The Faroese compile their boats in a semicircle, pushing the whales to the bottom of the fjord and towards shore. Once the mammals are beached, they are murdered with a special knife, a grindaknivur used to cut the dorsal area through to the spinal cord. The length of death takes anywhere from a few seconds to …minutes. While murdering hundreds of mammals, the Faroese sing Raske drenge, grind at dræbe det er vor lyst, translation: tough boys, to slay the grind that’s our desire. Keep in mind in 1985 harpooning and spearing was made illegal because it was cruel to the mammals.
It should be noted that even the Faroese authorities have released statements saying Pilot Whales are not safe for human consumption because of the high toxins in their meat. Yet continue to eat this poisonous meat because it is rich in social and cultural identity.
The tradition is engrained into the small Nordic islands’ culture, society and identity, but killing pregnant, pups and unborn whales from the womb of whales certainly cannot be a point of enlightenment. Pilot Whales are also not the only cetacean that may be murdered, the list also includes, Bottlenose Dolphin (like flipper), White-Breaked Dolphin, Atlantic White-Sided Dolphin and Harbour Porpoise.