Whale hunting has been in the new a lot recently, but it now appears that the biggest threat to these intelligent, majestic animals is no longer whalers’ harpoons.
I read this morning in the Star Tribune that “Sperm whales, feeding even in the most remote reaches of Earth’s oceans, have built up stunningly high levels of toxic and heavy metals.” Most of these contaminants have been introduced into the ocean by humans of course. The article goes on to talk about how our food supply is being threatened by our poisoned oceans and that seafood is a primary source of protein for over 1 billion people. Do you eat fish?
Apparently, high concentrations of these poisons collect in these whales because they are at the top of the food chain. That means they eat fish and squid that have eaten smaller animals, which have eaten yet smaller animals and plants and so on. Humans are also at the top of the food chain, and although we don’t only eat contaminated fish, we eat many other plants and animals that are exposed to heavy metals, pesticides and herbicides. Both whales and humans nurse their young, passing contaminants from mother to baby. (That beautiful piece of wild salmon may not be as pristine as you’ve convinced yourself that it is. Like it or not, our bodies are full of toxins too.)
What’s happening to the whales is happening to us. The difference is that the whales are not the ones polluting the world.
Look at the Gulf. Looks at our sick oceans. Go read “The Lorax.”
We have to save the whales to save ourselves.