
Excellent point! Reminds me of one episode of the Twilight Zone. Two astronauts crash landed on Mars. Roddy McDowall played a scientist, and his partner was killed in the crash. McDowall meets the inhabitants of Mars, and they provide him with a nice house to live in. At the end of the show, McDowall finds out his house is an enclosure in a zoo, and the Martians view him as nothing more than a zoo specimen for their children to gawk at.
Tribal law applies on the reservations (instead of state law). And when federal law and tribal law conflict, you’d be surprised at the judicial rulings that comne down in support of tribal law.
And, as for the so-called “annual hunt,” you make it sound like they went out for a month or so and hunted, much like we hunt deer nowadays. The plains tribes such as the Sioux and the Cheyenne and the Arapaho (just to name a handful) followed the buffalo herds, so it wasn’t so much an “annual hunt” but a perpetual hunt until winter made logistics unmanageable(they also went after antelope, elk, deer, etc.; however, one of their main staples was dog).
Change places with them? I would, in a heartbeat, just as long as the tribal council held no authority. I know, because I used to work for a company that insured them, and I handled their claims; and a more incompetent and corrupt governing body you have never seen.
Tribal law is in power unless the crime is a federal law like murder of kidnapping etc. Federal low over powers tribal law. Tribes are not really 100% sovereign. They are a sovereign nation with in a sovereign nation (the US Government)
whats a good recipe for whale
Tongue hunts were largely for ceremony.
"And, as for the so-called annual hunt, you make it sound like they went out for a month or so and hunted, much like we hunt deer nowadays. The plains tribes such as the Sioux and the Cheyenne and the Arapaho (just to name a handful) followed the buffalo herds, so it wasnt so much an annual hunt but a perpetual hunt until winter made logistics unmanageable(they also went after antelope, elk, deer, etc.; however, one of their main staples was dog)."
Yes, they followed the herds. Their lodges were buffalo hide weighing near a 1/2ton, so they didn't move, but maybe once a year. The annual hunt I referred to was when they killed large numbers of buffalo and brought large amounts of stuff back to camp. Their regular hunts did not involve killing large numbers, as in driving them off a cliff.
“Their lodges were buffalo hide weighing near a 1/2ton, so they didn’t move, but maybe once a year.”
With all due respect, you know absolutely nothing of the Plains Indians. They moved their village sites several times during the year. Theirs was a semi-nomadic culture, made more so because of the horse. The only time they stayed in one place for any stretch was when they went into their winter camps. The Plains Indians did not farm like their eastern or far-western counterparts. As for their lodges, they used deer hides, elk hides, buffalo hides, you name it.