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Thread: Going to Norway

  1. #1
    Ultra King Weird Darren's Avatar
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    Read the latest AT and it has an article on going to Norway.
    One of the things to do there is Whale Watching (WW).
    And I thought hang on they kill them as well.

    Apparently people in Norway will happily take you on a WW trip and then serve you whale meat!

    So my question is, is it ethical to go to Norway?

    This isn't a black and white issue as my friend at the flipper society or WDCS as it is known pointed out to me.

    I'll post an extract from the email they sent me tomorrow as it is at work.

  2. #2
    Ultra King Weird Darren's Avatar
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    Here's the email. Please remember this is not their official policy as they don't have one. But given to me to help me weigh up the issue.

    To
    answer his last question first, yes, they definitely are a whaling nation,
    actually as well as philosophically! From a WW perspective it is a tricky
    one, since in general, we encourage people to go and support the WW
    community in areas where hunting is a problem - eg Iceland and Japan - to
    support the benign use of whales (rather than letting those who make money
    from killing them win the day). But in Norway's case, the issue is further
    complicated since whale-meat is actually served aboard some cruise
    ships/WW ships which obviously sickens and horrifies many passengers. A
    further, wider issue is that many - if not most - Norwegians, even those
    who are part of the WW community, are not ANTI whaling - in other words,
    they believe WW and whaling can co-exist!

    So - dilemma:

    i) If you go WW in Norway:

    Pros: You support the concept of benign use of cetaceans and support the
    WW community. You may also get the chance to quietly but firmly put across
    your case that you are personally unhappy with whaling and would not under
    any circumstances wish to be offered whale-meat.

    Cons: Simply by being there, you risk re-enforcing the notion that the two
    activities CAN co-exist, plus you may witness a kill or be served
    whalemeat - both of which would be very distressing.


    ii) If you boycott Norway:

    Pros: Sending out a strong message that tourism and WW tourism in
    particular, cannot and will not tolerate whaling. Hit Norwegians in the
    pocket, etc.

    Cons: Without tourism revenue, you risk killing off the WW industry there
    and then profit would only be made from DEAD whales - and therefore the
    whalers would have won the day.

    I cannot tell Darren what he should do, but maybe give him the above to
    think about and say that we would welcome his thoughts too, whether or not
    he goes there!

  3. #3
    Initiate julian b's Avatar
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    in my touring/bumming around heyday I didnt visit two countries on principle.firstly I was an enviromentalist(well remember being dragged away outside sainsbury,s G.M foods) and personally felt I couldn,t go to norway .
    secondly the racists in South africa.
    just a personal viewpoint.

  4. #4
    Mini Goon
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    I had much the same dilemma earlier this year as I am also against whaling.

    My wife had always wanted to go to Norway since she was at school.

    Our son was invited to Cornwall with a friend for a week, so we took the opportunity to do a weeks trekking in Norway, despite my reservations.

    The result was we had four fantastic days trekking and a couple of great sightseeing days in Oslo including the Jazz festival.

    The people are very welcoming and the country is very well set up for trekking. The mountain huts (DNT or private) are brilliant with excellent food.

    I think it's almost impossible to travel ethically these days. Everywhere has something we could disagree with. Do we not buy Japanese cameras because they also kill whales etc?

    Norway is much greener than the UK for instance with an excellent public transport system and lower speed limits.

    True, it's not a black and white issue, but in the end it depends how committed you are to being as ethical as you can.

    I suppose that makes me sound ethically dubious, but... I don't really know the answer and at the end of the day, I suppose I can't defend myself too much.

    I'm not sure this has been much help.

    Steve

  5. #5
    Ultra King Ddyrchafedig Gyrrwr (Beic Modur)'s Avatar
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    Innuits kill whales and seals for survival, as they have done for millenia, but for modern societies to be involved in Whaling in my view is as unecessary and barbaric as the hunting with dogs that has just been bannned by this country, and I am totally opposed to whaling, especially under the falsehood of "scientific research."

    It is a matter though for individual conscience. I firmly believe two things.

    1. The general "touring" public don't give two hoots about things that go on that they don't see, and so therefore any boycott by more socially "aware" people is just a token protest that these countries can safely ignore. The masses will still attend, so they wont miss the people with a conscience nand will still not suffer financially!

    The leads me into point two :=

    2 If you are to make any form of real protest then, it would need to be made in that country, where it cannot be ignored.

    It would only take one person on one such WW trip who is in the know, to counteract the "propagander" with the truth and at least then some form of "balance" is somewhere near to being acheived.

    If you want to change perspectives, the best place is from the outside looking out, not on the outside looking in!


  6. #6
    Ultra King Ddyrchafedig Gyrrwr (Beic Modur)'s Avatar
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    correct that to, INSIDE looking out!!!

  7. #7
    Initiate julian b's Avatar
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    you can,as I did write /protest to the local embassies and you do usually get a reply.

  8. #8
    Goon paddy's Avatar
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    Tony you will like this one?i sent a load of e-mails to the Pakistan embassy in London under the pretext of a visa application with there national flag flying in the background ,and 2x cartoon bears dancing on it,this my protest against how that govt turns a blind eye to dogs fighting bears,the bears have there teeth removed?did any body spot that one in the Daily mail way back?.

  9. #9
    Initiate julian b's Avatar
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    going to a place to protest is o.k in certain areas but one of my best friends at college just had to fly out to moscow to protest at the invasion of afghanistan,there he was handing out leaflets in red square and whack....
    theres alot of money in whaling and I dont no how protesting locally would be welcomed,but would you go and protest against fox hunting in certain areas in the u.k.?

  10. #10
    Ultra King Ddyrchafedig Gyrrwr (Beic Modur)'s Avatar
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    Come off it Julian, people go to hunts to protest against hunting. I personally would not protest against fox hunting anywhere because I do not feel that strongly about it. As for your friend going to a communist country to protest against the regime, for goodness sake, has he no common sense?

    This was a response to a question from Darren about specifics in a democratic and probably more civilised country than ours, no reason to quote extremes in despotic countries.

  11. #11
    ‹bermensch Evil Genius Darren's Avatar
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    Personally I would go WW somewhere like Boston or Canada as they don't hunt whales there. Plus you have more mountains than you can shake a stick at too.

  12. #12
    Ultra King Weird Darren's Avatar
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    ED but then the Canadians do club seals...
    ok not as a tourist attraction yet but if it's successful in Norway who knows.

    Although I get the impression that the Canadians with the seals and the Japanese with the dolphins and whales are so proud of what they do they stop reporters taking pictures of it. Thats conviction of their believes for you.

  13. #13
    Ultra King Parky Again's Avatar
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    darren, as the well balanced reply you got demonstrated that everything is grey, only you or your conscience can decide what is black and what is white (or as i like to put it, where the line of hypocrisy lay)

    if ww is what you want to do then don't go to norway to do it. go elsewhere.
    if, however, you wish to go to norway (excluding ww), then why not.

  14. #14
    Ultra King Weird Darren's Avatar
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    Parky,
    the pictures look nice, and I personally would love to go just to walk. But Kate likes to break walking up with other stuff (which is fair enough).
    So I'm looking at options for when we have no kids for 2 weeks next year, and AT is very good for inspiration on that front.
    WW would be an amazing thing to do, as the seal watching off the Norfolk coast is.
    But as althings, trying to be ethical etc in what you do is not easy.

  15. #15
    ‹bermensch Ian Brookes's Avatar
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    Did anyone see that programme a few days ago about the Japs killing Dolphins in shallow water traps (Dry hunting).

    The scenes were shown to some Japanese people at an aquarium, and to be honest they had now idea this went on. One woman was in tears.

    The aquarium business in Japan, SE Asia and some other parts of the world actually encourages the hunting of dolphins because of the huge price they can get for them.

    And all in the name of conservation, more like the massive tickets receipts they get at these places.

    Very eye opening.

  16. #16
    Ultra King Parky Again's Avatar
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    darren, leave it to kate to decide. if she deosn't mind then a trip like this may either have no effect or may change her mind. if it is against your conscience then going with a "non believer" will at least make them more aware of your concerns.

  17. #17
    ‹bermensch Evil Genius Darren's Avatar
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    The problem is that you take the 'ethics' question too far and find a reason not to visit dozens of countries. Places like Vietnam, Laos etc. would be off-limits because they eat dogs (fresh meat to them). Australia because they eat Kangaroo. Russia and China because of history, Spain because of Bull-fighting and so on.

    While I accept that people will have strong views on certain practices abroad, you do have to see beyond them or risk becoming the "Englishman bringing civilisation to the savages" or never travel abroad.

  18. #18
    Ultra King Ddyrchafedig Gyrrwr (Beic Modur)'s Avatar
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    And Welshmen Darren, - Oh no sorry - you brought it to us didn't you ?????

    ;-)))

  19. #19
    Initiate julian b's Avatar
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    tony I really love you just because you seem to miss interprete(sp) everythink I say.I was trying to point out you just never know the reception you,ll get in even a "civilised country" when attacking vested interests,I recently read a small whale was worth upto 100 grand!!
    The ethics concerned at visiting various country,s has weighed heavily with me over the years so it can only ever be A deeply personal opinion based on youre own social/political beliefs.
    oh yes lovely petra was dumber than dumb to do that in the U.S.S.R but a fair few greenpeace activists have got black eyes in Norway aswell....so peops if you go,go to enjoy yourself and not to make a political statement
    love jules

  20. #20
    Ultra King Ddyrchafedig Gyrrwr (Beic Modur)'s Avatar
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    One can only misinterpret something that is not made clear in the first place!

    I was not actually advocating formally protesting anyway, which is one that you obviously misinterpreted, although I fail to see how in the context that Darren was asking, how this following statement (which I repeat for clarification) could lead to your misinterpretation and to the extremes of Greenpeace "activists" and anti communist protesters!

    For clarity:=

    "It would only take one person on one such WW trip who is in the know, to counteract the "propaganda" with the truth and at least then some form of "balance" is somewhere near to being achieved."

    That was intended to mean discussion amounst the group attending the WW, not placard waving protesters chained to embassy buildings!


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