By Karin Bennett
While U.S. residents watch and worry about the oil spill, a different kind of oceanic nightmare is brewing, one that will cause immense suffering and death for countless whales for many years to come.
On June 20, the International Whaling Commission will meet in Morocco to vote on a proposal to lift a 24-year international ban on commercial whaling for Japan, Norway, and Iceland—the three countries that have pretty much thumbed their noses at the ban. The Obama administration backs the lifting of the ban. Anyone who knows anything about the history of the ban—which has slashed the killing from somewhere between 40,000 and 60,000 whales a year to between 1,200 and 1,700—is outraged that the president is going back on his election pledge to strengthen a ban and instead throwing the country's might behind lifting it.
We know some fascinating things about whales: Humpbacks create "bubble-netting" by blowing a stream of bubbles to surround their prey, and females form long-lasting friendships with each other. Many people know that sperm whales have the biggest brains of any living being, but did you know that they're able to dive more than a mile? Or that they communicate by clicking? Or that some scientists believe that sperm whales "are so self-aware that they might have begun to evolve a concept of religion."
We also know that if the whaling ban is lifted, whale families will be torn apart as more are slaughtered. Act now to help animals: Politely tell President Obama that you oppose the cruel slaughter of sentient beings. Then prove it by going vegan if you haven't already.