Posted by: 1amwhale | February 13, 2012

Whale Cake Challenge

Welcome to Whale Week 2012!

This is the 10th Anniversary celebration and I thank you for participating as well as those in past years who have shared their love with our wet friends, the whales.

I offer gratitude to our hosts, my roommates, the esteemed Justin and Chris Turner. They have helped save Jamestown for some time now. Please get to know them as the night progresses.


“However, a good laugh is a mighty good thing, and rather too scarce a good thing; the more’s the pity. So, if any one man, in his own proper person, afford stuff for a good joke to anybody, let him not be backward, but let him cheerfully allow himself to spend and to be spent in that way. And the man that has anything bountifully laughable about him, be sure there is more in that man than you perhaps think for.”

—Moby Dick


Whale Week has engendered such a theme of laughter throughout the years including its beginnings through making fun of J.D. Sheppard and Garrick Brady because, well, they weren’t 6 feet tall 125 lbs like some of the rest of us. Most of the comical sentiment is that this event is somewhat ironic or facetious. However, while much of what I will now say is of the same vein, these thoughts also have basis in my mind and heart.

Whales are the most majestic creatures on earth. Their migrations are comparable only to a few. Blue Whales are the largest animal ever to have existed. Sperm whales are one of the fiercest predators. Orcas are some of the most intelligent creatures. It is thought that Bowhead Whales live over 100 years. Although my hope is to one day swim with these animals, I no longer see their purpose for the world.

Shocking as this may sound coming from me, listen to my evaluation. The once great whales, namely the Right Whales, Sperm Whales and the Humpback Whales, were hunted for the resources which their bodies contained. Now that their oil and other products have been replaced by more efficient synthetics or substitutes and that environmental protection has offered a hug, the whales are safe. But I have thought that their safety is much like that of a panda. What does a stupid, although cute, panda offer this world? My first introduction to this view of the panda was from David Plotz of Sure they may keep the world’s bamboo growth in check, but for the most part they are taken out of their environment for our zooing pleasure. Whales have a far better life in the sea, but it seems that their role is to maintain the population of krill, giant squid and seals. Maybe I’m understating the value of this service.

That’s the pragmatist inside me: what is the importance of our interfering in the world of the ocean. The hippie inside me would say (picture my long hair) “there is a lot to learn from these behemoths.” Truly there isn’t; they’re animals. However, I think what that hippie is saying is to exhibit behavior and practices that have an air of longevity to them. This specifically means to participate in activities that prolong the world’s existence. This doesn’t require us to forsake all and join Greenpeace or head to Woods Hole, MA and study oceanography, but it does ask to support our planet. I suggest you follow the simple ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ mantra. Apply ‘save the whales’ to not just those mammals, but all creatures, especially humankind. For this week, I have charged myself to eat a diet of Whale Cake. This is my tribute to whales and my pledge to Earth.


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